Celebrating SysAdmin Day 2020

Today is SysAdmin Day, on which systems administrators everywhere are feted as they truly deserve. Here at the OTW we are delighted to take the opportunity to celebrate our own Systems committee, who carry out essential work supporting all of our projects. Most notably, they maintain the servers and the infrastructure on which OTW projects such as the Archive of Our Own and Fanlore runs. One of the fundamental ideas behind the foundation of the OTW was that fandom would ‘own the servers’ for the first time: we wouldn’t be able to do that without them.

Systems also helps to keep things running behind the scenes, maintaining servers for internal services such as our internal wiki pages (which carry a huge amount of essential information). But that’s not all! The OTW’s Systems staffers work around-the-clock to make sure that everything is running smoothly and they also do an incredible job of keeping us all updated about any problems that do arise. You might have read updates on the ao3_status Twitter or the AO3 news stream, letting our users know about scheduled (and unscheduled!) downtime and maintenance work which our team has been coordinating or carrying out.

Systems administrators carry out a demanding job that largely takes place behind the scenes. Today, we’re glad to shine a spotlight on their incredible work. Thank you, Systems!

  1. SherryB commented:

    From a retired sysadmin, cheers to some of the hardest working and least appreciated people on the planet!

    And thanks to transformative works for recognizing you all.

  2. Celery commented:

    I have no idea how much work goes into being a sysadmin, but I do know that OTW has been a constant in my life for the past decade or so and that I am so incredibly grateful for it. I have seen firsthand how quickly server issues with AO3 get solved and I now know that this is just a fraction of what you all are responsible for. I honestly don’t know what my life would be like without you fabulous people in it.

    ♥ Thank you so much for making my life, and the lives of so many users, better with your dedication and talent!

  3. somedeepmystery commented:

    Thank you for being the Atlas holding up my fandom world! You are very much appreciated!

  4. Star commented:

    I don’t know much about what exactly sysadmins do, but I do know you guys are absolutely essential to the OTW’s projects, and these fandom spaces have been my lifeline in these past few months. I can’t thank all of you incredibly hardworking people enough for everything you do behind the scenes to keep us all going.

  5. msilverstar commented:

    I do know what sysadmins do and find most of it difficult and mind-numbingly boring at the same time. I salute the OTW sysadmins!

  6. # commented:

    As a junior developer I can say that you people are the unsung heroes on the IT side, thank you for your great work!

  7. Sahviere commented:

    SO many thankyous for the dedicated sysadmins of OTW, we appreciate you more than we can say!

  8. Chocolamousse commented:

    Thank you for playing such a part in my fandom life, sysadmins!

  9. Aayesha commented:

    As the 30 yr spouse of a senior IT professional, I’ve been IT adjacent most of my adult life and have the greatest respect for the people who actually keep things running 24/7, and am incredibly grateful that you are all willing to volunteer your time to ensure that is OTW and all its encompassing projects readily available. And more amazing to me is that you all have managed the exponential growth of AO3 both through long range planning and a well designed infrastructure, but that you also have the ability to ramp up one or more servers on demand and very short notice to handle things like the urgent need to rescue and host the Chinese fanfic after their government cracked down. While I’m not capable of assisting myself, I do know enough having absorbed second hand how IT departments are run and what it actually takes to implement changes corporate Management often requests in a quick email, thinking no more about it. And I am very aware that these things don’t happen by magic and in the case of the Chinese content rescue, required almost instant mobilization of a vast amount of system and human resources. Like the swan gliding across the pond, the end users saw everything moving smoothly and were totally unaware of the frantic paddling of the swan’s feet below the surface of the water because you all made it look easy. I’m also amazed at how AO3 has been able to handle so many more users logging in for so much more time while we’re all stuck at home during the pandemic. Thank you all so much for the time, the care, the creativity, and the consistent dedication to ensure that OTW continues to grow while also being up and running 24/7/365.

  10. AZ commented:

    AO3 runs beautifully. It’s a real technological marvel and means a great deal to me. Kudos to all the programmers and admins who make the magic fic machine go <3

  11. tei commented:

    The fact that so many of us here have no idea exactly what you guys do probably means you’re doing an amazing job of it and deserve all the appreciation in the world. Thank you, sysadmins!

  12. Stifledlaughter commented:

    Thank you sys admins!!! Your hard work is sincerely appreciated!

  13. Myella commented:

    Thank you for all your hard work, Sysadmins!!! I love AO3, it’s been a wonderful experience sharing my voice here, and I appreciate all the hard work you put into making things run smoothly!

  14. Grispepin commented:

    Thank you so much for keeping our beloved oasis of freedom afloat ! You are the pillars of this safe space for all of us, and we’re so lucky and grateful to have you ! Much love and kuddos

  15. spacestationtrustfund commented:

    Thank you so much for everything you do! I’ve never worked in tech, but some of my close friends have, so I know it can often be a thankless task, and you’re the backbone of the AO3. Again, thank you, and best wishes! ♥