J003-Content-SysAdminDay8-OnTheBeat-RedIn sports, most officials strive to go unnoticed. If successful, they kept things running smoothly and didn’t draw attention to themselves. It’s a high-pressure, high-wire act. Officials, after all, constantly deal with criticism, complications and complaints.

System administrators can surely relate. They handle all-things IT: the good, the bad and the ugly.

The job, like officiating, is essential but often thankless. That’s why Ted Kekatos founded System Administrator Appreciation Day, which today celebrates IT pros everywhere for the 15th year.

As his website, SysAdminDay.com, says:

“Consider all the daunting tasks and long hours (weekends too). Let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t know our System Administrators as well as they know us. Remember this is one day to recognize your System Administrator for their workplace contributions and to promote professional excellence. Thank them for all the things they do for you and your business.”

In this 2011 Q&A with Spiceworks, Kekatos said the inaugural celebration was a “tongue-in-cheek offshoot” of “Administrative Professionals’ Day.” The concept caught on quickly. Some of the biggest names in the IT space celebrate SysAdmin Day.

Do you?

Here are four more stories found on the beat:

The trade-off

Would you work longer days for a longer time if it meant working a shorter week?

That’s what Carlos Slim proposed at a conference in Paraguay. The telecoms tycoon, whose fortune ($79.3 billion) is second to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, called for a “radical overhaul,” according to the Financial Times:

“People are going to have to work for more years, until they are 70 or 75, and just three days a week – perhaps 11 hours a day,” he reportedly said.

“With three work days a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life. Having four days (off) would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied.”

The 40-hour, five-day week has been the U.S. standard for full-time employment since 1938.

Recommended read

In an effort to become more agile, Microsoft last week announced plans to slash as many as 18,000 jobs this year. Where might those workers find employment?

Many may go from the tech Goliath to a start-up. The Los Angeles Times featured an ex-Microsoft general manager hoping to attract recently laid off talent at the small company he joined last January.

Women in leadership

Take a guess at the percentage of women worldwide in executive-level tech leadership roles. Would you believe it’s less than half (46%)?

California-based Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) polled 1,200-plus tech executives for its Innovation Economy Outlook 2014 survey, which paid particular attention to women in tech leadership. The survey revealed that 45% of North American tech companies have women in “C-suite” jobs, or serving on the board of directors.

By comparison, Asia (56%), Europe (50%) and “other innovative centers” (58%) around the world all rank higher.

Treasure-hunting

NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony recently hit a financial windfall, inking his name to a five-year, $124 million contract with the New York Knicks. Looking ahead, he won’t only be searching for that elusive NBA championship.

Anthony is setting his sights on finding the next tech treasure. Along with co-founder and former NBC executive Stuart Goldfarb, Anthony launched venture capital firm M7 Tech Partners, according to TechCrunch:

“The New York-based firm will invest in early stage digital media, consumer Internet and opportunistic technology startups.”

Wearable technology and connected devices are the firm’s primary focus. The firm made its first move, investing in children’s media company Hullabalu.

Quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Goldfarb said Anthony has “incredible business instincts.” But does he have the Midas touch for tech?

(Editor’s note: This is the final post in the “On the beat” series for the GFI Blog.)