Recently in LOPSA Category

RIP John Boris

John was active in the LOPSA community. I saw him at nearly every LOPSA-NJ meeting, where he was active in planning and hosting the meetings. He was also on the board of LOPSA (national) where he will be greatly missed.

John was also a football coach at the school where he worked in the IT department. It was very clear that his coaching skills were something he applied everywhere, including his helpfulness and mentoring at LOPSA.

I had a feeling that when I hugged him at the end of the January LOPSA meeting it might be the last time I saw him. He was recovering from bypass surgery and was looking worn. He was chipper and friendly as always. He was a good guy. Easy to get along with. He kept LOPSA-NJ and many other projects going.

John Boris passed away last night.

I'll miss him.

Update:

Info about his service:

  • Friday Jan 20th
  • Visitation: 1030am to noon
  • Memorial Mass: noon
  • St Joseph the Worker Parish,
  • St Aloysius Church, 37 W Hadden Ave, Oaklyn, NJ 08107

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Camden Catholic high school football program, Cherry Hill, NJ c/o Nick Strom.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LOPSA

I'll be the speaker at LOPSA-NJ/Montclair in February. Hope to see you there!

The February meeting will be held at Montclair State University.

  • Topic: Stealing the Best Ideas from DevOps: A Guide for Sysadmins without Developers
  • Speaker: Tom Limoncelli, StackOverflow.com
  • Date: WEDNESDAY, February 1st, 2017, 7pm (not Thursday)
  • Location: Montclair University, CELS 110, 1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ 07043

Talk Description: This talk will present the DevOps principles in terms that apply to all system administrators, and use case studies to explore their use in non-developer environments. DevOps is not a set of tools, nor is it just automating deployments. It is a set of principles that benefit anyone trying to improve a complex process.

For more information, and to rsvp, please visit the Meetup page:

https://www.meetup.com/LOPSA-NJ/events/236564846/

NOTE: The January meeting will be on Thursday, Jan 5, 2017 at 7pm at the south jersey location (Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library). More info here.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LOPSASpeaking

CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LOPSA

https://lopsa.org/LPR

You should too.

The LOPSA Professional Recognition Program (LPR) is not a certification. It is a recognition that the person in question met or exceeded the standards for professional practice. In particular, it certifies that the person has agreed to abide by the LOPSA Code of Ethics and works to keep their skills current in the last year.

I've always been an advocate for some kind of program that would raise the bar among system administrators, encourage professionalism, and spread the word about the Code of Ethics. I'm glad to see LOPSA giving this a try and I think everyone should support it. This is a new program. The more people that join now, the sooner we will all benefit from its success.

It cost $10 took me 30 minutes to write my essay.

Information about the LOPSA Professional Recognition Program can be found here: https://lopsa.org/LPR. I encourage you to apply today.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LOPSA

[forwarded from Evan Pettrey, this year's LOPSA-East chair]

Greetings!

LOPSA-East is pleased to announce that we have released our Call for Participation for our 2014 conference. Everybody with a passion for technology and a willingness to share with others in our industry are encouraged to submit!

Full details of the CFP can be found on our website at: http://lopsa-east.org/2014/

Important Dates:

  • Deadline for all Submissions - Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 (midnight EST)
  • Decisions Sent to All Submitters - Monday, February 3rd, 2014
  • Schedule Published - Monday, February 10th, 2014
  • Registration Opens - Friday, February 14th, 2014
  • LOPSA-East '14 Conference - Friday, May 2nd - Saturday, May 3rd

We look forward to seeing your submissions! Please email all submissions and questions to [email protected].

-The LOPSA-East 2014 Committee

Posted by Guest Author in LOPSA

Evan Pettrey just emailed out the LOPSA-East 14: Call for Volunteers. The next conference is May 2-3, 2014. Mark your calendar and join the volunteer team. It is a great way to get involved in the community and meet new people!

Evan's complete letter after the bump.


Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LOPSA

The first part of the meeting will be about Etsy's deployment infrastructure. The second half of the meeting will be a chance to discuss the talk, brain storm future topic ideas, and hopefully get more presenters.

  • Date? Tuesday, September 10, 2013
  • When? 7:00 pm
  • Where? 120 West 45th St, 39th Floor, New York, NY 10036
  • Speaker? Daniel Schauenberg, Etsy

For more info: http://www.lopsa-nyc.org/content/feature-flag

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LOPSA

LOPSA Elections

The LOPSA board elections are happening. Turn-out so far is around 11%, which is pathetic. Folks, if you are a member, vote!

