Contest challenges SysAdmins to sing

SysAdmin of the Year contest spawns call for singers and song writers

So you think you can sing? If so, check out the latest contest from the group that created the SysAdmin of the Year award.

Now in its second year, the award encourages companies to vote for one of their own IT staff members to receive the honor. It was inspired by System Administrator Appreciation Day, an annual day of recognition for all the technical work that typically goes unnoticed. This year's SysAdmin of the Year contest challenges IT pros to display yet another of their talents: their song-writing and singing skills.

The Web site asks visitors: "Is your sysadmin a rock star?" And it seems some people believe they might be. For instance, lyrics posted on the song contest's Web site and credited to Eric "Maverick" Garner put the daily duties of a systems administrator to music. Here is a sample: "I download all the patches and fixes/ and countless system updates/ I push 'em out to all the servers/ so nobody escalates."

The chorus goes even further and sings the praises of the system administrator: "SysAdmin Rockstar, I'm your IT go-to guy/ SysAdmin Rockstar, I'll make it work, do or die."

Sponsored by IT search management vendor Splunk, the contest challenges potential candidates to "record your own vocal track and enhancements to the SysAdmin Rockstar song"; the company will award the creator of the best version a US$500 Amazon.com gift certificate; three runners-up each will get a US$100 Amazon.com gift certificate.

Judges include Jeff Bates, co-founder of Slashdot, Nagios creator Ethan Galstad and last year's SysAdmin of the Year Michael Beck, among others. Criteria for judging includes song originality, quality and degree of "sysadminism" -- or sense of humor regarding IT, according to Splunk officials.

The deadline for e-mailed song submissions in MP3 format is October 12.

This year's SysAdmin of the Year contest launched on the most recent annual appreciation day, which has been held on the last Friday in July since 2000. It wraps up with awards doled out at the Large Installation Systems Administrator (LISA) Conference in Dallas this November.

Prizes for SysAdmin of the Year include a Gibson Explorer guitar -- keeping with the rock star theme -- an Apple MacBook Pro, a trip to the LISA Conference and an enterprise license for Splunk IT management search software.

Other sponsors of the SysAdmin of the Year contest are SourceForge.net, Digg, NaSPA, LOPSA and Usenix's SAGE.

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