Linux System Administrator: Interview with Frédéric Saam



Let’s start from the beginning: What is your position at Net4All and what does it entail?

Like Guillaume, I’m a Linux System Administrator. Without going into the details of each assignment, my job is to install different types of machines and to manage their configurations. The aim is to make them available to developers for their applications. Finally, I check the customer base to make sure that everything is fine and I react in case of a problem.

How did you end up here? How long have you been working in this field?

I have always been interested in computer science, so I pursued my studies in this field. After the end of my fixed-term employment contract at the HEIG and with a degree in computer system security, I went to look for work in the field. That’s how I joined Net4All, whose security is a spearhead of technology. I have been with the company for just over a year now.

What is your typical day like?

There is no such thing as a typical day. Rather, they are thematic days alternating between functional and operational phases. On the other hand, the themes can be divided into two main groups: Build and Run. On the one hand, we have the Build days. During these days, we progress on our ongoing projects, build different machines and install new tools for the company or web servers for clients.

During Run days, we take care of customer requests. Requests vary greatly, from configuration to alerts and problems they may have encountered. In addition to this daily job, there is sometimes on-call periods. This means that I can be on-call for a night shift to deal with any customer computer problems that may occur.

On-call duty also takes place during the day, but it does not differ much from the daily office routine. On the other hand, at night we never know if we’ll be called. When we are, we have to be able to react within half an hour. So, we go to bed and hope the phone doesn’t ring too often! And if it rings, we get up and fix the problem.

What do you like most about this job?

Without a doubt, what I like most about this job is the freedom I have in my work. Being in a company of a size that I would consider “reasonable” allows a certain freedom in daily organisation. This allows me to move forward on subjects in what I consider to be an optimal order. On the other hand, it also allows me to vary what I do on a daily basis.

In addition, our good working relationship within the Linux department allows us to distribute tasks and help each other so that no one gets stuck. Finally, as I said before, being a technology enthusiast, working in this sector, that I love, is what I would call a must.

What made you want to join Net4All?

Initially, I saw a job advertisement. It is quite rare to see a web hosting company develop this aspect of security to this degree. The ad corresponded perfectly with my profile and skills, so I chose to apply. As it turned out, Net4All was also interested in my profile and recruited me. The other reason for this motivation was undoubtedly the very warm and relaxed atmosphere during the interview. I was convinced, and rightly so.

On a personal level, what do you enjoy doing?

I would say games, without hesitation. Both physical and digital. Basically, they offer a challenge. That’s why I like chess so much and I devote a lot of time to it. This obsession with challenge is complemented by a competitive spirit that pushes me to practise and improve constantly.