In case you missed it, SolarWinds spilled the beans when we exposed the American, UK, and Australian system administrators in November. We revealed the SysAdmins’ likes and dislikes at work and at play, their favorite entertainment, and their choice beverages, among other things. What we didn’t tell you is that we conducted the same survey with a bunch of network engineers… (we are working towards an advanced degree in IT anthropology).


You didn’t think that we could resist the ultimate comparison, did you? Surely not. And, don’t call me Shirley.


We surveyed over 1,100 network engineers and network admins  in the U.S. (400), U.K. (400), and Australia (312) and found a few things that they had in common with each other and with their close cousins, the sysadmins. We also learned a few ways in which the network and systems folks just don’t see eye to eye.  (it really is just like any other family)


So who are these netadmins? They’re job lovers!


Across the board, netadmins responded that they were happy at work, reporting enjoyable or highly enjoyable jobs (U.S. – 79%, U.K. – 72%, Australia – 72% ahead of sysadmins (U.S. – 68%, U.K. – 67%, Australia – 61%).


Perhaps they’re so gleeful because:

  1. They make more money as netadmins (U.S. – $87K, U.K. – £50.3K, Australia – $89K AUS) than as sysadmins (U.S. – $78K, U.K. – £47.4K, Australia – $82K AUS), or
  2. They get to call the shots. More netadmins make final IT decisions (U.S. – 54%, U.K. – 54%, Australia – 49%) than sysadmins do (U.S. – 6%, U.K. – 9%, Australia – 9%).


Good thing they’re so darn cheerful, because netadmins continue to see increased responsibility and demands on their time (U.S. – 90%, U.K. – 89%, Australia – 85%) and feel increased pressure at work (U.S. – 79%, U.K. – 84%, Australia – 78%).


The regions differ, however, in feelings toward their companies and employers. American netadmins strongly agree that their systems are more reliable and efficient than ever (45%), their IT department leadership is trustworthy (44%), and that 2013 will bring growth for their companies (38%). Aussies feel less strongly, citing 29 percent, 35 percent, and 22 percent in respective categories, and the Brits are even less optimistic, offering 24 percent, 24 percent, and 18 percent respectively.


And then there is your free time, we know that you don’t just lock yourselves in the closet at the end of the day…  But who hangs together best?  The Yanks and Brits!

  • Aussies claim not to be big gamers – only 68 percent play while 86 percent of Americans and 81 percent of Brits do.
  • Star Trek is the best on the telly for Brits at 21 percent. American netadmins like it too (22%), but Australians favor The Big Bang Theory (23%).
  • Who’s got the best cape? Batman, say UK (19%) and U.S. (22%) netadmins. The folks down under prefer Wolverine (14%). (Yes, we know that Wolverine does not have a cape. But if he wanted one, he’d produce one. And it would be made of adamantium and would be sharp… and useful… and cool...)


So, check out the infographics below.


Full survey results can be found here for the US (Netadmin and Sysadmin Survey Results - US)
here for the UK (Netadmin and Sysadmin Survey Results - UK)

and here for Australia (Netadmin and Sysadmin Survey Results - AUS).



And, of course, join the discussion in the The SolarWinds NetAdmin/SysAdmin Survey -- Which are you? space… we promise to give proper credit in the footnotes of our final dissertation.