It’s Sysadmin appreciation day! What exactly are you appreciating?

The primary duty of a system administrator is the upkeep and ongoing operation of computer systems, especially servers—and that job description means they are responsible for elements like uptime and security that are essential to the health and functionality of computers, networks and the ability of many people to do their jobs. By nature, a sysadmin has to be a jack-of-all-trades. Their responsibilities are vast and can vary on a daily basis—and at the drop of a hat. They are problem-solvers and fixers.

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Because of the wide-ranging nature of their work, sysadmins sometimes focus on one area—databases; networks; security; web admin; storage—and many are self-taught in the overall discipline, which requires a cyber Swiss Army knife’s worth of skills. As per the xkcd cartoon, the stereotype of a sysadmin is an incredibly dedicated, resourceful and implacable worker.

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The most well-known system administrator is Edward Snowden, who used his abilities and access to expose the NSA’s massive surveillance programs. Many consider Snowden a hero in the fight for information privacy and the ongoing battle against government spying. Snowden demonstrated that one sysadmin can change the world.

There may be a sysadmin working at your company right now. It may even be you! You should show your appreciation for the tricky, relentless work they do every day to keep our computer systems running smoothly. Give them a hug or a high-five, take them out for a drink. Pat yourself on the back and bask in the #SysAdminDay hashtag, if you’re the day’s hero.

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Here’s some of the ways social media has been trumpeting sysadmins today:

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Thanks for all you do, sysadmins. Wishing you silent pagers and full glasses.

Image: xkcd

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