A Call to All Community Minded SysAdmins: Join the ServerFault 10,000 Point Challenge (Updated)

(Update x 1: Added ten more participants!)

(Update x 2: Added one more participant!)

(Update x 3: And yet more!)

(Update x 4: Oh forget it, I’m not versioning any more of these updates…)

While chatting with some fellow SysAdmins via IM and Twitter, I stumbled upon a (seemingly) worthy 2011 professional goal. To ramp up interaction on ServerFault.com. As a self-employed IT person who leads a somewhat nomadic professional life, I can get rather disconnected from my SysAdmin colleagues. In my days of work, I tend to see systems that are of a rather low quality and then receive a shockingly small budget to try to bring the existing work up a notch or three. As a result, I can tend to get discouraged and lose objectivity when judging the quality of my own work. When an existing environment is a 3 and I leave it at a 6, I tend to focus on having left it in twice as good of a state as I found it rather than the fact that it’s still barely above average quality.

To counteract the mind-decay that can so easily set in, I rely on a few online communities to keep my standards high. I choose ServerFault.com as my primary source of inspiration. ServerFault (SF) is a member of the much larger StackExchange family of sites. After SF comes the SysAdmin Network, Daniel Petri’s forums, hob-knobbing with various SysAdmin groups on Flickr (including my own group “Ghetto IT“), keeping up with some choice SysAdmin’s on Twitter and reading some awesome blogs (see my blog list linked to on the top of this page). ServerFault never ceases to make me feel like a complete idiot. That’s a good thing.

While conversing with Cole Lavallee on New Year’s Eve, we decided to make a 10,000 point pact for 2011. In 2011, we were each going to strive to add 10,000 points to our Server Fault reputation. That challenge spread to a few others on Twitter. So far 7fellow Geeks have pledged to increase activity at ServerFault for 2011. Specifically, to increase their reputation by 10,000 points on New Years’ Eve of 2011. Those users are:

Wesley on ServerFault

(Wesley “Nonapeptide” David’s Dec 31, 2010 Reputation: 3,581 – [graphic is inaccurate] – )

Cole Lavallee on ServerFault

(Cole “vCole” Lavallee’s Dec 31, 2010 Reputation: 111)
Jason Dixon on ServerFault

(Jason “obfuscurity” Dixon’s Dec 31, 2010 Reputation: 519)

Benjamin Krueger on ServerFault

(Benjamin Krueger; @BlueBen on Twitter – Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 1 )

Jonathan Angliss on ServerFault

(Jonathan Angliss; @J_angliss on Twitter Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 414)

Michael Graziano at ServerFault

(Michael “voretaq7” Graziano’s Dec 31, 2010 Reputation: 5,684)

Michael Gurski on ServerFault

(Michael Gurski; @magurski on Twitter Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 1)

Newly added participants:

Robert Moir on ServerFault

(Robert Moir; Jan 1 2011 Reputation: ? [waiting a database dump to find precise number])

Dan Bigbee on ServerFault

(Dan Bigbee; Jan 1 2011 Reputation: ? [waiting a database dump to find precise number])

Brandon Burton on ServerFault

(Brandon Burton; @solarce on Twitter; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 1)

Phil Hollenback on ServerFault

(Phil “I ain’t no Hollenback girl!” Hollenback; @philiph on Twitter; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 131)

Steve the Hedgehog on ServerFault

(Steve the Hedgehog; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 1)

Tom O'Connor on ServerFault

(Tom O’Connor; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: ? [waiting a database dump to find precise number])

Paul Friedrich on ServerFault

(Paul Friedrich; @lepole on Twitter; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 1116)

Sean Johnson on ServerFault

(Sean Johnson; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 1)

Scott Pack on ServerFault

(Scott Pack; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 2994)

Paul Graydon on ServerFault

(Paul Graydon; @Twirrim on Twitter; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 250)

Carl P on ServerFault

(Carl P; @line3 on Twitter; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 1)

Devdas on ServerFault

(Devdas Bhagat; @f3ew on Twitter; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 201)

Joe "Helvick" Mansfield on ServerFault

(Joe “Helvick” Mansfield; Dec 31 Reputation: 10K-ish [waiting a database dump to find precise number])

(Marc Cluet; @lynxman on Twitter; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 1)

(Jacob Jernigan; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 25)

(Pablo; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 0)

(Robert Novak, Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 0)

(Erik “Holocryptic” Gumbel, Dec 31 2010 Reputation: Awaiting further analysis)

(Philip “Chopper3” Buckley-Mellor, Dec 31, 2010 reputation: 29,100)

There are a few ServerFault users who have chosen to choose a point target that is less than the original 10K challenge:

Bob on ServerFault

(The man (?) known only as Bob; @arclight on Twitter; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 381; Caveat: arclight is no longer a pure IT person. He has moved to a “hard engineering” position and as such has chosen a 2,500 point challenge for himself.

(Juan Manuel Rey; @jreypo on Twitter; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 1; Juan chose to do a 1,000 point challenge, but I conveniently misunderstood him and choose 5,000 as his goal. =)

We also have a slight twist to the participants. Not everyone has chosen ServerFault as their target. For example, Cat Esposito is an up and coming IT guru who is attempting to break into the world of 1s and 0s. She is leaning towards development but also has an eye towards operations. The next superstar DevOp? I think so. Cat has chosen Stack Overflow as her platform. Since she’s just breaking into all things development she chose 1,000 points as her goal. I’m raising the bar to 2,500 points without her permission. =)

Cat Esposito on StackOverflow

(Cat Esposito, Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 28)

New participants in the Stack Overflow 10K challenge include:

droope on StackOverflow

(Droope; Dec 31 2010 Reputation: 41 )

Ten thousand points in one year comes out to about 40 points gained each workday for 52 weeks. That’s 200 points per week and a little over 800 points per month. Not too bad, right? But what’s the goal in all of this? To inflate our egos? Hopefully not. The goal should be to give back the knowledge that you’ve gained to those who need it. Also, we should attempt to be sharpened as professionals by choosing to be around those who know more than us. I guarantee that no matter what level of proficiency you’re at in your IT career, you will find someone who knows more than you at ServerFault.

