Jamie Riedesel wins Chuck Yerkes Award

Who would have expected having plenty of idle time due to the Great Recession would lead to an award? Not Jamie Riedesel, this year's Chuck Yerkes Award winner. The League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA) established the award to recognize oustanding community contributions via online fora. Riedesel was selected in part due to her active contributions on ServerFault. Having written around 200,000 words over the years, Riedesel has earned the strong reputation and moderator status.

In the early days of ServerFault, people were liberal with upvotes and reputation grew quickly. This got Jamie hooked. Near the top, it stops being about "meaningless Internet points," and becomes a real competition that can attract the attention of recruiters and peers. Sometimes, it's just about writing the right post. 10% of Jamie's reputation points come from two posts: an explanation of pem files and cleaning up after an untrusted employee leaves.

Recognition can come from other places, too. When @SwiftOnSecurity tweeted a link to Jamie's blog post about carrying separate work and personal phones, it was far and away the most popular post on her blog. Jamie started blogging in 2004 as a test of a web server, but has become a regular and respected blogger. Both blog posts and ServerFault serve as an opportunity to practice writing documentation in short pieces. In addition, the act of researching questions and syntesizing existing answers into a single, coherent post is a great learning opportunity.

Now an official award-winner, Jamie hopes the recognition will help get more speaking engagements and help to promote LOPSA.