The Limoncelli Test - (self?)Evaluation

Date July 25, 2011

A lot of people are familiar with the Joel Test, but if you haven't heard of it, it's a short (and according to Joel, irresponsible, but don't pay any attention to that) method of evaluating whether a particular development team is doing good work. It's basically a list of 12 questions, the answers to which should all be "yes", and if they aren't, then something needs fixing.

It's good, but it's for developers. It's actually not all that off the mark for sysadmins, too, since we do develop code (and infrastructures) that need to be maintainable, but it does fall short since it covers such a small segment of what we need to accomplish. So Tom Limoncelli has worked hard to fill in the missing blanks.

Today, less than a week before SysAdmin Appreciation Day (come to the events in Columbus, OH, Hollywood, CA, or NYC!), Tom has released The Limoncelli Test, a somewhat more thorough list of questions to gauge our infrastructure preparedness. Here are a few samplings:

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B.04: Do you have a "process and procedure" wiki?
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C.13: Do you have a pager rotation schedule?
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F.25: Are your backups automated?
...

There are a lot of very good questions on there to make you examine that way your infrastructure works. Tom has over 25 years doing system administration, and he knows what he's talking about. Read through the test and ask yourself, "What could I be doing better?"

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