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“… and sold their services back to you at a higher price”

I recall seeing a quote like this a few years ago. Maybe it was in a Usenix magazine or something? When I google for it I come up with nothing. I wonder if anyone knows what I’m talking about.

The idea is basically that programmers “forgot” how to use shell and Unix, and instead they are using layers on top provided by cloud companies.

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    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17083976 perhaps? Seems close enough

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      Ex Amazon here. Most grumpy system engineers did not disappear: we got hired by Google/Amazon/etc to build large-scale infrastructure… and sometimes sell it back to you as a service.

      YES!! That’s it. Thank you, amazing :) This is an obscure comment but I guess I remembered it because I think it’s very true.

      Top level story: The sad state of sysadmin in the age of containers (2015) (vitavonni.de)

      FWIW I thought of this because I’m applying to fund a “compiler engineer” position for https://www.oilshell.org. One of the funding agencies has a “User-operated Internet” theme.

      So I think it is relevant to point out how the cloud has moved us further and further away from a user-operated Internet, and essential tools like shell have languished. Whenever I try to host my own Internet services, I invariably run into a mess of shell scripts (at both build time and runtime).



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        I don’t disagree with it either, also comes to mind occasionally when I’m lamenting about the state of the world in the pub. 😬

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      Clarification: they got hired to be embedded sales engineers at their existing companies, not at the cloud providers per se.

      Something something “devops and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race” something something.

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        Yeah it depends on what you mean by “sys admin” – the original quote actually used the term (grumpy) “system engineer”, although the article was about “sys admin” (see response by caius)

        The term “sys admin” seems to have been replaced by “DevOps” and “SRE” in my mind, although in other areas of the industry it might be different.

        I have seen people use “system engineer” as a synonym for “DevOps” as well.

        Google used to only have “SRE” (a term I believe they invented and other companies copied), but several years ago they split the job titles into SRE-SWE and SRE-SysAdmin.

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        Never heard that quote, but I think it’s exactly right. I’ve found it’s really hard to hire anyone in the “devops” space (quotes because that word seems to mean something different to everyone). e.g., experience in ansible, terraform, and so on is pretty hard to come by.

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          Yeah from my Silicon Valley perspective, around ~2010 SREs started to make as much or more than SWEs. (I was a SWE, but I learned a lot of Unix stuff on the job.)

          But some people’s perspective lagged for many years. They thought of SRE and “sys admin” as less challenging work, and would not offer them high enough salaries.

          But the highly technical ones made tons of money at cloud companies, and then sold their services back to you at a higher price when you migrated to the cloud!

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          This also sounds like it could be a Twitter thing, but the search is also not coming up with anything …

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            Most programmers have definitely forgotten this. It was most more necessary to know before around 2006 and now people have abstracted it to a point where they don’t need to know it.