Ryan Nedeff posted a comment over on Matt Simmons blog about the Future of System Administrators. Mainly he was responding to a comment by Michael Halligan on twitter stating “I feel that any sysadmin today who isn’t learning Ruby and either Chef or Puppet will be unemployed in 5 years”.  Ryan brought up the debate of breadth of knowledge vs depth of knowledge. I think its a great discussion to have so lets have it.

Which side of the fence are you on?

Personally I go mainly for breadth of knowledge “jack of all trades master of none”. Knowing a little about a lot has served me well in the past. I do have specialized knowledge in an area or two like virtualization and clustering, but overall I consider myself a generalist (as long as its a Unix like system, I do try my best to stear clear of windows). Of course doing this I wont ever land a job as an Oracle DBA. But then again I don’t want to do the same thing all day long every day. What about you?

Also how do you think that decision will affect your earning potential in the short and long term?