Aug 24, 2011
tom

The Joel Test for system administrator jobs

Question

Based on “Organizational issues” — sore spots of IT? I think it would be fair to say that system administrators need to determine if a place is worth working at. There is a similar well known test by Joel for programmers.

What are the 12 questions system administrators should ask at an interview in order to help them decide if it’s a good place to work at?

Following Joel’s rules:

  1. Questions should be platform and technology agnostic
  2. Questions should elicit a simple response such as yes or no

EDIT: Please post one question at a time so we can see what users are voting for.

UPDATE Thank you for everyone’s response. I’ll have to collate the best 12 questions and maintain them here, when I have some more time.

I’m attempting to condense and throw up a few of the most popular items, hopefully this is somewhat successful in reflecting what was upvoted. If not, edit away! –Kara

  1. Do you use an incident/ticket tracking system?
  2. Do you test restores from backup regularly?
  3. Do you keep offsite backups?
  4. Do you have a regularly revised IT disaster recovery plan?
  5. Do you have enforceable standardization of IT-supported hardware/software?
  6. Is the current environment documented?
  7. Do you use robust monitoring/logging tools for critical systems?
  8. Do you monitor and apply patch/firmware updates?
  9. Do you have a hardware refresh and recycle policy?
  10. Do you have separate development, stage, and production systems with a change control process?

Answer

Do you use an incident/ticket tracking system?

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  1. Following the Joel Test for SysAdmin; For all the places don’t meet the test, what needs to be done, and in what order?
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  3. What’s the simplest test that I can do to check if my cron jobs are working?
  4. LabManager – Assigning “System Administrator” to a User – Possible?
  5. System Administrator Appreciation Day

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