Can you believe that SysAdmin Day is TOMORROW? On behalf of Devolutions team, I hope that you’ve enjoyed our series of blogs celebrating this special day on the IT calendar. Here’s a recap of all the fun stuff we’ve been up to:

But guess what? We're not finished yet, because I have something VERY SPECIAL to share: I recently had the privilege of speaking with the IT pro who created SysAdmin Day back in 2000: the one and only Ted Kekatos!

As you might expect, my conversation with Ted was very interesting, and he shared some insights about his work experience, and technology in general. I really wanted to get to know The Man behind SysAdmin Day a little more! If you want to learn more about the celebration, read this GREAT interview he did with Spiceworks. Below are some key takeaways from our discussion that I couldn’t wait to share with all of you!

On the eternal debate between Android vs. iPhone…

I was curious to learn about Ted’s view on Android vs. iPhone, which is a topic that we’ve explored here as well in previous polls. Well, if you thought that Ted was a big Apple guy or a dedicated Android fan —you’d be right and wrong at the same time! That’s because he doesn’t have a clear preference on the matter. His view is that as long as his smartphone does what he needs it do, then it doesn’t matter. With that being said, he does have two Android phones, one for his personal use, and one for work. So, I guess that’s 10 points for the Android team!

On whether he’s a Sysadminotaur fan…

Whenever I meet people from around the world — either online or in person — I’m always happy to hear that they’re big fans of our beloved comic strip Sysadminotaur. I was thrilled to discover that Ted is too; he reads them all! When I inquired about his favorite, he mentioned this month’s Sysadminotaur which is about — you guessed it — SysAdmin Appreciation Day. Good choice Ted!

On his tech heroes…

My team and I love looking into new technologies, and celebrating the heroes that are behind them. I figured that with Ted’s global profile, he probably met many of these larger-than-life visionaries. When I asked him about this, he brought up two very interesting names: Steve Wozniak and Dean Kamen.

As most of you know, Steve Wozniak — or The Woz — co-founded Apple, and together with Steve Jobs helped pioneer the personal computer era. He was also an inventor, electronics engineer, programmer, tech entrepreneur, and a quite charitable and philanthropic man.

Dean Kamen is the man behind Segway – now you know who to thank! He's also the co-foundeder of FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, which is an international youth organization that aims to inspire engineering and technology students through cooperative competition.

On his must-have IT tools…

I wanted to know which tools Ted couldn’t live without as a sysadmin, so I could share this valuable information with all of you. He jokingly told me that he doesn’t need any tool to survive! But he understood the point of my question, and mentioned three tools:

  1. SoftPerfect Network Scanner. This is used by sysadmins and other IT pros working in the network and device security space. It lets you ping computers, scan ports, and discover shared folders. Plus, it can retrieve practically all information about network devices via WMI, SNMP, HTTP, SSH and PowerShell.
  2. Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint. I can understand why Ted picked these. Outlook and SharePoint are great because they are much more than simple apps. There are many features that make them powerful teamwork solutions.
  3. Remote Desktop Manager. Yeah! Ted said he’s been using RDM since day one, and has been an ambassador of our products ever since. Currently, he uses RDM to store around 260 entries, which includes 80% RDP, 10% SSH and 10% web connections. Thanks Ted, we appreciate your support and loyalty!
On his worst help ticket experience…

I thought it would be fun to ask Ted about the worst help ticket he’s ever experienced — we asked this in a poll last year and the responses were hilarious. Well, Ted’s answer was fairly short: he said that there have been so many bad ones, that he just couldn’t pick one! I couldn’t stop laughing when he said this. I’m pretty sure many of you can relate!

On mentoring…

Ted has had many interesting and noteworthy professional accomplishments — including of course creating SysAdmin Day! — but one thing that really came to light during our conversation, was how much he enjoys mentoring at his company. He stressed the value of sharing his knowledge and experience, and helping young professionals develop their skills.

On his top 3 reasons to become a sysadmin…

As mentioned above, one of the blogs we featured this week looked at the top 3 reasons to become a sysadmin, based on input from our amazing community. I was curious to get Ted’s take on this, and here are his top 3 reasons for entering the profession:

  1. To work with new technology
  2. To help and educate users
  3. To learn something new everyday
On his advice to new IT grads…

Recently, we asked the experienced IT pros in our community to share some advice with young professionals who have just finished school, and are now entering the professional IT world. As you’d expect, I really wanted to know what Ted thought about this, especially since he’s so dedicated to mentoring. Here’s what Ted advises for all emerging IT professionals:

  • It’s very important to work on your technical skills, and keep up with new technologies and techniques. Always remember that the IT world evolves very fast.
  • To be a great IT pro, you need to be professional at all times, have good people skills, and always deliver the best support possible.
On his broader mission…

Ted shared that he would love to change the view that sysadmins are nerds and geeks. He thinks that this marginalizes and limits people, and creates a prejudice. He believes that sysadmins are part of a great big global community of professionals who share similar interests, and work very hard to make everyone else’s lives easier. Ted, we couldn’t agree more with you on this one, and our community of amazing IT pros is a perfect example!

Thank You Ted!

I was honored to have the opportunity to chat with Ted, and while of course I thanked him when we spoke, allow me the chance to do so again: THANK YOU TED!

Your Turn!

What do you think of Ted’s insights? Please comment below and share what’s on your mind.