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Ode to Sysadmins: 7 Things I’ve Learned

ode to sysadmin day

I have a confession to make: before starting here at Devolutions, I wasn’t an IT pro. Yes, I had some computer knowledge, but in the last 2.5 years I have learned so much from my colleagues, and from the amazing community members who I connect with in our blog and forum, across social media, and in our VIP Advocate Community, Devolutions Force (by the way, please email me if you’d like to join the Force!).

Today, as part of our SysAdmin Week festivities, I’d like to share my Ode to SysAdmins, which highlights 7 things I’ve learned about this wonderful tribe of humans who work hard behind-the-scenes to keep everything and everyone safe and productive:

1. SysAdmins are Essential

I thought that I knew enough about computers and systems and how to fix them. Oh, was I wrong! Working daily with computers, you realize how often they can freeze, get buggy, change settings, and so on. That’s when you need a SysAdmin to come to the rescue.

2. SysAdmins are Caring

The stereotype that SysAdmins are great with technology, but not so great with people just isn’t true in my experience. I have found that SysAdmins are patient and helpful, and often go out of their way to coach and train end users who are struggling (or making the same mistakes over and over!). Our SysAdmins here at Devolutions are always helping people. I don’t even know if they sleep!

3. SysAdmins are IT Open Minded

I think the only things that SysAdmins love more than doing their job with expertise and efficiency is learning about new stuff. They are obsessed with the latest technologies, appliances, gadgets, trends, and of course, geeky toys. They also love talking about their discoveries. For example, a few members of our community shared some really cool information with me about a new product they are developing: a fully portable VR-computer duo. I was blown away.

4. SysAdmins are Underappreciated

I believe that everyone’s job is important, no matter if they are an intern or the head of the company. We all have a role to play, and we depend on each other. However, I also believe that some people get more applause and gratitude than others — and often, SysAdmins are underappreciated for what they do day in and day out. I think the worst thing that anyone can say to a SysAdmin is, “Wow, your job must be so easy because computers do all of the work for you!” Trust me: it’s NOT easy to fix problems and optimize systems. There are so many potential root causes, and sometimes problems are intermittent (i.e. they are problematic one moment and fine the next). What’s more, sometimes fixing problems for one user creates problems for another, so SysAdmins have to find a balance. I guess what I’m saying is that if you haven’t thanked your SysAdmin lately (or maybe ever), then today is the day you should head over and show your appreciation.

5. People Don’t Listen to SysAdmins — Even Though they Should

I must admit that I’m guilty of this sometimes. It’s not that I try and disregard the advice that SysAdmins give me. It’s just that sometimes, I convince myself that it’s faster and easier if I try and fix a problem myself. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case! So, to all of the SysAdmins whose guidance I have not followed over the years: please accept my apology. I promise to do better in the future.

6. SysAdmins are HILARIOUS

OK, this is something that definitely surprised me: SysAdmins are hilarious and have a really great (and sometimes weird) sense of humor. I often burst out laughing when I read some of the responses to our poll questions.

7. SysAdmins are Relentless Problem Solvers

Some people in life really don’t like solving problems — or they just hate solving them. Not SysAdmins! They are relentless problem solvers and are driven to find interesting and unique solutions to really complex challenges. It’s amazing to watch the SysAdmins here at Devolutions when they are focused on fixing something. It’s like they go into a “zone” and will not stop until the problem is solved.

SysAdmin Love

I hope that all of the SysAdmins out there get a lot of SysAdmin Love — not just on SysAdmin Day, but throughout the year. You are the watchers on the wall, and the heroes we need. We salute you!

Derick St-Hilaire

Hello there! My name is Derick St-Hilaire, and I’m the Salesforce Administrator here at Devolutions. I’m one of the more experienced employees here at Devolutions, and it has been amazing to see the company and community grow over the years. My primary responsibilities include managing our Salesforce platform, and working closely with our strategic partners and customers. I also oversee the management of Devolutions Force, which is our VIP Advocate Community. Academically, I have a bachelor’s degree in marketing. When I’m not working, I enjoy camping, walking my dog, playing video games, and I’m a huge movie fan — including the Star Wars franchise of course. If you would like to join Devolutions Force, or if you wish to get in touch, then you are welcome to contact me directly at dsthilaire@devolutions.net.

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