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An active technical social life

At LISA last week I heard the phrase "it is important to have an active technical social life". I'd never heard that phrase before but it really clicked with me.

I'm interesting in hearing what it means to you?

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

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On the most fundamental level, it's exchanging technical ideas with others. To go all buzzword on this, it could be described as "DevOps without a common business interest" .

This could be anything from participating (not just lurking) on mailing lists/forums, to using IRC channels, to going to local UG meetings. Ideally, you learn something new, and also contribute something back to others, and everyone has gained something from participating.

Traditionally I think it means being active on mailing lists / irc channels. For me it's really turned into following the #sysadmin hashtag on twitter and following the various sysadmins I've met online. I'm @philiph on twitter.

And of course a key component of an active technical lifestyle is attending conferences like LISA!

To me, it's the latest restatement of "networking". It's getting to know other people in your industry (in this case, technology), to share ideas, changes in the industry, possible new personal opportunities (new jobs), etc.

I think it also also means getting physically together with a diverse crew of nerdly types as often as you can, especially from other disciplines. Technical problems express remarkable similarities across disciplines. This is most effective if you are in a nerd-dense area.

I'd say it has more to do with finding and joining a social community of people who are interested in the same (technical) things that you are. I've sought such things out for years and met with greater and lesser successes over time.

I like to get together with techie girlfriends for coffee or lunch.

For me it's a combination of social/business networking and a technical "geek fest":-) Whether it's online or in person, getting to know and have discussions with people from different backgrounds is always a win. As much as I like the people that I work with, it is also fantastic to also "talk tech" from people at other companies, and especially other industries. Combining that with an opportunity to get to know them as people, is the best.

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