Okay, I'm going to wander off-topic for a bit, but I'm in a story-telling mood today. This is a true story about how I landed my first big BoFH job, in case anyone is wondering.
About two and a half years ago, I was interviewing for a sysadmin position at a small ISP. The kind of place with about a dozen employees where everybody did a little bit of everything.
The day of my interview I showed up at the office/NOC/warehouse and sat down with the sales manager/HR guy. "The president", he said, "will be with us shortly to handle the technical side of the interview. Until then, let me tell you about the company and go over your resume."
Twenty minutes of small talk later, the company president, an old school VMS admin, entered the room to ask a few technical questions.
"How much do you know about UNIX?"
"A fair bit. I've worked with Solaris, Linux and --"
"Great. Here's a hypothetical situation. Suppose you have a unix server and had somehow corrupted the /etc/passwd file. Nobody can log in, not even root. You need it back right away. How do you fix it?"
"Interesting question. It depends on what kind of unix it is, but basicly I would boot it from a CD, mount all the filesystems, then go in and repair the damaged files, perhaps by restoring them from a backup."
"Good answer." He nodded, gave a meaningful look to the HR guy, and stepped back out of the room.
I chatted with the HR guy for a few minutes about the details of the job, and then he took me on a tour of the building -- Up until then all I had seen was the lobby and one office.
There, in the back room, were the company president and two of their developers huddled around their main unix server, which they had booted from a CD, desperately trying to repair the damaged /etc/passwd file.
Not surprisingly, they hired me immediately.