If you’ve ever worked with a Linux OS, you know that it has some great GUI tools: MySQL Workbench, phpMyAdmin, Apache Directory, just to name a few.
To those unacquainted with the command line, you might think those graphics are making your life easier. Though, you’re doing it wrong. Let the system do the work for you.
If you don’t know what we mean, here’s a Quickstart Guide to Learning Linux. Try it out.
There’s not a single task you can do from the GUI that you can’t do from the command line. The inverse, however, is not true. Any serious sysadmin wants to be lazy, which means becoming more than acquainted with the command line.
As a sysadmin, here are a few languages that will make your life easier.
Bash is where you start. Why? It’s there. If you’re starting from scratch, then it probably makes the most sense for you to use the default shell.
So, where do you begin with Bash? Make a list of all the routine tasks you do regularly (daily, weekly, monthly), and then figure out how to automate them. CBT Nuggets trainer Shawn Powers has a few Linux training courses that make sense of the command line, including the introductory course Linux Essentials.
As you run down your list, you’ll eventually hit roadblocks. That’s good. You’re reaching the edge of your (and Bash’s) abilities, which means you might want to use something a little more powerful.
The other three languages you can consider are Python, Perl, and Ruby.
There’s no real way to break them all down without entering a dogmatic battleground.
Let’s just say this. Code is a tool to solve a problem. Each language has its own advantages and disadvantages based on the problem you want to solve, which brings into the picture other things like environment and temperament (both of the code and you).
When Bill Gates said, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it,” he was obviously talking about Linux sysadmins using the command line to automate their jobs. Okay. Maybe not.
Get busy learning code to be a good (lazy) sysadmin.
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