Our profession is one without a lot of formal training (though that's changing...).
Instead, most of our knowledge is picked up on the job. We learn by
But this has its downsides. Sure, nobody wants a "paper tiger" -- all
certificates and no practical experience -- but how do you learn to do
X on the job, if your job doesn't need you to do X right now? Or what
if there's no one around to teach you X, or who knows the pitfalls to
watch out for?
There are deadlines you can safely ignore: they're soft, and the consequences are trivial. And then there are the deadlines that, when you miss them, make you smack your forehead and cry out to the sky avove, "WHY didn't I catch that?" We're coming close to one of those important deadlines, and I want to give you fair warning.
OK, so it’s 3:00pm, everyone’s on break getting coffee. It’s been a long day of sitting and listening. It’s good stuff and I’ve met some people that I want to keep in contact with. There’s another two hours to go before dinner and then… what?
Actually there are a lot of possibilities. While the days are for other people to talk, the nights are for me, and the place to start is the sign boards near the registration desk. This is where the evening activities are posted.
Some things are clearly a lot of work, even to people on the outside; organizing a conference the size of LISA is a good example. Sysadmins, though, can find it difficult to explain the importance of their work -- how do you point to invisible scaffolding that users only miss when it's gone? LISA14 Chair Nicole Forsgren Velasquez wants to give us the tools to show and justify the efforts we make when speaking to our customers.
It’s great to see LISA paying attention to the diversity of its attendees and speakers, with talks like Building the Women@Work Community and the Ally Skills Workshop. This post will discuss how conference attendees can contribute towards creating a conference environment that’s comfortable for everyone.
It's your third day at LISA, and the morning session just broke for coffee and muffins. The tutorial has been every bit as good as you hoped it would be, and you have a ton of notes to decipher when you get back to $WORK. There's a workshop in the afternoon, the BoF in the evening...it's incredible how much rushing around there is! The muffin is about done, and you're about to find a quiet place to check email, maybe see how the rest of the team's doing back at $WORK....but hold that thought: you're about to miss one of the best resources at LISA.
I got to interview Matt Simmons, a veteran LISA blogger and attendee as well as a member of this year’s organizing committee. Matt is also the Standalone Sysadmin - if you haven’t read any of his work there yet, go do that now! Then come back and see what he has to say about LISA14.
I'll tell you a secret: I have a weakness for clever. If it's new, if it's smart, if it's a clever hack I've never seen before that makes me raise a toast to my fellow tool-using primates, then I'm in. This sort of thing happens all the time at LISA; that's one of the reasons I love it. But sometimes I need to slow down, ask some questions, figure out what it means -- and you know what happens next, right?
The LISA conference is an incredible value: six solid days of tutorials, workshops, presentations and new research, all in a vendor-neutral setting and with more than a thousand of your peers in attendance. But I'll be straight with you: it's also a significant cost. Wouldn't it be great to get your employer to pay for the trip?