Kyle Neumann's LISA story
Kyle Neumann had never attended LISA before, but when his employer encouraged him to go to a conference, he started looking around. A Reddit comment and his own research lead him to LISA. Although his primarily role is a Windows administrator, he didn't necessarily want to go to a Microsoft-specific conference. He told me he likes that LISA content focuses on the domain, not a specific technology. "Even the technology-specific stuff," he said, "is technologies instead of technology."
The opportunity to learn from people whose reputation he admires was a great appeal as well. "I wanted to check out what Tom [Limoncelli] did." Seeing instructors and presenters sitting in other talks and learning was a surprise for him. Instead of cloistering somewhere secret, LISA presenters are as much a part of the community as anyone else.
Having always been a solo sysadmin, Kyle enjoyed being able to meet others who face the same challenges he does. Although he didn't know anyone when he first arrived, he felt like he fit in. "These are my people," he told me. His first LISA experience was so good that he plans on coming back next year, even if it means paying for the tutorials out of pocket.