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Have You Appreciated Your Sys Admin Today?

Level 12

Like Rodney Dangerfield would say, some System Admins feel that they "don't get no respect!"

Me and some of our product managers, sales engineers, and other folks here at SolarWinds used to be Sys Admins, and lets face it -- as IT guys, most of us don't get the positive feedback we deserve for all of the things we do to prevent problems from happening. Yet that doesn't stop folks from blaming us the rare times that an issue with a network or a server does go down. And doesn't it feel like this always happens at 2 a.m. on a weekend, or when the fish have been biting for the first time that day and you're 2 miles from land?!?

Well, that's why Sys Admin Day was created. The 12th SysAdmin Day, is next Friday -- July 29! 

It's time to remind your boss about the great work you do. How about sending them an Outlook calendar reminder, or a Facebook invite? You might even ask a boss or colleague to enter you into a contest to show their appreciation! Our friend Matt Simmons of the Standalone Sysadmin wrote a great post about some of the cool contests that your colleagues can enter you in, or that you can enter yourself. These include: 

  • Think Geek's 2001 SysAdmin Pageant: Colleagues must nominate you by Thursday, July 28, and the incentive for them is a chance to win a $500 shopping spree. If you win, prizes include an iPad, and a red Swingline stapler (cool!).
  • Cyber Ark’s SysAdmin Appreciation Day Contest: This is a Twitter-based contest where Sys Admins are asked to answer the question, "What is your greatest enterprise IT accomplishment in the past year" to win a Kindle. Details are kind of complicated so click on the link to check 'em out. If you are on Twitter, you should also check out the #SysAdminDay hashtag, which is kind of fun.
We asked some of our Sys Admin blogger friends what they would want for Sys Admin Day, or what they think other Sys Admins would appreciate. 
"Something that costs $25 or less that says thank you and is useful," said Bob Plankers of the Lone Sysadmin. Bob's other ideas included to be taken somewhere cool for lunch, or a gift card, or the afternoon off. "Just so long as it doesn't send any message but 'thank you," he said.

Simmons of Standalone Sysadmin first heard about SysAdmin Appreciation Day in 2009, and has been organizing events every year since then. Some of his suggestions include gift certificates to Think Geek, books on a topic not directly related to work, or a conference pass to something they normally don't get to go to (like LISA or even DefCon).

"But really, those things are all just tangible representations of a kind of recognition. We like to be appreciated. In too many companies, we're treated like plumbers - unnoticed until something goes wrong, then unappreciated when we fix whatever was broken," Simmons said. "Most of the really good sysadmins, the long term people with more than a decade in the business, the knowledge that our machines run well is a reward unto itself. But that being said, I've never known anyone to turn down a Think Geek gift card. ;-)"

What do YOU think would be a kind way to say "thank you?" Have you ever received something from a boss that really meant something to you? What was it?

Flame on...
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