How to know if you are a Cowboy (or Cowgirl) Systems Administrator

You don’t have to have the ten-gallon hat and spurs to be a Cowboy (or Cowgirl) Systems Administrator. You just have to have the appropriate attitude. Here are some indicators on how you can determine if your attitude towards network management is a wee bit cavalier:

  • You have a post-hoc approach to pre-emptive maintenance.
  • Your server’s change logs consist of post it notes. To shake things up a bit, you use blue post-its on Wednesdays!
  • You’ve set the password expiration policy to never because users kept forgetting their new passwords. You’ve set the password retry policy to the highest number possible because you are tired of telling people to switch off the CAPSLOCK.
  • You’ve set your own password to never expire because you can’t be bothered changing it every two weeks.
  • Your patch testing routine involves deploying updates to users immediately and hoping that nothing important will break.
  • If something important breaks, it is your organization’s developers that are at fault. They should have tested those patches before you deployed them!
  • The only time you actually test whether a backup was properly taken is when you have to perform a restore.
  • If a problem arises, you reboot the server before you check the Event log.
  • If an item in the event log is serious it will be marked with the red icon. Yellow items in the event log are optional.
  • Your disaster recovery plan hasn’t got past the first two words on the cover of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.