I was a SysOp.
In the 1980s, I helped run the BBS for TCUG, the Tidewater Commodore Users’ Group. It ran on a C-64, and ran ColorBBS. I was a SysOp again in my first IT job, which was night-shift AS/400 Operator. I ran backups, mainly. Mmm, mag tape.
But sometime in the late 1980s and early 1990s, “SysOp” became not a term anymore. We were “Network Engineers” all of a sudden, which sounded awesome. I mean, actual engineers with degrees eventually got annoyed and started putting the kibosh on that term, but it was great while it lasted.
These days, Microsoft refers to us as “IT Pros,” which is a little insulting to Developers, who are apparently not professionals. A lot of people at Pluralsight refer to the space as just, “IT,” which is also a little silly, since software development, data science, and other fields are quite clearly Information Technology as well. Officially, we use “IT Ops” to describe the space occupied by people who are often known as “System Administrators.” SysAdmin is an okay substitute for SysOp, I suppose, although it sounds a bit like you spend a lot of time scheduling meetings and getting coffee.
Of course, now we’ve got DevOps Engineers, which is fantastic on the one hand, and alarming on the other, since it suggests the employer has no idea what DevOps is. “SysOp who creates solutions that support a DevOps environment” is probably too long for business cards, though, and at least we got “engineer” back, right?
Some of us are “Specialists.” Server Support Specialist, for example. Others of us are “Technicians.” Server Technician. Both of those sound a little lame. Even a little medical, like a Dental Technician. Specialist in particular is just so vague.
I wish we could be SysOps again.