A New SysAdmin Pledge in Honor of SysAdmin Day


Bryan LundukeThis Friday is what I consider to be, without the slightest glimmer of doubt, the most important holiday of them all…

System Administrator Appreciation Day. “SysAdmin Day”, for short. Or simply “SAD,” for really short.

“Surely you jest!” you say. “Reginald, my good man! Come over here and observe a rather silly thing that this Lunduke chap just posted to the world wide web!”

I jest not, my old-timey-sounding friend! SysAdmin Day, celebrated on the last Friday of July, marks the one day each year that we are – obviously – legally allowed to tell our SysAdmin that he or she has done a good job.

This most glorious of holidays came into existence in the year 2,000 – making July 31st the 16th annual occurrence – when this one particularly wise man, Ted Kekatos, decided that SysAdmins should be celebrated with their own holiday. With cake. And balloons. And confetti. (Those are some of the recommendations from none other than SysAdminDay.com. Apparently all SysAdmins love confetti. Who knew?)

In case you were wondering… Ted Kekatos is a System Administrator.

But that doesn’t mean that Ted is biased! No, sir! It simply means that he, as a SysAdmin, was one of the most qualified out there to judge the importance of granting this noble profession its own holiday.

In fact, history is filled with examples of great people declaring a holiday for themselves. Take Christopher Columbus, for example. Upon discovering “The New World”, Columbus immediately declared the second Monday in October to be “Columbus Day” (to be celebrated with cake… and balloons… and confetti). It took a year or two to catch on, but before the decade was through, most of the world was already celebrating this new holiday. It’s true. Look it up.

Ok, that is absolutely not true. Don’t look it up. But it’s on the Internet now. Which means, one day in the not-too-distant future, it will become true. So long as the Internet keeps running. Which it probably will. Because we have SysAdmins.

Really, when you think about it, SysAdmins are the MOST deserving of a holiday of any profession or person. Period. On the face of the Earth.

Your computer at work. The network at your office. Your email, file and web servers. Hell, even your printers. They all work because SysAdmins fix your computers and keep the world spinning.

If you think about it, the whole freaking Internet is working – right now – because of SysAdmins.

What did Christopher Columbus ever do? Took a cruise to the Bahamas then went back to Spain and grabbed a quick dinner at this great tapas restaurant he knows of. And he got his own holiday. When you think about it like that, it makes you wonder what took us, as a species, so long to recognize the profession that keeps our email sending and our Netflix streaming with a special holiday.

I mean, just give a quick read to the oath that every SysAdmin swears:

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers…”

Wait. That’s the mailman pledge. Why did I think of the mailman pledge? Oh! I remember, now.

“In brightest day, through Blackest Night, No other corps shall spread its light! Let those who…”

Nope. Nope. Hold on. That’s Green Lantern.

Is there no awesome pledge for SysAdmins? The closest I have been able to find is this snippet from Peter Hansteen’s seminal work, Firewalling with OpenBSD’s PF packet filter. It’s not exactly a SysAdmin Pledge, but it’s a good start.

“The Pledge of the Network Admin.
This is my network. 
It is mine 
or technically my employer's, 
it is my responsibility 
and I care for it with all my heart.
There are many other networks a lot like mine,
but none are just like it.
I solemnly swear 
that I will not mindlessly paste from HOWTOs.”

It’s good. It’s good. Just a little… long. System Administrators don’t have time to lollygag around reciting oaths like this. They need something short. Something punchy. Something that conveys their pain and their strength. Their passion and their… disdain for printers. Here’s my offering:

“At 2 am.
I am on call.
Mountain Dew powered.
I hate this printer.”

Now go, SysAdmins! Enjoy your day! Enjoy the massive quantities of confetti you are sure to receive!