Interested in doing a lightning talk at LISA?

Talks are no more than 5 minutes with no AV (no slides, no videos, no projector). They can be on any topic though we prefer topics related to System Administration. Please keep the content 'professional' in tone.

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With only 5 minutes to give the talk it is important that you cut to the chase. I've seen some people make the mistake of spending a lot of time on something inconsequential like how to install the software they're talking about (and the talk wasn't about installation techniques). The best talks I've seen start with a solid explanation of the problem (in terms of the pain being caused) then explain the solution.

Because the talk is limited to 5 minutes, I highly recommend you rehearse in front of a friend or two before hand. It is worth it.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in LISA

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Sadly, I'm flying back home earlier on Wednesday, so I can't sign up. (Well, I could, but I wouldn't be able to keep my promise to be there.) So I'll give my five-minute talk right here.

For any sysadmin who uses a ticketing system for IT issues, my rule is clear:

Your customers, not you, should close the tickets.

You gain confidence that your customer who put in the request is satisfied you've solved the problem. Your customer gains confidence that you will not preempt her request for assistance.

The biggest problem I've seen in this arrangement are folks who can't be bothered to close tickets once you've completed them. My experience is that once I walk to someone's desk (or call him on the phone) and explain the importance of ticket closure to me and my department, he will gladly comply. Here's another gain: he comes to realize that you have priorities, that your time is important, that you can only act on the information in front of you, etc.

Is my five minutes up? If not, I'll add that you ought to have strict rules about when you're actually allowed to close a ticket, e.g., when the employee who submitted the ticket has left the company, when it's clear to everyone involved that the action requested is incompatible with company policy, or when X number of clear requests to close the ticket have been ignored. Otherwise, the ticket stays open until the requestor is satisfied.

Thank you, and have a nice day.

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