What I like about network management

What I like about network management

Ask 211 network managers to describe the most fulfilling part about their work and you will not get 211 different answers. For many, the best part of the job is being able to make the systems work for the end user. IT World Canada recently asked Network World Canada readers to answer a survey and got 175 responses to an email survey. Thirty-six readers answered questions when phone by telemarketers.

By Greg Meckbach, Editor, Network World Canada

computer with cables

Making it work

Though no two respondents gave duplicate answers, many said that making the system work was the most fulfilling part of his or her job. “Making things work for end users” is how one respondent put it. A network analyst said the most fulfilling part of the job was “the fascination of making something a user thought was impossible, happen.”

fibre optic cable

Working with the latest and greatest

For one IS manager, “Working with the edge of the technology” was the most fulfilling part of his job. Another respondent, also an IS manager, said the most fulfilling part of the job is “the new technology I have the opportunity to learn and play with.”

Security Camera


For a couple of respondents, safety and security were key concerns. When asked for the most fulfilling part of his job, a network analyst for a county in Western Canada wrote: “Knowing that the computers I support and maintain are always working 24/7 and aiding the officer in catching the criminals and making the world a bit safer.” The network administrator for another organization said the most fulfilling part of the job was “safeguarding children from unwanted preying and danger online.”

two people looking at a computer screen, where it appears as if one is instructing the other

Users need me

Bertrand Russell, the British mathematician and philosopher, is quoted as saying: “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”

But for a couple of Network World Canada readers, the opposite appears to be true. One telecom director said the most fulfilling part of his job is “Knowing that my skills and services are in demand and valued.” Another put it this way: “Fixing a problem that no one else seems able to fix.”

Clearly, knowing that you are an essential part of the company is fulfilling for some.

someone sitting at a desk with a phone, looking bored

No help desk calls

For some, the most fulfilling part of the job is knowing that your skills are in demand. For others, it’s the ability to prevent problems from happening in the first place. “No calls or e-mails from end users,” one respondent wrote. “It simply works for the users.” For another reader, “Quiet telephones at the help desk” was the best part of the job.


Nowadays? It’s a job.

Although no one mentioned pay as the most fulfilling part of the job, one independent consultant wrote he was thankful that he had his job. Employment is good. Maybe if he got a job in something other than consulting, it might be more fulfilling.

pay slip

More than a pay cheque

Of the 211 different readers surveyed, no two answers were the same. One person actually said it’s more than a pay cheque, but this seemed true for the others as well. Whether it”s the ability to fix problems for users, or the fact that you keep your systems up and running and secure, there are many fulfilling aspects of being a network administrator.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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