This mailing list post has more details: https://lists.lopsa.org/pipermail/discuss/2012-June/008518.html

Voting takes just a few minutes.

(And if you aren't a member, join up and vote!)

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LOPSA

[Note: This is a first draft and needs a lot of editing but I know I'm not really going to come back and edit it so I might as well post it today.]

LOPSA had their first "meet the candidates" a few weeks ago. I had blogged ahead of time the question I was planning to ask.

The question:

"I'd like to know about your experience with community-based projects. Please tell us about a project that you took responsibility for seeing through to completion. Please, only projects that are "done" or have reached a self-sustaining mode only. One or two sentences is fine. It doesn't have to be a project where you thought of the idea or even did all the work: just one where you assured it reached the finish line."

The answers were: [note: I did minimal spell correction and reformatting. In a live chat one doesn't expect every sentence to be Shakespeare but I felt it was worth correcting any word that my Mac underlined in red.]

Martin James Gehrke: On a majority of my community-based projects, the challenges have been people related, rather than technology related. Working toward a general consensus can be very difficult. Using the PGH local chapter as an example, we still squabble over the best meeting times.

Evan Pettrey: Starting the Baltimore/DC of LOPSA would be a good example for myself. first 6 months or so were challenging (for both getting people to attend as well as securing speakers). However, our membership has now nearly outgrown our current location, the word is spreading on its own, and we have speakers secured all the way through October.

John Boris: I have two to speak of recently. 1) The first is this year's PICC conference. As chairmen I kept the volunteers on track. I learned early on that good leaders have great people under them. I made sure their work was recognized and that they didn't overwhelm themselves. 2) Outside of work I put together a spring football league for 8th grade boys. I got it together from scratch to where now it is the model here in South Jersey. I rarely have to attend the games as I meet with the other board members and keep the goal in front of them. Teach the boys fundamentals of the sport and get them ready for High School.

Kent Brodie: Total re-computerization of my church. Meant going from 2 old DOS machines with some no-longer-available church management software to include modern machines, modern and supported software. I oversaw and/or was involved in the proposal, planning, acquisition, and installation of the entire deal. 80% of the work was people-skill related....

Matt Disney: Two things. First, my best work on that was probably in college when I was doing tech stuff for student government and established a benefit that was very popular, well-received, and lived on for about 6 years after I graduated. Second, I like to think a lot of the stuff I work on as being community-based, just at work. So each time I've left a job, I've left it with a healthy community.

My evaluation: When it comes to volunteer work, past performance is a good indicator of future performance. Some people "work hard" and others "get stuff done". An organization full of people that "work hard" goes out of business because everyone always thinks they "work hard". Successful organizations are made up of people that get stuff done. I encourage you to read the above statements carefully: some of the candidates were not able to say a single specific thing. I'm more impressed by the people that were able to name projects related to LOPSA, this shows they are already involved.

Later I asked another question:

If LOPSA received a grant for $10 million dollars next month, what should LOPSA do with it? (projects, not investment strategies)

Martin James Gehrke: Use it to hire some fulltime employees to help legitmitize ourselves and run the day to day, perhaps hire lobbyists to help get our voice heard in DC. make student membership free because in encourages students to actually see SYSADMINs as a profession to pursue post college. I'd also love to support some of the FOSS projects that we use in our daily administration (config mgmt, bind, etc)

[My calculations are that this would consume 15% of the grant.]

Evan Pettrey: I think it would be great if LOPSA would give back to the local chapters. Perhaps they could provide money for the chapters to take their groups out for dinner and drinks after meetings to show our appreciation. Additional money would be spent on springing up additional local chapters, publishing a monthly magazine (think LOPSAgram but with more time and investment put into it), advertising within professional outlets. The biggest investment would go into building a datacenter using a carefully though out standard of best practices as set forth by LOPSA. This would be used to demo to others in the industry how things can be improved and show what is possible with collaboration.

[My calculations are that this would consume 3-4% of the grant if we don't include the datacenter because it would be cheaper to write 100 case studies of existing data centers.]

John Boris: I would use it to help build a strong instructional plan for a young person to enter the field and this plan would be coupled with an acredited online Sysadmin College. It would also be partnered with one or more Universities/Colleges across the country.

