Hey all! Glad to be here

Glad to be here. I’m something of an IT generalist, dealing with everything from desktop support to networking to servers.

I currently work for an MSP in the NYS area.

Happy to help out where I can! I’m no expert, but I’ve been working with ZFS for going on two years now, mostly with Ubuntu.

P.S: Thanks Allan and Jim for the 2.5 Admins podcast, it’s great to listen to when I’m driving to client sites. :stuck_out_tongue:


Hi @bladewdr

I like your profile - and I wish there were a better, more ‘professional’, way of describing us expert IT generalists!

Like you, I’m no ‘expert’ in the accepted sense of having a very deep (but narrow) knowledge of, or qualifications in, a particular area, but I (and I assume you) have a very broad base of knowledge of a lot of related areas in the computer/IT/tech world. I am also a trained accountant and trained electrician and I have a degree in Psychology, a fairly unusual combination - and I suspect you are also atypical. Embrace it.

I have found that my ‘expert generalist’ skills are often more useful to clients than a narrowly-focused (read ‘lacking in perspective/contextual awareness’) view of a problem - so we tend to be good problem-solvers, unless the problem is actually an esoterically techie one.

For what it’s worth - my experience is that unfortunately generalism doesn’t pay very well. My best-paid gig was working as a database test analyst back in the 90s and early 2000s. Key skills: understanding and breaking complex hi-end Oracle databases by carefully reading the specs and creating tests with ‘breaking’ inputs - from my Windows/Access background I quickly had to learn Unix CLI, sed and awk, and improve my SQL!.

Side note - I also discovered TextPad (a wonderful Windows text editor that even then could handle million-line text files, although even hi-spec PCs of the time struggled), which I still use, almost daily.

Lots of mediocre jobs later (including school network/home/SOHO/small business setup/support) I am now a Salesforce admin, training to be a fully-certified dev - sort-of back to my accountancy/database roots, and even better it pays quite well.

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You can make pretty good money as an IT generalist, but IME you need to either run your own business, or make some heavy-duty connections. There definitely aren’t many cattle-call jobs looking for IT generalists and offering big bucks to whoever happens to apply! :slight_smile:

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Yeah, been my experience so far too. I have no interest in running my own business, so working for MSPs has been the best thing I’ve been able to find.

Beats the hell out of working in a helpdesk but man I find myself being pulled in all directions.

Sometimes I feel like I should be getting a separate paycheck for every hat I’ve been forced to wear!