I Know Google-Fu

I remember when my employer in 2009 enrolled their whole IT staff in a three day online webinar titled “The Art of Google-Fu“. We all scoffed and thought it was going to be a waste of time that would only prevent us from knocking out that ever growing queue of tickets even more. The first days webinar was split into three major talking points:

  1. The course started by encouraging the class to put aside their ego and to accept that searching for an answer was not a sign of weakness.
  2. Then the course moved to reinforcing the notion that everyone still needed to have a strong understanding of I.T. fundamentals to master Google-Fu.
  3. Finally we were presented with a few hours of graphs, statistics, and concepts on how to use Google to your advantage to quickly troubleshoot and resolve issues.

The remaining two days of the webinar were spent in labs driving home the point of the class. The lab consisted of nearly identical VMs where we would all have to try and solve the same problems. The one caveat was that half of the VMs had no internet and those sysadmins were encouraged to problem solve using only their knowledge and skills.  The group that had VMs with internet had to promise to Google each issue as they arose.

We were then presented with a wide array of issues already in progress  which included active directory, networking, Exchange, printers, viruses, and browser problems. The results stood for themselves as on both days the groups that used Google were able to resolve their issues a little over 30% faster than those in the group that did not.

Every time they said the absurd term “Google-Fu” I wanted to cringe. Luckily I still went in with a open mind and the the results changed my life to become a resource other sysadmins lean on when they need a problem solved.

While I can’t teach the art of Googling, I do hope that this blog will one day become a useful resource to help other sysadmins develop a strong understanding of those I.T. fundamentals needed to master Google-Fu.