Tribute to Evi Nemeth and Call for Award Nominations

At USENIX Security '13 tonight (Wednesday, August 14), attendees are invited to celebrate the life of Evi Nemeth. Attendees are encouraged to share their favorite memories and happy stories at tonight's Tribute to Evi.

Evi and USENIX

In late June, while I attended USENIX Federated Conferences Week in San Jose, California, The New Zealand Herald broke the news that Evi Nemeth's vintage yacht and its seven passengers were missing in the Tasman Sea. Depending on who you ask, Evi Nemeth is the godmother of UNIX admins, grandmother of the data center, UNIX guru, or the matriarch of system administration. She was also a professor, engineer, and author of the “bibles" of system administration: UNIX System Administration Handbook, Linux Administration Handbook, and UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook.

The news spread quickly throughout the USENIX Federated Conferences Week events because Evi was well-known and loved within the USENIX community. “Evi was a mainstay at the USENIX LISA conference," wrote Tom Limoncelli, a long-time sysadmin and co-chair of LISA '11, the annual USENIX sysadmin conference, “Every year she would show up with a number of students who would get free admission to the conference in return for volunteering. Many of these students have gone on to be well-known sysadmins."

As I followed news on Twitter, hoping that Evi's yacht would be found, I was struck by how influential one person could be within the field of system administration. Over the course of her long career, Evi shared her knowledge with countless students and admins. She also received industry recognition for her contributions to system administration, including the 1995 USENIX/LISA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Although Evi's books stand out as go-to references for system administration, much of what sysadmins learn comes in the form of wisdom shared by fellow admins. With this in mind, I asked admins I know —and admins who volunteered via social media channels— to share what they've learned over the years, which inspired this article I wrote for ITworld:

Best advice from sys admins, for sys admins

If you see that the list is missing sysadmin wisdom that you'd like to pass on, please let us know in the comment section of the ITworld article.

USENIX 2013 Call for Awards

Do you know a sysadmin worthy of the LISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in System Administration? If so, be sure to nominate her or him for the award. Visit our 2013 Call for Awards page for more information. We're also accepting nominations for The USENIX Lifetime Achievement (Flame) Award and The Software Tools Users Group (STUG) Award.

We look forward to receiving your award nominations and honoring a new round of exceptional individuals.