[My calculations are that this would consume 20% of the grant.]

Kent Brodie: party like it's 1999. seriously: I have constantly been advocating spreading the word, advertising. I'd use a bunch of money for the sole purpose of name recognition. I'd also start setting up actual in-the-vendor-place booths at a variety of technical conferences as well. in addition, I'd turn some of the key roles of LOPSA to paid positions. Honestly, volunteers can only do SO much.

[My calculations are that this would consume 10% of the grant.]

Matt Disney: 1. Pay off our debt. 2. Establish a financial plan where we make money off our money. 3. Apply some of that money in a responsible way toward membership service management (e.g. pay people to answer the phones/emails). 4. Establish an endowment for system administration education including internships. 5. Bootstrap more training conferences.

[My calculations are that this would consume 1% of the grant plus whatever is spent on the endowment .]

My evaluation: This question evaluates the vision of the candidate. It exposes what the candidates feels the grand, long-term, vision of the organization should be. From these answers it seems that the candidates think the "big goal" of LOPSA is: to manage paperwork, to lobby in DC, to impress students, to fund open source projects, to feed pizza to our members, to increase the number of chapters, to publish a magazine, to advertise about LOPSA, to build a data center that shows off best practices, to establish an online sysadmin college, to gain name recognition, to have booths at other people's conferences, to replace volunteers with paid staff, to pay off our debt, to manage paperwork, to provide scholarships, to create more conferences.

To be honest, that's lame. LAME! Cross-reference that list to the mission of LOPSA ("to advance the practice of system administration; to support, recognize, educate, and encourage its practitioners; and to serve the public through education and outreach on system administration issues") and only 2-3 actually fall within the mission; most are ambiguous or tactical steps towards achieving a mission, and the rest have nothing to do with the mission.

Between now and the election I recommend that all the candidates read the mission and understand it. Either plan adopting it as your personal mission or draft a plan to change it.

Think bigger!

Here's some "big thoughts" that every candidate should have on their mind: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 347,200 sysadmins and growing. Our goal should be to have 100% of them be members of LOPSA. With a moderate membership fee we could be a huge lobbying organizations: educate congressional staff, make our presence known, and influence public policy (i.e. laws). We could establish a media campaign that would reshape the negative image that IT workers have in society, brings us new respect within business, and educates young people about what a great career choice being a sysadmin is. We could sit down with universities and establish a common curriculum standard, an accreditation program, and establish a network of researchers focused on system administration.

Lastly LOPSA doesn't need big money to do these things. We need big thinkers. We could do all of this by partnering with the top CIOs of the U.S. who would find value in having better trained, more consistently skilled, people to hire. We could apply for grants to major funding sources and make the case for the societal benefits to be gained from all-of-the-above, as well as help them understand the perils of a future without excellence in technology management.

LOPSA could start small with any one of those projects and focus, focus, focus to make it happen. Be creative. You don't need a million dollars in rent to have a lobbyist in DC: you can beg to use a desk in a like-minded organization. You don't need to own a university to teach sysadmins: get the professors that are teaching system administration together via phone and start establishing curriculum guidelines. Find a major CIO who is about to retire and recuit him/her to make one of these their legacy project. You don't need a PR agency to get a lot of press, you need to make sure that every New York Times reporter remembers you as the person that returns calls quickly so his/her 3pm deadline is never in jeopardy and soon every article has a quote from a LOPSA-identified spokesperson.

To get to 347,200 we need to create projects that recruit thousands of members each year. Most of new new members come via the conferences and the local chapters. At the current rate, we won't get to the 50% mark for a century.

At our current trajectory in 10 years we'll be "the world's largest user group".

Is that what we really want to be?

Think bigger!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LOPSA

[Note: "Early-bird" price ends in 3 days! Don't lose the discount!]

The PICC committee is excited to announce our closing keynote speaker:

Rebecca Mercuri on "The Black Swan and Information Security"

Dr. Mercuri is the lead forensic expert at Notable Software, Inc. Her caseload has included matters from contraband, murder, viruses and malware, and election recounts (most notably Bush vs. Gore). She has testified on the federal, state, and local level as well as to the U.K. Cabinet.

