General

The Student Systems Administrators (also known as sysadmins) are a group of students who have distinguished themselves to be technologically competent as well as exceptionally responsible and dependable. These students are responsible for all of the Computer Systems Lab's infrastructure. These administrators, however, are students first and administrators second. The goal of the administrator program is not to create a perfect system but to give the student system administrators valuable experience in how a real networked environment works.

Mission

The mission of the Sysadmin program is to provide real-world experience with a production environment for interested students at TJ, while supporting the school and, in particular, the Computer Systems Lab in its mission to "provide students with a challenging learning environment focused on math, science, and technology, to inspire joy at the prospect of discovery, and to foster a culture of innovation based on ethical behavior and the shared interests of humanity." Working in collaboration with other stakeholders, we aim to provide the students of TJ with an unparalleled educational experience.

To that end, we currently maintain the infrastructure behind Ion (school-wide management application for TJ's embedded activities period), Director (website management application used by TJ's clubs and web development classes), mailservers for students, high performance clusters, and other services to support TJ.

Our Values

We are:

  • Responsible: We take great pride in our systems and its high availability. We recognize that many community members rely on our services as part of their daily life, and we strive to ensure that our services remain available for their use.

  • Collaborative: Teamwork and collaboration are important for us to serve our mission. Thus, we strive to maintain a collaborative culture. No one can do anything alone.

  • Open Source: To prevent vendor lock-in and contribute to the "shared interests of humanity", we take great pride in supporting, contributing to, and using open source and free software projects and technologies. To the extent possible, we aim to use free software in the Lab, together with software that promotes open standards and interoperability.

  • Results-Oriented: We expect Sysadmins to take ownership of tasks they are assigned to and be proactive about seeing them through.

  • Iterative: We know that our services, infrastructure, configuration, and architecture always have room for improvement, and we believe in the power of constant iteration. We empower individual Sysadmins to raise concerns, propose improvements, test improvements in a controlled fashion, and research ways to improve the Lab's services, architecture, software, or infrastructure.

  • Respectful: We are respectful of others background and beliefs, treating each other with dignity and respect.

  • Deliberative: We recognize the critical importance of careful decision-making, especially as it applies to our infrastructure. Therefore, we take great care to listen to all perspectives and consider all implications before making decisions.

  • Independent: Although we function within TJ, we aim to make decisions independently of others as it best serves the Computer Systems Lab. This does not mean that we do not solicit feedback, just that we make technical and architectural decisions as a team.

  • Agile: We focus on delivering results, not processes. We use processes to keep improving, prevent mistakes, and comply with the rules, not to bog up work.

  • Efficient: We strive to reduce human interaction with our systems when not necessary.