Recently in Usenix Category

I'm teaching a tutorial at Usenix LISA called "Evil Genius 101: Subversive Ways to Promote DevOps and Other Big Changes".

Whether you are trying to bring "devops culture" to your workplace, or just get approval to purchase a new machine, convincing and influencing people is a big part of a system administrator's time.

For the last few years I've been teaching this class called "Evil Genius 101" where I reveal my tricks for understanding people and swaying their opinion. None of these are actually evil, nor do I teach negotiating techniques. I simply list 3-4 techniques I've found successful for each of these situations: talking to executives, talking to managers, talking to coworkers, and talking to users.

Seating is limited. Register now!


Evil Genius 101: Subversive Ways to Promote DevOps and Other Big Changes

Who should attend:

Sysadmins and managers looking to influence the technology and culture of your organization.

When/Where

Monday, 10-Nov, 1:30pm-5pm at Usenix LISA

Description:

You want to innovate: deploy new technologies such as configuration management, kanban, a wiki, or standardized configurations. Your coworkers don't want change: they like the way things are. Therefore, they consider you evil. However you aren't evil, you just want to make things better. Learn how to talk your team, managers and executives into adopting DevOps techniques and culture.

Take back to work:

  • Help your coworkers understand and agree with your awesome ideas
  • Convince your manager about anything. Really.
  • Get others to trust you so they are more easily convinced
  • Deciding which projects to do when you have more projects than time
  • Turn the most stubborn user into your biggest fan
  • Make decisions based on data and evidence

Topics include:

  • DevOps "value mapping" exercise: Understand how your work relates to business needs.
  • So much to do! What should you do first?
  • How to sell ideas to executives, management, co-workers, and users.
  • Simple ways to display data to get your point across better.

Register today for Usenix LISA 2014!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Usenix

Step 1: turn off your pager. Step 2: disable the monitoring system. Or.... you can run oncall using modern methodologies that constantly improve the reliability of your system.

I'm teaching a tutorial at Usenix LISA called "How To Not Get Paged: Managing Oncall to Reduce Outages".

I'm excited about this class because I'm going to explain a lot of the things I learned at Google about how to turn oncall from a PITA to a productive use of time that improves the reliability of the systems you run. Most of the material is from our new book, The Practice of Cloud System Administration, but the Q&A always leads me to say things I couldn't put in print.

Seating is limited. Register now!


How To Not Get Paged: Managing Oncall to Reduce Outages

Who should attend:

Anyone with an oncall responsibility (or their manager).

When/Where

Tuesday, 11-Nov, 1:30pm-5pm at Usenix LISA

Description:

People think of "oncall" as responding to a pager that beeps because of an outage. In this class you will learn how to use oncall as a vehicle to improve system reliability so that you get paged less often.

Take back to work:

  • How to monitor more accurately so you get paged less
  • How to design an oncall schedule so that it is more fair and less stressful
  • How to assure preventative work and long-term solutions get done between oncall shifts
  • How to conduct "Fire Drills" and "Game Day Exercises" to create antifragile systems
  • How to write a good Post-mortem document that communicates better and prevents future problems

Topics include:

  • Why your monitoring strategy is broken and how to fix it
  • Building a more fair oncall schedule
  • Monitoring to detect outages vs. monitoring to improve reliability
  • Alert review strategies
  • Conducting "Fire Drills" and "Game Day Exercises"
  • "Blameless Post-mortem documents"

Register today for Usenix LISA 2014!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Usenix

I'm teaching a tutorial at Usenix LISA called "Live Upgrades on Running Systems: 8 Ways to Upgrade a Running Service With Zero Downtime".

Ever notice that Google, Facebook and other website aren't down periodically for software upgrades? That's because they're upgrading software on their service while it is live. As a result, they can push new features continuously. In this tutorial I'll describe 8 techniques they use... and so can you. Oh, and here's a secret: I'll have a 9th way to upgrade software... but it requires down-time. That said, it might not require down-time that is visible to users!

I'm excited about this tutorial because it covers a lot of the unique topics we cover in The Practice of Cloud System Administration that I haven't talked about publicly before.

Seating is limited. Register now!


Live Upgrades on Running Systems: 8 Ways to Upgrade a Running Service With Zero Downtime

Who should attend:

Sysadmins that run web-based services, or services that involve many machines.

