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Sysadmin Revealed!
A look at the attitudes and preferences of US-based systems administrators




                              1
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
PROFESSIONAL LIFE




3
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
SOCIAL LIFE




19
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
DEMOGRAPHICS OF
SURVEY RESPONDANTS




  33
Gender

         65%




                      35%




         Male        Female




                34
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
Marital status


     59%




                                              22%



                   9%
                                                                    7%

                              1%


    Married      Divorced   Widowed   Single/never married     Living with a
                                                             significant other




                               36
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
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
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
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
Visit www.solarwinds.com for
           more information




        41

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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
  • 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