[nycbug-talk] Thoughts on Creating Internship Programs?

Henry M henry95 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 19 16:16:58 EDT 2011


You have some good ideas there, I'm all for intern programs as long as they
are valuable to both the intern, and the business.

Personally, I'd never give an intern with escalated privileges on any
critical machine. Hell, I don't like to give escalated privileges to some of
the people I work with! However, you can limit what commands they can run
via sudo which I think would be beneficial.

Here are some ideas that I think would be good for intern SA tasks.

* Documentation- Having the ability to document your knowledge and
architecture is just as important as actually putting it to work. You could
walk them through the layout of the land, and see if they can make simple
diagrams or docs. After a few review revisions you should be able to get
some decent docs.

* Server Installs- Base server installations are always a good place to
start. They learn the general setup of machine, network configs etc. This
also leads into software installations. Also, one less server you need to
build : )

* Testing- You can have them help you test certain situations. Exampls: "Go
unplug this machine and lets see how well our failover/backups work"

* Backups-  If you don't have a solid backup solution in place, they can
think and work on a good backup solution for different server/software
suites that you might use. Also a good chance to check out their scripting

Those are just some of the stuff I can think of right now for an intern SA.

Good luck !


P.S- All intern SA's should  be able to make network cables quickly. Even if
they aren't needed! (You need to abuse them a little!)

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 11:43 AM, Isaac Levy <ike at blackskyresearch.net>wrote:

> Hi All,
> So I was inspired a while back by an internship program at my old company,
> (but not in the tech groups- in Business/Product development).  Essentially,
> the project pulled candidates from local schools, gave them well-defined
> projects to complete during their term, and the results were really
> excellent- the energy and ideas that the interns brought was amazing.
> With that, I'm trying to think of how to create a similar program, in a
> Systems-Engineering (SysAdmin) group.  Aside from the idea of bringing
> people in to push projects through, I love the idea of all the fresh energy-
> and the temporal nature of having 'guests' working on deck- it's selfish
> really, I want the fresh eyes and ideas on deck.
> However, I'd really love to hear people's thoughts on:
> --------
> SA Interns (contrary to other types of groups), have some obvious issues:
> - Liability carried at the Systems Admin/Engineer station
> (obviously can't walk the interns/temps in and hand them root or privileged
> sys internals, in spirit)
> - Stringent Requirements of Systems Engineering
> when Sys tools break, (N) developers to the (N)th business peoples wail,
> (at high cost to the business)
> - Overall Systems Complexity
> Without a terrific amount of oversight, (or extremely well defined
> projects), there is risk that SA interns could leave behind well
> intentioned, yet structurally inappropriate implementations- (e.g. wow,
> where did this ldap store come from, and why does the website now stop
> functioning when we turn it off?)  This could be quite damaging...
> Problem is, these are all valuable 'real-world' components of Systems
> Engineering / Systems Administration- (or any tech team responsible for
> operations and maintenance).  It's of little use to me to bring on an
> intern, (or any SA IHMO), and just turn them into gruntwork-slaves, even
> though we all know how much grunt-work is involved in any job or task...
> --------------------------------------------------
> IDEAS FOR  INTERNS, SysAdmin / Systems Engineering
> - Working in-house on Open Source/Public projects which directly benefit
> the company, (ala Google summer of code type attitude)?
> (but then what's compelling to bring an Intern in-house?)
> - Working on one or two extremely well-defined projects?
> (but then what value do they take that's different than the structure of a
> classroom?)
> - Work on redundancy oriented projects, e.g. DB Replication and failover,
> other systems replication and failover, writing overall "Systems Regressions
> Testing" tools?
> Hrm.  Would love to hear what people think- I'm now really serious about
> trying to create a program.
> Best,
> .ike
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