The 2011 ServerFault Challenge Results

One year has come and gone! In early 2011 I started a challenge to all interested Systems Administrators to add 10,000 points to their existing ServerFault reputation. Quite a few people signed up for it, but how many actually made it to the finish line? Oh, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s talk about what our participants will win.

The Prizes

How many IT workers, in the course of being a SysAdmin / Developer / Frobnosticator, have come up against a seemingly insurmountable quandary? If you are in that category, how many times have you written out your woes in a forum post, only to have the problem (and solution) become clear to you as you’re nearly ready to post your question? I thought it was just me and my strange brain, however it appears that it’s a common experience.

This experience is so common for me that the main reason why I even have a blog is because I so frequently find solutions as a result of writing / talking out my problems. There is a name for this kind of behavior within the IT realm. It’s commonly known as “Rubber Duck Debugging.” I think all SysAdmins, IT workers in general and human beings both near and far would see immense benefits from calmly talking out their problems. To encourage this end, the prize for our winners will be handsome Luxury Ducks made by a company called bud (intentional lower case ‘b’).

Specifically, those who achieved their goal of adding 10,000 points in the year 2011 will receive a large luxury duck of their choice:

Those who achieved at least half of their 10,000 point goal will receive a mini luxury duck of their choice:

The Winners

Finally, we get to our well deserving winners. We only have two participants who added 10,000 points to their January 1st 2011 reputation levels. Those two winners are:

  1. Philip “Chopper3” Buckley-Mellor who added nearly 23,000 points to his reputation.
  2. Michael “Voretaq7” Graziano who added 20,500 points to his reputation

We have a few participants who made a valiant effort to get to 10,000 points, but only passed the halfway mark:

  1. Rob Moir made 7,200 points in 2011
  2. Phil Hollenback made 6,700 points in 2011 (Two words: Cron. Master.)
  3. Tom O’Connor made 5,000 points in 2011


The whole goal of the ServerFault / Stack Exchange challenge was to encourage professional growth, community involvement, knowledge sharing and some old fashioned fun. I hope it achieved its goal, but only you can be the proper judge of that.

Congratulations to all of those involved! Your contributions are top notch and help to teach the next generation of professional IT workers and even the current crowd. No one knows it all and every one of us can help another to learn a bit more and become a bit better.

Thank you for what you did in 2011 and what you continue to do.

The Future

Will there be a 2012 challenge? Will it be the same format? Same prizes? Same rules?

Stay tuned…

…and keep answering questions on ServerFault.

One Comment

  1. […] the concept of Rubber Duck Debugging. Some years ago in a previous StackExchange 10k challenge, five people were awarded with ducks and you can see some of their ducks here. Also note that this time around I’ll only send […]


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