Awesome Conferences

Ryn Daniels has written an excellent piece about time management and productivity when you are burned out. The advice is spot on. I also do these things when I'm not feeling my best too.

"It's one thing to talk about productivity when you're already feeling motivated and productive, but how do you get things done when it's hard to even make it through the day?"

https://superyesmore.com/productivity-when-you-just-cant-even-0c73d6a1f086209af420c2ced442a2e8

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Time Management

Taras Lipatov, Principal Engineer at Sailthru, will describe his experience building a hybrid cloud using docker/mesos/consulĀ­ at the Tuesday, November 14, 2017 nycdevops meetup. More info and to RSVP on https://www.meetup.com/nycdevops/events/241852995/. RSVP soon! See you there!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in NYCDevOps Meetup

This issue's column in ACMQueue Magazine is titled, "Operational Excellence in April Fools' Pranks". You can read it on the Queue app: http://queue.acm.org/app/

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in ACM Queue Column

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in DevOpsDays

I'm a bit too tired to write a full review of Usenix LISA 2017, so let me just say that the content was excellent and the audience was the most diverse that I've seen at a mainstream sysadmin conference.

The best part about the content? If I could sum it up in one word, it would be "new". Tons of new stuff, new technology, new ideas, and new techniques. (Ironically the one training session I taught was my not-new Time Management class, but the room was packed with new attendees.)

Best meta-issue? Usenix switched to the "Sched App" which was awesome. It made a big difference having an excellent app for the schedule. I always knew where I wanted to be. When a conference has multiple tracks, a good app becomes critical.

Congrats to co-chairs Connie-Lynne Villani (Fastly.com) and Caskey Dickson (Microsoft) for putting together an awesome conference and thanks to all the staff, committee, and volunteers that made it happen!

LISA 18 will take place October 28-November 2, 2018, at the Omni Nashville in Nashville, TN. I've already marked it in my calendar. You should too!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LISA Conversations

Save this date!

January 18-19, 2018 will be the next DevOpsDays NYC!

Save this date!

Sadly there won't be a 2017 conference, but the 2018 conference is just around the corner.

  • Mark your calendar!
  • Submit talk proposals today!
  • Registration opening soon!

See you there!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

(I've intentionally delayed posting this so that it wasn't clear which conference I'm talking about.)

So... I'm at a conference. I take a break from the talks to walk around the vendor show. While most of the booths are selling products I'm not interested in, I suddenly find myself in front of VENDOR-A (name changed to protect them). VENDOR-A makes a product that has both open source and commercial editions, a common business model. Since the company I work for is a happy user of their open source version, I decide to ask about the commercial version. Maybe there's some benefit to be had.

The salesperson turned red in the face and became very indignant.

What?

What did I do wrong?

I'm totally confused.

Not wanting to cause a scene, I politely ended the conversation and walked away. Jerk.

Well, maybe not "jerk". Maybe he just hadn't eaten lunch and was hangry, or maybe he was having a bad day. Or maybe his mom's name is "open source" and he thought I was insulting her. I have no idea.

I was trying to be as polite as possible. It was a "take my money!" situation and the salesperson blew it.

Anyway... I had plenty more to see in the vendor show so I kept walking.

So... then I saw VENDOR-B. VENDOR-B (again, not their actual name) is another vendor who's open source product we're very happy with. Let's try the same thing.

"Yes, yes, thank you. I'm a big fan of your product already. You don't need to convince me. However, we use the open source version now. What benefits would I gain from the commercial version?"

Again this salesperson also turned red in the face and got vitriolic. I, again, stand there totally confused.

So, again, I politely ended the conversation and walked away.

I assure you, reader, that I didn't phrase it as, "This is stupid. Why would I pay?" or anything close to that. Quite the opposite, actually.

The worst answer I was expecting was, "it is the same but you get world-class support". Why I may disagree with their self-appraisal of how good their support is, at least it would have been an answer. However, both companies exceeded expectations and took my question as an insult.

I don't think either of these salespeople understand what business they are in.

Let me explain to you the economic model of commercial and open source software.

With commercial software, you sell to someone that isn't using your product. You have to convince them that they have a need, what your product does, that your product fills their need, and that they should buy the product. That's the traditional selling model.

sales-process-commercial.png

Open source software is sold differently. The person already is using the product. They already know how awesome it is. They already know it fulfills their need. The salesperson merely has to convince them that there would be added benefits to paying for it.

sales-process-floss.png

Think about how radical this is! The customer is already happy and you, the salesperson, have the opportunity to make them even more happier. There's no need to grandstand (or lie) about what the product can and can't do, because the customer already uses it. This is a much more transparent and cooperative arrangement. It is better for the customer and you.

This also means that your ability to sell the product is as wide as the existing community. The bigger the community, the more selling opportunities. Having good community liaisons, advocates, etc. grows that base. Hosting a conference grows that base. These things aren't just good for your community, but they are good for your salespeople because they increase the pool of potential new paying customers.

A salesperson that meets someone who uses the free/community/open source edition should be super excited at the opportunity to speak with a committed user who can be turned into a paying customer.

The reaction I got from those salespeople says to me that they didn't understand this.

What business did they think they are in?

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Rants

I'll be the speaker at the Monday, Oct 2, 2017 NYC DevOps meetup. I'll be presenting a talk about the DNSControl project, which permits "DNS as code" simplicity to your DNS operations.

For complete information visit the meetup.com page: https://www.meetup.com/nycdevops/events/243369226/

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in AppearancesArchive

We will have two meetings in October. The extra meeting will be on Mon, Oct 2 co-located with the VelocityNYC conference. You don't have to be registered for the conference to come to the meeting.

  • Topic: DNSControl: "DNS as Code" from StackOverflow.com
  • Speaker: Thomas A. Limoncelli, SRE Manager @ Stack Overflow
  • Date: Monday, October 2, 2017
  • Time: 6:30-9:30 PM (SPECIAL TIME AND LOCATION)
  • Location: Madison Suite, Hilton Midtown, 1335 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019
  • https://www.meetup.com/nycdevops/events/243369226/

VelocityNYC is in town this week. They've graciously provided space for us to host an additional meeting. Space is limited! RSVP soon! Full details and RSVP.

  • Topic: Storing Secrets in Cloud based Key Management Services
  • Speaker: Dan O'Boyle, Stack Overflow, Inc.
  • Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2017
  • Time: 6:30-9:30 PM
  • Location: Stack Overflow HQ, 110 William St, 28th floor, NY, NY
  • https://www.meetup.com/nycdevops/events/241803854/

The A/C is fixed! Don't miss this cool event! Full details and RSVP.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in NYCDevOps Meetup

This month's NYCDevOps meetup speaker will be Seth Thomas talking about "Habitat in Production".

  • Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017
  • Time: 6:30 PM
  • Location: Stack Overflow HQ, 110 William St, 28th floor, NY, NY

Space is limited! RSVP soon!

https://www.meetup.com/nycdevops/events/240064742/

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in NYCDevOps Meetup

 
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