Talk abstract: The economic theories proposed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book "The Black Swan" have strong parallels in information security. Indeed, the concepts of robustness and risk assessment mentioned in Taleb's writing are also well known to those who design software and systems intended to withstand attack. Such assaults on computers, networks and data are now so commonplace that if these threats all suddenly vanished, this would likely constitute a Black Swan Event. But whether a successful and novel attack should also be considered a Black Swan may be debatable. This talk will compare the shortcomings of bell curve (Mediocristan) and power law (Extremistan) event models. The idea that outlier occurrences should be considered more "normal" will shed insight on new methods for recovery mitigation. Attendees need no formal knowledge of statistics or economics in order to appreciate the concepts discussed in this talk.

Register now and avoid the rush!

http://picconf.org

Space is limited! Register now!

Note: The opening keynote speaker will be announced in a few days.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in ConferencesLOPSA

Register now and avoid the rush! http://picconf.org Space is limited!

Registration is open for the 2012 LOPSA PICC conference, May 11-12, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in New Brunswick, NJ. Sysadmins and IT workers from Maine to Virginia are expected to attend the most talked about, community-driven, sysadmin conference of 2012! We're excited to announce our slate of speakers and world-class tutorials for 2012. Complete details at http://picconf.org

FRIDAY is all about world-class training:

This 2-day conference starts on Friday with long-format tutorials on a wide variety of topics by world-class instructors: Topics include PowerShell, Puppet, Amazon Web Services, WordPress, DNSSEC, IPv6 and much, much more! (Tutorial schedule: http://www.picconf.org/picc12-training-classes )

SATURDAY adds invited speakers on a wide variety of topics:

  • Learn how Google does backups, how Etsy manages DevOps, and how Mozilla has radically revamped their software release process.
  • Windows users will love the talks on MS Small Business Server and tutorials on PowerShell (requested back for a 2nd year).
  • Linux users will love the talks about high performance computing, the Ganeti free virtualization project, and advanced monitoring techniques.
  • DevOps will be impressed by speakers from "the big three" configuration management vendors: CFEngine, Chef, and Puppet.
  • Cloud computing training from speakers with "from the trenches" experience. (Speaker list: http://www.picconf.org/picc-12-talkspapers )

LAST YEAR'S attendees said:

  • "The talks were all technical; no marketing hype, no sales people!"
  • "Small enough to have a community feeling, big enough to draw big name speakers."
  • "Next year I'm sending my entire team!"

REGISTER soon. You're boss will approve!

Priced right! Being a non-profit, community-based conference the registration fee is what you'd pay just to travel to the big conferences. We bring world-class speakers to you; saving you money and travel time. Registration packages from $334 to $621 (with extreme discounts for students and unemployed). Save up to $125 by registering before Friday, March 30, 2012!

For more information and to register visit http://picconf.org

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in ConferencesLOPSANYC

Interested in helping make PICC '12 happen?

The committee is the most fun group of people I've planned a conference with. If you live within 500 miles of New Brunswick, NJ we'd love for you to help out.

Commitment is about an hour a week plus a short phone conference call every other Monday at 8pm.

Here's some typical volunteer tasks: (we'll ask you to pick one)

  • Forward our mailings to user groups' mailing lists (The hard part is making sure it actually went out!)
  • Someone to maintain our Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter presences.
  • Invent new ways to get the word out about the conference.
  • Take meeting minutes so the chair can focus on running the meetings.
  • Email famous people (or semi-famous computer geeks) and ask them to submit talk proposals.
  • Pick a potential sponsor, reach out to them about being a sponsor.
  • Website updates (we have a website, we just need occasional edits)
  • Coordinate the people reaching out to sponsors.
  • Design flyers, posters, etc. (Photoshop or The Gimp experience?)
  • Sysadmin-like things like website account management.

As you can see, none of these tasks are difficult but it takes a lot of people all doing a little bit to make a conference. (Kind of like how a bit open source project works)

I like working on PICC because of all the people I meet. That's what makes it fun.

The Jan 16 meeting is our "Kick off" for the new year. It's a really good time to get involved.

Interested? If you are, send email to [email protected]

Thanks! Tom

http://www.picconf.org/

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in ConferencesLOPSA

http://www.picconf.org/cfp/

Call for Participation:

LOPSA-NJ Professional IT Community Conference 2012

This year's Theme:

"System Administration: Scaling, Security, and Saving Money"

PICC '12: 3rd Annual Professional IT Community Conference

May 11- 12, 2012 New Brunswick, NJ Hyatt Regency New Brunswick

http://www.picconf.org

The organizers of the LOPSA-NJ Professional IT Community Conference (PICC) invite you to submit proposals for papers and talks to be presented at PICC '12.

