Here comes SysAdmin Day!

speeding bullet, flickr / Leo Leung

Please don't miss this. We have only until July 29th to get ready to celebrate a very special occasion: SysAdmin Day!

Observed since 1999, SysAdmin Day is that one day each year that some of the hardest working computer dweebs in the industry will stand a chance of being recognized for their long hours, carefully honed skills, intricate solutions to brain numbing problems, and for saving the day -- again and again -- for all those people they support.

If your system works well, your network is dependable, your files are backed up while you sleep, and problems often seem to get fixed before you even realize that they exist, chances are that someone is doing a LOT of work behind the scenes to make sure everything keeps running smoothly. And that person or group of people -- your sysadmins -- might just be hoping that, on their special day, you take time to notice.

So, what do sysadmins wish they could have when they get away from their keyboards long enough to think how their work lives might improve?

Some of the ideas on their wish lists came up in discussions with sysadmins at Globalscape this week. Here's what they're hoping for.

More hours (and budget) in the day

clock Sandra H-S

A way to fix the users' problem without user interference

crowd flickr / Alexandre Duluanoy

A way to send email to users they cannot ignore and with instructions they must follow

email flickr / Wies van Erp

A magic wand to fix complex issues quickly and without headache for the users

magic wand Sandra H-S

But even sysadmins know the difference between magic and practicality. Some of their more down-to-earth wishes included some very reasonable expectations.

Better communication with users

communicate flickr / Johan Larsson

Management tools as easy to use as the tools provided to users

solutions flickr / uberof202 ff

Greater appreciation for the limits and capabilities of the tech team

congrats flickr / xNguyen Hung Vu

So, what can you do?

One of things that you can do is address that last item on the sysadmin wish list. Many sysadmins will be hoping for a sign that their efforts are recognized and appreciated.

I've said this before, but one of the sad truths of the sysadmins' work lives is that the better a job they do, the less likely that their efforts will be noticed. If only on Sysadmin Day, give a little thought to how much work goes into keeping your systems and your network humming along. Consider all that your sysadmins need to be expert in to keep you and all of the other users they support productive.

You can also email a card, take your sysadmin out to lunch, bring him or her a donut, or maybe just be a little more patient next time you run into a problem. Sysadmins are some of the most dedicated workers in the computer industry, often working after hours to fix problems when you're at home.

Give them a little recognition on their special day and you might cheer them up for a long time.

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