10 Resources Every Sysadmin Should Know

 Tuesday 6 June, 2023
10 Resources Every Sysadmin Should Know

The IT world is continuously evolving and there are so many resources to help you keep up to speed. However, it's a challenge for even senior sysadmins to sift through all the available resources to identify the ones that are most relevant and useful.

In this blog, we identify some key resources across various channels to not only help you stay up to date with the latest technologies but also to improve your skills and career opportunities.

Whether you're a senior sysadmin or just starting out, this blog will give you a sense of all the tools and resources you need to excel at your job and thrive; so, let's dive in.

1. Operating system (OS) documentation

Windows has plenty of guides and articles that are categorized by product for your convenience so you can easily find the information you're looking for. They also have Microsoft Learn for IT pros to help you build skills and master their products.

Apple has their official Developer website where you can discover documentation on pretty much everything that their growing economy has to offer. Linux too has user-oriented documentation that can help you optimize their operating system on any device.

2. Online forums and communities

Reddit is an excellent forum, whether you're a senior sysadmin or just starting out. It has subreddits like r/sysadmin with hundreds of thousands of users that you can network with and learn from. The interactions in these subreddits or communities are informative and stimulating. They'll inspire you to think out of the box and solve problems creatively.

Reddit also has subreddits dedicated to particular operating systems like Linux and more general ones for your career that you can benefit from greatly.

3. Technical blogs and websites

Apart from product documentation, you also need to keep an eye on what's happening in the tech world more generally.

ArsTechnica is a great website for “alpha geeks.” Their long articles, op-eds and in-depth explainers are especially popular among IT professionals. The Register is one of the best sources out there for enterprise technology news. ZDNET is great for global tech news, advice and insights. TechCrunch breaks down the business of technology with their reporting. CNET offers insights into how you can use technology to make a better future.

4. IT certification programs

Certification programs help you achieve your learning outcomes. More importantly, they help you validate your skills so you can advance in your career.

CompTIA is one of the most recognized certification bodies in the world. They offer training and certifications in various IT domains. You could validate your skills in IT infrastructure management or security through their CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Security+ certifications, respectively.

Microsoft Learn, as we already mentioned, offers comprehensive role-based and product-based certifications that can help you in your career, whether you're a junior or senior sysadmin.

Enrolling in a certification program gives you the opportunity to acquire the latest knowledge and skills. It also displays your willingness to learn to your peers, seniors and recruiters.

5. Online training and tutorials

Apart from recognized certifications, there are training programs on websites like Udemy and Coursera that can help you gain specialized knowledge in a product or role. These courses are usually a mix of training videos, reading materials, hands-on projects and mentoring from an expert. They generally adopt a holistic approach to learning that you can benefit from. Moreover, they could even lead to certification, which can help validate your skills to prospective employers or leaders within your organization. 

6. Conferences and events

What better way to discover solutions that work than by either seeing them live in action at demos or by interacting with people who've implemented them? That's the opportunity that conferences like Microsoft's Ignite, LinuxCon and Red Hat Summit offer. You get to network with and learn from industry leaders, solution providers and your peers. Some events have parties too, so you can have fun while gaining valuable knowledge and experience.

7. Vendor support documentation

Vendors like Cisco and VMware have extensive libraries of knowledge base resources. They are neatly categorized by products so you can easily find the information you're looking for. Plus, they allow you to discover useful resources either through recommendations or by displaying their most popular pieces. These websites can provide you with a whole range of information, including the latest updates through their release notes, notices and articles.

8. Open-source projects

Open-source projects offer enterprises several benefits, like the flexibility to build a problem-solving framework to suit their requirements. It allows organizations to be more agile and implement solutions quickly by starting small and then evolving solutions. It's cost-effective, too. Open-source projects offer great value to organizations and you could cash in on that value by learning about them.

Nagios is an open-source project that has become the industry standard for IT infrastructure monitoring. They offer certifications and documentation to help you use their products better. Ansible is another open-source project that's tremendously popular among organizations because they help drive IT efficiencies through automation. They believe automation is for everyone and their documentation and use cases will have you believe that's true.

9. Industry standards

These help you follow best practices. ITIL is a leading framework that helps standardize the overall lifecycle of IT services. Their standards help you improve service, asset and support management. You can even become a certified ITIL practitioner to demonstrate the value you can bring to organizations.

Similarly, the NIST cybersecurity framework ensures you follow best practices for emerging technologies, identity and access management, network management, user privacy and other priority areas.

Find out which standards apply to your organization or industry and dive deeper into those industry standards to help your organization follow best practices and be compliant.

10. Social media

Finally, platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter let you find and connect with fellow sysadmins and industry experts. You can discover their views on technical and industry topics along with the latest news and updates from the tech world by simply scrolling through your mobile. It's an easy way to stay informed and network with the people shaping the tech world.

There are also lots of LinkedIn groups where you can network with professionals, sometimes from the same location, who have similar interests. A simple internet search will also help you find expert blogs and other resources.

Unlock the sysadmin power and grow professionally

As a sysadmin, you play a crucial role in the IT ecosystem. Not only do organizations rely on you to leverage technology and be productive, but also to keep their data, users and systems safe from hackers and cyberthreats. It's not an easy undertaking.

You need to stay up to date with all the latest news, product updates, release notes, technological and business insights, knowledge and skills to succeed in your career.

We hope the resources listed in this blog can help you upskill and progress in your career and effort to keep your organization safe and productive. Wish you all the best.

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