My LISA Day 1

My morning was spent in the Devops in the Workplace workshop run by Mandi Walls and Dominica Degrandis. Since it was a relatively small group, we started out by introducing ourselves and talking about what we wanted to learn or discuss about devops, then figured out what were the most common themes and which topics more people wanted to touch on. It was agreat mix of people in the room, with folks from large and small organizations in both industry and academia. That meant we got to hear a wider range of thoughts and experiences than one typically might at a web operations conference where everyone is just writing webapps, but it was interesting to see how much common ground there was in the questions that people had. We shared ideas for what tools and practices people have found helpful (pro-tip: using 12 different ticketing systems is generally not the most efficient!), talked about the intersection of Deming's systems thinking and the "hippy dippy" warm fuzzies of devops and empathy, and even watched this great video from Nathen Harvey.

Because I'm about to go on-call for my first time at Etsy, I spent my afternoon at Tom Limoncelli's training session on How to Not Get Paged (because being on-call and not getting paged is the dream!). By the way, he'll be doing a book signing Friday during the first break in the LISA Lab if you're looking to get your hands on a signed copy of The Practice of Cloud System Administration (or a signed sticker if you have the non-dead-tree version). There was a lot of great content and things to consider when designing and maintaining an on-call system, with plenty of ranting about email, which is neither an alerting mechanism nor a logging system, talk of alert fatigue, and the best things to put in every alert (context! nagios-herald is excellent for this!). We also got a cool live demo of StackExchange's new open-source monitoring tool, Bosun. While I can't say I'm looking forward to being on-call, I did get a lot of things to think about for the next time I am (and I clearly need to go read The Cloud Book in the meantime). It was also really interesting to hear everyone share the first thing they were going to do when they got back to work to improve their own on-call experiences (including preparing for zombie attacks).

Afterwards I got to enjoy a delicious dinner of pho at a nearby restaurant that did an amazing job of accomodating so many sysadmins, stopped by a Chef meetup at their new office, and played a few rounds of Devops Against Humanity to get me all ready for Day 2.