User Stereotypes

As is the case in many professions, exaggerated characterizations (stereotypes or caricatures) have emerged for users and system administrators. Many stereotypes contain elements of truth mixed with generous amounts of hyperbole and humor and serve to assist us in understanding the characteristics of and differences in the stereotyped subjects. The stereotypes of the "luser" and the "BOFH" (users and administrators, respectively) also serve as cautionary tales describing what behavior is acceptable and unacceptable in the computing community.

Understanding these stereotypes allows you to better define the appropriate and inappropriate roles of system administrators, users, and others. You can find the canonical reference to these terms in the alt.sysadmin.recovery FAQ at


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