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You know you’re a hardcore systems admin when…

So you’re a systems administrator. But are you hardcore? Use the checklist below to score yourself and see whether you are a great systems administrator or a member of the hardcore elite.

1. You don’t use automation tools

Operating system vendors like Microsoft have provided various command line and scripting interfaces for automating systems management and you’re damn well going to use them. Sure there’s the Script-o-Matic tool, but GUIs are for wimps. Your network runs on a collection of WMI scripts, and by golly does it run. You can hand code VBscript, Powershell and bash with the best of them.

2. You’ve compiled your own distro

Sure Ubuntu is making some headway in the corporate marketplace, but it’s all a bit mainstream. So you’ve compiled your own kernel that allows you to control every single aspect of your system to deliver unrivalled power and performance. It’s even been picked up by Distrowatch.

3. Your smartphone is packed with admin tools

The network is your responsibility and you’re going to treat it like your baby. Your friends may use their phones to send self-destructing naked selfies or to check the football scores, but not you. No, your phone is a sysadmin powerhouse that allows you to check network traffic stats, reboot servers and confirm that all backup jobs completed successfully. It’s a “smart” device, especially now you’ve rooted/jailbroken it.

4. You can calculate subnet addresses in your head

While a lesser systems administrator can work out a new network addressing scheme with the assistance of a calculator, you can calculate the relevant changes in your head unaided. The formula (2^n-2) holds no fear, no matter how many networks or subnets are required. You are the mental master of the bit.

5. You’ve memorised the company Windows licensing key

When you build machines all day, every day you get pretty good at selecting the necessary options to get an operating system installed. But you take things one step further by recalling the Windows licensing keys from memory. No need for you to log into partner portals or refer to internal documentation. Nope you can repeat all 25 characters off by heart. And if pushed, you can still remember the CD key for your first copy of Windows XP.

So how did you do?

0 – Are you sure you’re the network admin?

1 or 2 – You’re a very good systems administrator who is still on the path to greatness. Your users love you and there may be a CTO seat with your name on it somewhere in the future.

3 or 4 – You’re the master of your domain and well on the way to hardcore greatness. You live and breathe technology, and your network cannot function without you.

5 – You’re the boss, a member of the technology elite who combines deep understanding of network infrastructure with inherent genius to keep everything running. From your smartphone.

Are there any hardcore systems admins out there? Let us know how you did in the comments below.

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