Awesome Conferences

November 2006 Archives

Tom will be doing a dress-rehearsal of his "Site Reliability @ Google" talk at $GROUPNAME this Wednesday night. Be the first to hear his new material.

The person that carpools with the most first-timers (people new to $GROUPNAME) will receive a free copy of his book, Time Management for System Administrators, from O'Reilly.

Location: CoRE Auditorium, Rutgers Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ.

Time: 7pm

For more information, visit their web site:

One-day workshops and training programs serve a different purpose from week-long conferences. One-day seminars tend to be tactical: focused on a particular technology or skill (TCP/IP, Storage, Backups, etc). Week-long conferences are strategic: offering opportunities to discuss broader topics, to network, to build community, and to further the craft of SA as a respected profession. Week-long conferences give you "vision".

LISA is one of those week-long conferences.

My favorite part of LISA is what I call "the moment." There's always this moment when I realize that someone has just said something that makes me want to shout, "Oh Damn! That just paid for the entire conference!" There are many little "ah-ha!" moments too, but there's always one big one. Some years there are two or three.

LISA is very cutting-edge. Many times I've seen a new tool at LISA that only became popular years later. I had been using it all along. People wonder where I find out about these things, the answer is usually "LISA"! That's really helped me stay ahead of the pack.

Week-long conferences have a powerful effect, providing a much-needed opportunity to relax, and they provide a supportive environment where you can take a step back from your day-to-day work and consider the big picture. Attendees return to their job brimming with new ideas and vision; refreshed, motivated, and with a new outlook.

This year's conference is on the east-coast in lovely Washington D.C. I hope to see you there!

LISA '06, Dec 3-8, in Washington D.C., download this year's flyer (PDF) or go to the LISA'06 home page

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Conferences

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.