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  • 21 Jun 2017 8:43 PM | Anonymous member

    JUNE 21 CANDIDATE Q&A (CONTINUED)

    #LOPSA-Live 2017-06-21

    Trev71 So, next question, order will be Andy, Andree, Aleksey, Danielle and Drew...
    Trev71 One sec..
    Trev71 Moderator copy/paste issues :) hang tight a second please..
    Trev71 What methods do you think would work for reaching out to members and providing more community to them (other than IRC and mailing lists)? -- From Dan Rich.
    Trev71 Andy - you are up...
    vt102 typing...
    vt102 I believe LOPSA is currently recruiting a paid Community Manager, and I believe this was a great decision by our current board.  Community is important.  Tools and methods are less important that having someone capable helping organize it.
    vt102 There are so many "social" tools out there that it seems almost inevitable that there would be some fragmentation of the community.  But the community manager could curate the most important ideas and propagate those through the largest and most important communities, whatever those become.
    vt102 EOF
    Trev71 Andree ?
    Trev71 -- and a reminder, send your questions or follow ups over to Adam (aluck), thanks !
    NMSwede Well… As much as I love IRC, the younger generation doesn't seem to know about it. If we use it as a tool for reaching out, the audience probably won't be huge. LinkedIn, Facebook, etc are important. Like Andy is saying, the Community Manager will be a huge help, and I also think trying to reach out at job fairs, etc. At least have a flyer that can be printable, and a link sent to people we know that does recrui
    NMSwede ting, etc. It might be useful, might not. Word of mouth helps as well, so encouraging current members (like Aleksey said - you get out what you put in) to help with this will be key. \n
    NMSwede That was an EOL there, btw...
    Trev71 Yea, I saw that... lol
    Trev71 ok, next up Aleksey please...
    atsaloli Aleksey Tsalolikhin: For reaching out to members, there is no substitute for live communication. Chapter meetings are awesome -- I'd love to see more L.A. area LOPSA members participate. I wish it was easier for me to get in touch with them (or even know who they are).
    atsaloli The LOPSAgram is great -- I read mine eagerly every month.   And I always greatly enjoy the Annual Community Meeting. Let's keep that in and do a bit more on connecting individual members with their local chapters. EOF
    Trev71 Danielle ?
    ClothoMoirai For tools Slack is worth investigating; most of my tech interaction outside of work is on that platform these days.
    ClothoMoirai I certainly support the decision to bring in expertise in a Community Manager.
    ClothoMoirai I believe our strongest tool at this point is to be in person and getting us into the organizations where we were not seen previously, to integrate our community there.
    ClothoMoirai EOF
    Trev71 And, Andy...
    vt102 Drew
    ClothoMoirai I think you mean Drew.
    Trev71 Yes indeed I do.
    Trev71 You guys/gals don't need me either way :)
    NMSwede Trev - I wouldn't be so sure - it's a pretty rowdy crowd in here tonight... :)
    Trev71 You don't know the half of it :)
    Trev71 Drew is up, no pressure, just a reminder...
    druonysus Nothing replaces in person. In person methods are the strongest and easiest ways for us to build connections. As part of this, I think we need to make sure we have a lively and attractive presence at conferences. Also, we need to find pace-makers in our current local communities and help them grow personally and professionally to put themselves out there… that is to say, booths and talks at conferences, attending meetups and generally
    druonysus talking to people about LOPSA. This benefits them and if they can also talk about how their participation LOPSA has helped them it would go a long way. We need to encourage people to connect with others. If we make sure the benefits are there, it will be easy for them them to tell their peers about the good thing that is LOPSA.
    druonysus END
    Trev71 Thanks for those answers...
    Trev71 Next question we will jump to Aleksey first, Danielle, Drew, Andy and then Andree...
    atsaloli ok
    Trev71 ok "Some of you have mentioned student outreach as part of sustainable membership retention. As a student in perpetuity, I'm interested in this. Could the candidates please elaborate on what they think can be done to do this, what concrete projects or relationships they can build to acheive this goal? What does a successful student outreach program look like?
    Trev71 "
    atsaloli I did a presentation on the sysadmin career path at the UCLA computer club a while back.  The room was packed!
    atsaloli There are computer clubs at other local colleges and universities, for example USC.
    atsaloli In addition to the "what is a sysadmin and what does a sysadmin do" type presentations, interested LOPSA members could offer talks on Linux basics, troubleshooting etc.
    atsaloli As we don't have a "student" membership in LOPSA, success would be measured by students actually joining the profession when they enter the workforce and being professional members of LOPSA.
    atsaloli of course they could join now as well and mayhap we could offer a student discount
