In the 1990s, the answer from a network administrator would be simple and to-the-point: We don’t do programming.
“In the 90s, a network administrator would never be responsible for writing anything but a batch file,” Eckert says.
But now, the job description says: Make it work, and make it work seamlessly. That means programming or scripting of some description. In the past, it’s been VBScript or PERL. “Now, Windows has PowerShell, which is kind of like VBScript, only it’s harder to use and slower, but it’s a step in the right direction for Microsoft.”
Admins are using scripts to automate tasks like backup and ensuring servers are online. “They’re making these bundles of scripts to go out and make their jobs easier,” Eckert says. “As an admin, that’s now usually a part of your job.”
And the older admins are coming around.
“I find it funny when I see a lot of people, especially who were admins in the ’90s, who do a lot of scripting in their current job…but they never did it before that,” Eckert says. “And they found that kind of like baptism by fire. They’re enjoying it now, but they’re telling everybody, ‘learn scripting.’”