System Administrator Appreciation Day

Today, on the last Friday in July, the important but often unnoticed work of system administrators will be paid tribute to worldwide. It is the 21st time that Sysadmin Day is observed globally and we would like to use this opportunity to officially say thank you to our helper in all things technical here at expertplace solutions.

System Administrator

Thomas in our server room. He insists on being photographed wearing a proper collared shirt instead of his usual t-shirt: “After all, we are not a start-up, but a well-established company!“

Thomas started as a business consultant at expertplace solutions in 2017 and has since been responsible for customer support and quality assurance. As he has profound knowledge about different kinds of networks, he has been taking over the role of our system administrator for about a year now. “Someone has to do it,” he says. That’s right, and this is why we want to say thank you. Thomas knows a solution to any technical question. Sometimes it is even enough to bring him a supposedly broken device – in his presence, it works again as if by magic! So we wanted to know how he makes it all happen.

Sysadmin Day

The beginnings of this special day were not entirely serious as it was inspired by an advertisement in which a system administrator was given presents by his colleagues for installing a new printer. The cause is a just one nonetheless!

Thomas, how often do you have to install printers?
I do not have to install any printers.

So may we still honour you now or not?
While I do not have to install printers, there are other typical tasks, e.g. when the telephone system stops working on a Friday afternoon. That means I will be busy fixing this until the evening while many have already finished work for the week.

There are still advantages to your sysadmin role, though, right?
On warm summer days I like being in the server room because it is pleasantly cool in there.

How do you deal with people calling you at home e.g. because their “internet doesn’t work”?
You mean like you did recently?

Umm, right …
The phase when everyone had to start working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic was very challenging. Up until then, not all colleagues were technically equipped to work from home yet. I did the initial support for this phase. And I did indeed get quite a lot of phone calls such as, “Argh, my remote access has stopped working!”

However, in general the role of system administrator appeals to my sense of tidiness and making people feel comfortable. I like helping people. I enjoy being part of the company’s infrastructural transition. The IT restructuring process provides the team with more space for development and we place ourselves in a better position to tackle current technical challenges.

What would you like to tell your colleagues and more generally everyone who works together with system administrators?
“It’s just stopped working!”, “I can’t get in anymore!” and “I haven’t done anything!” are not exactly our favourite sentences …

Sysadmins seem to hear these quite often though.
That’s right, and of course my next question then is, “What has stopped working?” It is always helpful to be given some more information from the start, such as more details about what the user was doing before, or a screenshot. For example, when someone says, “When I click here, …” I need to ask, “Where do you click? Where do you want to sign in? What is your username?” I must admit, though, that I have not had many of these calls lately, and especially not shortly before the end of my business day.

Thank you very much, Thomas. So let’s say IT loud; say IT proud … Happy Sysadmin Day!“

The interview was conducted by Sarah Barnert

Sarah is Content Manager at expertplace solutions. She oversees our social media channels and writes about industry trends.

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