"Plays Well with Others"—Applied Improv for Technologists

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 1:30pm5:00pm

Brian Sebby, Argonne National Laboratory


Getting everyone in your company or development team on the same page can be a challenge. This on-your-feet workshop will teach fast and fun improv techniques for helping your group to bond, generate quality ideas, and make quick decisions. Learn the secrets of applied improv for business from a longtime sysadmin who has decades of experience working in open source, Internet startups, and corporate training.

Improv isn't just for performing on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"—it's a great tool for reacting to new situations without being thrown, recognizing personal dynamics, putting aside ego instead of rehashing the same Chef vs. Ansible vs. Puppet arguments again, and coming up with great ideas while minimizing ego and baggage.

This is not a lecture, but an on-your-feet workshop. Participants will move, laugh, and get to know each other while learning the basics of applied improvisation. The “yes and” philosophy of improv is valuable for managers, team members, or anyone needing to simply get their group on the same page. No need to take notes—all participants will receive a link to the entire curriculum, as well as additional exercises and information they can take back to their own companies.

Brian Sebby, Argonne National Laboratory

Brian Sebby is a Senior Systems Administrator at Argonne National Laboratory with 16 years of experience managing the laboratory's core Unix infrastructure and business systems. He bought a Groupon for a class at ComedySportz in 2011 and quickly fell in love with improv. He has since studied and performed around Chicagoland at ComedySportz, the Annoyance, One Group Mind, iO, and Westside Improv. Brian presented the poster "DevOps is Improv" at LISA '15, and has assisted with running the Improv Workshop at LISA for the past two years.

@conference {208463,
author = {Brian Sebby},
title = {"Plays Well with Others"{\textemdash}Applied Improv for Technologists},
year = {Submitted},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},