I’ve held jobs with small businesses and large enterprises. There are a few things that I’ve observed about small businesses that are probably true for many of them. The first would be that often wages for technical positions are lower than at the bigger shops, but so is the bar to entry. That often means employees have less experience. At the same time, in a smaller shop, people are often called upon to wear many hats. I spent about 5 years with one company where I was lead developer, the only DBA and the system administrator for all our Linux servers. Our team was small and all of us had complete access to pretty much everything. It was a great opportunity to learn. The one thing I never did get into too deeply was networking, things had to be pretty bad for them to pull me in on a problem in that area. When we needed to make changes to our Cisco routers we brought in a guy from outside. I wish Cisco Routers for the Small Business had been around then. I think we’d have been able to save quite a bit of money and I’d have learned quite a bit more about networking.
As a dba, I’m constantly looking to learn more about networking and system administration. Both can have quite an impact on the performance of my piece of the puzzle. A welcome addition to the materials to help me learn about networking is Carla Schroder’s “Linux Networking Cookbook“. This book is just right for the person like myself who enjoys learning by getting hands-on experience with the technology. The scope is wide and so someone with a great depth of networking experience may find that the treatments of each is a bit shallow. On the other hand, that wide scope means this book may hold something new, even for someone with some level of experience.