PICC12 is a gathering of professionals from the diverse IT (computer and network administration) community in New Jersey to learn, share ideas, and network. The conference includes invited speakers and keynotes, training by top-notch experts that is relevant, useful, and recession-friendly; plus an "unconference" track where attendees propose and host their own topics during the event. We expect attendance of 100 to 150 IT professionals from mid to large sized companies and academia from New Jersey/New York/Pennsylvania. We go by many titles but everyone is invited: system administrators, network administrators, network engineers, Windows, Linux, Unix, DBAs, etc

Presentation Topics

We strongly welcome topics on best practices, new developments in systems administration, and cutting edge techniques to better manage Linux, Unix, or Windows hosts and environments.

Papers should be of a technical nature and speakers should assume that members of the audience have at least a few years' experience in general IT, Linux/Unix, and/or Windows administration. The audience will primarily hail from businesses and academic institutions in the New Jersey/New York/Pennsylvania area.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • System Administration
  • Backup
  • Security
  • Troubleshooting
  • Buying
  • Decision Making
  • Virtualization
  • Cloud computing
  • Enterprise Monitoring and Management
  • Identity Management
  • Web and Email Management
  • Spam and Virus Filtering
  • Networking
  • Wikis
  • Clustering and High Availability
  • Log Management
  • VoIP
  • Ticketing systems
  • Bootstrapping and automated installation
  • Configuration Management and packaging

Topics explicitly NOT requested:

  • Sales presentations
  • Vendor product demonstrations
  • Proposals or vaporware

Here are some topics from our previous two conferences and some ideas for new talks:

  • Internal Documentation for System Administrators.
  • The Path to Senior SysAdmin
  • A senior system administrator describes the 'lessons learned' from converting from one email system to another.
  • Someone with recent experience in particular technology (cloud computing, backups, Windows 7, etc.) presents "10 things I wish I knew before I started with [name of product]"
  • A Windows engineer describes how they manage their fleet of of desktops/laptops.

Presentation Format

We are actively seeking proposals for presentations at PICC'12. We have openings for:

  • Papers: 5-10 page paper, published electronically to attendees at the conference, and publicly after the conference. Presentation at conference will be 30 minutes including Q&A.
  • Talks: 20 minute presentation + 10 minute Q&A.
  • Posters: One physical poster of a topic or work in progress, to be discussed with conference goers during a specified poster session
  • Panels: 45-minute panel discussion

Submit your Presentation

If your presentation is selected you will get a complimentary registration for Saturday May 12. If you want to attend the training on Friday or Saturday you will only pay the difference for the classes. Submissions and questions should be sent to: [email protected]

Dates and Deadlines

To encourage early submissions, priority (both for inclusion and scheduling) will be given to presentations submitted before the 1st of March.

  • January 30, 2012 - Deadline for submissions
  • February 14, 2012 - Final program confirmation
  • May 11, 2012- Start of conference

Contact and Questions

Please see our website at http://www.picconf.org/ for more information on PICC '12 and presenting at this great event.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email the organizers at: [email protected]

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in ConferencesLOPSA

I'll be speaking at LOPSA-NYC Tuesday, June 14, 7pm. Please pre-register to speed your way through security.

Come here me speak about the Ganeti open source project. Think virtualization clusters have to cost big bucks? Think virtualization isn't useful for a small site? Come and find out why a person that usually talks about Time Management thinks virtualization is his new favorite time management trick.

Here is the official announcement.

  • Topic: Ganeti: Open source virtualization (like VMWare ESX + VMotion but open source)
  • Speaker: Tom Limoncelli, Google, Inc
  • When: Tuesday, June 14, 7pm - 9:30pm

  • Description: Ganeti is a cluster virtual server management software tool built on top of existing virtualization technologies such as Xen or KVM and other Open Source software. Ganeti takes care of disk creation, migration, OS installation, shutdown, startup, and can be used to preemptively move a virtual machine off a physical machine that is starting to get sick. It doesn't require a big expensive SAN, complicated networking, or a lot of money. The project is used around the world by many organizations; it is sponsored by Google and hosted at http://code.google.com/p/ganeti

  • Registration: http://lopsanyc.eventbrite.com/

Please make sure to register on the page to avoid any issues with DE Shaw security and entering the building.

