I’d love to say something brilliant about why I’m doing this, but I don’t have a brilliant reason , only a niggling feeling that it might be useful.
A few months ago some of us from PASA (Portland Area System Administrators) had a short discussion about system administrator blogs, and all of our first thoughts fell along the lines of “why would you want to read that.” But as I’ve thought about it some more, I’ve started to wonder if blogging might be an ideal way to represent and organize some of the information that I either don’t currently keep well at all or that I lose track of and spend a lot of time looking for later. My first boss as an SA, Tom from FASTIXX, required that we all keep a notebook with notes in it day by day. I’ve adopted that as a work habit (although I’ve upgraded to bound books with int
eresting covers which sometimes helps me remember which notebook I wrote in) and think of it as sort of a lab notebook (although rarely used so formally and per
fectly) where I write down notes and ideas about the work I’m doing, what I’ve tried, what worked, what didn’t. This works really well for me as a reference, except that when I need to go back to something, I often find myself paging through 2 or 3 books of notes looking for it, because the best I can recall was it was sometime in the spring of `99 or something like that. I do keep a text file of stuff I expect to have to repeat or refer to again, but that usually contains the solution, not the steps I took to get there or what didn’t quite do what I wanted then but is close to what I want to do today.
I think too this might be a better way to track what I’ve actually accomplished, which might result in my doing a better job of both sharing the results and reporting how I’m spending my time at work to my manager. For instance, sometimes I realize later that something that started out as a one-line hack has by small incremental improvements become an extremely useful general sysadmin tool, I guess I hope this helps me remember to share that realization with my boss and share the tool beyond my work group.