Today, July 30st 2010, is the 11th annual System Administrators Appreciation Day (always the last Friday in July).
Amongst other things . . .
A sysadmin unpacked the server for this website from its box, installed an operating system, patched it for security, made sure the power and air conditioning was working in the server room, monitored it for stability, set up the software, and kept backups in case anything went wrong. All to serve this webpage.
A sysadmin installed the routers, laid the cables, configured the networks, set up the firewalls, and watched and guided the traffic for each hop of the network that runs over copper, fiber optic glass, and even the air itself to bring the Internet to your computer. All to make sure the webpage found its way from the server to your computer.
I worked for a couple years as a system administrator, and I can tell you it is a very tough job – the breadth of knowledge required to be a good sysadmin is extraordinary. Ultimately I realized I wasn’t cut out for it (but mostly I hated being on call 24 hours a day), so I went in a different career direction (three times since then).
Visit the Sysadmin Day website for gift ideas. (All I can think of on my own is Mountain Dew.)
So here’s to all the system administrators out there – may you get through day without a fire to put out!