It's that time of year again, dear readers: it's Sysadmin Day 2017. Today is that one day a year where employers and coworkers are expected to give a token acknowledgement of the trials and tribulations of their overworked IT staffs and usually fail to do so.
We here at The Register, however, have not forgotten you.
Today's systems administrators are an increasingly diverse lot. Many of us clawed out way up through generations of equipment; the old mainframes through to DOS and the early Macintoshes. Windows and OS/2 gave way to Windows NT and Linux. Specialties evolved ranging from Networking and storage to printers and other peripherals.
The internet birthed the cloud. DevOps made developers into sysadmins. Security admins penetrated every nook and cranny. What we call "shadow IT" has permeated the history of IT: individuals becoming systems administrators even though that wasn't the training they took to start their careers.
Regardless of how you came into the task, or which areas of responsibility now rest on your shoulders, being a sysadmin isn't easy. The 2017 DevOps Pulse survey from Logz.io says 70% of IT workers are risking burnout. Sysadmins everywhere have jobs, but they aren't totally thankless.
The Register thanks each and every one of you for your hard work and wishes a happy sysadmin day to you all.
Sysadmin day brings with is a fluctuating number of vendor contests, giveaways and other marketing blitzes. Some vendors genuinely want to give back to the community that supports them, others just have savvy marketing personnel.
The large IT communities have done their annual thing, with Spiceworks doing the 12 days of Sysmas and Solarwinds doing Sysadmania. Mango Lassi's MangoCon has occurred during the lead up to and Sysadmin Day.
This year's roundup is a modest showing.
CDW has some quizzes that could lead to prizes. CompTIA has been doing a more standard contest. Altaro has a contest you enter by downloading their backup software for a chance to win a Nintendo switch.
If Amazon gift cards are what you're looking for, try LanSweeper's contest for multiple cracks at $500. Devolutions is offering the truly excellent Remote Desktop manager for 50 per cent off for sysadmin day: a product I personally can't recommend enough.
Focus on you
A little bit of recognition from others can make the world seem less dark. Knowing that we're appreciated and feeling like we're useful and helpful can keep us grounded. But as important as external validation is, we all need a little self love from time to time.
Don't be afraid to take a few moments for yourself. Make this year's sysadmin day an excuse to look after your own needs, indulge yourself, or give yourself permission to do something you really want. A sysadmin's professional life is lived in service to others, but no one can be of service to others if their own needs aren't being adequately met.
So take to the comment section below, fellow sysadmins. Rant and rave, tell tales of generosity and horror. Express yourself. Tell the tales that you feel need be told. It's our day, fellow sysadmins. Enjoy it. ®