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LISA11 Diary: Mon, Dec 5

(In an effort to get these out sooner rather than later I'm not spending a lot of time editing and proofreading. You've been warned.)

Again woke up around 6am. Rehearse parts of the tutorial, got breakfast at the Sheraton Club on the 29th floor.

Tutorial: The Limoncelli Test: My first new tutorial in years! Based on this blog post, the tutorial lists 32 "best practices" that sysadmin teams should do. I had enough time to discuss half of them. At the start of the class I had everyone take the test, and then focused on discussing the ones that had a lot of "no" answers (by show of hands). An attendee wrote a very complimentary review of the tutorial. The "surprise" I had prepared was that for the entire last hour we talked about nothing but specific techniques for "creating organizational change" (which is a fancy was of saying "how to convince your manager and coworkers agree to these fantastic ideas you have). We talked about why people push back (mostly because they're authority is being challenged or they don't want the discomfort that comes from doing new things). The techniques for working on these issues involve various psychology tips to help you understand how people think and how to work from there.

Lunch: I had the lunch that comes with the tutorial sessions. It was mostly sandwiches: I had the roast beef.

Afternoon: I had free time in the afternoon. I spent some time at the CHIMIT workshop which seeks to help link researchers that study system administrators and the system administrators that are available to be studied.

Dinner: A random group of people that were standing around getting hungry decided to go to dinner. We split into two groups, one that went to PF Chang and another that went "somewhere that doesn't put peppers in everything". It was fun being at dinner in a group where I didn't know everyone. We talked about everything from networking, Puppet, politics and rock and roll.

I didn't go to any BoFs but there were BoFs for small sites, AFS users, software patents and other things.

I hung out and did the unofficial "hallway track". I got some one-on-one time with Philip Kizer (president of LOPSA) to talk about some ideas I had and ask about what the future plans are. I'm glad LOPSA is getting some focus and look forward to hearing more at their LOPSA Annual Meeting and Town Hall.

Later at night I hung out at the bar. Another event was in the hotel and it was a big event with a band, speakers and so on. When it emptied out they came to the bar too. You could tell who was who because LISA attendees were all in tshirts and the other group were in formalwear (suits and dresses). One of the speakers for their event was this famous actor and he was sitting right by us in the bar. I wasn't sure it was him, and William kept asking people to look and see if they thought it was him. About half the people we asked hadn't heard of his movies when we mentioned them. Eventually someone pulled up his picture on IMDB and we decided it had to be him. William finally went up to him and got his autograph. Win!

Later my brother showed up. Yup, my brother Ed works in IT and is at LISA this year! W00t!

At that point it was late so I went to bed.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in ConferencesLISA11

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