The Student Systems Administrator Understudy program is designed to help prepare interested students to be Systems Administrator. The Understudy program has existed in the Lab since before the creation of Livedoc.
Prior to the 2004-2005 school year, new sysadmins were chosen exclusively through the recommendations of the current sysadmins and the lab directors/teachers. After concerns arose regarding the selection process, a new system was implemented where interested people were able to formally apply to be a sysadmin. These applications would then be passed on to the current sysadmins and lab directors/teachers for further consideration. For the 2007-2008 school year, current administrators were all but removed from the selection process, leading to twenty-four people becoming "sysadmins." For the 2008-2009 school year, the selection process was modified to ensure this does not happen again. The selection process was not held for the 2014-2015 school year, nor for the 2015-2016 school year.
New sysadmins are typically chosen at the end of the school year (4th quarter) with a few exceptions. Leadership positions are typically chosen earlier in the year in order to allow for training of their respective domain and further planning.
Sometime before Spring Break, interest meetings are scheduled to allow any student to learn about the Lab and the Sysadmin program. An application developed in collaboration between the Faculty Sponsor and the Sysadmins is then made available to the student body. The applications are then reviewed by the Faculty Sponsor and current Sysadmins to select new understudies.
The structure of the program is fairly flexible to allow for understudies to explore their interested functional areas. Each understudy is assigned a mentor whose job is to help and guide them through the program. Most questions and concerns they have about Sysadmin matters should be raised with their mentor. Each mentor in collaboration with other mentor should assign various tasks to their understudies as they see fit.
The understudy program's structure and details can vary from year to year. It generally contains the following components:
Some public announcements of the availability of the program to interested students
One or more interest meetings summarizing the program
A series of understudy sessions structured as the Sysadmins see fit
A determination of who should be elevated to Sysadmin made before the end of the school year
Decisions made regarding the structure of the understudy program should (hopefully) be made well before understudy sessions begin. These decisions are generally made by Understudy Coordinator(s) (as selected by the Sysadmins), or, if none exists, the Sysadmins as a group.
In the past, understudy sessions have been open to either the entire school or to a specific set of people accepted via an application process. These sessions generally involve training prospective Sysadmins in the art of being a Sysadmin, providing support to these prospective Sysadmins, and involving these prospective Sysadmins in CSL projects (if possible).