Today at the Opening Plenary of the USENIX LISA2005 conference, Christine and I were presented the 2005 Outstanding Achievement Award for our book, The Practice of System and Network Administration. I accepted the award on Christine's behalf, as she is in Switzerland and couldn't attend the conference.
Here is the transcript of our acceptance speech:
Christine wishes she could be here, but this is a hectic time of year; all the aerodynamic components for next year's car have to be finalized very soon.
We do have three things we'd like to say.
Christine and I thank you for this award. We are profoundly, profoundly humbled. Sociologists say that communities pass knowledge from generation to generation by telling their stories. We didn't set out to win an award. We just wanted to pass on our stories.
The book emphasizes the importance of building repeatable processes. Thus, I'd like to explain my formula for success so that others can replicate it. First, be an average guy from New Joisey with an "pretty good" idea to fill a gap in the existing literature. Next, find a co-author that is immensely smarter than you, like Christine Hogan. Then, work with an editor that believes in your vision and promises to hold your hand through the long, dark, scary process of publishing a 700-page book. Someone like Karen Gettman at Addison-Wesley. Lastly, have a support network made up of friends, proofreaders, significant others, and other people that are the best.
Do these things and writing a book is easy.
This book is a reflection of SAGE and LOPSA. We wrote what we know, and what we know we learned from people that are all members of SAGE/LOPSA. Every time I open the book, every time I turn the page, I am instantly reminded of the good lessons learned from a mentor, co-worker or friend. All of whom are part of SAGE and LOPSA. Thus, if this book is any kind of an outstanding achievement, it is simply because SAGE/LOPSA is an outstanding achievement.
We look forward to the future of both organizations.