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3 things that made the 3rd edition better for education

The 3rd edition of The Practice of System and Network Administration was released last September. There are more than 600 new pages of material in this edition.

What makes it better for classroom use?

Before writing this edition we talked to many university instructors about what they liked or disliked about past editions. We listened!

As a result:

  1. Shorter chapters. Educators want to assign 10-15 pages of reading each night. Many of our chapters were 40-50 pages long. We split chapters into smaller ones.

  2. Top-down organization. We start with best practices and work our way down into the details.

  3. Better exercises at the end of each chapter. In the past the exercises tended to be points to ponder rather than questions that could be used as homework assignments. Now we try to follow Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Objectives: the first questions allow the student to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension, then a few questions to demonstrate application and analysis, and finally questions to demonstrate synthesis and evaluation.

As a result of this reorganization the table of contents looks quite different. The first grouping of chapters are inspirational, setting a high bar and explain DevOps strategies as applied to traditional IT (non-web) environments. The next set of chapters cover the theory behind desktop and end-user computing, followed by server infrastructure. The latter chapters deal with best practices for various applications (email, web services, etc.). The last chapters are soft topics and management skills.

The new book is 1300 pages long. Probably too big to read in one sitting. However hopefully it is a handy reference.

Oh... one more thing: Please don't confuse this third edition (the yellow book) with "Volume 2: The Practice of Cloud System Administration" (the blue book). The yellow book is focused on desktop/IT environments. The blue book is cloud and SRE topics. These two books are entirely different and complimentary.

More info:

the-sysadmin-book.comVol 1: The Practice of System and Network Administration (3rd edition)
the-cloud-book.comVol 2: The Practice of Cloud System Administration

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in TPOSANA 3rd Edition