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Sysadmins! Need a mentor? Want to be a mentor?

LOPSA has started a mentoring program. Think of it as a "match-maker" service that helps new sysadmins find a mentor.

Most sysadmins do not have a mentor. That's sad. If you recall, the reason Christine and I were inspired to write "The Practice of System and Network Administration" was to share all the knowledge we had been so lucky to gain from our mentors. We wanted to create a "mentor in a book", so to speak, for those who were not as luck as we were. The result is TPOSANA.

However, books only go so far.

I'm excited by the LOPSA Mentor program because it directly help sysadmins, especially the solo sysadmins that are in the most need

Being a mentor is one of the most rewarding experiences you can imagine. From 1992-1996 I mentored someone by email and I have to admit... I learned as much from her as she did from me. We still stay in contact.

The LOPSA program matches a protege with a mentor. They agree on a specific project, for example, setting up a replicated web server, and when they are done write up a little note about their experience. It's that simple. What happens after the project is up to them.

A mentor doesn't give proteges the answers. A mentor helps guide the protege to find the resources they need to work out the answer themselves. It is that kind of knowledge that makes a successful mentor/protege relationship.

Please sign up to be a mentor today!

For more information about the program visit today.

(The full LOPSA press release follows...)



Mount Laurel, NJ, 22 September 2010 - LOPSA, the League of Professional System Administrators, a professional sys admin organization, unveiled a mentorship program. In fulfillment of LOPSA's mission to support the practice of system administration, LOPSA's sys admin members volunteer as mentors and as program coordinators. Anyone can join the program as a protege; membership in LOPSA in not required. This is truly a community service.

How does the LOPSA Mentor Program work?

The LOPSA Mentor Program provides a match-maker service for LOPSA members who want to be a mentor with new, eager, system administrators that want to learn. Potential proteges write a one-paragraph description of a project they want to be mentored on. Mentors list their availability and a brief description of their skills and interests. A volunteer coordinator brings the two together.

The pair is free to work out their own goals, timeline, schedule, and so on. When the project is complete, the protege writes a brief description of the project for distribution.

Projects should be well-defined with a clear end-point. For example, "Set up RequestTracker for my university helpdesk" or "Set up MS-Exchange with fail-over for 20 users." After the project is complete what happens is up to you. We hope that by working together on a project you start a relationship that lasts many years.

What do mentors do? Mentors are expected to help the protege define the project goals, then let them work independently. Mentors are there to answer questions and coach, not provide dedicated training or technical support. It is important that proteges learn to learn.

Become a LOPSA Protege!

It can be lonely starting your career as a system administrator. Yes, there are books, mailing lists, and web sites - but having a mentor can lead to a professional relationship that can last a lifetime. The LOPSA Mentor Program is a match maker service that helps you find a mentor. You work with the mentor to define the project's goals and see the project to completion. After that, LOPSA steps out of the way. It is our hope that this starts a mentor-protege relationship that lasts longer than just one project.

When you are done, all LOPSA asks is that you write a 1-paragraph summary for us to put on our "wall of success." Simple!

Go to to sign up.


The League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA) is an independent nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing the practice of system administration. The mission of the organization is to support, recognize, educate, and encourage its practitioners and to serve the public through education and outreach on system administration issues.

LOPSA provides educational and networking opportunities, a forum for support and ideas, and an active community engaged in discussion of sysadmin issues. As a member driven organization, LOPSA's best ideas come from its membership; IT professionals looking to influence the field of IT can join LOPSA to find other IT professionals to collaborate on projects, advance the state of the art, and search for and share the best practices in IT.

For more information on LOPSA, visit, or contact the executive office: 15000 Commerce Parkway, Suite C, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054; Phone: 856-439-0500 or toll free at 800-285-2141; Fax: 856-439-0525; E-mail: [email protected].


CONTACT: Christian Paredes League of Professional System Administrators Phone: 206-552-9702 Email: [email protected] Website:

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

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