    atsaloli ultimately successful outreach would equal a growing member base
    atsaloli EOF
    Trev71 Thanks Aleskey, Danielle please..
    ClothoMoirai System adminstration is not a field that seems to be often shown to students in their academic career typically so I believe there is a lot of room. We certainly see this with interns at my current workplace.
    ClothoMoirai They need to be shown it as a career option but including information that could mean they decide that it is unsuitable for them.
    ClothoMoirai LOPSA presence on campus will go far here. When I was a part-time student at UNC-Chapel Hill I often saw companies do presentations with soda and pizza that were well attended.
    ClothoMoirai But that's the first step. I will admit that I'm too far removed from current students to say what would continue to appeal to them and would seek further information before I could commit to extended plans.
    ClothoMoirai EOF
    Trev71 Thank you, Drew ?
    druonysus Connecting and collaborating with colleges and universities is a good place to start. That covers the formal students, but I think meetups and other local learning and networking events are another good way. I think we can also help students and people in general to understand the different specialties and careers/career paths available to people with knowledge of systems… show them how we can help them form a community of enthusiastic
    druonysus and effective learners. By doing this we not only help people start out to feed the industry with a strong pipeline of next generation of talent. As more people discover the benefits of LOPSA as they learn and grow, it will encourage them to remain a lifetime active member.
    druonysus END
    Trev71 Thanks Drew!
    Trev71 Andy ?
    vt102 The primary goal would be discussion of career paths and the skills that are neeeded.  I learned SysAdmin while in school, but it wasn't in the classrooms.  It was through in-person mentoring and on-the-job training.
    vt102 Now more that ever, people need guideposts in their career and understanding how the pieces fit together.  It would be a poor DevOps engineer who ignored decades of valuable, hard-learned SysAdmin expertise!
    vt102 I am currently exploring a multi-facted student program locally, by coordinating several local usergroups to interact with each other in real, meaningful ways.  
    vt102 The dev usergroups code an opensource project, the LOPSA members package and operate, the PMs organize, and those interested in management manage it.  Technologies and topics could be selected specifically to gain widest exposure.
    vt102 Alternately, somebody like a LOPSA member could join the developers, to gain some empathy and understanding of their experiences.
    vt102 I thought to encourage the work to be done as though remote, since more work is done that way today, to give that experience as well.  It then occurred to me, that if people were working as though remote, there's no real need for it to be a solely local program.
    vt102 It may or may not pan out in the end, but I think it's a good example of an idea to give students or people in other careers exposure to a realistic work environment and/or possible careers.
    vt102 EOF
    Trev71 Thank you, and Andree ?
    NMSwede Many areas in NM are pretty rural. It's hard to get students to do stuff after hours. I taught at UNM for 5 years before going to where I'm at now. I've seen local ACM chapters fail here, etc. just because so many students have families, and other things to do.
    NMSwede When I was in school, the computer labs were full, because few really had useful computers (too early for linux) at home.
    NMSwede We networked there. This does not happen very much today, when everyone has laptops and does work from home.
    NMSwede However, students are still important - The reason, I think students are important is because they are us, but in the future. However, there aren't many sysadmin hackathons organized.
    NMSwede Why, because there isn't a specific "let's just do fun sysadmin stuff..."
    NMSwede We sorta need something to support for it to be really useful. Something like Cluster building, or similar.
    NMSwede I think if we as a group can organize some activities around this, maybe do a networked event something like helping multiple groups of students setting up a redundant system across multiple schools or something like that, something that's useful.
    NMSwede Advertise it, perhaps in support of some specific other activity that also draws people. Meetups, or the like. Like Danielle said, academic programs don't teach systems administration, and without hands-on experience, it's almost impossible to learn. A push in that direction, I think, would be great. EOL.
    Trev71 Thank you for those answers, Candidates.
    Trev71 So, we are approaching the 90 minute marker and I think its time to wrap things up a bit.
    atsaloli Thanks for keeping us on track
    Trev71 I would like each candidate to give us a brief closing statement, I'll default to the initial order of Drew, Andy, Andree, Aleksey and Danielle.
    Trev71 Meanwhile I want to remind everyone that the transcripts for both sessions will be available on the lopsa.org website for your review...
    Trev71 and that we need your vote --> https://election.lopsa.org
    lopsabot Title: LOPSA Election (at election.lopsa.org)
