SysAdmin: Not documenting is unethical

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I stumbled onto this Reddit post today. A rant, but one I agree with hardheartedly.

I recently changed jobs. The person following me to my last job will come in to thorough documentation, step by step instructions, etc. The job I just started hasn’t a shred. Word is the guy before me (only at the job 6 months, so there is some excuse) didn’t document, and the guy before him (12 years) destroyed all his documentation on the way out the door.
I don’t know a sysadmin who doesn’t keep some kind of notes. At minimum, throw them in a shared doc or notebook or something. At this new place I get the brunt of the two types of non-documenters: the lazy and the malicious.
Isn’t documenting as you go and leaving the documentation behind for the next poor sap just part of the ethical code of the job, or am I wrong?

r/sysadmin • Posted byu/rabadashridiculous

What really got to me is his citation that a sysadmin, who had been in the job for twelve years destroyed all his notes on the way out. It doesn’t surprise me however that there are no formal documentation policies.

That sysadmin, who destroyed his notes effectively destroyed the companies property, yes that work product was owned by his former employer. They could take action against him.

No matter how he felt, this is not professional or acceptable behavior.

However, every place I have worked, when i arrived was in the same boat. No formal documentation policies, if I was lucky a few print outs or a collection of saved emails.

If you encounter this situation in a new job, do yourself a favor and take it upon yourself to set a new standard. Fire up a small web server on the local network, load a CMS like WordPress or Drupal, give you fellow admins access, and start documenting.

You will make life easier for everyone in the office, including and especially, yourself.

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Jack of all trades. I.T. edition. Programmer, Systems Administrator, DevOps and whatever else comes up.