20 Things I Learned As A Sysadmin

  • “Nothing’s wrong with the system” is always the first line of defense.

  • The longer you do this the less intelligent that users seem.

  • It always works on my computer.

  • I’d explain how I fixed it but you wouldn’t understand, so I just say “SYS-ADMIN USE STRONG MAGIC!”

  • Trust me, you’re doing it wrong.

  • </joy> <work> If you get it. It’s funny.

  • I’m not reading your email for fun; I’m checking the servers load.

  • Overhead lights wash out the monitor.

  • Walls are for your protection, indoors is where it’s safe.

  • I send Bill Gates a Christmas card every year. Poor code pays my mortgage.

  • Backups are never corrupted unless the data might actually be needed.

  • GUI’s are for the helpdesk and babies.

  • Windows? Reboot.

  • Declining social skills are part of the job.

  • Never trust a tan Systems Administrator

  • Coffee, Coffee, Coffee. This cannot be overstated.

  • The less rights users have, the better for everyone.

  • Managers should never be allowed to touch systems. This is just borrowing trouble.

  • Calling tech support means admitting you are fallible. Avoid this at all costs.

  • The answer is “No, I didn’t change anything” even if you have to lie through your teeth to say it.

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    SJ said...

    Ok - this is going to make me look dumb, but it took me a bit to figure out what "sysadmin" was - - - but now I get it! And - I think the last one is a great one - I tell Matt and Jeremy that - "I didn't change anything" - or "I didn't do anything - it just happened."

    kludge said...


    This don't feel dumb- this was a *very* geeky post for me. I try to avoid too many of these, but it struck me funny.

    I agree #20 is a cardinal rule in most aspects of computing.

    J Crew said...

    This is all code to me. All I know is that when it breaks they fix it and it makes me happy. Enough said

    Ando said...

    Is there like a book you guys all read? These sound a lot like things my IT guy would say. His standard line is, "That SHOULD'T make a difference."

    kludge said...

    J Crew-

    You seem like an easy going user. The scary ones are the those people who 'think' they know how everything works!

    I guess you couldn't say 'all Greek to me' as now that makes sense!

    kludge said...


    He sounds like a keeper!

    It just comes with years of practice, just like how you know all that RBI stuff and other Basketball terminology!

    BTW Thanks for the Digg!

    Aunt Missy said...

    I submitted a problem to tech support once and their answer was "no error found, issue closed" So basically if they couldn't solve it, they get to tell me it doesn't really exist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I want that job...

    Ando said...

    No, he's not a keeper. He's a pain. We give him unflattering nicknames.

    jl said...

    where is the any key?

    Anonymous said...

    @jl, the any key is RIGHT THERE, although yours might be disguised as a space bar.

    Micro said...

    All are correct, Specially ( Strong magic ).

    Anonymous said...


    # Never trust a tan Systems Administrator

    Anonymous said...

    "The problem is between the chair and the keyboard"


    "nut loose on keyboard"