October 8th, 2007

classic cylon

offshoring sysadmin work

Off and on, I've wondered how sysadmin work has managed to survive the evil claws of offshoring all these years. Although some jobs had been offshored, generally, you never heard about it happening on the large scale that it happens to software engineers ... until now. I saw the article in a thread on the usenet group comp.unix.admin where someone wanted to know if it was a good idea to pursue a career as a sysadmin.

If I had more time, I'd make more observations. One thing I've heard that has limited the movement of sysadmin work to countries such as India is that these countries don't have a reliable power infrastructure such as the US has. There is less faith that they can run the types of datacenters that are a mainstay of large-scale US operations. Another is that for small offices, offshoring doesn't make much sense, particularly because someone has to be present to administer the desktop machines. I suppose if visa caps are lifted, the sysadmins who are being trained will start getting jobs in the US, putting pressure on US sysadmins as there is now on US software engineers. One difference between sysadmins and software engineers is that there are standards such as SAGE levels that are recognized by the sysadmin industry, so it is more clear what is expected of you at an interview.