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Systems Administrators Survey Results

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Systems Administrators Survey Results

  1. Sysadmin Revealed! A look at the attitudes and preferences of US-based systems administrators 1
  2. Study overview: Who are systems administrators? » SolarWinds set out to measure the rapidly evolving nature of the systems administrators in the US » We captured their thoughts on life inside and outside of the workplace to understand who they are and what drives them » 401 US-based sysadmins took part in the survey conducted by RedShift Research in October 2012 2
  4. How the sysadmin role is changing There is more responsibility and demands on my time 38% 52% There is more complexity in the systems I manage 35% 54% I am doing more with less 32% 49% I have been adequately trained in new tech skills 32% 48% I am spending more time on the job 31% 51% The software used to manage IT systems is more complex 30% 56% There is more pressure 30% 52% The software used to manage IT systems is more expensive 28% 55% There are more career paths to pursue /more specialization 26% 52% I feel more satisfied in my career 25% 50% There is more incentive to perform my best 25% 44% There are more resources to do my job 23% 48% Strongly agree Somewhat agree Most agree that their jobs are more demanding, more complex and requires doing more with less. But nevertheless, 75% find their work more satisfying. Q15: How much do you agree or disagree with each statement, in terms of how the system/network admin career has changed over the last 2-3 years?. (Asked: Strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree.) 4
  5. Key job frustrations Too little pay 22% Not enough budget 13% Increasing workload/responsibilities 16% Too much to do 12% Job is not challenging enough 12% Lack of appreciation from users/company 8% Little control over what I work on 8% Not enough autonomy 5% Don't know 4% Inadequate pay and budget constraints, coupled with a heavy workload represent key points of frustrations. Q7: Please rank your top three most frustrating challenges in order of level of frustration. 5
  6. What sysadmins enjoy most about their work Solving problems 75% Helping users 62% Getting to work with new technologies 50% Thinking on my feet 52% Having a unique set of skills/capabilities 41% Making a contribution to the organization 43% Designing or planning new solutions 33% Evaluating software solutions 28% Driving innovation in the company 27% Completing daily systems tasks 30% Other aspect not listed above 2% Solving problems, helping users, encountering new technologies and thinking on their feet are the most enjoyable aspects of their profession. Q12: Please select all of the items that you enjoy a lot about being a systems administrator. 6
  7. The single most enjoyable thing about the profession Solving problems 24% Helping users 20% Getting to work with new technologies 13% Having a unique set of skills 8% Designing or planning new solutions 10% Thinking on my feet 6% Making a contribution to the organization 6% Evaluating software solutions 4% Driving innovation in the company 2% Completing daily systems tasks 5% Other 1% The challenge of problem solving and helping users are most enjoyable aspect of being a sysadmin. Q13: Which of these do you enjoy most about being a systems administrator? (One response only.) 7
  8. Job satisfaction & recognition 48% 44% 34% 28% 20% 12% 9% 3% Not enjoyable Somewhat Enjoyable Highly Not Somewhat Appreciated Highly at all enjoyable enjoyable appreciated at appreciated appreciated all Most people find their jobs enjoyable to some extent and most feel they are at least somewhat appreciated. However, only around one in five describe their jobs as highly enjoyable & feel highly appreciated. Q9: All things considered, how enjoyable is your job? Q10: Do you feel appreciated for the job that you do by the company in general? 8
  9. How sysadmins feel about their employers Our systems are more reliable and efficient than in 50% 39% the past I trust the leadership of the IT department at my 49% 38% company Our IT department is in a better position than the 50% 32% past year I trust the senior/executive leadership of the 48% 33% company I feel 2013 will be a growth year for my company 46% 33% Most of the company doesn’t understand what I 42% 26% do/the value I bring Somewhat agree Strongly agree Most feel fairly positive about their workplace. However, 68% worry that their work is not easily understood by others in their business. Q18: Please rate the following sentences based on how much you agree or disagree. (Asked: Strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree.) 9
  10. How often do sysadmins change jobs? 29% 22% 21% 19% 9% Every 1-2 years Every 3-5 years Every 5-10 years More than 10 years Never changed jobs Nearly half rarely or never change jobs, having worked in the same place for 10 years or more. Q37: How often do you change jobs? 10
