Slugtalk Presentation: Systems Engineering in the 21st Century


For those of you that don’t know, the hall I used to live on at MIT, putz (a.k.a. East Campus Second West) has a relatively recent tradition of “slugtalks” (warning, page is terribly out of date).

People have been asking me these questions lately:

  • What does benoc do?
  • Why is it one of the fastest growing employment opportunities in the world, and why do we need more actually smart, well-educated people doing it?
  • Why aren’t we really called “sysadmins” anymore?

So last month I gave a pretty good slugtalk describing the modern state of my profession, what I do, and why you would want to consider joining this cabal of folks who keep the civilized world’s bits safe, flowing freely, and functional.

Topics Covered:

  • History of the field
  • Impact of the dotcom boom and scale explosion
  • Systems management theory
  • The “stack” and where we are in it — The rise of “Devops”
  • Why would someone with an MIT degree do this?
  • Admin lore: swearing and scotch

Full Presentation (PDF)

  1. The Work That Makes Civilized Life Possible (and finding the people to do it) | Into The Weeds
  2. The Work That Makes Civilized Life Possible (and finding the people to do it) [REPOST] | Into The Weeds

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