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How Are You Celebrating National Sysadmin Day? 200

jfruh writes "July 26 is Sysadmin Day, the system administrator's version of Secretary's Day. Are you giving your hardworking sysadmin the recognition they deserve? Blogger (and, yes, sysadmin) Sandra Henry-Stocker argues that a holiday like this is needed because due to the nature of their job, in everyday life sysadmins 'get noticed least when they do the best work' So if your systems run so smoothly that you sometimes forget you even have a sysadmin on staff, be sure to recognize them for their excellent work today."
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How Are You Celebrating National Sysadmin Day?

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  • Hmmm ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:10AM (#44391175) Homepage

    First I'm going to delete your inbox.

    Then I'm going to switch your phone extension with Larry in facilities management.

    And I think this afternoon I will take the Production environment down for a little while.

    • That's OK, I'm doing my best to beat the worst "luser" story that my current sysadmin has ever heard.

      • That's OK, I'm doing my best to beat the worst "luser" story that my current sysadmin has ever heard.

        Challenge accepted ... oh, and did I mention my assistant will be testing the sprinklers in your office today??

        • by armanox ( 826486 )

          If he can get in. Windows update broke the security system, and now the door won't open from the outside.

          (Actually had that happen when a developer decided to install updates on the security system, which has no direct contact with the internet (no gateway + firewalled traffic).

          • Re:Hmmm ... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @12:20PM (#44391813) Homepage

            If he can get in. Windows update broke the security system, and now the door won't open from the outside.

            Unrelated to developers and admins ... a bunch of years ago we had a major power outage in our building (OK, it was a good chunk of North America, got some news coverage, you might have heard of it).

            Some idiot had decided that in the case of a power outage you wouldn't want to have the security doors open. So when the power dropped, the doors on some of the exits essentially locked down and simply could not be opened -- inside or out.

            So here's a whole bunch of people streaming down the stairwell, only to find themselves at a door which wouldn't open from the inside -- if it had been a real emergency with fire, people would have died.

            Some failure conditions in doors can be catastrophic.

            It took me several weeks to get it through HR and the building owners that emergency doors which lock you inside in the event of a power loss are safety hazards. Eventually the light-bulb went off and they suddenly grasped that I was telling them something they needed to act on.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by davester666 ( 731373 )

              Why did you waste the effort? Drive to the local fire stationhouse, and tell them the doors won't open from the inside. They will be able to make it clear to the people MUCH faster.

              • This. The doors in my office require power to stay closed, AND are tied into the fire alarm. If the fire alarm goes off or the backup battery runs out, all the doors swing free. Unless a system meets these conditions it's illegal as all hell in any half-decently-developed country.

            • by cusco ( 717999 )
              Your company's security contractors are idiots. There are two kind of door strikes, Fail Safe and Fail Secure. When power drops a Fail Safe door unlocks, this is required of all emergency exits by law in (AFAIK) all 50 states and probably the Canadian provinces. In most states the strike power supplies for emergency exit doors are also required to be tied into the fire system, so that if the fire system goes off they drop power to all doors. If your Facilities Manager didn't know this they need to be fi
    • Developers who treat their sysadmin this way are banished to an outer abode of darkness where they must forever try to create a flawless perfect and exhaustively complete software ecosystem using only COBOL and punched cards.

      If their sysadmin worked at Google, then the offending developer may only type on the keypunch machine using their toes.
      • Developers who treat their sysadmin this way

        I think you have it backwards ... that was my plan for the developers.

        I won't tell you what I'm doing to sales, because I don't want to spoil the surprise. ;-)

        • by Muros ( 1167213 )
          No need to worry, sales aren't reading this. They're at a party with cocaine and hoo... *ahem* at a sales meeting.
  • In my country... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfarah ( 231411 ) <> on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:11AM (#44391179) Homepage

    This day is known only by the sysadmin themselves (and former sysadmins, as well), so we pat each other on the back, post a message on twitter and/or facebook and that's it.

  • by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:14AM (#44391213) Journal

    As usual, the only people who know (or care) about SysAdmin Day are sysadmins. Therefore, nothing is being done to celebrate it. Not even a free donut.

    • I know, as a developer, but I have no-damn-clue who my sysadmin is.

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        You must either be the best developer on earth or work in one hell of a big company. I constantly have to go chase after our devs when they decide to have me push code they screwed up.

        • Or maybe he's got a good sysadmin.

          I unfortunately know my sysadmin by name, because most sentences with his name usually include "I know for a fact that you didn't". I'd love to have a gentleman's agreement in place where I promise to run well-written unit tests that won't take anything else down and he promises not to keep randomly locking firewall ports "just to see if I was still using it."

          • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

            Have him fired. He does not deserve that job.

            The devs know me because I am the one on their case for trying to do dumb stuff. Like adding a column with a default value to a table that has billions of records. They of course try to do this during the day. FSM forbid they think about making their code treat null as the default value or that they do it at a later time or test it on the test environment.