As previously mentioned, I'll be the speaker at LOPSA-NYC.

Come here me speak about the Ganeti open source project. Think virtualization clusters have to cost big bucks? Think virtualization isn't useful for a small site? Come and find out why a person that usually talks about Time Management thinks virtualization is his new favorite time management trick.

Hope to see you there!

(Please pre-register so you can get through security quickly.)

LOPSA board elections are upon us. The candidate statements are being published and before I read any of them I want to make this statement of my own:*

It is my experience with volunteer organizations that people that have achieved tangible results are more likely to produce more tangible results. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Everyone has ideas. They pour in from everywhere. Don't worry about electing "idea people"; a group of LOPSA's size only needs 1-2 "vision" people but a lot of "do'ers". Elect people that have a track record of getting things done.

Years ago when I was in college there was a student government election. At the "debate night" the two candidates for president had an interesting exchange. The first candidate listed his vast experience: his list of accomplishments was a list of committees he had served on. The other candidate asked him, "But what have you DONE? What on this campus can you point at and say, 'I did that'? You know how there weren't soda machines in the dorm buildings until last year? That was me. I went door to door in the administration building, got everyone to approve it, helped pick a vendor, and so on. When I walk around campus I can point to those machines and say, 'I did that.' What can you point to?" The other candidate had nothing to point to except the chair he had filled in all those various committee meetings. The soda machine guy won the election. He was the best damn student government president we had in years.

This is not to say that idea people aren't friendly, wonderful people. I'm just saying that as a new-ish organization LOPSA kind of knows what needs to be done: it's the "doing" that is important.

I'm not endorsing anyone. I'm not telling you who to vote for. I'm simply saying that this is my formula. You can consider it open source. You can use it, modify it or even ignore it. Just remember that it was pretty damn nice to have soda machines finally in the dorm buildings.

Tom Limoncelli

  • Damn, I read one... kind of by mistake. ..but it won't change my vote.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LOPSA

Michael Beck of Emerging Technologies Group Wins Top Honor as One of IT's Unsung Heroes; Sean Thomas of True Prism Technologies Wins First Prize.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Splunk, creators of the search engine for logs and IT data, in conjunction with SourceForge.net, Digg, NaSPA (the Network and Systems Professionals Association), LOPSA (the League of Professional System Administrators), USENIX/SAGE, and Bawls Guarana, today announced that Michael Beck of Emerging Technology Group has won the grand prize 2006 Sysadmin of the Year (SAOTY) contest. He was chosen out of nearly five thousand nominations. Michael has been awarded a $2,500 Splunk professional license, a lifetime membership to NaSPA and a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the LISA Conference, December 3-7, 2006. Michael will be honored with a presentation at LISA on December 6.

Click for the full announcement.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LOPSA

Happy Birthday, LOPSA!

Happy Birthday, LOPSA!

You are one year old and look how far you've come! Like most births you were born amid a lot of shouting and confusion, but look how far you've grown! You've formed the organization, build a web site, and had your first regional conference. Congrats! Now you are truly defining yourself, growing up, and becoming your own person.

For those of you that don't know, LOPSA is the League of Professional System Administrators. The goal is to become like the AMA is to doctors, or the APA is to shrinks. That is, work on building the professionalism of our community. If you aren't a member, I highly recommend that you join. Heck, it's free to just register.

Two weeks ago I attended the first LOPSA regional conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I taught a full-day version of my Time Management for System Administrators class. What impressed me about this event was how different it was. Because it was regional most of the speakers were local. There are experts everywhere (not just in California) and seeing them get some spotlight really made me happy. The fact that it was small also meant that it could be at a less expensive hotel, who was more hungry for LOPSA's business. They had a lot of creative ideas that I haven't seen at big hotels. For example, one of the snack-breaks had cookies and milk! I was psyched!

At night we had a lot of deep discussions about the future of system administration, professionalism, and the future of LOPSA. I consulted with some board members about how to get to the next milestone now that the organization is running. I hope to see more regional conferences announced soon. I also brainstormed on ways to reach out to the segments of the IT world that are currently unaddressed.

Why not celebrate the 1st birthday by buying a gift for yourself? The LOPSA CafePress store is ready to fulfill your need for swag, and raises money for a good cause. And if you haven't registered, do that too. They have some extremely useful mailing lists.

 
  • LISA16