  11. Why they switch jobs 21% 15% 15% 15% 14% 11% 6% 2% For a payFor a more challenging role satisfying role promotion hange of career I was laid off company is unstable raise For a more For a C Current Lack of overall support in curre Sysadmins jump ship for more money or a more challenging/satisfying role. Q38: What was the last reason that made you change your job? 11
  12. 2013 IT budget predictions 38% 12% 11% 9% 9% 9% 7% 3% More than 5-10% less 1-4% less Same as 2012 1-4% more 5-10% more More than I don’t 10% less 10% more know/I'm not involved in budgeting Sysadmins believe budgets will likely remain flat. 38% expect no change from 2012. 30% anticipate some growth vs. 23% who expect decline. The overall effect suggests a net growth of only 0.3%. Q8: Do you anticipate your department will have more, less or the same budget in 2013? (Please select one response.) 12
  13. Do they have the resources to do the job right? Adequate tools/software and hardware 44% 25% Skilled staff/people resources 43% 22% Adequate support from organization 42% 22% Adequate ongoing training and skills development 39% 23% Adequate budget/money resources 33% 18% Usually Always Budgets and money are most likely to be identified as the scarcest resource (around half say that this is not usually adequate at their organization). However, as many as one third are not convinced they have access to adequate tools/software/hardware to perform effectively. Q14: Do you feel you have the following resources you need to adequately perform your job on a daily basis? (Asked: Always, usually, sometimes, rarely, never.) 13
  14. Where sysadmins turn to for help 16% 16% 9% 8% 8% 7% 7% 5% 4% 3% Current colleagues search engine networks seminars General Personal IT Online forums and communities sites training sessions technicaltrainingetc Vendor web CompanyUniversity, college, Vendor school sessions Books The top source of information when faced with a challenge varies widely, from asking colleagues to searching the internet, but no single source is dominant. Q17: When faced with a challenging task on the job, please rank the top three sources of information you turn to in order of importance? 14
  15. Working off-duty hours 33% 32% 18% 11% 6% A significant and A significant but A small and A small but No amount of unreasonable manageable reasonable unreasonable extra time, I amount of extra amount of extra amount of extra amount of extra complete all my time time time time tasks during work hours Nearly 50% need to devote a significant amount of their free time to completing assignments. Only 18% complete all their tasks within normal office hours. Q11: Outside of your normal working hours, how much of your free time do you use to continue working to complete your assignments? 15
  16. The average hourly working week 48% 25% 10% 11% 4% 1% Under 40 40-45 45-50 50-55 55-60 More than 60 On average people are working a 45 ½ hour week, with 41% working 45 hours or more a week. Q19:On average, how many hours do you usually work per week? 16
  17. What they do on the job Maintaining and/or operating a computer system and/or network 47% Installing, supporting, maintaining servers or other computer… 37% Project management for systems-related projects 30% Monitoring performance of the network 14% Procurement of new hardware, rolling out new software installs 14% Planning for and responding to service outages or other problems 19% Maintaining standards for server installations and applications 12% Ensuring security for Internet connectivity 8% Supervising or training computer operators 15% Designing and/or Installing networks 14% Making sure licenses for software are paid 6% Checking for security breaches and poor data management… 8% Maintaining the disk images for new computer installs 10% Light programming 26% Systems administrators have a broad range of responsibilities. Q3: Which of the following categories describes your role in the IT department? Please check as many as apply based on your primary responsibilities. 17
  18. How much sway do sysadmins have? I make the final decisions for all IT matters 14% I have some influence in at least some IT 40% matters I make the final decisions for at least some 6% IT matters I have a strong influence in at least some IT 10% decisions I have no involvement at all in the decision 16% making process for any IT matters I have very little influence in the decision 14% making process for any IT matters 70% of sysadmins have some level of decision-making influence in IT matters Q4: Which of the following best describes your overall role in the IT decision making process? (Please select only one response.) 18
  19. SOCIAL LIFE 19