            • That's not an acceptable solution either. Code shouldn't be making assumptions about data like that. If there's a default value, and it could reasonably be ascribed to the schema, then the software shouldn't be assuming it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:14AM (#44391215)

    "How Are You Celebrating National Sysadmin Day?"

    The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!

  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:22AM (#44391259) Journal

    Dealing with incompetence and stupidity.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:24AM (#44391279) Homepage

      Dealing with incompetence and stupidity.

      It can be challenging, but don't let anyone else tell you what your limitations are.

      Oh, did you mean the users? ;-)

      • Users mainly (obviously) but the crap I have to deal with from these supposed global companies is really getting on my nerves.

        The worst part is I'm not a full-fledged admin. I'm the guy who does just about everything else that people rely on, including working with the admins.

        As I like to say, I'm the guy who fixes the problems created by the experts.

    • by cusco ( 717999 )
      I'll be looking for tips in the BOFH Archives.
  • Same as every day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sparticus789 ( 2625955 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:27AM (#44391301) Journal

    Telling the developers, for the 76732198435 time, that their application is not important enough to warrant it's own server, they do not need root access, and I cannot fix their personal laptop.

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      If they get too uppity give them a chroot that looks like the production environment. They won't figure out why nothing they do works for at least a week or two.

    • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:41AM (#44391435)

      If you're blowing cash on a dev team (let's say 5 folks at $120K/year each with benefits), you're going to try to save $1-2K a year so you don't have to host the final product (perhaps a publicly-facing final product) on its own server?

      And it's "its" dammit. Happy SysAdmin Day.

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        $1-2k per year? What POS are you hosting that on? How are you paying for backups or redundancy?
        How are you handling maintenance?
        I don't want to be a dick here, but you sound like a typical developer. They generally have no idea what goes on to keep their crap working.

        This is why virtualization exists. For 99% of software it does not need its own hardware and virtualization makes redundancy cheaper, backups easier and life simpler for everyone.

        • Troll...fed. :)

        • by Zalbik ( 308903 )

          I don't want to be a dick here, but you sound like a typical developer.

          Then don't be a dick. The developers you've worked with may have been asshats, but that doesn't mean the "typical" developer is.

          • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

            How about all the ones I have ever met save one?
            Not just the ones I worked with.

            I think my sample size at this point is not too shabby.

      • If you're blowing cash on a dev team (let's say 5 folks at $120K/year each with benefits), you're going to try to save $1-2K a year so you don't have to host the final product (perhaps a publicly-facing final product) on its own server?

        It would be fine if people would budget money to pay for the servers instead of expecting the tech department to foot the bill. Your desires and poor budgeting are not an excuse for burdening another department with your overhead costs. If you want it, you pay for it and we

      • by gmuslera ( 3436 )
        Deciding if an app its going to a real server, or virtual or even a container fits into sysadmin role, provided that have all the relevant info. Is not about importance, but about need.
      • I've got to tell you JonBoy, I've tried products like these before, paid a pretty penny. And if these $1-2K/year servers work, I'll order a dozen!

    • Screw you, man. Just wack off a dedicated VPS chunk and put it behind whatever paranoid tin-foil hat firewall sandbox you want. I don't want to have to open a support ticket and wait two hours every time I need to check the logs on my application server.

      - Senior Developer
      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Hey numbnuts, go look at the syslog machine. If you are too stupid to log to syslog properly maybe you should be demoted to trainee developer.

        • And what happens when I need to tweak the virtual host settings or tune the database to better meet the demands of my specific application? You want me to f-over every other application running on the production server?
          • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

            No, you are not allowed to do any of that for good reason.

            You will fuck over the other apps doing that, since like all devs you won't care if your changes break anything you are not working on. You can ask nicely after proving in the test environments that it does not cause any harm.

      • Just because it takes 30 minutes to compile your code once every 2 weeks doesn't mean you require a $15,000 server so it takes 10 minutes instead. Here's a thought, how about you write up your system requirements right the first time and I will be able to create a server environment (bare metal, VM, whatever) that can satisfy all your needs? If you need python 3.3, then tell me while I am building it, instead of sending me an "EHRMAGAWD" e-mail about how the world is going to end because you cannot run yo

    • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

      With virtual environments it's really not a problem to give them their own Unix[0] server and I prefer it. It's much easier to schedule patches and outages when I only have to deal with one customer/department than a shared server with different maintenance windows.

      Root access? Hell, Devs don't get accounts on production servers. Don't support the dev/sqa area so don't care what they have there[1]

      I fix their personal laptop by installing Slackware and giving it back. They don't ask twice. :D


      [0] If it'

      • I give them virtual machines when they are using something specialized that may mess with other apps. However, most of my developers are running Java code or experimental scripts to parse/process large amounts of data. The Java devs have their own Java test server, and since Java apps are self-contained none of them actually need an independent server. The parse/process guys have their own environment with access to the RAID, and they can do whatever they want as long as they do not modify the original d

    • Maybe I'll spit on the admins that constantly ask engineering for help doing their jobs. Can't find that rogue DHCP server? Can't figure out how to manage passwords on a Linux box? Need a bash script written to help save you time everyday? Can't figure out why 802.1x authentication is failing on some ports?