    Trev71 We can open this channel up, after the closing statements.
    Trev71 Drew, you are up.
    Trev71 We had some well thought out answers tonight, much appreciated candidates...  
    Trev71 Voting ends on July 1, 2017....
    Trev71 And another quick reminder, one of our candidate, Danielle White, did miss the first LIVE event and her answers to the questions are posted on our news page.
    Trev71 Part 4 of the Lopsa Live, June 14 event http://lopsa.org/blog/4906590
    theWarner To no fault of her own. Unfortunately, I was unable to provide enough notice.
    Trev71 Be sure to catch up on her answers !
    druonysus I want to say thanks to everyone for being patient with me as I know I have not cranked these answers out at the fastest pace ever. I hope everyone can detect the care and thought I have put into my answers. I care. A lot. I care about LOPSA and the success of our organization and, very importantly, it's members. I would love to bring my unique skills to the board to help us collectively leverage what I have learned in my diverse set of
    druonysus experiences into this new domain. However, I want to be clear that I know there is no one size fits all answer to our success. I know what works well to speak to people in big cities will be different than attracting people in smaller, more spread out areas. What we have to offer for students may not always be the thing that keeps the long time members sticking around. When I worked sales it was very important that I would read my customer
    druonysus to be able to communicate to them and speak to their needs most effectively. As a technology professional, I think learning in important and I think that is at the core of what we have offer each other as LOPSA members and as a board member I hope to do much learning and growing as we all find more success together. Lastly, I want to thank everyone who submitted questions as well as everyone involved in this election, including my fellow
    druonysus candidates.
    druonysus END
    vt102 In summary, I am running for the board because I give a damn about system administration and LOPSA, and I am willing to give my personal time and energy to them.
    vt102 FIN
    Trev71 Andree ?
    NMSwede Up until now, I haven't been a terribly active member of LOPSA, but I have been a paid member for several years. Someone thought I would be a good board candidate and nominated me - I still don't know who, but I'll find out eventually :) I'm honored to have been nominated - and I see the tremendous benefits that being part of this organization can be. I
    NMSwede have this nack for getting involved in stuff, and when I do - I typically get involved at a relatively high level. As a board member of LOPSA, I will definitely be more active, and get to know a lot more of you significantly better. I can't really think of a better community in which to be more involved in. If elected will do my best to help the organization reach the goals we set for it. EOF.
    Trev71 Aleksey ?
    atsaloli What you get out of LOPSA is related to what you put into it.   I intend to put more into LOPSA.  =)  My primary concern is to get our membership growing -- I'd love to see us reach and pass the 1,000 mark.
    atsaloli The LOPSA-LA "Build a cloud day" event got lot of interest. I'd like to do more hands-on events like that in LA. I encourage any LA-area LOPSA members to get in touch with the LOPSA-LA chapter (www.meetup.com/lopsala) -- we need your energy and ideas.
    atsaloli Thanks to the leadership committee and the organizers/moderators of the LOPSA-live session. Thanks candidates for running.  Thanks everyone for coming out and participating, and hello to the LOPSA members reading the session transcript!  
    atsaloli EOF
    Trev71 And Danielle ?
    ClothoMoirai I appreciate everyone's time today and the confidence of the nomination.
    ClothoMoirai We clearly at a critical point and I will work toward ensuring LOPSA can meet these challenges.
    ClothoMoirai Across the questions here tonight and conversations with others I have been able to quantify those challenges and will focus on meeting them.
    ClothoMoirai In the short term I am doing work to get LOPSA into places where we haven't been, such as the All Things Open conference, Girl Develop It, and students.
    ClothoMoirai Those venues include many individuals who have either not felt welcome or were simply missed in the past, particularly women and minorites, and Windows admins.
    ClothoMoirai For LOPSA to remain viable this must improve and I am comitted to seeing that through, including in person such as at ATO which is local to me.
    ClothoMoirai EOF
    Trev71 Thank you...
    Trev71 I want to take a quick moment to thank all of the members for coming out and showing personal interest in the direction of the organization.
    vt102 Thanks Trev71,  scott5, theWarner, and my fellow candidates!
    Trev71 Also, of course, the candidates for wanting to play an active role.
    Trev71 Please review the transcripts -- and Vote!  https://election.lopsa.org
    lopsabot Title: LOPSA Election (at election.lopsa.org)
    theWarner Thanks so much, everyone.
    Trev71 Thanks everyone!
    theWarner Vote! =)
    NMSwede Thank you for organizing all this, and for all the thoughtful questions as well
    atsaloli Thank you! =)


