Once again, my apologies for having to split the posts. I believe I can manage it with just two posts this time. This was lightly edited to remove some of the noise from the transcript
As mentioned in the beginning of the transcript, we also have Danielle White's answers to these questions.
With the benefit of answering these after the #LOPSA-Live session (and thank you for this opportunity) I see overlap between these questions.
Question #1: I strongly feel that there exists interest but is from an audience who isn't seeing us right now. In part due to my role change in mid-2016, to a position where I am doing more development than operations, I found local Research Triangle chapters of some groups, such as Girl Develop IT and Women Who Code, of people in similar capacities. Generally, they don't know of LOPSA even though sysadmin tasks are part of their jobs. Locally there are employers where nobody defines themselves as a system administrator even though many are doing so.
My approach to address this is to work on getting LOPSA into those spaces and make the case for our relevance. I feel strongly that we can be of substantial benefit because what I often see there are people who are doing ops work without a lot of support, and there is a solid case that we will make.
A Research Triangle specific note: LOPSA is still listed as affiliated with North Carolina System Administrators (NC*SA) which effectively no longer exists at this point. The other group where LOPSA is known, TriLUG, does not have participation from the individuals I described above and, for a number of reasons, almost certainly will not.
Question #2: If you'll allow me to take advantage of knowing the next question I believe questions #1 and #3 are our biggest at this time. I don't wish to suggest that if we solve them we've solved it all, only that we must focus on those two right now because solving those are critical to anything more.
Question #3: I would love to say that there is a way to make LOPSA-EAST viable but I am doubtful right now. The best approach that I see here is to look for conferences that are gaining and work with them. In the Research Triangle there is All Things Open. Also, there are a number of DevOps Days conferences where we need to be.
Don't forget the second session on June 21 @ 21:00 Eastern
The following series of posts are the transcripts from candidates #LOPSA-Live session. We have a size-of-post limitation for these items so it will be split across four posts.
1 Slight editing was performed to remove blank lines and entry/exit messages
The Leadership Committee is conducting moderated LOPSA Live sessions on Freenode IRC network in the #lopsa-live channel. These sessions will be your opportunity to ask questions of the candidates running for the LOPSA board.
We have two sessions, which should accommodate most time zones:
The Leadership Committee is proud to announce your election slate:
We have four seats up for election and a fantastic set of five candidates. This is your opportunity to influence the direction of LOPSA over the next year.
Keep an eye out, we will be sending notice for the LOPSA Live sessions soon. We will have two sessions before the election closes, where you can ask questions from the candidates before you vote.
The elections are open until July 1, 2017 at 11:59:59PM Eastern Time.
LOPSA is your organization and you'll get out of what you put into it, please vote and participate. It will make the organization better for us all!
I would like to announce my candidacy for the LOPSA Board.
I am a long time contributing openSUSE Member and Advocate in Southern California. I have been organizing and working the openSUSE booth at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE) since 2012. I was the main organizers of the openSUSE miniSummit at SCaLE in 2015. I have represented openSUSE at booths at various conferences over the years such as LinuxCon, South East Linux Fest, and others. I attend meetups usually giving out openSUSE install media, stickers and other swag.
We have a strong Southern California openSUSE community. The great people of our local community come from all kinds of backgrounds and all have different levels of technical ability. However, the thing that unifies us is not openSUSE but our strong desire to help each other contribute and participate in building a strong community and learning and growing together.
I love finding people who have a desire to contribute and learn and grow in a community and help them get pointed in the right direction. Get them plugged in with others like them… connecting these people together and watching the community from and grow from the interactions. Not only do I love doing this, but this is what I have been doing for many years in the openSUSE community.
What I have done in the openSUSE community I would like to now bring to LOPSA and help us grow and build stronger and more active local communities with a fun and energetic culture of collaborative learning. I think we have a good base to build on and would like to lend my experience to the board so we can get to that next level.
Rather obviously I am Danielle White. I have been a system administrator since 1996, doing so in both university (public and private) and corporate environments. My administration positions included both OS level work and application tier. More recently my position is operations automation work, primarily with Python and Ansible, for management of hosted customers.
Through those positions I worked with a wide variety of other system administrators, ranging ones very new to the field through ones who, as my friend and fellow system administrator Dallas Wisehaupt once put it of our then senior system administrator colleague, “you can tell he was used to running machines with 8k words of RAM.”
Due to these experiences I have come to a greater understanding of the expanse of our field, ways in which it changes, and the varied backgrounds of the field’s practitioners. I have gained appreciation for areas where LOPSA has a potential for growth and to strengthen what we already do well.
From my experience with groups such as the RDU chapter of Girl Develop It I have become aware of an area of focus that is missed: a set of people who define themselves as developers but who are doing system administration work as a part of their job. The people participating in those groups are not part of ones, such as the local LUG, where LOPSA is far better known and, thus, they do not hear of us. An aspect related to this is conferences; LISA is critical and LOPSA-EAST has been important but many aren’t there. Instead they are at All Things Open, the various regional Dev Ops Days conferences, PyCon, and so forth. This focus serves to both strengthen our field and boost membership.
I was very happy to see LOPSA’s mentoring program when it was introduced and still strongly support it. I will work for an expansion to do more to train our members to be better mentors. I recognize that the need for many of these resources is beyond the scope of the mentorship program as such. This was the reason I developed a “mentoring the mentors” presentation that had been slated for an unfortunately canceled LOPSA-EAST conference. Many of us who approach mentoring do so without solid support. If we were fortunate we had good mentors and can build on their work, and if not we are left to find our own way.
I came to see this as a needed focus due to my own experience becoming the mentor in a situation of much position turnover followed by several years of considerable team growth, going from a team of six with half overseas to a team of nearly 50. My most difficult lessons were ones of soft skills and ares we typically consider more of a managerial nature. We must begin to better share these lessons with others so we can be the improvement.
Finally, all of this comes with recognition that there are important gendered aspects that we need to understand. In my area there is an obvious gendered divide that affects the effective reach of LOPSA, i.e. women who are doing systems administration work as part of their jobs are not going to the loal LUG where people know LOPSA. While recognizing that this is going to be a long road I am certain that we can make solid progress on this.
I can most easily be found on the IRC channels on FreeNode as ClothoMoirai. As a director I will welcome communication. Through my activism in recent years as a member of the LGBT community in North Carolina I came to value such communication, even with people with whom I may disagree.
The League of Professional System Administrators
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Phone: (202) LOPSA01 (202-567-7201)
Fax: (609) 219-6787