Do Rockstar Sysadmins Exist

A couple of weeks ago, I heard the owner of our company talking on the phone to a client. In the conversation, he referred to me as a rockstar sysadmin. Thankfully, he wasn’t talking about my singing. I chuckled a bit, but didn’t think too much of it. I mean, it feels good to be called a rock star, but really, it’s not like sys admins have groupies throwing their underwear on stage (long story).

Then, a couple of days ago we talked about the concept of a rockstar sysadmin. Is it possible for a sysadmin to stay a rockstar long term or does this person usually go on to be a sales engineer, programmer, etc? If it is possible, is it possible to be a rockstar windows sysadmin or do you have to be a jack of all trades?

What do you think? Leave comments?


6 comments on “Do Rockstar Sysadmins Exist

  1. I currently work as a Linux/Windows sysadmin, and find myself diving into more programming as the years go on mainly due to interest. If this continue as is, I may end up as a software engineer after all.

  2. I’m actually against the idea of a ‘rockstar’ anything when it comes to technical professions. To me the whole idea of a rockstar is damaging, because rockstars aren’t team players. I’m interested in smoothly functioning teams, not just brilliant individual contributors who have big egos.

    Ideally of course everyone on your team is a ‘rockstar’ so maybe in that case I’d be ok with the terminology. Still, I think rockstar sets a negative precedent and I would prefer to avoid it.

    I realize I’m being pedantic here and your boss was just using the term rockstar as a compliment. On that level it’s just fine.

  3. As far as Windows Admin I’m not sure a ‘rockstar sysadmin’ is feasible. There’s too many areas, from Server OS, to Exchange, to Active Directory, etc. to be focused enough in any one to be considered a ‘rockstar’.

    Not to mention most Windows Admins still carry a fair amount of Desktop Support, Printer Support, etc.

    Diversity is necessary for survival in a Windows environment.

  4. I’m sure there a sysadmins who are temperamental, make insane demands on their employer, and get paid far too much for their level of productivity. Oh
    wait?!? That’s not what you meant by rockstar?

    Where did my bowl of green and black m&m’s go?

  5. hmm short answer ‘YES’ rockstar sysadmins do exist ! they pretty are the backbone of any tech company , they do anything and everything except development, oh wait once in a while we do tweak some php code too , we do understand better how the code runs the OS’s veins and so forth .. do we do ..

    deployment ? check
    automation/scripting ? check
    configuration management ? check
    networking ? check
    many other things that I can’t think offhand ? check


  6. I love how you guys are bringing in the Rock star term into the programming world, I agree with Phil… Rockstar sets a negative precedent

    Gaming Author
    Spin Palace

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