Reflections from the other side
This is a strange bit to be writing but wanted to get it down on paper as a morbid momento of all that was 2020, now that we are finally nearer to the end.
As one of the remaining system admins at my job due to attrition and several concurrent waves of layoffs at the company I work at, a few things stand out — the resilient brilliance of the people who despite all choose to stay in the ring and the importance of choosing the people you support and your teammates carefully. Picking up the remit as system admin, voluntarily or otherwise, means that you know things that isn’t public knowledge and as a result an extra filter of what you say needs to be in place, to protect friends and colleagues, even when there are times when downstream impact isn’t as clearly seen.
Through 2020, I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to about implementing various security protocols and controls across our stack, configuring single-sign on correctly, and taking part in countless audits to maintain system integrity. What I’ve learned the most is the value of networks and how difficult it is to centralize an organization that has decentralized and then centralized many times over the course of the past two years, even with supporting the department communications as well. Other things of note, transitioning into more of an incident management role to respond to preemptive threats means valuing sleep much more and constantly trying out all of the different time management methods and then figuring out how to keep a usuable knowledge base across timezones and asynchronous working schedules.
Spending holiday in quarantine quite sufficiently meant that the holiday spirit passed me by this year. What I am thankful for are the conversations both with family and catching up with old friends.
Would I want to do 2020 over again? Probably most likely not. Did it become a forcing function in figuring out what worked and what didn’t? Yep.