LISA 2004 Report: Tuesday

Today I attended the Advanced Topics Workshop. This is a full day workshop for old timers to talk about system administration from a very high level. More and more it is becoming a management thing, because as the old timers get older, we get moved into management.

Advanced Topics Workshop -- This one-day workshop, intended for very senior administrators, provides an informal roundtable discussion of the problems facing system administrators today. Attendance is limited to 30 and based on acceptance of a position paper.
Started by John Schimmel in 1995 (?) as a "formalized hallway track" for "all the really experienced folks who show up on Tuesday before the conference and just hang around because there are no suitable tutorials," this workshop gives senior administrators a chance to meet and talk with their peers. Topics can range from difficulties hiring sysadmins to current technical problems, from managing sysadmins to exchanging notes on the latest new and interesting tools.

"An imperfect, light-weight system that people use is better than a heavy-weight system that nobody uses."
Examples:

  • TWiki vs. SharePoint
  • RT vs. Remedy
  • SubVersion+Bugzilla vs. ClearCase
  • ...

STOP THE PRESSES! I passed by two people talking about LiveJournal and when I looked at their badges I realized it was Brad (founder of LiveJournal) and Lisa (sysadmin of LiveJournal). They were prepping for Wednesday's presentation about the database/web/etc. technology of LiveJournal. I ended up talking with them for an hour or so (until about 1am). Steven walked by and joined in and we both told them a bunch of stories about how LJ has changed our lives. This was their first LISA, so we also talked about what they could expect.

That's my favorite thing about LISA and all the Usenix conferences. You meet really famous people. Well, famous in the Unix and Internet sense.

Wednesday's talk about LiveJournal was very impressive and an interesting discussion was posted on LiveJournal while they were talking about Livejournal

And the rest of the Advanced Topics Workshop? Who cares! I met Brad and Lisa!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Conferences

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