Sysadmin Day 2014: 8 ways to show your appreciation

Take a moment to show your appreciation for these professionals who spend most of the year doing wildly complicated things that almost no one notices or understands.

A sysadmin at work

Mark your calendar. July 25 is Sysadmin Day.

I've been a sysadmin for most of my career and can honestly say that very few of my sysadmin colleagues have been adequately appreciated. Looking back, I wish that I'd taken more time to thank them for all they taught me, for the times they saved my butt, for the times they let me shine and for the times they thanked me or complimented my work.

With that in mind, here are some suggestions for how you can celebrate the sysadmins in your life on their special day -- in ways they will truly appreciate.

[This slideshow was adapted from How (and why) to celebrate Sysadmin Day]

Don your apron

Bake them a cake or some cookies.

Mmm candy

Bring them bags of their favorite candies. Or arrange the candy in a pleasing design, like the resistor pictured here.

Food is fuel

Take them out to lunch -- or bring in pizza.

And the award goes to...

Present them with awards of appreciation -- maybe something you put together using some of the tools they help keep available to you.

Freshen up that wardrobe

Buy them classic geek T-shirts. Or gift certificates to Think Geek

Keep the caffeine flowing

Replace their ancient stained and moldy coffee mugs with shiny new ones.

Have you hugged your sysadmin today?

Or you could just write them a quick message that says how much you appreciate their efforts (malt liquor not required).

And if you're the admin?

Well, if no one else mentions that it's Sysadmin Day, maybe you should remind your boss or hang a sign on your cubicle -- something like "Be nice to me for a change. It's Sysadmin Day for crap's sake." Maybe someone will notice and begin to think about all the ways your work enables their work.

Or maybe you can kick off a tradition by thanking some other sysadmins (database admins and network admins count too!) or taking some other admins to Happy Hour after work. Or you could actually take a real lunch break for a change -- instead of eating at your desk.