I'm doing more and more sysadmin things day-to-day (deployments, dev-infrastructure, etc), so am needing to ask questions in serverfault.com with more regularity.

Some of the questions I feel are kind of newbie - as in, I can't imagine a "real" sysadmin not knowing the answer to them.

I wonder if it would be possible to have a setting in my profile that indicates (when checked) that sysadmin stuff is not my full-time speciality...?

  • A note in your profile (that you write) could not accomplish the same?
    – Tim Post
    Commented Mar 15, 2010 at 13:43
  • 5
    You don't need to tell us. The question will do that for you, just as you can tell a novice from an experienced coder by their questions. Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 0:23

6 Answers 6


Why do you need that?

Your questions are just as valid as others', provided they're related to one of:

  • servers
  • networks
  • many desktop PCs (other than your own)

then you're fine, per the FAQ.

  • It didn't occur to me that there might be a beginner tag. Thanks, that's much simpler!
    – Peter Mounce
    Commented Jan 19, 2010 at 11:58
  • 4
    Dominic: Actually they are not fine according to the first sentence of the FAQ: "Server Fault is for system administrators and IT professionals, people who manage or maintain computers in a professional capacity. If you are in charge of ..." However, plenty of developers ask good questions so if the developer has bothered to do some research or has a decent understanding of IT and it is not 'Do my sysadmin work for me' , than it is okay I think.
    – Kyle Brandt
    Commented Jan 28, 2010 at 20:29

You could just add some text stating whatever you want on your user's About Me.

  • I suppose so, but my intent was for the checkbox to trigger some kind of visual cue on my question.
    – Peter Mounce
    Commented Jan 19, 2010 at 11:57

I pretend to be a programmer, and nobody seems to notice when I post on Stack Overflow...

  • 6
    No, you actually write code. We notice when non-programmers post: stackoverflow.com/questions/1003841/…
    – Tom Ritter
    Commented Jan 18, 2010 at 15:10
  • 1
    +1 This was so worth my last vote of the day
    – Diago
    Commented Jan 18, 2010 at 15:12

That's a pretty specific piece of information most people will not be interested in. The question itself is much more relevant.

But if your prior experience (or lack of) is relevant to getting a correct answer, add it to the text. Adding a bit of background information to a question is perfectly acceptable, if it helps you get a correct answer. Otherwise, it's just not that important.


It's not that uncommon for a software developer to be asked to maintain the servers and network infrastructure in the case of a small company and likewise, it isn't uncommon for them to maintain a testing server that they use. As such, they may have legitimate questions to be asked on Server Fault, even if the answers are obvious to someone who does the job for a living, so there shouldn't be any problems with them asking the questions.


This would have to be modified for implementation across all trilogy sites so would need a little reworking (they share the same code base, someone correct me if I'm wrong).

But I also don't see the need to implement. We see new sysadmins on SF all the time (frequently as evidenced by the question content itself). It's very infrequent that I look at someone's profile before answering a question and as such I would rarely, if ever, see that "I'm a new sysadmin" checkbox.

If you look at the # of views of SF profiles of some of even the highest rep users, they're really not all that high considering it's been 8 months since the site launched. Mine's barely eclipsed 1000 in 8 months, as have the rest of the first couple of columns on the user page (except Evan and splattne who are only up past 3K). I don't see that it's really going to help you based on the data...

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