Sysadmin Appreciation Day barely nets a ripple

Throw out that flat champagne and the beer, clean the cake crumbs from the IT shop floor and get back to work, sysadmins, your 'day' is over.

System administrators worldwide ditched Red Hat for party hats last week as World Systems Administrator Appreciation Day kicked off.

But if your sysadmin's big day was overlooked, there is a way to make amends.

Andrew Hennell, director of the System Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU), said the response was better than last year, but still low key.

As an ideal present for the "forgotten" system administrator, Hennell recommends membership of SAGE-AU, which includes advanced training opportunities.

"Many of our members reported receiving e-mails from users, staff and management on the day. A few were taken out to lunch by their management, while some reported receiving blocks of chocolate!" he said.

However, system administrators who spoke to Computerworld barely lived up to the picture of the party animal.

"My company said my official title is 'systems engineer', not system administrator, so I got squat," moaned a system engineer from a regional ISP who requested anonymity.

Two other administrators that contacted Computerworld spent the day in bed, but it's not as sexy as it sounds. All they got for their troubles was the flu. Perhaps their respective workmates noticed the absence of their diligent work.

Hennell said SAGE-AU membership includes mentoring as well as ongoing training.

"Unfortunately the neglect of sysadmins extends to areas of ongoing training as well. Companies are quick to buy the latest gadgets for their network, but slow on sending their sysadmins for specialised training," Hennell said.

"When sysadmins are doing their job well, you don't notice them. But when things break, it's a different story. Sysadmins are expected to have an advanced knowledge of the latest computer gadgetry that management deem is required, the resourcefulness to keep alive servers and systems that should have been upgraded years ago, and the psychic ability to foresee problems before they arise!" Hennell said.

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