When he's not busy demystifying RRDtool, Tobi Oetiker is a language evangelist. On Monday afternoon, he brought Perl 6 to the masses. Brian Sebby joked on Twitter: "Perl 6 has a lot of cool features that I'd really like to use. I also felt this way when it was just around the corner at LISA '02." Indeed, Perl 6 has been 11 years in the making, and still hasn't gained much of a foothold in the sysadmin community. Perhaps that's not too surprising, considering how useful Perl 5 remains.
As noted sysadmin B. Knowles said, "if you liked it then you shoulda put a [monito]ring on it." John Sellens was back on Monday with another morning session -- this one focused on using Nagios to monitor just about anything. Nagios is a host and service monitor with a long history, and a longer list of uses.
Earlier this year, Tom Limoncelli wrote a blog post about how to rank and improve your sysadmin team. He was inspired by Joel Spolsky's post entitled "The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code", a 12-question "highly irresponsible, sloppy test to rate the quality of a software team".
On Sunday afternoon, David Nalley presented a training session entitled "RPM Packaging for Sysadmins". Although it's technically a new course for LISA '11, it's actually a retooling of a more general packaging class that was offered several years ago. The old course covered Debian and Solaris packaging, but the attendee feedback indicated that the vast majority were only interested in learning RPM.
The course starts with explaining why bother packaging. The traditional autoconf command chain of
These days, there are either fewer DBAs or more, depending on how you look at it. According to John Sellens, as the number of applications that are powered by databases increases, there's more and more of a requirement for systems administrators to have some database experience. The goal of the databases training is to arm sysadmins with just enough knowledge to get the job done.
In order to manage something, you must be able to measure it. Metrics are absolutely vital to everything we do in our professional lives. If we didn't use metrics to determine functionality, we might as well cast dice to diagnose problems. We thrive on information, and we use it to make important decisions that have very tangible ramifications.
This year, I showed up to the LISA hotel a bit earlier than usual - partly because I felt like I missed out on things the last few times, and also because I've never really been to Boston, and I wanted to be able to take a little time to see the city, if at all possible.
If you register for USENIX LISA'11 by 11:59PM (Pacific Time) Friday, December 2, your name will automatically be entered into a drawing for two 30-minute, one-on-one time management coaching classes with Tom Limoncelli to be held at LISA '11.