Ross Derewianko is a systems administrator for Ping Identity, a maker of cross-platform identity management and security software. We spoke to him on SysAdmin Day to get his thoughts on the holiday and on his job.
So how did you become a Sysadmin?
I had an aptitude for IT for years, and after four or five years doing things in other industries, I said, “you know, that’s enough – I’m going to get into an industry I enjoy.” So three years ago, I started applying for jobs and got a job with Ping and I’ve been here ever since. It’s been a great place to work – I’ve been able to advance my career and I’ve really learned a lot from my co-workers and the employees I work with.
What’s the best gift the users could get you for Sysadmin Day?
A free day would be nice, but that’s never the option. More concise, clear information would be a great gift – sometimes what you get is “something is broken,” or “my computer’s not working.” OK, what’s not working?
+ ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Windows 10 installed on 14 million devices since launch + Mozilla CEO blasts Microsoft over Windows 10 defaults+
What’s a typical day for you?
Every day is different – one of the major things we do deal with as a security company is make sure our users are in compliance with security requirements that we have, so making sure the users are encrypted, making sure all the software for all of our machines is up-to-date, and making sure that the users are able to do their jobs. My primary focus is to make sure that my end-user can do his or her job, above and beyond everything else.
How should Sysadmin Day be observed?
You know, I just think a little bit of a “thanks” – it doesn’t need to have its own holiday, it doesn’t need a parade. Just a bit of an awareness that there’s a day for us, which is kind of interesting. It’s happening over time. Every year it’s a bit bigger and a bit different.
Your greatest accomplishment as a Sysadmin?
When I started, I actually was tasked with implementing a management platform for all the Macs – so we started with 20 and then we rolled it out to the company. Now it’s the tool that’s used every day by numerous teams for audit compliance. They’ll use it to get software, if they need a loaner machine they’ll know that they can get all the software and all the configurations they need to do their job from there.
What should the official food or beverage of Sysadmin Day be?
(We should have known.)