It’s true: There’s a holiday for pretty much every day. But the story of SysAdmin Day started 15 years ago with Ted Kekatos, an IT professional himself, when he saw and appreciated an HP ad that showed a company giving its systems administrator a cake for ordering new HP printers.
Kekatos took that idea of appreciation and turned it into a company picnic, he said in a Q&A with BizTech last year. And from there, it spread. Thanks to the Internet and social media, the holiday has significantly increased its reach around the world. In fact, SysAdmin Day turned into a festival celebration in Russia one year.
And this year, we reached out to our followers on Twitter to find out what they had in store for SysAdmin Day.
Marco Abis, founder and CEO of UK DevOps firm HighOps, said his company is planning a big party to celebrate the holiday in London.
— Marco Abis (@capotribu) July 17, 2014
So far, the party has 150 people officially signed up to meet up and hang out in the name of IT.
In Argentina, in the great city of Buenos Aires, a community of systems administrators is gathering to commemorate the tech-tastic holiday with its peers.
— sysARmy (@sysARmy) July 22, 2014
SysARmy, as the community calls itself, even created a funny YouTube video that highlights the value of systems administrators who keep things running.
In the video, Maxi Rodriguez, who plays for the Argentina national soccer team, is shown as he’s about to take an important penalty shot during the World Cup. But right as his foot approaches the ball, the feed cuts and a message pops up: “11 step out on the field. Millions watch them. Only a few make it possible.” Then the date and the site for the group’s SysAdmin Day festivities is shown.
What better way to prove the value of IT pros than to point out that they’re the ones who look the other way when coworkers stream World Cup games or catch up on the latest episode of Game of Thrones at work?
Technology companies and vendors love to get in on the big fun for SysAdmin Day too. CDW is giving away tech prizes in a sweepstakes in honor of the holiday. And Sophos is giving out free socks to show appreciation to sysadmins worldwide.
— Ian Seyler (@IanSeyler) July 24, 2014
Microsoft has put together this IT-specific meme in honor of the holiday. It's definitely worth sharing on your Twitter timeline or Facebook wall:
— Microsoft IT Pro (@MS_ITPro) July 24, 2014
And some sysadmins are taking the holiday as an opportunity to goof off, because after all, you can’t be mad at a sysadmin on SysAdmin Day, can you?
— MERK JONES (@MERKJONES) July 24, 2014
Unfortunately, for some sysadmins, the work never stops, even if there’s a holiday in their honor.
@BizTechMagazine Yeah: work as a sysadmin.
— Ravan Asteris (@Ravan_A) July 24, 2014
If that’s the case for a sysadmin in your company, be kind and buy him or her a cupcake. Or a Chipotle burrito. Whatever you think might make your sysadmin look up from his or her keyboard and smile will do.