DIY

Sysadmin Day: a day for techies to celebrate each other

Systems Administrator Appreciation Day was originally created so 'civilians' could commemorate the individuals they rely on for their technology support. IT folks shouldn't lie idle this Friday, though. They should use the day to thank the people who support them.

Systems Administrator Appreciation Day was originally created so "civilians" could commemorate the individuals they rely on for their technology support. IT folks shouldn't lie idle, though. They should use the day to thank the people who support them.

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The last Friday in July is now known worldwide as Systems Administrator Appreciation Day, or Sysadmin Day. Even though the name might not indicate it, the holiday really exists to show appreciation for all IT workers, not just those with a specific title.  Let's be realistic, specific titles often don't mean anything outside of the IT staff anyway. (How many of you out there still get called "computer person"? Come on, show of hands...)

Originally thought up by Ted Kekatos, a sysadmin in Chicago, the holiday has gotten a lot of mainstream press in the last few years; mainly in a "how cute," human-interest kind of way. The attention makes sense, though, and Sysadmin Day is built on a strong precedent: Administrative Professional's Day has a long-established tradition in the United States. In both cases, the principle of the holiday is to honor those who make others' lives easier.

While Sysadmin Day may be intended to remind the nontechnical public to appreciate the geeks in their life, I can't think of an IT person who doesn't owe some thanks to another techie for making his or her life easier. As a help desk pro, I rely on network administrators, vendor reps, OEM support teams, and techs in a wide variety of other departments and organizations. Sysadmin Day is a reminder to me to drop those people a note to thank them for their help.

I can't say I've ever received gifts for a Sysadmin Day; no one's ever baked me a cake. People have taken the day as an occasion to thank me for my work on their behalf, though, and that's appreciation enough for me. I actually find that I do more giving than receiving on Sysadmin Day, and I encourage all support pros to follow my example. We spend a lot of time here on the User Support blog talking about customer service. It's worth remembering that even as support personnel, we're someone's customers, and they're charged with providing us with support. If you have people who take good care of you, consider using Sysadmin Day to thank them.

31 comments
Joe_R
Joe_R

What city could we fill up?

gartrell
gartrell

I would like to thank TechRepublic and the kind and wise geeks that educate me daily with e-newsletter, tutorials, videos, and great articles! You geeks ROCK!

mnjenga
mnjenga

This is so splendid to know.... I made a point to not only wish all techies I know a happy Sys admin day but to also spread the word about the day as much as I can. It's important that we appreciate our seldom unsung heroes of Business...!!!

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...that nobody sees or cares about us the 99% of the time when everything is running just fine. It's just when there's a melt-down that people all of a sudden care. And even then, they're usually more annoyed at their inconvenience than appriciative that you will fix it, or that it worked just fine the other 99% of the time. And then I love the clients that balk at paying for the preventative maintenance that keeps things running at 99%. Sorry; I feel like someone peed in my grape nuts this morning.

jmazza
jmazza

Since it's in the summer, who is going to celebrate us? We are getting 5,000 computers ready for September while most of the users are off for the summer... Signed, K-12 Sys Admin.

mwagner
mwagner

I wonder if hallmark has a card for the occasion.

reisen55
reisen55

In the past large corporate jobs I have had before proceeding with an independent career, System Admins were among those outsourced for preferred candidates in Bangalore. That the results thereafter proved disasterous is a joke. So my reaction to this "day of recognition" is sardonic to the extreme. You want to really appreciate system admins? Hire Americans to do it. Stop outsourcing everything in sight.

Nonesuch
Nonesuch

As nicknames go, things like 'techie', 'wizard' & 'guru' are fine, but I absolutely despise being associated with the term 'geek'. It's derogatory to everyone in the profession. Know the etymology behind the word before you use it, please!

Jack-M
Jack-M

The topic of Systems Administrator would seem as dry as the Sahara. Fortunately that's not so. I'll share with you some boyhood memories. Memories of struggling to master DOS so I could use my new computer with a 286 processor, a 20 meg HD,512kRAM, and a 14" screen. On that machine I ran the KEYINFO Bulletin Board. with some 170 users. Some of our apps were "Fido mail", the pony express of email, games such as Total Global War, a takeoff on Risk but an enjoyable way to pass some time. I would not hesitate to say a lot of out current Systems Administrators started their careers in their basement operating a DOS based Bullet9in Board for his friends and acquaintences.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Yeah, I plan on busting my hump as usual, except when I'm posting here.

joelc
joelc

HAPPY SYSADMIN DAY

williamjones
williamjones

In my most recent post on the User Support blog, I discuss the way I usually observe Sysadmin Day. Anyone out there want to wow their peers with an anecdote about the time they had a particularly memorable Sysadmin Day? Hopefully, you're all used to getting gifts and baked goods every year at this time...right? Happy Sysadmin Day to all of the TechRepublic community!

jevvv
jevvv

JohnMcGrew@... said "The problem with "SysAdmin" Day is that nobody sees or cares about us the 99% of the time when everything is running just fine." which might just be why the acronym for SysAdmin Day looks like SAD :-/

oi baba
oi baba

Thats exactly why we have this appreciation day

dave.schutz
dave.schutz

Yeah, it says "Byte Me!" Just a little geek humor...

williamjones
williamjones

I respect your aversion to the term, Nonesuch, but it doesn't bother me. I actually prefer it to some of the ones you mention. Whenever someone calls me a "wizard" or a "guru", I feel like I'm being set up for a fall! What I do isn't magic, it's based on hard-earned skills. Humans can afford to be wrong, wizards never are. You're also right about the term having a not-so-flattering original meaning, but I think that meaning's becoming pretty obsolete. Like "nerd", I think geek may be here to stay. Thanks for your feedback! "Geeks get it done." -- Security expert Richard Clark on The Colbert Report, Jan. 17, 2007

Joe_R
Joe_R

[i]Main Entry: geek Pronunciation: \ˈgēk\ Function: noun Etymology: probably from English dialect geek, geck fool, from Low German geck, from Middle Low German Date: 1914 1: a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake 2: a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked 3: an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity [/i] Do we get to choose which we are, or are we all of the above? Personally speaking, I've never bitten the head off a live chicken or snake! I enjoyed the following article: [i][b]The Origins of "Geek" and Other Terms of Note[/b][/i] http://www.cio.com/article/107203/The_Origins_of_Geek_and_Other_Terms_of_Note?contentId=107203&slug=&source=nlt_cioinsider

ley1963
ley1963

Yes, the name Geek has evolved, and I wear the name proudly. One cool thing about being a Sysadmin, you are one of the most popular people in the company. Couple that with good customer service skills, and you will have a lot of friends. As most "Good" sysadmins will tell you, we just like to help people, and people appreciate that. As far a Geek Narnia, I am in San Diego and Comic-Con is in town. This has grown into one of the biggest conventions of the year. Unfortunately, my work prevents me from attending more than one day, but being there amongst "My People" is quite refreshing.

mastertexan
mastertexan

As an appreciation a few years ago, my boss got me a wooden sign that said "TechnoGeek". I've still got it but I'm waiting til I can use it as target practice.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It's 'nerd' I can't stand. Nerds have no social skills at all. Geeks have them but use them only around those who have earned it.

MLScout
MLScout

I have many friends who agree with me. Yes, I'm aware of the etymology. Admittedly, it was once rather derogatory, but it has evolved.

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...an Imsai 8080 that we had built in High School electronics. The big upgrade for us was getting a paper tape reader so we didn't have to key in the OS every time we booted up. Just getting the thing to count was an adventure.

Lizzie_B
Lizzie_B

I started with an 8 MHz 286 - 30Mb HD, 1 Meg (!) RAM, Paradise AutoSwitch VGA. I ran a UUCP leaf node, providing a limited Usenet News and mail feed to friends. Two long-distance phone calls a day to connect to my host. Anybody else remember constructing e-mail addresses using Bang Paths? IIRC, that was in 1988/1989. And it was on the second story, not in the basement. :P The staff at the studio actually wished me a happy sysadmin day last year.

dbeethe
dbeethe

I too remember the days of running a BBS with fido mail. Mine was a 386SX with a wopping 4Mb of RAM and a pair of 65 Mb drives. Ah, the good ole days of DOS when you didn't have to have a monster machine to run the OS

jp4par
jp4par

I too started my stint in the DOS days - only 12 years ago - oh those were the days. I had never heard of this special day before, but I plan on celebrating it now - and letting everyone I run into today know what a special day it is. Maybe I'll put it on a name tag too. CHEERS!

Richard Noel
Richard Noel

I mentioned that it was SysAdmin Day when I was helping a couple of clients (I prefer not to use the term User), and when I returned to my desk one of them brought over some snacks and said "Happy SysAdmin Day". Too Cool! My boss will probably never do anything for SysAdmin Day, but the fact that someone took a moment to show their appreciation is pretty cool. Thanks for letting me know about SysAdmin Day.

Roc Riz
Roc Riz

I hate to be a dittohead, but I plan on busting my butt, as usual, today. Fortunately, it's Friday, and there's a brewpub nearby with a great Happy Hour! You might think the bosses would shower us with flowers, or caffeinated beverages, or something, but NOOOOOOOOOOOO! They just tell us to lift that barge, tote that bale! No appreciation whatsoever here!

jdclyde
jdclyde

that reads: [b] Happy Sys Admin Day[/b] will report back later how that goes.... ;\

Bizzo
Bizzo

But managed to fix it with duck tape. SysAdmin Day? I've never heard of it before. Seems like a great idea though. I may leave early and go to the pub to celebrate!

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