    Don't forget to vote! Voting closes July 1, 2017

  • 21 Jun 2017 8:40 PM | Anonymous member

    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

    JUNE 21 CANDIDATE Q&A

    #LOPSA-Live 2017-06-21

    Trev71 Good evening everyone, just wrapping up some preliminary discussions on the back end, started in a moment.
    Trev71 We will give it a couple more mins to allow for those running a couple mins late.
    Trev71 But just a couple quick minutes.. we won't stretch it out.
    Trev71 ok - so, I was typing in the wrong channel... great moderation!
    Trev71 So then, Good Evening everyone, my name is Trev Thorpe, on the Leadership Committee and will be working to moderate this event tonight.
    Trev71 Just to make sure we are all on the same page, the candidates are:
    Trev71 - Drew Adams
    Trev71 - Andy Cowell
    Trev71 - Andree Jacobson
    Trev71 - Aleksey Tsalolikhin
    Trev71 - Danielle White
    Trev71 They can introduce themselves in order, first up is Drew
    Trev71 -- please forward any and all questions you would like asked to the candidates to aluck (Adam) he will queue questions up and we will get to them post introductions.
    atsaloli Hi. Candidate Aleksey Tsalolikhin here.
    Trev71 Welcome, thanks for coming.
    atsaloli =)
    Trev71 Drew is typing up his intro to the group, and you will fall in after Andree..
    atsaloli ok
    NMSwede Alright
    druonysus I am Drew Adams. I am "Sr. DevOps Engineer", for whatever that title is worth. I work a lot with Salt, Docker, and Kubernetes. I am a long time openSUSE Member and Advocate. I organize and work the openSUSE booth at the Southern California Linux Expo every year (since 2012). I have also been involved with the Salt community since late 2011/early 2012 and have given 2 talks at SaltConf.
    Trev71 Thanks !
    Trev71 Andy?
    vt102 Hi, I'm Andy Cowell.  I've been in system administration since the mid-'90s, and my claim to fame is that I hosted Metallica.com when Metallica sued Napster.  Which was "fun."
    vt102 I have served in a lot of technical roles— developer, network, storage, virtualization, and cloud, for some of the largest sites on the Internet, such as Dilbert.com and HGTV.com.
    vt102 For the past few years, I have managed a team of sysadmins who have transitioned into cloud engineers.  I have been an active and enthusiastic member of my local LOPSA chapter since 2012, where I have been in a leadership role for the last year.
    vt102 EOF
    Trev71 awesome, Andree ?
    Trev71 -- And yes, please EOF us so that we know you are completed, I don't wish to cut you off.
    NMSwede Andree Jacobson - Currently CIO @ New Mexico Consortium, a mid-size non-profit facilitating collaborations between Los Alamos National Lab and the universities in New Mexico. I've been in this role for the last 7 years, and also ran the NSF project called PRObE. We took machines (1000+ nodes) that LANL decommissioned and made them available to the research community nationally. I'm also a computer geek at heart, a
    NMSwede nd I'm always doing something. Running a small consulting business on the side, mostly doing systems software for large scale computer installations. I'm managing a group of dedicated sysadmins that work hard to provide infrastructure for about 150 researchers working on various projects. EOF
    atsaloli Aleksey Tsalolikhin:  sysadmin since mid 90's. Member of USENIX and SAGE and then LOPSA.  Organizer of LOPSA Los Angeles chapter.  Consulting sysadmin and trainer.  EOF
    Trev71 Thank you Andree, Aleksey ? a brief intro please..
    atsaloli I love LOPSA
    Trev71 Got it, quick.
    atsaloli =)
    Trev71 And Danielle ?
    ClothoMoirai Hello, by process of elimination I am Danielle White. I'm officially a senior sysadmin by title and for almost a year I have been in automation development work, largely Python and Ansible.
    ClothoMoirai I have served as lead of a team of system administrators in software as a service work for a large business intelligence/business analytics company.
    ClothoMoirai EOF
    Trev71 ok - I have a couple of questions here, one moment and we will go again in the same order to keep things simple.
    atsaloli ok
    Trev71 Ok, so, question " What do you want to improve in LOPSA " from a member wishing to remain anonymous...
    Trev71 Drew you are on the spot first again, next question I will change the order a bit :)
    Trev71 Other candidates, to be clear, you all will have the chance to answer the same question.
    atsaloli Got it
    druonysus haha. @Trev71 thanks. Writing answer now. :D
    druonysus Drew: I would love to improve the mind-share of people in the industry. I think LOPSA has a great reputation with those who know about the organization, but due to movements like the DevOps, there are a lot of people would benefit from system knowledge and a community and organization like LOPSA. Because they are not and never have been a sysadmin they may not know about LOPSA or think the org is not for them. I think we can make ourselves
    druonysus more attractive to more of these people and grow to be a stronger community and organization.
    druonysus END
    Trev71 Thanks, Andy?
    vt102 Andy Cowell:
    vt102 I want to see more direct support of local chapters.  I'd like to see experienced presenters available to present remotely to smaller local chapters, who can perhaps choose speakers with topics of interest to that local community.
    vt102 The direct interaction could be of great benefit to the attendees, and interesting topics with knowledgable speakers could help the local chapter grow.
