LISA18 Training

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Hello, Trainers!

The LISA conference is evolving with an exciting new format in which LISA Labs, the Expo, training, and talks will be integrated into a three-day event. LISA training will evolve to match and will target hands-on experience as much as learning. The goal is to present a focused program that gives attendees better options and flexibility within the shorter timespan.

We will have three major formats of focused training that instructors can propose: Self-Guided Classes that attendees can work through on site; Tutorials where the instructor will offer depth and explanation; and Labs where participants will get hands-on experience based on content from Self-Guided Classes or Tutorials or will be introduced to a new topic. We are extending our proposal format to request more information about the offerings. We are also working to have more services available to trainers onsite and before the conference.

We look forward to your submission, especially those that can encompass all three formats and provide a comprehensive focus on a topic. We also welcome first-time instructors and fresh approaches to teaching the art of system administration. We recognize that these are big changes from our traditional formats, and we want to ensure instructors and attendees that we’re going to adapt and work together to take LISA training to new levels.

Branson Matheson and Brett Thorson
LISA18 Training Program Co-Chairs

Instruction Formats

Self-Guided Classes are online walkthroughs available to attendees via the conference WiFi. These should be slideshow/worksheet format classes targeted for 30 minutes that can be either lead-ins for full Tutorials or Labs, or can be complete walkthroughs of a simple concept. We will have volunteers in Build to assist students and instructor "Office Hours" with 45-minute blocks in Labs for instructors to review classes with students. Examples include:

  • How to build a VM environment on your laptop: Setting up VMware or VirtualBox
  • Kali Linux for defense: Identifying what's on your network and doing a simple security audit—a walkthrough of nmap, Lynis, and OpenVAS
  • Beginning Ansible: Defining playbooks, roles, and basic usage
  • Understanding Docker: A walkthrough of Docker—what it is and how it works

Tutorials can be 45 or 90 minutes long. 90 minutes has been the length of mini-tutorials in recent years, and the 45-minute format is new. These will be stand-up instruction and used for delivering content to attendees and can be two segments for more broad topics. Tutorials should be designed to allow students to take concepts home or to Labs and apply them successfully. Although Tutorials can be hands-on, they're intended for base instruction on a concept and Labs are used to apply it. Examples include:

  • How virtual machines and hypervisors work, and an introduction to interesting network techniques capable inside a VM environment
  • Kali Linux for defense: How do these tools enumerate systems? Why all the options to nmap? How are easy ways vulnerable systems could be overlooked?
  • How to Interview—practices and methods for getting the right information.
  • Ansible for operations: Developing useful tools via Ansible to reduce operational risk
  • Incident handling: Develop/improve processes to handle incidents
  • Docker exposed: An in-depth discussion of Docker
  • Advanced Docker: Use a CMS to expand capability of containers.

Labs can also be either 45 or 90-minutes long, and are where a concept taught via a Self-Guided Class or Tutorial is supplemented via a hands-on experience with the tools in an environment the trainer defines. Labs can also be self-contained, where a new concept is exercised if a Tutorial would be too long. Labs should encourage group work and develop enough understanding of a concept so the student can take it back to their worksite and apply the concept successfully. Examples include:

  • Setting up a VM "Lab" with a proxy machine with other VMs "behind" it
  • Now that you've found insecure systems on your network, let’s break into them! Demonstrating security weaknesses to promote better awareness
  • Create a lab that demonstrates the use of another tool either in Kali, or whatever you choose. Doesn't have to be tied to a tutorial!
  • Applied Git: Learn how to pull, branch, merge, and rebase
  • Basic Docker: Deploy Docker and create basic containers

Trainers with existing content can leverage that work by scoping sections of their class to the different formats, and then proposing them as a set of linked offerings. As in the examples above, Understanding Docker could be a self-guided class that then leads someone to take the Docker Exposed Lab if they'd like to get more depth. Similarly, Basic Docker Lab could give the hands-on deploying of the tool and then an Advanced Docker Tutorial (and/or Lab) would teach applying config to a Docker container via a CMS.

Proposal Format

This year we will be requesting proposals via the submission system, and asking for more information to use in the decision and implementation processes:

  • Submission Title: Short sentence that explains the class
  • Topic Category: Architecture, Culture, Engineering
  • Duration of Training Course: 45 or 90 minutes
  • Training Format: Self-Guided, Tutorial, Lab
  • Training Focus: Operations, Security, Virtualization, Soft Skills, Performance, Configuration Management, Information Management
  • Class Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Specific Topics: Information on what your submission will specifically cover
  • Who Should Attend: What do you envision your tutorial audience to be?
  • Description: Describe your submission
  • Hands-on: What the student will do interactively
  • Takeaway/Take Back to Work: What the student can use back in their environment
  • Pre-Requisites: Other training or links
  • Infrastructure needs: Hosting downloads, website, VM space, networks, etc.
  • Instructor bio: Not just who, but also why you're a good candidate to teach this topic
  • Teaching experience: Provide links if possible