Here are three reasons why sysadmins should implement 'Read Only Fridays' and avoid making large-scale changes at the end of the week.
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5 Last Minute Ideas to Make Sure Your Sysadmin Feels like a Hero on Syadmin Day
With the last Friday in July approaching, this week marks the celebration of National Sysadmin Day! Oh, you didn’t know July 31st was pretty much one of the biggest holidays of the year? Business and companies of all sizes rely heavily on their IT staff behind the scenes who ensure that all essential programs and systems are working and behind all that is your trusty Men or Women of the Night’s IT Watch, the Sysadmin.
These courageous unsung heroes work through endless helpdesk tickets, update documentation, and sustain system performance just so you can make sure you’re able to access all the cat videos you want when you should be preparing that Excel file for the big quarterly meeting. These thankless server saints are what really keep everything around you working smoothly. Therefore, it is only right that sysadmins are awarded with their own official holiday. We will have more content in the next few days which shines some light on why we should be thanking sysadmins for being consistently reliable and emergency problem-solvers.
Since you may have missed the memo on July 31st (stop watching so many cat videos!) it’s this Friday, and you definitely don’t want to let this day go by without at least doing something nice for your own sysadmin. To make it easier for you, here are 5 easy, last minute ideas to make sure your sysadmin feels like the hero he or she is.
1. Surprise Your Sysadmin With Gifts-Holidays are often celebrated by the sharing of gifts. It should be no different on Sysadmin Day as you award your staff for all the long hours of hard work they put in every week. Cater to the different personalities of your sysadmins and buy them something that they will enjoy. Whether it’s a standard gift card or a bottle of scotch they can enjoy over the weekend, anything you present them with will be greatly appreciated.
If you are struggling to come up with creative gift ideas, here is a short list of suggestions that every sysadmin should get a kick out of.
- Flux Capacitor USB Car Charger: Sysadmin always need to charge something. Whether they are at their desk or on the road, staying plugged in is a way of life. With that in mind, what better way to show sysadmin appreciation than by giving them a Flex Capacitor USB Car Charger! Inspired by the infamous Back to the Future movie series, this gift should be both entertaining and practical for sysadmin.
- Coffee Mug: Sysadmins do not get much sleep and, consequently, they drink a lot of coffee. Any old mug will do the job, but why not go the extra mile and get one with a funny message on it such as “Have you tried turning it on and off” or “Let me drop everything and work on YOUR problem”. Incorporating some classic IT humor will turn this gift from a good one to a great one.
- Free Reign for The Day: Have your sysadmins been pleading you to give them the OK to sign up for a free trial of a monitoring system (such as Opsview Atom) or a different program? Why not let them do some exploring on their day of celebration and hey who knows, maybe they will discover a solution that will add value to your IT department.
2. No Meetings!- No one enjoys Friday meetings any week of the year, especially during the summer. Therefore, the last thing you should do as an IT manager on Sysadmin Day is set up an hour long afternoon get together to discuss operating system configuration changes or new security policies. Even if there is an urgent issue that needs to be taken care of, do your best to just address the problem to the necessary individuals (VictorOps has a great notification tool that does just this by the way) and save the heavy lifting work for Monday. Sitting around a conference room for multiple hours is not the way to show appreciation for your sysadmins. They should be left frolicking in their favorite subreddits and chatting it up on IRC channels.
3. Notify Your Company About Sysadmin Day- While Sysadmin Day may be common knowledge in the IT world, there is a solid chance that other departments have no idea of its existence. It even looks like you probably forgot it (shame on you). As an IT manager, it is beneficial to your whole company to send out an e-mail which puts Sysadmin Day on everyone’s radar. Other employees are much less likely to confront sysadmin about an Internet connection or printer problem if communication surrounding the appreciation of the IT staff is circulated. No sysadmin wants their fun activities to be interrupted by requests that can wait until Monday. Everybody at your company should thank the sysadmin, they really are that important. Really.
4. Free Lunch- Who doesn’t like a free lunch? Treating your sysadmin team to a free meal is a simple way of celebrating Sysadmin Day and is sure to please everyone in the group. Whether you cater food to be delivered to the office or venture out to a fan favorite eatery, your IT team will surely love getting some time away from their desks for a free lunch. Only let other employees join in if there are leftovers! Keep in mind a sysadmin’s diet can consist very heavily of caffeine and sugar laced beverages, as well as food that comes in bag form.
5. Volunteer to Be on Call for Your Sysadmin- If you are an experienced IT manager, it has probably been quite some time since you’ve had to be “on call”. Since your sysadmins have the responsibility the rest of the year, volunteering to take over for your team once free lunch time winds down would be quite the gesture. While some sysadmin relish being in the office, others will gladly head home early and let you worry about any late Friday afternoon complaints that come through. It doesn’t get much more heroic than this if you want to show your sysadmins that they are appreciated.
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