Sysadmin Appreciation Day. If you're an IT worker, we already know how you'll be celebrating today – it is Friday after all. For everyone who doesn't do the thankless work of systems administration or IT, here's your directive: do something, at least one thing, nice for a sysadmin today.Every year since the turn of the century, the last Friday in July has been
Sysadmins and all IT people do a lot of difficult work you probably don't understand. Stepping up to the plate in one of these ten ways will earn you points in the eyes of those who keep your tech running. God knows you need them.
Fun & Games
1. Send out a half-hearted email with a link to the Wikipedia article. We're getting this suggestion out of the way now. It's really lame, but it's probably what you'll actually do if you're a busy manager.
3. Read them a bedtime story. Just kidding. Please be less creepy and send them some good IT-related reading instead. This option is especially good for a Kindle-carrying sysadmin. Also, please note that Creative Commons is your friend, in life and in gift-giving.
4. Sing them a song. Or not. You could just watch the song with them and laugh. For the record, the gentleman who composed the tune seems to think that all sysadmins do is tech support for individuals. That is wrong.
5. Give a donation or a microloan in their name. For most, a raise might be better. But sometimes there's a charitable, civic-minded sysadmin lurking around your server racks.
6. Let them keep their jobs. Your business is not the newspaper business. You can't "buy out" your most valuable employees and then expect everything to run smoothly. I understand that some people are cutting IT budgets out there. Please ignore those dullards and let your sysadmin keep his or her job.
7. Give them the tools they need. This is the conditions part of the "wages, hours and conditions" trifecta of complaints. It's also the thing we hear the most from sysadmins. Don't ask your people to do a job and then give them inadequate equipment to do it with.
8. Listen to their advice. In order to accomplish point seven, you need to actually listen to your sysadmin instead of just whining/begging for help. Like the Internet, a sysadmin is not a big truck to just dump your problems on. Remember, tubes go in both directions.
9. Design and/or buy software like you give a damn. See points seven and eight. If you're a vendor or lone developer creating software, please think of the sysadmin down the road who will have to clean up your awful mess. (Microsoft, I'm looking at you.) If you're the one doing the purchasing instead of the coding, then you need to think seriously about how your choice impacts your IT staff.
10. Don't piss them off. If you remember nothing else today, remember this. It's the most important thing in dealing with sysadmins, which is why we put it at the bottom where no one will read it. Pissing off your sysadmin will result in bad things. Whether you're just left staring at a blue screen of death or he holds your city hostage, it won't be pretty.