    vt102 Other opportunities will no doubt present themselves— perhaps we can help organize national coroporate sponsorship for local chapters?— but the primary value I have seen in my own LOPSA experience is the great personal contacts I have made through my local chapter.  I want to encourage that vibrant activity in other local chapters.
    vt102 EOF
    Trev71 Thanks Andy, Andree ?
    NMSwede First, I think LOPSA is a great organization - I wouldn't aspire to be on the board if I didn't. That being said, as we discussed some in the last live session - we do have some issues with member numbers and retention. This is common with many organizations just like ours.
    NMSwede However, I do think there are things that we can do to improve the number of members, specifically by targeting students, finding the appropriate programs (I know a few, I think we all do), and make sure that we get our info out there. The mentor program should be a great backbone to what we do - and I think we should highlight the successes of our members, etc.
    NMSwede Also partnering with other focus groups, like the Machine Learning Society, and similar to help pull together local meet-ups and the like. EOL.
    Trev71 Aleksey ?
    atsaloli Aleksey Tsalolikhin: I want to reverse the trend of our membership statistics (i.e. get it going up again). Provide more services to the community (e.g. more chapters or more active chapters, more mentoring, and outreach to the public re the sysadmin career path). EOF
    Trev71 And Danielle ?
    ClothoMoirai My primary improvement areas for LOPSA are membership and conferences.
    ClothoMoirai We need sustainable membership and I am certain there are professionals we can reach who are not presently members, particularly ones in roles that are more dev than ops but definitely include the latter.
    ClothoMoirai Also there are organizations where LOPSA isn't known but those professonals are.
    ClothoMoirai For conferences there are newer ones like All Things Open where we need a presence.
    ClothoMoirai EOF
    Trev71 Thank you!
    Trev71 Next question, we will start with Andree, follow with Aleksey, Danielle, Drew and Andy
    NMSwede got it
    Trev71 And the question is, "The introductions are great -- but why do you want to be on the LOPSA board / how will you benefit LOPSA ?"
    Trev71 Coming from member cat-xegar, well I should say IRC name cat-xegar.
    NMSwede Typing...
    Trev71 We could use more questions -- don't be shy, shoot them over to aluck please :)
    NMSwede Computation, Computers, and all kinds of devices are constantly growing in use. We hear about it everywhere. Everyone is using them. And for the people that make these systems work, they get to essentially sit in the shadows.
    NMSwede You don't hear about the great sysadmin at organization X that stopped something bad from happening. What I'm trying to say is that - we - as a group of professionals are severely under appreciated, and I think LOPSA is a fantastic way of getting the word out there.
    Trev71 EOF ?
    NMSwede And, it's also a great group for sharing information with, and learning from.
    NMSwede EOF
    NMSwede Sorry, didn't cut-paste that last one ;)
    Trev71 Great thanks!  and I jump in too quick.. either way.. next up :)
    atsaloli Aleksey Tsalolikhin: I am running for the board because LOPSA needs directors and I feel it is my duty to help my group.  I have a little executive experience (after working as a senior sysadmin I spent a year as Director of Operations; and I've been running my own (very small) company for a while (5 years part time and the last 3 years full time).  I will put my shoulder to the wheel and help as I can, if you'll have me.  =) I
    atsaloli stability of modern and future civilization. Sysadmins are valuable and important. We need more of them! EOF
    Trev71 Danielle ?
    ClothoMoirai I want to see LOPSA become what I have long believed it can be: the premier organization for system administration.
    ClothoMoirai I will be direct here that I had somewhat drifted away from it in recent years.
    ClothoMoirai I began to be involved with local chapters of groups like Girl Develop it and Women Who Code and saw that there were people in those groups who were asking professional questions related to system administration and needed guidance.
    ClothoMoirai But they haven't heard about LOPSA and need it. I am involved because I want to guide LOPSA to have those members.
    ClothoMoirai EOF
    Trev71 Drew?
    druonysus Drew: I have an interesting background. I was a sales person for may years. Before moving to technology I used my sales skills as a recruiter of sorts. Now that I work full time leveraging my technology skills I have been contributing my sales/marketing and recruiting skills to build a strong local Southern California openSUSE community. Since 2012, I went from being the only known active openSUSE community member  to building a strong
    druonysus community out here. I love LOPSA and I think one of the things we are in need is stronger local communities. I want to get more people engaged and having fun learning and growing together as soon as they join LOPSA. I think my experience in sales/marketing, and recruiting can help in this and my track record with openSUSE shows I know how to build strong communities that stick.
    druonysus END
    Trev71 Andy ?
    vt102 LOPSA was my first foray into a professional organization, and I have found it to be personally quite valuable.  There are the obvious benefits, such as learning new technologies and even public speaking as I presented at least one talk a year.  But I also developed friendships, too.
    vt102 I want to help other people find the same value.  That is 100% my reason for running.
