It appears we are in “developer appreciation week” already in this Blaugust writing event. I’ll write more about this later in the week, but after Monday’s smooth-as-silk launch of World of Warcraft I’d just like to state my admiration and appreciation to the systems administrators over at Blizzard. Despite the crazy crowds and the party’s before launch where players were chain spamming big spell effects, the servers stayed up and I stayed connected.
Developers deserve a lot of very-well deserved praise for their efforts (and no doubt long working hours!) in crafting these virtual worlds. They create the content we enjoy, the gameplay we crave and the worlds in which we experience them both. But, without systems administrators and other systems folk these worlds would not be up and stable at any odd hour of the day when we choose to login. Imagine if MMORPGs were only guaranteed available for ‘business hours’? They’re the heroes that do the maintenance in the early hours of the morning, bring crashed servers back online, that recover lost data from a database crash and that put out the fires (metaphorical ones) that would otherwise cause downtime.
I’ve worked as a sys admin/IT manager for most of my adult life, but for small-medium companies – never on as large or complex a system as a MMORPG. Still I can appreciate some measure of the stress of improvising solutions to unknown problems when users (in their case, the gamers) are breathing down their necks (in-person for me, for MMO sys admins more likely via Twitter and reddit). So as well as thanking the devs this week, let’s also thank the hard-working sys admins too!