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20 years of The Practice of System and Network Administration!

TPOSA_20_Anniversary_Twitter.jpegTwenty years ago the first edition of The Practice of System and Network Administration shipped! Since then there has been a 2nd and 3rd edition (2006 and 2014), plus a sequel book The Practice of Cloud System Administration, and many printings. (see the timeline here)

When we started the project we had no idea if it would be a success. There was a real chance it could be a flop. Many people told us that our proposal was illogical: How could you have a book about system administration that is vendor agnostic and talks about process and people instead of specific tools and operating systems? Well, to be honest, we took a deep breath and started writing anyway. It took 2+ years but in Sept/Oct 2001 the book finally shipped!

Instead of a flop, the reaction we got was very positive! It has sold tens of thousands of copies. Many universities have used the book and its future editions as text books. It received the Usenix LISA Outstanding Achievement Award. One DevOps pundit told me she considers it to be "the first devops book" which was quite humbling.

When I visited Google in 2004 (a year before I considered joining) I was told everyone in the "systems operations" team was given a copy on their first day. The person giving me a tour then took me to a supply closet with 30 copies awaiting to be distributed to new hires.

However the real satisfaction comes from how it has helped others. Fans have related many heartwarming stories. Many fans have told us they felt like reading the book was a turning point in their life, that the book "turned me into a professional system administrator".

To thank our readers, our publisher is offering a special deal: 45% off the latest editions now until Oct 31, 2021 What? You still have the 2nd edition and haven't seen the dozens of chapters of new material in the 3rd edition? Or maybe you haven't heard of our Cloud book? Now is your chance to get the 3rd edition or the cloud sequel!

Thank you to everyone that gave us feedback on the early drafts! Thank you to all our readers! This book changed our lives and we hope it changed yours too!

P.S. We would love to hear from you! Please post a comment with reflections on the book.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Book News

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I've been very slowly reading the 3rd edition of the book in the past few months and it's most definitely something that I would recommend to anyone who's venturing into IT.

I can't go too fast since the book's been constantly getting me to think about the current practices at work and trying to identify the places where we're definitely going wrong, or maybe just slightly off. Taking notes and taking the time to step back, reflect on things and try to incorporate into my work.

Thanks a whole bunch Tom, Christina and Strata for this amazing work! The lack of any kind of IT-oriented school program (there was only programming available) back when I was there meant that I could only rely on other ppl's experience and this book is definitely a great source for that.

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