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Guideline to Achieve an Ideal Computing Job in Two Year Time

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Computers are necessities in the current society. The traditional ways of doing things are not effective, and computers have replaced the old and unreliable machines. The rise of computers has not just made work easy, but it has led to the rise of computer related careers. Just like any other machines computers needs to be operated by people who have specialized skills in certain sectors. Various career opportunities that have cropped up as a result of use of computers include the following, software engineering, network administrator, data base administrator, web developer and so forth. The careers in the computer technologies field demand that these people keep abreast with the latest technology. These are well-paid jobs, with software engineering topping the list. Hong Kong is a thriving economy where people enjoy high living standards. It is one of the leading world economies and hosts various companies that utilize high level of computing services in their day to day operations. It is the biggest banking and telecommunication hub in China and the Asia region. With that in mind, it is evident that Hong Kong has one of the most developed technological systems.

System administration involves integrating diverse products to come up with a business solution. It involves linking together all aspects related to administration to achieve certain objectives. The aspects include hardware, software, corporate policies, networks, users and the business environment. Networking is part of system administration, which is linking the hardware with software and other applications. Networking involves linking computers so as to share information. Networking can be peer to peer or client/server depending on the method the system administrator chooses. Networking involves the creation of an intranet. Most organizations have an intranet which is like an inside internet. This will allow the employees within an organization to share information. This linkage supports data communication among these devices. System administrator is a person responsible for maintaining the computer systems of a company performing such activities as installing, maintaining and upgrading servers. He also backs up the servers and secures the server data from unauthorized access. The systems administrator is in charge of networking.

The system administrator checks for any problems in the hardware or the software components of an organization. Such problems can slow down activities in an organization. He diagnoses the malfunctioning parts and replaces them. He operates master consoles in order to keep posted with all the events of the computer systems in an organization. The system administrator also performs data backups and recovery services. Big companies have large volumes of data which are essential. It is the duty of the administrator to make sure the systems are suitable, he should constantly make backups so that the company will not be incapacitated.

In addition, administrator performs the following activities:  provide, maintain and secure system, define account creation and removal procedures. The administrator also provides support to end users directly, and via the help desk, changes management, initiates an investigation of any suspected security breach, provides backup and recovery for critical data, possesses and maintains current knowledge and skills for administering platforms. The standards for systems administration provide the following standards solutions operations:  incident management, exception handling, data integrity, change request management, upgrade, cause analysis, eSOA readiness, remote affordability, change control management, solution documentation and finally business process and interface monitoring. The system administrator is a viable person in an organization he is responsible for creation of new accounts and new user work stations for shared computers; carrying out procedures that prevent the spreading of viruses; and allocating space for mass storage. The system administrator will also train other members of the staff who lack some computer skills. A good systems administrator will keep things running smoothly in an organization. The system administrator will learn other things, which are not, part of his docket such as database. The person in the position of an administrator should have a degree in computer science or management information systems and other supportive courses such as database administration, network administration and others.

Standards

There are standards that   internationally recognized bodies set and that guide computing jobs. Since most computing jobs deal with company information, it is best to ensure that they are safe. That is why there are information security management standards. Bodies such as CISCO, IBM, and IEEE have agreed to certain standards. The most common standards are the ISO 17799 and the common criteria. The ISO 17799 deals with process security while the common criteria deals with the product security. Computing jobs uses the products to carry out the process. ISO 17799 comprises of a set of controls that entails the best practices when it comes to information security. The standard covers the following areas and their respective objectives. The first area is the security policy, which provides management direction, and support for information and support for information security in line with business requirements. Under the ISO 17799 standard, there is asset management. It deals with the security of the organizational computing assets which includes information. The human resource security area ensures that the human resource is aware of the threats they face as they work. They should be aware of their duties and responsibilities. The physical and environmental security aspect of the standard deals with preventing physical access and damages to an organization’s property and information. Other areas within the ISO 17799 Standards are communications and operations management, organization of information security, business continuity management and access controls among others.

Since most companies are looking after security for their information and tools, the ISO 17799 certification produced by various accredited organizations comes in handy. It outlines the standards required. Under the ISO standard, there should be auditing within an organization. Auditing of items such as user Ids, date and time of Logins, sources accessed, networks and protocols and so forth.

The second standard is the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation (CC) this is the effort of various bodies that deal with IT standards. It determines the security requirements for products and systems. CC groups into two, which are the functional requirement and the assurance requirements. The functional requirement defines the security behavior that an institution desires. For instance, CC documents come up with a set of security functional components. These provide a standard way of expressing the security functional requirements for a target of evaluation. Assurance requirements form the basis for gaining confidence that the security measures are effective and that they undergo implementation. CC documents establish a set of components for assurance. These offer a standard way of expressing requirements for a target of evaluation. The CC standard is quite extensive.

Other standards include the Control Objectives for Information, and related Technology (COBIT) it is business oriented and guides the management of the organization’s information system. It provides sound information frameworks for the management, user and IS audit. The Standard of Good Practice for Information Security is a standard that helps the organization apply the best practices for information security. It addresses variances between the organization and the security factors and how they intersect.

Publications/ Conferences

There are various publications that shade light on system administration. There are many books and articles that handle matters affecting system administration. Some books are more specific in that they give details about system administration only in Hong Kong. There had been quite a number of conferences such as the International conference on Dependable systems and networks (DSN) which took place in Hong Kong in 2011. This is one of the best conferences in IT field, particularly, in systems administration. The matters deliberated on during the conference were the new challenges facing the systems administration and how to deal with them. The conferences featured discussions, experience reports, student forums and fast abstracts. Another conference held in Hong Kong was in 2011. It was the 7th Workshop on Hot Topics in System Dependability (hot dep). The conference aimed at boosting the reliability of the systems. There are many other publications dealing with systems administration. Also, it is easy to find information on system administration in books and journals. There are online journals talking about the systems administration too. The universities and colleges that offer system administration have researched further about this topic and wrote various articles.

There was an international Multi conference of Engineers and Computer Scientists 2012, which took place in Hong Kong. This was a joint effort by the engineers and the computer scientists to deal with aspects that affect both the engineering and the computing world. The conference featured researchers and professionals from over 30 countries. The conference aimed at discussing the challenges and how to improve both fields. The engineers exchanged ideas with professionals from the computer sector. Topics include communication systems, data mining, software engineering, internet computing and web services, system administration among others. All those who participated in the conference presented their papers where the best papers underwent selection to be included in the conference’s publication. The conference attracted over 1000 participants from over 30 countries.

Another large conference dealing with computing jobs is the International conference on the International Conference on Machine Learning and Computing (ICMLC 2012). It was the fourth conference; the conference was an immense success considering the large number of people that attended it. Among the topics covered during the conference other than system administration include; logistics, data mining, adaptive systems, business intelligence, bioinformatics and so forth. The conference brought researchers, computer scientists, engineers and industrial professionals together. A publication for the key things that took place during the conference happened.

Another conference related to ICMLC was the International Conference on the Network and Computer Science (ICNCS) This conference covered a diverse number of computing topics. The topics included the following Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems, Technology Solutions, Bioinformatics, Computer and Information Security among other related topics.  The conference aimed at discussing the advances in the fields of Network and Computer Science. It was a forum for researchers and computer engineers to communicate. They also would prevail their common interest of improving the systems.

Hong Kong International Computer Conference 2012 happened in October. The Hong Kong Computer Society organized the conference. The theme for the conference was; ICT in a Volatile Economy: Creating Opportunities and Managing Risk? This gave the conference an international perspective, particularly in dealing with the current computing trends.

Such trends include cloud computing and data mining. CEOs of large corporations particularly those dealing with computers shed light on the theme. This conference was relevant to the economy because it dealt with the current challenges and trends affecting in the ICT sector. Companies are expanding, so the data and information is increasing. Trends such as cloud come in handy for large organizations that need to store their data without space being a limitation. This conference tackled the question of computers creating various opportunities in the form of employment, revenue, communication and storage. At the same time, the computers help in dealing with the risks that come with the opportunities it creates. The conference featured experts in the computing sector, who came up with new ways of dealing with challenges and new developments. Conferences are crucial for computer practitioners because they will get to see new developments, problems and means of dealing with them.

There are various publications and work shop papers that deal with computer science and system administration. For example Omer Gurewitz,  Yanjun Sun,  Shu Du, David B. Johnson and Lei Tang, "ADB: An Efficient  Broadcast Protocol based on Asynchronous Duty-Cycling in Wireless Sensor Networks". In Proceedings of the Seventh ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys 2009), pp. 43-56, ACM, Berkeley, California, USA, November 2009

There are many other conferences that deal with computing services that have happenedin Hong Kong. Computer technology has influenced a lot of things. Most operations depend on computers. In a place like Hong Kong, everything has been computerized. Technology is in use, in almost all industries. These conferences provide an opportunity for companies to display services and new products. Thus, the companies will be able to choose the efficient technology to adapt in order to improve operations. Technology and computing conferences are a plat form for learning for all the shareholders involved. People from different fields come together to share their diverse knowledge.

Major Companies in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a leading Chinese city. It is one of the most populated cities of the world, with a population of over 7 million people. It is one of the leading commercial centers; therefore, it hosts a number of significant national and international organizations. Renowned international firms found in Hong Kong include the following: Apple South Asia Pte Ltd, Gartner, Hewlett Packard, Loral, Net Dimensions, Cathay pacific, Bekaert and so forth. The local chief companies include the following;  Jardine Matheson Holdings, Lenovo Group Limited, Li & Fung, Maxim's Catering, Team and Concepts Limited, TOM Group, Vitasoy, VTech, Hong Kong electric company, HKR international and so forth. Other technology firms in Hong Kong are the Hong Kong technology industry, Gartner, Lenovo Group Limited and IBM which has a branch in Hong Kong. Hong Kong hosts a variety of Multinational corporations because of its conducive trade environment and developed infrastructure. It is the most free and competitive economy in the world. They manufacture computers, printers, storage devices, networking and soft wares. It is a leading computer company in the world. It also has an operational branch in Hong Kong. The infamous Apple Company has a branch in Hong Kong. Apple Company is famous for its iPod, ipads, iPhones and Mac books. They also create other electronics, soft wares and operating systems. Gartner has its branch in Hong Kong too. It is an international technology research firm. They deal with any technology related insights. They analyze and interpret business IT. Major companies that deal with a lot of data consult Gartner. IBM has its branch in Hong Kong; the company is one of the leading companies according to Forbes. The company operates under five branches. One of the branches deals with systems. Therefore, systems administrations fall under the major branches of IBM’s line of work. IBM offers their clients with the best services when it comes to systems administration, computing power and storage capabilities. Verizon Communications, which ranks number three, among the IT companies has a branch in Hong Kong too. They offer a variety of services such as cloud computing, mobility, IT and other applications, advanced networks, global communications and security. They help other companies to embrace the new technology in order to improve their operations.

Local computer companies in Hong Kong include Lenovo. The company is the leading Chinese manufacturer of desktops, laptops, personal computers, workstations, servers, storage devices, and computer-related products and services. Cyberport Technology is a centre in Hong Kong, which brings the best computing tools into the market. The company, though it is local aims at giving Hong Kong a global outlook.  The firm has adopted the current trends such as cloud computing and mobility to wireless. They are helping companies in Hong Kong to transform with the changes in technology.

IPS Technologies is a local company in Hong Kong.  The company provides solutions when it comes to maintenance and support for the computing equipments. They deal with any problems that affect the information systems and offers security. It is a local Hong Kong company. However, it has ventured into other markets such as Germany, Singapore and Indonesia. Hightech Information System Limited is a local company in Hong Kong that produces AMDs. These are computer cooling system which will lead to high level of performance. Computers that lack efficient cooling systems tend to break down a lot. This is a solution to the cooling system problem for computers.

Technical Project Management

Technical project management is the work of the systems administrator at an advanced level. It involves managing bigger technical projects than those of the system administrator. It is a post given to a system administrator after proving he is good at what he does. Technical project manager should have all the hardware and the soft ware skills required. A technical manager is in charge of the technical aspects of the projects the company will undertake. The main task the technical managers are responsible for scheduling when the project will reach completion. Big corporations should strive to meet deadlines because failure in this can lead to hefty losses for the company. After the project is assesses from a technical point of view, the technical manager will give the time limit needed to finish up the project. The technical project manager will develop a team that will deal with technical stuff. The manager is in charge of the technical team. The team should have the necessary skills and competency. The team is on constant call from other employees, so the manager should be able to coordinate the activities.  Since the technical manager is the leader of the technical team, he should teach and mentor the technical team and others members of staff. He should impart the team with the knowledge that can aid them improve their job and communication skills. A technical manager, just like any other manager; should have excellent leadership skills. This will enable him/her to lead the team effectively.

A technical manager should be able to work in a technical environment. He should have the project management skills and framework. He should also be able to define the life cycles of technical project management. Technical project management involves project planning; a technical project manager should be able to come up with a good project and come up with a good scope for the project. Technical project planning requires teamwork, which will assess every aspect of the project. Project performance baselines should be set for evaluating the project.  After that, he should define the right path for achieving the project on time. The technical manager should monitor the project until its completion. Status reports and project baselines will help in the evaluation. The project manager should identify the various variances involved and ensure that he harmonizes them for the for the project to reach its completion successfully.

Technical projects managers are usually under constant criticism for failing in their duties for various reasons. A big contributor for their problems is technical problems, communication and leadership problems. Lack of project management skills or lack of knowledge about that exact project will surely lead to failure. If a project manager does not pay attention to details, he will end up with the project that does not meet the needs of company/ client. Everyone should chip in for the success of the project; therefore the project manager should not dominate the whole project. The project manager should ensure there is clarity in the project statement, many shareholders will read the project since an ambiguous scope will not do the company justice. Different projects have different goals, however, with the ever changing organizational goals the project goals need to be aligned with the organizational goals. For instance, when new leaders come into the company the technical project manager will have to change the project goals to suit the new management. Since the project keeps developing, the changes that come along with it should be well managed before it gets out of hand. The technical project manager should train the managers and the project sponsors about the project.

Conclusion

A systems administrator is a crucial person in an organization. The day to day work of a system administrator is solving the problems connected with the computer technologies. The system administrators need to find ways of improving the company’s quality of job. The administrator should strive to perform excellently his duties. He should also be up to date on the new technology. There are various sources of information with regard to system administration. There are books, journals, magazines and the online sources.  Issues often experienced by system administrators include technical troubles and problems the users face. The users are constantly seeking for help from the system administrators even on things that they can do themselves. The system administrator usually has a hard time dealing with the overflowing number of users encountering with the flaws in the work of computer technologies. The system administrator needs to have skills of the software that run in together with the web server. Such other software connects databases and advertising. They include Netscape and Cold Fusion application. The administrator has to deal with maintenance, upgrading and compatibility of the system issues. A good mastery of UNIX will help the system administrator master almost everything about the internet and administration.

In conclusion, system administration is a crucial part of the organizational operations. When systems are down, business can become paralyzed.

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