Home > Let's Recognize Awesome IT Pros for IT Pro Day 2022

Let's Recognize Awesome IT Pros for IT Pro Day 2022

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As we ramp up for our seventh annual IT Pro Day, a day to honor and recognize all IT professionals as the true unsung heroes of modern business, we want to take a moment to discuss why we started IT Pro Day and how to nominate an exceptional pro you know. IT Pro Day began in 2015. SolarWinds designated the third Tuesday of every September as IT Pro Day to recognize the critical role IT professionals play in managing and maintaining the essential systems and applications powering our global digital experiences.

Why is IT Pro Day Important?

The past two years have shown how necessary it is to have IT pros on staff who can handle the shifting needs of a business. The closing of offices and moving to remote work, the accelerated digital transformation, and the necessity of a security-first mindset in everything we do are only a few examples of how IT pros have risen to the challenges brought by the pandemic. Through it all, IT pros have demonstrated their value by adapting their skills to become both generalists and specialists. IT pros, we know no one ever stops by your desks to say “thanks” for the fact everything is working as expected. No, people only contact you for one of two reasons: either something is broken, or something seems broken. And if it’s not something you know how to fix, you’re still expected to fix it and fix it fast. In today’s dynamic, hybrid, and remote-first world, the complexities you face are increasing exponentially. It’s impossible to be everything, to everyone, all at once. And yet you manage to do this, every day, all year long. And so, we want to make sure every IT pro knows they’re not only important to the business but also valued by every member of the team—regardless of if we fail to say it more often.

IT Pro Day Awards

A little recognition can go a long way! We encourage you to take a moment to recognize your IT pros, especially the ones who’ve stayed with you after everything COVID-19 threw our way. The IT Pro Day Awards are given annually for the following categories: Rookie of the Year, Rockstar of the Year, IT Mentor of the Year, and Trailblazer.

Rookie of the Year

We all start our careers in IT on Day 0 with little to no knowledge of the systems we’re hired to monitor, manage, and administer. This award is meant to give attention to the rising stars of IT. It recognizes an IT pro new to the profession who has made an immediate impact, whether by developing new skills (technical or otherwise), contributing to the success of a challenging project, or driving measurable results for the business.

Rockstar of the Year

It’s easy to understand the best IT pros are one part Batman, one part MacGyver, and three parts Dr. House. They respond to alerts when called, fix things in creative ways, and do it all while reminding you they “are almost always eventually right.” This award honors an IT pro or team who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. They may have taken on a challenging request, picked up extra shifts during the height of the pandemic, or committed their free time to upskilling for their organization.

IT Mentor of the Year

I already mentioned how we start our careers with little to no knowledge. As we begin to tackle the career of an IT pro, we have many mentors along the way. Some in a formal capacity, but many more are those informal connections we make. This award recognizes a seasoned IT pro who supports and empowers others in their successes by sharing experience, leading by example, and helping foster growth and development while showing sustained commitment to the advancement of their organization through technology.


The best IT pros aren’t afraid to tackle something new. This award recognizes an individual or team who has experimented with or implemented something new and out of their comfort zone. A common example here is automation, where an IT pro takes the time to automate away unnecessary manual tasks, freeing up time for themselves and others to be more proactive in their day. Tell us what your nominees did, why their work was “unprecedented,” and its potential measurable outcomes.

The Nomination Process

Nominating an IT pro for an award is done via the IT Pro Day website. The process is meant to be simple enough; you fill out a form and tell us why your nominee is worthy of the selected award. And yes, you’re allowed to nominate someone for more than one category, but each nominee can only win one award. Also, I can’t stress this enough; we need you to share the details. This is the seventh year for the awards, and each year we receive nominations with few to no details. Please take time to provide as much insight and information on the person’s achievements since the start of the calendar year (January 1, 2022) so we know why they’re amazing. We ask you to keep the nomination as vendor-neutral as possible. While we enjoy hearing wonderful success stories using our software, the goal is to recognize the individual regardless of the technology. For more information on the IT Pro Day awards, check out the IT Pro Day main website or this TechPod episode to learn more. Complete and submit your entry by September 2, 2022. If you have questions about the submission process or the awards program, click here.


IT pros don’t do this for the money. They do this because they want what everyone wants: happy customers. With end users as their top priority, IT pros set out to help good people avoid making bad decisions. Sure, money helps, but it’s not the end goal. (But if someone in a corner office on the fourth floor in Austin is reading this, I want to remind them bacon and bourbon make for a great gift during the holidays.) Today is the day to say THANK YOU to the IT pro and give a #datahug to those with enough time to shower before heading to the office. Cheers!
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Thomas LaRock
Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek™ at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, Microsoft Data Platform MVP, VMware® vExpert, and former Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over…
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