[Clug-work] Linux Systems Administrator role

Zayne S. Halsall kweztah at gmail.com
Fri May 21 16:23:30 SAST 2010

Hi guys,

(apologies in advance for the length)

We have a vacancy for a Linux sysadmin.  Who are we?  Here's the
Marketing blurb from the site:

"Clickatell allows people to communicate with the largest number of
recipients on the widest array of devices than any other messaging
company in the world. Our messages save lives, prevent fraud, keep
people informed and help people stay in touch all over the world.

If you feel as passionate about messaging and global communications as
we do, and if you want to work for a growing international company
that makes a difference in people's lives, then Clickatell is for you.

Okay... all true, but doesn't necessarily give the detail you need.
So here's the skinny from a guy who's been at the company for 4 years,
and started as a sysadmin:

Clickatell has been around for 10 years, and began as a South African
startup in the proverbial garage.  The initial intention was to fill
the web-to-SMS gap, and that grew organically into a full suite of web
APIs (HTTP, SMTP, SMPP, etc.), application layers (COM object, XML,
SOAP, etc.) and complete products (check the site for details).

We currently cover over 800 carriers around the world, have offices in
Silicon Valley and the Mother City, and are geared towards the
enterprise market.  Interestingly enough, the global economic downturn
had little to no impact on us because of our unique market: we service
everyone from the individual user wanting to sent out invites and
notices to friends and families a couple of times a month, to the
corporate enterprise sending millions a month (and everything in

On the technology side, the systems have always been interesting, and
are becoming more so.  Clickatell now stands at the edge of a cliff.
We really are leading the market in mobile messaging in terms of our
direction and offerings, and given the speed at which this market is
growing have reached a point where we can no longer look at what the
"other guys" are doing to solve our infrastructure and architecture
challenges.  What we do now will decide the technical direction of the
company for the next 5 to 10 years.  So, to complete the cliff analogy
- we need to learn to fly or get overtaken by those that learn first.

All in all, Clickatell is a dynamic, challenging and very exciting
place to work, with an interesting mix of start up and corporate
culture and a very young vibe.  The average Clickatellian is
intelligent, motivated and very serious about what they do.  The
extensive and structured growth in this financial year means there
will be ample opportunity for career advancement, and obviously plenty
of opportunity to learn.  If this sounds like the kind of environment
you'd thrive in, please read on:

The systems administrator role, in a nutshell (the full job
description available at

Key Responsibility Areas:

- Essential: installation/configuration, operation and maintenance of
hardware/software and related infrastructure, including R & D as
required, with a view towards high availability;
- Project: assist with technical issues, R & D and support of
operations staff in executing, testing and rolling out solutions;
- Architecture & Provisioning: installation/rebuilding, configuration
in accordance with standards and requirements, develop and maintain
procedures, research and recommend innovation and automation;
- Operations and Support: monitoring, data and account management,
including escalated customer issues, troubleshoot issues, root-cause
analysis, repair and recovery from failures;
- Maintenance: OS patches and upgrades, manage/add services,
performance reporting/tuning;
- Security: monitoring, intrusion detection, maintain system
standards, staff training, documentation.

Core (Required) Competencies:

- IP: working knowledge of DHCP, DNS, SMTP, FTP, HTTP, etc.;
- Services: LDAP, MTAs (pref. postfix/exim), SQL servers (pref. MySQL,
postgres or Oracle);
- OS: understanding of operating systems, from bare steel to network services;
- *nix: proven proficiency with Unix or derivative, from user to
systems and network management;
- Scripting: proven experience with at least one of bash, python, Perl, PHP;
- Data: solid understanding of backup methodology and infrastructure.

General (Nice-to-have) Competencies:

- MS: comfortable within Windows environment, at least working
knowledge of OS, interfaces, server tools and services;
- RHEL: familiarity with the RedHat Enterprise Linux distribution advantageous;
- Production: proven experience maintaining servers on the Internet,
services open to the world, advantageous.

If it sounds like a lot, it is - currently sysadmins are generalists
in the best sense of the word.  As Clickatell continues to grow,
specialisation will begin to occur, and the opportunity for career and
self-development definitely exists.  Salary range is currently
reasonably broad, and negotiable commensurate with experience and
calibre of an applicant.

Please contact me directly if you want more details, or have any questions.



Zayne Halsall
• Systems Operations Manager

• T +27 21 910 7700
• F +27 21 910 7701

zayne.halsall at clickatell.com

Clickatell. Any message, anywhere.

Our Vision
Connecting the world through any message, anywhere.

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