    vt102 I believe our industry is in some turmoil.  There's almost a "Cambrian Explosion" as new roles such as DevOps, SRE, cloud engineers, and who knows what next have evolved from traditional system, network, and storage administration.
    vt102 I believe all these roles— let's call them "Operations"— belong in LOPSA.  I personally have journeyed this path, have presented my experiences and learnings back to my local chapter, and have professionally led others through these transitions.
    vt102 I hope these experiences will allow me to keep LOPSA a "big tent" with every form of Operations involved, a great source of all Operations knowledge, and each of us picking and choosing the best parts of others' experiences as needed.
    vt102 EOF
    Trev71 Ok then... thanks for those answers...
    Trev71 Next question round will begin with Danielle White followed by Drew, Andy, Andree and Aleksey...
    Trev71 Next question, incoming...
    Trev71 "Your responses seem to provide a lot of opportunities for more senior people to provide things to LOPSA -- what does LOPSA provide to them?"
    Trev71 And again, to Danielle first...  
    Trev71 And your questions, please shoot over to aluck (adam) for queuing up...  
    ClothoMoirai I'm reminded of the statement of a LOPSA member (and my apologies for being unable to remember the name of whomever said it,) "If you don't plan do change plan to be unemployed in five years."
    ClothoMoirai In my own work as a senior system administrator I found that I needed resources I hadn't imagined previously. A great example was for mentoring my junior team members. LOPSA did offer me resources to begin that and I continued a lot on my own.
    ClothoMoirai EOF
    vt102 typing...
    Trev71 thank you, Drew ?
    vt102 (sorry)
    Trev71 Take your time Drew...  
    Trev71 Andy, Andree, Aleksey is the order once Drew answers..  
    atsaloli ok
    druonysus Human connection, a sense of contribution and fulfillment. Passing on knowledge and context to the next germination of professionals.
    druonysus And honestly, I think the opportunities I see are for all. I think that people that learners can be teacher. Just-in-time learning is key to success in most specialties. Teaching helps solidify what you know and is good for all. There is no throne of knowledge that those who have been doing this for a while. We may have experience, but not a throne of knowledge.  I talk to a lot of people just starting out and they seem to think they need
    druonysus to build themselves that throne to get a job. When they find out they don't need that, they need to be willing to learn… it is very empowering. I think LOPSA has something to offer to all.
    druonysus END
    Trev71 Thank you Drew, Andy.. you are up
    vt102 I was already senior when I started attending my local chapter.  I went purely for the purpose of personal networking, and it has delivered in spades.  I have met people in other roles, other companies, and with differing experiences that I would never had met without LOPSA.
    vt102 t also gives me a chance to give back.  I care about the profession, and I have been able to give my knowledge back to not just junior professionals, but senior professional in other niches that may never cross my own.  
    vt102 But we can share knowledge with each other and both come away better for the experience.
    vt102 FWIW, I don't we should attract senior people who are wholly selfish in motivation.  Likewise, participating in LOPSA shouldn't be all give and no take for anyone.
    vt102 EOF
    Trev71 Andree ?
    NMSwede We can never stop learning, and as we grow in our professional roles - we do need support too. I started out as the only sysadmin in our organization when it was small. Love the tech stuff, got lots of stuff done, but organization grew, more people came onboard, and I became the manager. No training, but best of intentions - now I manage more than I do direct sysadmin stuff, my job is logistics mostly.
    NMSwede However, still gotta stay on top of things, but I do want to share with other in the same boat. That's hard to get without senior members who's gone through it, or decided not to go down that path.
    NMSwede Whether you consider this opportunity a benefit for the more senior members or not, is something you will have to decide on your own, but for me - it's valuable.
    NMSwede EOF
    Trev71 Thanks Andree..
    Trev71 Aleksey ?
    atsaloli Aleksey Tsalolikhin: I know what LOPSA has provided for me -- community and comradeship and no BS technical help and advice  when I needed it from people who have been there and done that. An opportunity to increase my contribution to society (e.g. by teaching at LOPSA University at Ohio Linux Fest, now Ohio Linux Fest Institute; and
    atsaloli SCALE University; CasITConf and LOPSA EAST). Opportunity to mentor and be mentored (Tom Limoncelli mentored  me on submitting technical book proposals -- that was awesome!)  
    atsaloli I've made many friends through LOPSA.  
    atsaloli I got to work with the LOPSA Professional Content Committee compiling the Guide to the Sysadmin Body of Knowledge (www.sabok.org) reading list.
    atsaloli I was delighted to receive a LOPSA challenge coin at the last Annual Community Meeting, and to be awarded Mentor of the Year in 2011.  That felt incredible. I try to contribute a lot to LOPSA and I feel I have received so much in return -- truly in abundance!
    atsaloli LOPSA allows me to help -- we helped a bright local LA chapter junior member get a job at Amazon. etc.  Life changing stuff!
    atsaloli I propose that what you get out of LOPSA is related to what you put into it.  =)
    atsaloli EOF
    Trev71 ok thank you for those answers...  


