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Say “Thanks” to Your Hard Working Sysadmin

Dave Seuss| July 29 2016

| IT insights

Today marks the 17th annual Systems Administration Appreciation Day, or Sysadmin Day as it’s more often called.

sysadmin appreciation dayWhat is it? Well, it’s an opportunity for folks to say "thank you" to any sysadmin they encounter and any of their hard working colleagues in IT who make sure users are up and running and productive whenever they need to be.

In the run up to this year’s Sysadmin Day, we asked more than 500 IT pros how they felt about the job they do building, administering and protecting the network.

The results simply confirmed that looking after users and an IT network isn’t an easy job and requires diplomacy, patience and a lot of hard work.

IT teams spend a lot of time making sure their colleagues’ machines and systems are always up and running. Every sysadmin I have met works hard to keep everyone productive and happy.

When something goes awry, it’s that person on the front lines, the sysadmin, who hears about it first and works fast to remedy the situation. Users make all kinds of demands, assume their mistakes are easily fixable, and everyone’s problem is super urgent.

On top of all of this, the typical sysadmin and other IT pros have long to-do lists, try to make time to be proactive, and are often working after hours, during holidays, or over weekends.

To be fair, I know many sysadmins who love their jobs (or least like them) and aren’t feeling under-appreciated. If the sysadmin venting on Reddit is any indication, I’d say they are in the minority.

Let’s dig into that poll and see what sysadmins and other IT pros had to say.

Just Make it Easier

When asked what could users do to make an IT pro’s job a bit easier, 43% said simply “adhering to the IT security policy” would make a big impact.

This is rather telling. It seems that users’ lack of attention, awareness and diligence puts stress on the folks who have to fix a breach.

Nothing new here, but c’mon now, a phishing email is not that hard to identify. There’s really no excuse for those who click on a random attachment with a unfamiliar file extension that's just eager to spill forth some nasty malware.

Over one third (37%) voted for “rebooting their machine before calling the help desk”. Trust me on this one. Reboot first, there’s a good chance your machine will heal itself.

17% would like some appreciation for their hard work. Just because today is Sysadmin Appreciation Day doesn’t mean you don’t need to say “thanks” to your sysadmins and other colleagues in IT until next July.

Plus, being polite and appreciative is good karma.

Related Article: Artificial Intelligence for Sysadmins

The Power of “No”

We asked “What would make you feel more empowered at work?” and 36% of all respondents want to be able to say “no” once in a while. More than one quarter of those surveyed said they’d like a little more recognition for the job they do. Take that to heart and show a little appreciation today.

Having budget to buy the tools they need the most would empower 27% of all respondents. While 8% wish they had x-ray vision to sort out a network problem.

Sysadmins Just Want to Have Fun

Given today is partly about IT pros not having fun on the job, we asked what movies, TV shows and events they are looking forward to watching in the coming months.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” got nearly one-third of the vote. One-quarter picked “Star Trek: Beyond”. By the way, my colleague Greg was so inspired by this awesome movie he wrote a great post entitled "Star Trek: The Ultimate IT Team" that shares parallels between the Star Trek crew and IT teams.

Rounding out the rest, 17% are looking forward to CBS’ "Star Trek: Discovery" that is expected to start airing this January. The gamers in the bunch are looking forward to EA's Battlefield 1, while only 12% are looking forward to watching the Summer Olympics.

Who Wants Some Free Sysadmin Tools?

Here at Ipswitch we do what we can to make the IT life easier. Sure, we make and sell software, but we also know that free tools are popular, often out of necessity when budgets don't allow for commercial software.

We've got a long list of network monitoring tools that can cover many network and application monitoring essentials. These are some of the best tools out there for helping you manage network bandwidth, Syslog data, configuration files, virtual machines and more. And several of them help you get a better view into that Microsoft stack of yours. 

Our free tools can all be found here. Please help yourself.

Topics: IT insights

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THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY Dave Seuss

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