I work as a Systems Administrator in an academic environment, so why Server Goon you ask?
Well, glad you asked. I actually stole the phrase. While at an conference someone referred to their tech guy as their “server goon”. I’ve since then adopted the name for myself.
Strange that they would refer to the person responsible for making sure the server stays up; running; delivers the mail and web pages; and in general, behaves as it should in such a way. I’m sure it’s a friendly term, but think of it this way. That server goon makes it possible for those academic types to do all the cool things they do, go off to conferences, talk about all the cool things they do. All the while, that server goon sits at a desk basking in the glow of an LCD monitor.
Now, chances are that guy doesn’t want to be at those conferences talking about all the things going on — I know I wouldn’t okay, okay, I admit it, I’d love to do those presentations, be in the bright lights, be (in)famous and have small kids beg for signatures any time I go out into public….
But really, when I think about it, who wants to sit and listen to all the pain and heartache that went into the latest install/upgrade or the week spent trying to figure out why a particular app won’t work before finding the solution and some buried web page written three years ago. I know that I, and I would assume, most server goons think the cool part is setting it up and making it work, not bragging about whatever the finished product is. So, just remember to give a nod to your own local server goon when you’re up there talking about all the cool things you do. I know my peeps do.
Here’s to my peeps.