  20. How they spend free time 72% 74% 70% 58% 52% 51% 47% 49% 41% 38% 32% 34% 28% 28% 27% 27% 22% 20% Even away from work, 72% like to spend time surfing the web, 44% play video games and 29% even program for fun. 57% also love the great outdoors and 32% like to participate in competitive sports. Q23: Let’s say you’ve had a hard week at work, and you want to “blow off some steam.” How often do you participate in each of the following fun activities in this type of situation? (Showing those done very often/usually.) 20
  21. Mobile gadget of choice 39% 32% 12% 11% 5% Android iPhone Blackberry Other Windows mobile Androids users narrowly beat out iPhone users. Q24: For my personal Smartphone, I use a(n): 21
  22. Are you a PC or a Mac? 84% 13% 3% 1% PC Mac Open source Other PCs dominate with the sysadmin crowd. Q25: I’m a… 22
  23. What’s the all-time best gaming platform? Xbox 23% I’m not a gamer 19% PlayStation 17% Wii 14% My PC 11% Nintendo 8% Xbox beats PlayStation and Wii. But surprisingly, as many as one in six are not gamers! Q26: What is the best video game platform of all time? 23
  24. What video game rules over all? Call of Duty 28% Super Mario Bros. 23% Grand Theft Auto 17% Other 18% Tetris 19% World of Warcraft 12% PacMan/Ms. PacMan 15% Legend of Zelda 14% The Sims 11% Wii 11% Guitar Hero 8% Space Invaders 11% Jarheads beat Italian plumbers and gangsters. Q27: Please select your top 3 favorite games of all time. (Those above 10% shown.) 24
  25. Best sci-fi/fantasy movie? Star Wars 22% Star Trek 17% Lord of the Rings 17% Matrix 12% The Terminator 13% Alien 6% Other 2% None of the above 10% In the battle of light sabers vs. phasers, Yoda rules the galaxy. Q29: What is your favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy movie franchise? 25
  26. Favorite geek/sci-fi TV show Star Trek 23% The Big Bang Theory 19% The X-Files 11% Family Guy 11% The Simpsons 8% Battlestar Galactica 6% Lost in Space 5% ALF 4% Other 4% None of the above 8% Sysadmins’ TV sets boldly go for Kirk & Picard ahead of Cooper & Hofstadter. Q31: What is your favorite all-time geek or sci-fi TV show? 26
  27. The most badass superhero? Batman 18% Superman 16% Iron Man 12% Wolverine 10% Don’t know 9% The Hulk 5% Spiderman 5% Captain America 5% Wonder Woman 2% None of the above 4% Batman is the baddest badass. Q28: Who is the most ‘badass’ superhero of all time? (Top 10 answers shown.) 27
  28. What’s in their cup when off duty? Beer (Macro like Bud/Bud… 17% Soda 19% Beer (Craft) 12% Coffee 11% Wine 10% Mixed drink 6% Water 8% Beer with a chaser 2% Straight spirits… 4% 31% of sysadmin prefer suds of some kind when relaxing. Q30: What is your usual beverage of choice when you’re relaxing? 28
  29. How they spend their vacations... Hitting the beach 18% Cruising 15% Spending time with family 15% City vacation 10% Cultural destination 8% Hiking/camping destination 8% Spa/spa resort 3% Other 5% Staycation 3% Geek convention/gathering 3% Hitting the beach, cruising or just spending time with the family. Q32: What is your ideal vacation? (Top 10 shown.) 29
  30. Top tunes 21% 13% 11% 9% 8% 7% 7% 6% 5% 5% 2% 2% 1% 1% Rock rocks! But house, funk and techno fall on deaf ears. Q33: What is your favorite type of music? 30
  31. What wheels they’re driving Compact car 26% SUV 25% Classic car 11% Sports car 9% Truck 6% Minivan or station wagon 5% Motorcycle 3% Other 9% Bicycle 2% I don't own a vehicle 3% Most sysadmins cruise around in compact cars and SUVs. Q34: What class of vehicle you most drive on a regular basis? 31
  32. What kind of person are you? 60% 51% 48% 45% 46% 45% 44% 40% 38% 32% Hard-working Friendly Fun-loving Smart Intellectual Funny Compassionate Adventurous Leader Homebody Sysadmins view themselves as hardworking but friendly and fun. Q39 Please rate each of the following personality traits in terms of how well each describes you. (Results based on “Describes me completely.”) 32
  34. Gender 65% 35% Male Female 34
  35. Age 19% 15% 14% 12% 12% 10% 9% 6% 2% 22-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-49 60-64 65 and older 35
  36. Marital status 59% 22% 9% 7% 1% Married Divorced Widowed Single/never married Living with a significant other 36
  37. Years in technology field 50% 16% 15% 12% 7% 1% Less than 1 year 1 to 3 years Over 3 years to 5 years 5 years to 8 years 8 years to 10 years Over 10 years Over Over 37
  38. Highest level of education 41% 16% 13% 13% 8% 5% 3% Completed high A vocational or Some college An associate’s A bachelor’s Post graduate Post graduate school certificate degree degree studies without a study with a program after degree degree (PHD, etc) high school 38
  39. Years as a sysadmin 23% 22% 22% 16% 10% 7% Less than 1 year 1 to 3 years Over 3-5 years Over 5-8 years Over 8-10 years Over 10 years 39
  40. Annual income 15% 13% 10% 10% 9% 9% 8% 7% 5% 5% 2% 2% 1% 1% Under 25,000 36,000 46,000 56,000 66,000 76,000 86,000 96,000 111,000 121,000 131,000 141,000 151,000 25,000 to to to to to to to to to to to to plus 35,000 45,000 55,000 65,000 75,000 85,000 95,000 110,000 120,000 130,000 140,000 150,000 40
  41. Visit www.solarwinds.com for more information 41