If you haven’t registered for LOPSA-East yet, what are you waiting for?
LOPSA-East (May 3-4, 2013) is the best regional conference for sysadmins this side of the Mississippi. It is much less expensive than national conferences because you can probably drive instead of fly. The same nationally known speakers you find at the big conferences travel to us instead of the other way around.
If you are signing up for my tutorials please remember that space is limited so please register soon!
I was thinking about why I like going to conferences the other day and it dawned on me that the answer is simple: I can ask the questions I can’t ask anywhere else. There are plenty of places I can ask questions: online forums, ServerFault, bulletin boards, mailing lists, and so on. However there are many questions that I can not ask online. First, online forums and chatrooms are archived and sometimes I don’t want my question public. The second reason I’d call “discovery”. I don’t always know which online forum is the most appropriate. At a conference you can strike up a conversation and learn about new resources. The third reason is embarrassment. I don’t want to look stupid in front of some unknown huge number of people online. At the conference you can talk to a speaker or just strike up a conversation with the people near you. It can be difficult to ask a question in a public forum when you are new. The same can be said for a senior sysadmin too.
Lastly, and I think this is the most important reason, in-person it is easier to ask a question that you don’t know how to ask. Online forums work best when you know exactly what you are asking for. Ever been “yelled at” online for asking a question “the wrong way” or for incorrect use of terminology? In person you can have a dialog that is exploratory. You work through any vocabulary issues along the way as you discuss the issue. I find that in this situation I usually learn more than just the specific question I was asking.
LOPSA-East is a very friendly conference. It is small enough that everyone feels comfortable striking up a conversation with anyone there. Yet, it is big enough that it has “critical mass” and gets really good presentations.
Hope to see you there!
LOPSA-East (formerly PICC) is May 3-4, 2013 in New Brunswick, NJ. It is easy to reach by car and train.