General discussion


Programmer turned Admin -- Needs Training! ASAP

By sassysolstice ·
Greetings everybody,

What I need is advice/guidance on providing a recommendation for the type of training an Administrator should/needs to have in order to be a more effective Administrator.

Currently as a Computer Networking System student -- I am working on the Training portion of a Network Capstone project ? thus far I have come up with several ideas on the direction that I wanted to take this component of the project but was hoping to have the advice of knowledgeable individuals before continuing on.


The IT Department
Consists of one person only and that is the Administrator that is overworked & extremely stressed out.

The Company
The company is a landscaping equipment wholesale company [consisting of approximately 100 employees? total] ? they do not do the landscaping they just provide the industrial sized equipment to do so.

The Administrator?s background
Consists of 11.5 years as a programmer; everything that she has ever learned about networks has been self-taught. She has the authority to purchase whatever materials she needs to learn the skills she needs to get the job done; however, because she is the only IT person she cannot leave site to engage within training and/or to partake in personal vacations.

Sample of the Network Related Issues:
1] The Admin does not read the plethora of ?Event logs? she just deletes them
2] The Admin does not develop/maintain adequate network documentation nor exhibit proper documentation techniques
3] Any documentation that is minimally kept, there are multiple versions of it [ie having 7 versions of an Inventory list ? all with conflicting information]
4] The Network does not have any sort of organization whatsoever [ie Active Directory does not have well-thought out OUs, groups, users are just every and anywhere]
5] Employees are not getting their mail, [exchange 2000 is used] thus an employee has to manually sort and redirect most of the email
6] The Admin has lost the password to the CISCO PIX 515e Firewall
7] Disaster recovery methods etc. do not exist
Security is severely lacking if not completely ignored
9] Auditing of the network doesn?t happen [in Active Directory there are no templates whatso ever set-up/enabled]

In a nutshell the Network Infrastructure is a complete mess.

As networking student consultants we are providing the company with recommendations based upon our experience/education; however, even with the best recommendations on how to have a more efficient network unless the Admin is educated on such concepts such as: Time Management, Documentation Best Practices, Project Management, Network Security, etc. ? I fear that our solutions/recommendations will go unutilized due to the capabilities/actions of the Admin.

What I would like to do is offer the company sound recommendations on the type of training that are of the utmost importance in regards to this Admin.

What I would like is for anyone to offer up their suggestions for both hard skill & soft skill training regarding this Administrator?s imperative development. Specific suggestions dealing with training programs that offer classes that teach skills such as: ?How to be better organized?, ?How to go the step beyond knowing what to do and actually doing it?, ?How to develop and maintain Network documentation?, etc. If you are able to do so please recommend specific courses, online training centers, or resources online that I can utilize for further research.

Also if anyone knows of any online training providers that offer reputable and successful training programs please provide those suggestions as well.

Furthermore, if anyone knows of any resources online [such as: White papers, articles, websites] that deal with recommendations for Admin training paths please share these as well.

If you have any further questions please ask and I shall do my best in providing you with as much necessary information as possible, in order for you to offer a suitable solution/suggestion. I have done a great deal of researching thus far but haven?t come across any single points of reference as of yet.

Thanks Much,

P.S. Anybody know of any statistics/metrics/resources that one can use to evauluate the FTE [Full Time Employee] hours that a specific Administrators position requires as opposed to how many hours are able to be offered due to only having 1 IT employee?

In other words I need to have some sort of way to say that this administrator is doing the work of 3 FTE's. I know I could do this with simple computations; however, anyone know of any statistics/resources to back these kind of assertions up with?

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Big grin

by zlitocook In reply to Programmer turned Admin - ...

Because every company will say some thing diffrent about metrics, one company will say 1 support person per 50 users but they have a big staff that will do every thing needed to support the network. So 1 person can call and change a password, move a user to a new OU or give that user rights to back up thier system to the network. If you are on a small network you need to learn all the ways to do things, and help others at the same time. As a contractor I did both and still got the job done! You need to tell your company that you need an intensitive training and they need to get contractors in to help. You can take on line training but you need time to do this. You will get good training and be able to do the things you need to do but real classes at a tech school can not be matched. I trained at a local tech school and received great hands on training.

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Try Thomson Netg

by gary.nowels In reply to Programmer turned Admin - ...

SoftSkills, IT Skills

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First sack the current Admin..........

by kevaburg In reply to Programmer turned Admin - ...

and then sort the infrastructure out. Any administrator that lets their network get into that state does not deserve the position. It is obvious that his knowledge of AD is limited as I feel that person is scared of the inheritance aspects of OU's.

As the network has a Cisco PIX firewall, I am making the wild assumption that routing and switching is also Cisco. If so, start at the beginning and document the network using CDP and NetFlow. (Stop me if I sound to obvious!)

As for qualifications, I personally would recommend minimum a CCNA (preferably CCNP) and a MCSE. This will give you an excellent grounding in networking essential to the problems you have. As for courses, I learned myself with the routers, switches and books. You are a programmer and so you must know that feeling!

Lastly, most of your problems can be solved through the use of intelligent scripting. As a consultant programmer I believe you have the ability to knock this *** of an admin off his pedestal and take his position!!!

And I wish you luck in doing so!

I really do hope this has been of some help to you!

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