Awesome Conferences

LISA11 Diary: Sun, Dec 4

Sunday I woke up around 6am, had breakfast at the hotel "club" on the 29th floor (great view!)

Tutorial: Time Management for System Administrators: In the morning I taught a half-day class on Time Management. This is the "personal" time management side of things: making your life more sane. I've taught this class at LISA every year since 2005-ish and this year the turn-out was HUGE (80+ people). No matter how many times I teach this I get new and interesting questions each time. After the tutorial I autographed books and answered questions.

Lunch: I had the lunch that comes with the tutorial sessions. Chicken, salad, etc.

Tutorial: Time Management: Team Efficiency: In the afternoon I taught my new(ish) tutorial on tools for helping your team work together. This is all material that is new since Time Management for System Administrators was published. (1) Making meetings not suck. Meetings that waste your time are evil and there are many good ways to reform bad meetings and escape the unfixable ones. (2) Tools that let the team delegate amongst themselves. You may be the only person that understands the guts of the backup system, but everyone should know how to do routine work like adding a new server, doing a restore, changing tapes, and so on. This is a matter of writing "service documentation" and "procedure documentation"... I know everyone hates writing docs, so we also talk about how to make it painless (hint: put a checklist onto a wiki is better than nothing; a little structure and you are almost entirely there. (3) tools for sharing information, and tearing down power structures that are based on information hiding, (4) tips for creating a more shared, collaborative, oncall/pager experience, (5) templates to use for things like design docs, department web site, and so on.

Dinner: Met two local friends and had dinner at Cheesecake Factory. More calories than is ethical to put on a plate.

Evening: Hung out in the "hallway track"... social spaces around the conference venue where people hang out and chat. I got the "inside scoop" about what is happening with the people in certain open source projects; this will help me make some decisions I've been needing to make.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in ConferencesLISA11

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