When/Where

Friday, 14-Nov, 9am-10:30am at Usenix LISA

Description:

How do you upgrade your service while it is running? This class covers nine techniques from the new book by Limoncelli/Chalup/Hogan, "The Practice of Cloud System Administration"... eight of which don't require downtime. Learn best practices from Google, Facebook, and other successful companies and apply them to your environment. Techniques include: The Google "Canary" process, Facebook "Dark Launches", proportional shedding, feature toggles, Erlang live-code upgrades, and live SQL and NoSQL schema changes.

Who should attend:

Sysadmins that run web-based services, or services that involve many machines.

Take back to work:

  • 8 ways to upgrade live systems without downtime
  • Techniques for cautious upgrades you may not have thought of
  • How to change SQL schemas without requiring downtime
  • Continuous Integration as a stepping stone to Continuous Deployment

Topics include:

  • Upgrade while the system is down (not viable for live upgrades)
  • Rolling upgrades
  • Google's "canary" upgrade system
  • Proportional Shedding
  • Feature Toggles
  • Facebook's Dark Launch system
  • Upgrades that involve SQL and NoSQL schema changes.
  • Languages that support live code upgrades
  • Continuous Deployment

Register today for Usenix LISA 2014!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Usenix

I'm teaching a tutorial at Usenix LISA called "Work Like a Team: Best Practices for Team Coordination and Collaborations So You Aren't Acting Like a Group of Individuals".

I'm excited about this class because I'm going to demo a lot of the Google Apps tricks I've accumulated over the years, and combine them with stories about successes (and failures) related to bringing teams together to work on projects. I also get to explain a lot of DevOps culture in ways that make sense to non-DevOps shops (mostly stuff I've been advocating for since before "devops" was a thing). A lot of the material will overlap with our new book, The Practice of Cloud System Administration.

Seating is limited. Register now!


Work Like a Team: Best Practices for Team Coordination and Collaborations So You Aren't Acting Like a Group of Individuals

Who should attend:

System administrators and managers that work on a team of 3 or more.

When/Where

Sunday, 9-Nov, 9am-12:30pm at Usenix LISA

Description:

System Administration is a team sport. How can we better collaborate and work as a team? Techniques will include many uses of Google Docs, wikis and other shared document systems, as well as strategies and methods that create a culture of cooperation.

Take back to work:

  • Behavior that builds team cohesion
  • 3 uses of Google docs you had not previously considered
  • How to organize team projects to improve teamwork
  • Track projects using Kanban boards.
  • How to divide big projects among team members
  • Collaborating via the "Tom Sawyer Fence Painting" technique
  • How to criticize the work of teammates constructively
  • How to get agreement on big plans

Topics include:

  • Meetings: How to make them more effective, shorter, and more democratic
  • How to create accountability, stop re-visiting past decisions, improve involvement
  • Strategy for leaving "fire-fighting" mode, be more "project focused".
  • Project Work: Using "design docs" to get consensus on big and small designs before they are committed to code.
  • Service Docs: How to document services so any team member can cover for any other.
  • Kanban: How to manage work that needs to be done.
  • Chatroom effectiveness: How to make everyone feel included, not lose important decisions.
  • Playbooks: How to get consistent results across the team, train new-hires, make delegation easier.
  • Send more effective email: How to write email that gets read.

Register today for Usenix LISA 2014!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Usenix

Apply now for a grant to attend LISA14. Submissions are due by Monday, October 13.

https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa14/students-and-grants

Are you a student? There are grants available for the general conference and the tutorial program.

Are you a woman? As part of its ongoing commitment to encourage women to excel in this field, Usenix is pleased to announce the return of the Google Grants for Women to support female computer scientists interested in attending the LISA14 conference. All female computer scientists from academia or industry are encouraged to apply.

Applications are due by October 13.

https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa14/students-and-grants

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Usenix

Tom will be teaching 2 tutorials, doing a book signing, and including the all-new Evil Genius 101 half-day class.

  Tuesday AM: Half-day tutorial: Advanced Time Management: Team Efficiency Updated!
  Tuesday PM: Half-day tutorial: Evil Genius 101 New!
  Thursday, 1-1:30PM: Book Signing in Exhibit Hall C
  Thursday, 2-3:30PM: "Time Management Office Hours" (one-on-one time management counseling) New!
  Friday, 9-10:30AM: Guru Session "Time Management for Sysadmins" (Harding Room)

Considering all the security issues raised this year, isn't it time you built a private cloud?

Build a Cloud Day will be dedicated to teaching users how to build and manage a cloud computing environment using free and open source software. The program is designed to expose attendees to the concepts and best practices around deploying cloud computing infrastructure. Attendees should expect to learn how to deploy a cloud computing environment using CloudStack and other cloud infrastructure tools that automate server and network configuration for building highly available cloud computing environments.

