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Introduction to Chef

When I started working for my current employer, I had experience with CFEngine2 and a dabbling in Puppet. Unfortunately for me, my new job used Chef. I thought I'd give myself an opportunity to learn it better by using it to configure my server and laptop at home. But I was in a hurry to get things configured and ended up using something that I perceived as having a shorter start time. Would that I had taken Nathen Harvey's CHef training sooner.

Evil Genius 101

Tom Limoncelli has taught many excellent courses at LISA over the years, so when I saw he was teaching a new course called "Evil Genius 101" I was intrigued. Fellow blogger Matt Simmons described the course as "how to win friends and coerce people", and that was fairly apt. Okay, "coerce" is probably a little strong.

Continuous integration with Jenkins

On Tuesday morning, Joshua Jensen presented a introduction to continuous integration (CI) with Jenkins. Although CI is generally considered a part of the development process, it it has relevance to system administration. I can think of several occasions where a simple build that checked CFEngine syntax before deploying the change across clusters would have saved several hours of effort.

Getting to Senior: Sysadmin Level IV and Beyond

Monday afternoon, Adam Moskowitz taught his "Getting to Senior: Sysadmin Level IV and Beyond" course to a near-capacity crowd. As expected, the audience consisted mostly of mid-level admins looking to position themselves for career advancement. Moskowitz lead off with a disclaimer that attendees were "not going to like most of what I'm going to say today." His position is that much of what makes a good senior sysadmin is not the technical skills, but the "soft" skills. As such, only half an hour was spent discussing the technical skills a senior sysadmin should know.

Non-Abstract Large System Design for Sysadmins

John Looney put the "Large" in "Large Installation System Administration Conference" on Sunday. In an all-day training session, attendees learned about "non-abstract large system design."  The non-abstract aspect came in to play over the course of the day as groups worked to architect the infrastructure for a hypothetical image-sharing service. Looney mixed lecture, discussion, and group sessions in order to allow attendees to learn the most in the time constraints.

More Power with PowerShell - Class Review

This is the third year that USENIX has offered PowerShell training at LISA, and the first I've been able to get into the class to take it. I'm so glad I could finally do it, because even though I use PowerShell almost every day to administer my vSphere clusters (through the excellent PowerCLI extension by VMware), I don't feel like I have a really solid grasp of the language as a whole. 

Interview with LISA'13 co-chairs Narayan Desai and Kent Skaar

A conference the size of LISA is no small effort. USENIX relies heavily on the contributions of the community, including the conference chairs. This year's chairs are Narayan Desai and Kent Skaar. Narayan focuses on building large-scale computational platforms and software at Argonne National Laboratory. Skaar works for VMWare, focused on distributed systems management and applications. I recently asked them about their experience co-chairing LISA '13.

5 In-Demand Tech Job Skills

Article contributed by Marcus Robertson, CTO, TrueAbility

As companies continue to move their enterprises to the cloud and the demand for qualified IT professionals grows, thousands of new technology positions are left unfilled every month. Our company processes a substantial amount of real-world technical assessments that are used to fill these open positions, which gives us a unique perspective into technical hiring trends in the industry.

Celebrating Open Access Week 2013

Every week is Open Access Week at USENIX, and this week we're happy to participate in the 6th annual global Open Access Week. Since 2008, USENIX papers have been freely available and USENIX authors retain their copyright."Two key parts of the USENIX mission are to foster technical innovation and to provide support for and dissemination of research in computer

LISA '13: Build a Sysadmin Sandbox — Interview with David N. Blank-Edelman

On Sunday, November 3, David Blank-Edelman will teaching a half-day training session at LISA '13: Build a Sysadmin Sandbox. In this interview, he offers a preview of his session. 

LISA '13 early bird registration and hotel discount has been extended until October 22, so register now for the greatest savings.