Is there anyone else who wants to increase their community involvement? Toss your hat into the ring in the comments below and I’ll add your ServerFault badge to this post. Give back to the community and help grow the competence level of both your own self and those around you. Let’s make 2011 an awesome year for SysAdmins.

P.S. A note of congratulations to BlueBen who, on only his second day of participation, hit his daily reputation cap and earned the silver badge “Good Answer” with this beauty. Good answer indeed.


  1. Rob oir

    January 4, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I’m hoping to get to 10,000 too but it seems a bit cheap to say I’d want to join the challenge considering I’m not that far off… And yes it’s nice to see Blueben’s great answer is getting the attention it deserves


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Ah, but it’s not a race to 10K total points on your profile, it’s a race to add 10K points to your existing score as of Jan1, 2011. Whaddaya say?


      • RobM

        January 4, 2011 at 11:49 am

        In that case, why not, I’m game.


  2. Dan

    January 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 4, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Consider yourself signed up. I’ll update the post in a few days once some of the late entrants get confirmed.


  3. cmbrnt

    January 4, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Great post! I’ll try to follow, having found serverfault.com just today. I suppose it’ll be good for learning as well, since I’m no sysop. Also, thanks for profiling some of the people in the community.


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

      What I like most about this challenge is that the first group of participants were mostly people who were either new to ServerFault or hadn’t participated much. I’d like to see some new faces on the first page of users when sorted by reputation score.


  4. cesposito

    January 4, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Nice job, Blueben!


  5. Jeff Atwood

    January 4, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Personally I’d like to see less of the freaky bug-eyed cat gravatar, so I fully support this endeavor! 😛

    (just kidding Wesley, I love your gravatar.. after a few beers..)


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 4, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Some say that if you stare into his eyes long enough, you lose your soul.


  6. Brandon Burton

    January 4, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I didn’t realize I’d never made a profile on ServerFault, count me in!



  7. droope

    January 4, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I’d love to sign up!! But I am not a sysadmin, but a developer…

    Can I use stackoverflow?


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 4, 2011 at 11:47 am

      You most certainly can sign up for a Stack Overflow challenge! I’ll add your SO username to the list and update the post shortly. 10,000 points, here you come. =)


      • droope

        January 4, 2011 at 11:51 am

        We’re on!!! 😀


  8. drachenstern

    January 4, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Why not use the SF chat third-place if you’re going to get to SF 10k by NYE 2011? What’s up with all this IM madness :p


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 4, 2011 at 11:51 am

      I’m using SF chat more and more. It’s like my new IRC channel. I do miss k-lines though… =)


  9. Phil Hollenback

    January 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Hey Wesley, I’m in!

    @philiph on twitter


  10. ITHedgeHog

    January 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      Done! Check back in a few days to see the updated list of participants.


  11. Jakob Buis

    January 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Build a small webapp that tracks your progress! Nothing more stimulating that a few charts and leaderboards to foster some healthy competition.

    I thought of building something myself, but I’m kinda swamped with paying work at the moment…sorry


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      You know, I thought of that myself, but I’m not much of a developer. It should be easy with how much data on StackExchange is exposed. Alas.


  12. Bob

    January 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Count me in for 2500 points: http://serverfault.com/users/6922/arclight

    Why 2500 and not the full 10k? I have a decade of sysadmin experience but I moved back to hard engineering in 2008 and I’m back to being a mere ‘power user.’ That’s like being a quarter-time sysadmin, right?


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      2500 points is just fine. You’re in! Updated blog post should be up in a few days.


  13. Tom O'Connor

    January 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm

  14. paul friedrich

    January 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm

  15. ttyS0

    January 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm

  16. packs

    January 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Mark me down. Should be fun.


  17. Twirrim

    January 5, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Count me in on this, I fear I’m stagnating a bit as a standalone sysadmin. Twirrim on twitter and serverfault


  18. ninajsadmin

    January 6, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I’ve signed up for this challenge.. My URL is http://serverfault.com/users/65907/the-ninjasysadmin

    – The NinjaSysadmin


  19. Devdas Bhagat

    January 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm

  20. lynxman

    January 12, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Count me in as well, just signed up, getting to 10k looks like a noble and feasable goal :)


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      A’ight! You’re counted.


      • lynxman

        January 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

        Got up to 1000 in 16 days, wohoooo!


        • Wesley.Nonapeptide

          January 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm

          Woo Hoo! I’ve slacked off a bit and only gained a few hundred points. Oh well, 49 more weeks to go… =)


          • lynxman

            January 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

            All being said… philip will give us a run for our money, he’s over 2k already!

  21. Jacob

    February 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    • Wesley David

      February 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm

      Wewt! Get ready to join the 10K club before you light your New Year’s Eve fireworks! =)


  22. pablo

    February 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

  23. rnovak

    March 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I’ll join in, aiming for 10k but we’ll see.


    Jan 1: didn’t have an account.
    Today: 352. 5 badges. Woohoo.

    I blame Phil.


  24. holocryptic

    April 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I’ll make some attempt at this.



  25. […] I’m going to throw my hat in the ring and build a 10K Challenge website for folks like The Nubby Admin to use in Stack Exchange, I’ve got a couple of ideas about the site already but I want to […]


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