Registration for Build A Cloud Day is free, but space is limited. LISA registration is not required to attend Build a Cloud Day, however Build a Cloud Day attendees receive a $75 discount on the 3-day technical session registration. Please use the discount code: LISA13CLOUD

Get more information and register at https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa13/build-cloud-day

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Usenix

If you are sad you can't attend PuppetConf 2013 this week, start planning for Puppet Camp DC. It is co-located with the Usenix LISA conference, which is Nov 6-9, 2013 in Washington D.C.

Puppet Camp DC is a community-oriented, regional gathering of Puppet users and developers. You'll have the opportunity to talk to a diverse group of Puppet users, benefit from presentations delivered by prominent community members, and share experiences and discuss potential implementations of Puppet with your peers.

Registration for Puppet Camp is free, but space is limited. To continue your "Automation" education USENIX is offering a discount to all Puppet Camp attendees. If you register for Both Puppet Camp DC and LISA you will receive a $75 discount on the 3-Day Technical Session Pass. Use Discount Code: LISA13PUPPET during your LISA registration.

To register, find out more about the event, or propose a talk, go here https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa13/puppet-camp-dc

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in PuppetUsenix

Topics include:

  • Helping your coworkers understand and agree to your awesome ideas
  • Convincing your manager about anything (really!)
  • Turning the most stubborn user into your biggest fan
  • Getting others to trust you so they are more easily convinced
  • Deciding which projects to do when you have more projects than time
  • Making decisions based on data and evidence
  • Driving improvements based on a methodology and planning instead of guessing and luck

The only place you can find this class is at Usenix LISA, Nov 3-8, 2013 in Washington DC. Register TODAY!

https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa13

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Usenix

https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa13

The training this year has a lot of advanced topics that will bring a smile from anyone working in a DevOps environment. Tutorials on Jenkins, build-your-own-cloud, and a Googler will teach a class called "SRE University".

There are a lot of specific technology tutorials: IPv6, file systems, Puppet, Python and a RaspberryPi class for people that want to move it beyond being a toy.

I noticed a bunch of new security tutorials.

I'll be teaching my new class 'Evil Genius 101' which is about how to convince your coworkers to get on board with your evil plans for world (or at least network) domination.

Get ready for LISA '13 in Washington, D.C.. The 27th Large Installation System Administration Conference. November 3-8, 2013

NOTE: LISA is a lot earlier this year!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Time ManagementUsenix

2013-06-28 Update: NZ search and rescue folks haven't given up though a new search today was unsuccessful.

It is with a heavy heart that I pass on this information. There is a report that the boat Evi Nemeth was sailing on has not been heard from since June 3rd. The New Zealand Herald seems to have broken the story first.

Evi co-wrote the groundbreaking book, "UNIX System Administration Handbook". It has been used as a textbook and outside of schools by nearly every Unix/Linux sysadmin I know. It meticulously covers every popular Unix varient of its day. (In the 1990s there was a lot more variation between Unixes). Since its publication there have been many updates and even a Linux-specific version.

Evi was a mainstay at the Usenix LISA conference. Every year she would show up with a number of students who would get free admission to the conference in return for volunteering. Many of these students have gone on to be well-known sysadmins.

In 1993 she received the USENIX/LISA Lifetime Achievement Award.

When Evi retired she sold her house and began sailing around the world. She is 74. You can read more about her on the wikipedia page about her. (It's a good read. I highly recommend it).

I hope she is ok. My thoughts are with all of her family, including her past students. Let's hope New Zealand's coast guard finds her soon.

Usenix is sponsoring the first Women in Advanced Computing (WiAC) Summit to run during Federated Conferences Week in Boston. WiAC will be all day June 12th, 2012.

Carolyn Rowland and Nicole Forsgren Velasquez are co-chairs. Carolyn recently posted on G+ a request for ideas: What would make this a must-attend event? What topics should we cover in order to appeal to women of varying professions and backgrounds: researchers, to developers, sysadmins, IT managers, etc.?

Carolyn wrote "We'd like this year to be the start of a recurring Usenix event that allows people who believe we need to support women in the computing professions to come together to share ideas, meet new people and get inspired."

For more information please visit: https://www.usenix.org/conference/wiac12

You can reach Carolyn and Nicole at [email protected]

I'll be teaching 3 tutorials and one "guru" session. Plus, as conference co-chair I'll be on stage many other times too.

Watch this space: http://www.usenix.org/events/lisa11

 
LISA14 I'm Teaching button