It's the last Friday of July, which can only mean one thing: it's System Administrator Appreciation Day! Started in 2000 by Ted Kekatos, this holiday-free holiday has grown from strength to strength. Let's feel the Friday love, in The Long View... I'm grateful to my old friend cyber bofh for reminding me that today is the day. As a freelancer, my only sysadmin is myself, so I thought I'd share the celebrations with you, gentle reader. Nicholas Tolstoshev spent time with Kekatos this year, to get the 411 from the horse's mouth. He first asked how Ted got the idea:
It was a tongue in cheek offshoot from Secretary's Day (now...Administrative Professionals Day.) ...I was working for a software company and every year we would have a company picnic. ... The picnic was always in July and it was that picnic that became the first Sysadmin Day party.
My inspiration...was a print ad that HP was running showing...a sysadmin sitting in his cube. Outside of his cube was a line of users bringing fruit baskets and flowers. ... I thought "Hey this is great! A sysadmin is getting flowers, fruit and wine from his users!"
Naturally, from these humble beginnings, the Day has changed over the past 11 years:
The crazy thing is how Sysadmin Day has taken off in Russia. ... They celebrate the whole weekend with events...in numerous cities [and] big parties out in the wilderness similar to Burning Man or Woodstock. ... According to this article in Russia Today they had 3000 people in attendance in 2009.
But, of course, it's not really a holiday; so there's no time off for celebration, despite his best efforts:
I'm a working sysadmin, all I have time for is to go to Subway with my coworkers for lunch.
How do you celebrate your special day? As a cranky old Gilbert & Sullivan fan, I do like this quaint effort from the UK Unix Users Group from a few years ago:
Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. As well as The Long View, he's also the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: TLV@richij.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.