      Figure it out yourself. :)

      I know this is a sysadmin-heavy site, and I used to be one, so don't mod me down right away. There are shitty devs and shitty sysadmins. I work at a network security softwa

      • Everything you have described is a systems administrator task, and one worth his/her weight in salt would be able to do those in their sleep. Syslog will tell you the address of the DCHP server. Password management is in GUI form now. Bash is just a series of terminal commands.

        Sounds like you need to hire some new systems administrators.

    • Just the services you need, no sysadmin telling you to use obsolete software versions or complaining that it is hard to upgrade storage or insisting to partition a raid up into small chunks for a server whose database will need all the storage within months but they want to create busy work for themselves by having to change the partitioning every week.

      I flatly refuse to do development anymore on any internal servers no matter how they are handled, it just ain't worth my time. When it comes time to deploy

  • by drummerboybac ( 1003077 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:30AM (#44391339)
    Quick, I need A black T-Shirt(preferably with an antisocial saying in white block letters), some Mountain Dew(or preferably Jolt Cola), a Carpal Tunnel wrist brace, a desk piled with manuals and CD-R spindles, and a LOT of terminal windows open.

    Hmm, looks like I already have the terminal windows part covered........and the black T-Shirt...and the CDR Spindles

  • We're celebrating in Columbus, OH this evening at the Three Legged Mare... []

    Events all over the place, more listed here... []

    LOPSA has a significant discount for renewing members and new members until Sunday... []

    Happy System Administrator's Day!

  • by lkcl ( 517947 )

    rm -fr /*

  • not terribly exciting, but I get to schedule what i'm doing that week.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:49AM (#44391509)

    ... we bought them all 512Gb flash drives. And vacations in Hong Kong.

  • I'll recognize National Sysadmin Day, when the man approved National Helpdesk Day. We're the front lines, in the trenches!
  • 26th July is the anniversary of the day I got my first Amiga (Amiga 1000 in 1986)

    The previous day (25th July) is the anniversary of when I got my first computer (Trash 80 in 1979) and my 2nd computer (Compucolor II in 1980)

  • To SysAdmin Day v2.03
  • This year they will need your support more than ever. There are several new developments (like Docker []) that could change everything they are used to. And they got the nightmare of having a very probable and hardly detectable NSA (and company) intrusion or backdoor in their systems.
  • I'm letting him know the build server is offline, and reminding him that I'm still waiting for my VPN access.
  • Wow, pleasant surprise, I thought all sysadmin work was outsourced or H1B'd years ago. Nice to see some locals still at it.
  • Home sick, but still on-call, across multiple companies.

  • I'm the whole team for my little pet project and small network of systems. So I guess I'll buy myself a coffee. :P

  • We ordered a cake for our guys (and their "Jen"), then called the m to our conference room, one by one. Judging from the silence and lack of leftovers, it was well received!
  • I thought I'd make his life easier by getting rid of a lot of unneeded files on my system. There's a whole lot of stuff in C:\Windows that I never seem to use...let's start there!

  • So not much.

    Expensed out a team lunch dreamed about the day when infrastructure decisions were not made by the PHB's. Also said a little prayer to the DC gods to not have a hardware failure(but I do that everyday).

  • Then again, I get to celebrate all year round.

    I don't miss being in that profession at all. The money was great, but it got to a point that it wasn't enough to compensate for all the 24/7 shit I put up with.

  • I'm in the UK and I can pretty well guarantee that virtually all non-IT people in the UK have never heard of "National Sysadmin Day" (or "Secretaries Day" for that matter). Is there any country other than the US that's heard of it amongst non-IT people? I'm raising all this because the article doesn't mention which countries honour it, so by default that means more than just the US to me. Please don't use "National" in an article title if it means just the US.

  • is there a way to fake a total system failure? For what better way to recognize a really good Sysadmin but to fake'em out. When they realize the joke, they will know they are recognized.

  • I'm saddened to see how much animosity there seems to be between developers and sysadmins. I have always gotten along very well with my sysadmins over the years. Not sure what the difference is.

  • I managed to get my old BBS functioning on an x86 beige box. So, I'm celebrating sysop day by hooking it up to my land line. I've only had a few legit visitors -- friends who recognized the sweet sound of a system ready to serve and managed to dial in.

    It's possible to set the GNU/Linux terminal font to CP437, and browse the board via raw console in all its ANSI art splendor.

    Having my BBS hold all my calls for a day is nicer than getting a few reminders thanks to the lamer who clogged the mail server failing to CC all, and instead sending hundreds of individual messages, Yay sysadmin day!... grr.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser