Ninety Percent

There was a recent Reddit Sys Admin thread and one of the replies to this caught my eye

Perfect is your enemy. Competent, and responsible should be your professional standard. There are too many projects that either never get off the ground or constantly slip timelines when you’re a perfectionist.


Perfectionism can be a real enemy of a good Systems Administrator or Engineer. Even those aspiring to be one. As the poster in the Reddit thread said competent and responsible should be your professional standard.

This includes trying to design for all eventualities, adhering too rigidly to “Best Practices” or including functionality  that don’t support what the business does. Best practices are a guideline and if you need to deviate from them to fulfill the business goal then great.

For a good Engineer or Administrator flexibility is the key. There are often constraints, budgetary or even political as to why you are not able to engineer a full disaster recovery capability with three data centre locations. Not every company is Google or Microsoft or has deep enough pockets. As long as the right people are aware of the risks and prepared to accept these, then move on and build what you are asked to.

There is a balance though and this is where experience matters.

A post like this may seem a  strange way to start off a blog highlighting various best practices, architectures and principles across a number of technologies but I felt it important to state this off the bat as it were.

Please keep the ninety or even eighty percent principle in mind when reading through my blog.



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