As promised, here are some results from Sys Admin magazine's
most recent editorial survey. This survey is not conducted by any
external, unbiased entity. We mail it and tally the results ourselves,
so you may wish to heed the advice of the Slashdot pollsters --
i.e., if you're using these numbers to do anything important,
you're insane. Please note, however, that 91% of respondents
find my syslog column at least somewhat useful...
The survey results also indicate that readers find the NetAdmin
and Perl Advisor columns very useful. The Q&A column, however,
was rated most useful of all. Amy Rich of Oceanwave Consulting deserves
recognition for her hard work and time spent answering readers'
questions both in the magazine and on the Sys Admin Web site.
Thank you, Amy!
One of the questions on the survey asked, "Is systems administration
your foremost responsibility? If not, please specify." Nearly
half (48%) responded that their foremost duty was something other
than UNIX systems administration. Not surprisingly, these duties
include Web development, programming, consulting, database administration,
systems integration, help desk support, teaching, and management.
47% responded that they support more than 100 users (23% support
more than 500). The most widely administered operating systems are
(in order): Linux (all flavors), Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Irix, BSD
(all flavors), Tru64, and SCO.
Within the topic of job-related duties, we asked how often our
readers program in various languages. 58% program occasionally in
C/C++; 41% program in Java; 75% program in Perl; 91% program in
shell; and 35% write Tcl/Tk programs. The article topics respondents
found most interesting are: security, performance tuning, system
monitoring, and scripting languages. Results indicated less interest
in mainframe, Web-to-host, or NT connectivity issues.
The write-in suggestions requested that more Sys Admin
articles be made available online. You'd also like larger issues
with fewer ads and more code. I'm not sure how to make all
these things happen, but I'll work on it. In the meantime,
this issue offers a wide variety of articles that I hope you'll
find informative. This issue includes an article by Jeffrey Rothman
and John Buckman, which compares the performance of various operating
systems when running a specific network application. Anthony Taylor
provides an overview of WindowMaker, and Tom Podnar walks us through
a network troubleshooting exercise. The Web-exclusive articles include
an introduction to Coda by Brett Lymn, some tips for monitoring
Usenet news usage by Bill Davidsen, and ways to make the default
SNMP configuration more secure under Solaris. As always, please
let me know if you have additional suggestions for improving the
Editor in Chief