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HI Guys ,

I currently Work as web developer(3 years). I want to move into System Administrative field. I am currently doing job so can get any training.

My company has one computer called server with 2TB HD 8GB RAM XEON, which is only used to store files nothing else.

I just keep experimenting things on that server. Initially it had only windows 2003 server installed but as i was trying to learn more about the Windows. I installed 2008 server and then installed VMware Workstation and then two VM 1)Again 2008 server 2)Ubuntu

Just for experimenting.

MY Main question is by experimenting this way and doing some certifications LIke MCITP,VCP. Can i enter the System Administartor field.I think i can finish some certifiaction within few months. Can i try all practical stuff on that server?

IF i write in my resume that i can done all that stuff while working for that web design company . Will that be considered as experience or not


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I think its pretty strange that a company that does web development only has a single server, and that they are happy for you to play around on it! – micmcg Dec 7 '09 at 3:01
I don't know whey bought that server. They only use to store and access files. They could have used the network Harddrive for that. I was thinking of using the server for what it is build for :) – John Dec 7 '09 at 3:36
Yeah servers are definitely not for storing and accessing files... I feel for the company that hires you as a system admin, let alone the one you are at now. – micmcg Dec 8 '09 at 1:13
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Of course you can get into system administration with no experience. Everyone has no experience at some point :)

If you really want to get into it, there's a couple of things you should do:

  • Experiment & learn on your own time as well (at home, etc)
  • Find yourself a job as a junior sysadmin at a smallish company where a more senior sysadmin can mentor you.
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I am thinking that Initially i should get all the thoeries cleared by doing all sort of certifications as i still have job and i can learn on week ends. Once papers are cleared then i can think of apllying those techniques in office , then i can think of applying jobs. Is it possible to test all the stuff in MCITP using one server and few clients PC – John Dec 7 '09 at 2:39

It'll count for something. Whether or not it'll get you a job depends a lot more on the company you're applying for. You can greatly increase your chances of finding a sysadmin job if you hang around with sysadmin type people and make it known you're looking for a job. It really is true that "it's not what you know, it's who you know".

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How very true. Contacts are invaluable, especially when first starting. – John Gardeniers Dec 7 '09 at 2:58
you mean to know someone who is already in the company as employee or know who is the hirer in the company – John Dec 7 '09 at 3:00
Both, depending on the company. For places with lots of existing sysadmins, peer recommendations work well. Smaller companies it's typically just as easy to get at the head shed directly and wow them with your brilliance. – womble Dec 7 '09 at 3:03

At your current company if you're just "experimenting" and not doing actual systems administration, I feel it would be unethical to list that as experience on your resume. That said, it is possible to get hired with very little experience, just don't expect to get hired and be immediately handed dozens and dozens of servers to keep up. I'd suggest getting to know the sysadmins at your current company (if there are any there) and glean information, techniques, etc. from them.

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There is no sys admin in my company. By experimenting i mean that i actually apply those newly learned techniques. E,g i have installed two VM , 2008 S, linux. ON 2008 server company can use Remote desktop to do their work and in Linux i have installed the LAMP to try local webistes there. SO what ever i am learning , i am using in the company – John Dec 7 '09 at 2:35
Most sysadmin work is experimenting... – womble Dec 7 '09 at 3:04
True - but there's a difference between experimenting for your own purposes and experimenting on systems that other people are expecting to be available. – EEAA Dec 7 '09 at 3:06
Very true , thats why i was thinking of getting my hands on while doing web development so that when i go to real world then can't make mess over there – John Dec 7 '09 at 3:39
Oh, you will make a mess at some point. Everyone does :) – EEAA Dec 7 '09 at 3:47

It's just as dishonest to NOT list that knowledge as it would be to list it as "job experience" (assuming your current employer is not paying you to perform those tasks). That's why you can list things in separate areas of you resume/CV - simply move the system admin items under an "Other Experience" or some similar heading.

The first real job I got in IT was due in large part to the fact that in the interview, I described the home network I'd built with DOS drivers, 10bT cards, and coax cable. Sometimes having the drive and interest is more important than how much you know, or where you learned it.

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