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April 2010 Archives

It costs more to attend PICC if you register after May 1st or "at the door".  Due to higher administrative costs, registration price goes up shortly before the conference.

If you are on the fence about registering, ask your boss for the $$ today, eh?


Some things people tell me I should remind you of:
1. This is the last time my "Time Management for Sysadmins" half-day class will be taught on the east coast for a few years.  Also quite possibly the cheapest way to attend this tutorial.
2. My Saturday keynote is all new material, and I'll be reading from my unannounced, untitled, 5th book.
3. Why did we put together this conference?  Because it is cheaper to fly nationally-known speakers to NJ than to have all of us fly to a national conference. So if you are within 500 miles of NJ, please come!

See you there!

Tom

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Conferences

I've been a sysadmin for 2 decades. When I think back about my career I realize that the first time I presented a paper to LISA was a major turning point for me.

It wasn't my idea to submit a paper. My boss at the time put a lot of effort into career development and he suggested that a good bridge from being a junior sysadmin to a senior sysadmin would be to start submitting papers to conferences. I wrote about some projects we had been doing and submitted. I couldn't believe it when I got the acceptance letter!

Being published lead to many important things for me. It got my name around; other people wanted to collaborate with me. It helped me in job hunting; having a paper published gave me a new level of credibility. Most importantly it got me noticed by Addison-Wesley and that lead to co-authoring writing my first book (the second most important turning point in my career; which wouldn't have happened without those early papers). That lead to some other milestones, such as being honored with the SAGE Award.

Maybe you haven't considered writing a paper for LISA. Maybe you think your projects aren't that amazing. My first paper was about how we renumbered the IP address of 1,000 machines (this was before DHCP was popular). Doesn't seem to exciting, does it? We had interesting problems that needed to be worked through: http://bit.ly/9C8ykH

The last few years some papers (not by me) have included topics like: Migrating thousands of users to a new email server and why it became a disaster; the method someone uses for stress-testing their web server to find performance bottlenecks; data mining Cisco network configs stored in a source-code repository for many years; virtualizing networks; using a dependency graph to determine security risk. All of these are interesting because they solve real problems.

So...

The deadline for submitting papers is May 17th. If you want a mentor, ask the chair and a helpful committee member will be assigned to you.

Unlike past years, submitting papers is a bit easier this year:

  • This year you don't have to write the entire paper! Submit a 1500-word abstract. If it gets accepted, then you'll have to write the paper (of course!).
  • We are now accepting "experience" papers. Do an massive email migration? Deploy a new thingamabob? Survive an interesting attack, management change, or technology ? Tell us all about it!

If you have never submitted a paper to LISA, this is a good time to give it a shot.

It could be a turning point for you too.

Sincerely,
Tom Limoncelli

Submission guidelines:
http://www.usenix.org/events/lisa10/cfp/

Writing advice here:
http://engineerwriting.jottit.com/
...and...
http://everythingsysadmin.com/2010/03/writing-papers-for-usenix-lisa.html

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Conferences

The next time Apple comes out with a major new product, I'll be sure to have some pre-written anti-(whatever the product is) articles to blast on the day it gets released.  It seems to work really well.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

For more info about the conference visit picconf.org. Register today!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Conferences

Happy April Fools Day!

Remember, you can read all the April Fools RFCs in one place on my other web site, www.rfc-humor.com. You can get them all printed, plus interesting commentary, in the book that Peter Salus and I wrote: The Complete April Fools RFCs.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Book News