  • 18 Jun 2017 6:57 PM | Anonymous member

    JUNE 14 CANDIDATE Q&A (CONTINUED)

    #LOPSA-Live 2017-06-14

    scott5 We do not have any questions queued up at present. If any of the candidates has a question they would like to ask, I'm happy to entertain it. 18:57
    vt102 What do people feel the biggest NEED for the board is? 18:59
    nmswede May we inquire as to the current board's opinions on some of these questions? I don't think there is just one solution... 18:59
    scott5 I don't think we have any of the current board members online. 19:00
    atsaloli I don't have any questions. 19:00
    vt102 I get the sense that the members have questions about the relevancy of LOPSA, as touched on in two of the three questions here.  So, I want to work to make the national chapter more valuable to local chapters. 19:01
    atsaloli Thank you very much for organizing and running the session, folks. 19:01
    vt102 I personally have found a lot of value in LOPSA, and want to help other people find that same value. 19:02
    atsaloli same! 19:02
    penglish1 scott5: I'm here. I can't speak for the entire board, but for a quick answer I can say I largely agree with all of the above, and would add: our current Board size seems disproportionately large 19:02
    scott5 I think the short notice and early time may have reduced the attendance. Last year was much more lively. With some extra promotion, we should see more people at the next one. 19:02
    atsaloli yep! 19:03
    penglish1 but we DO need time and energy from people - either volunteers, or (as I'm trying right now) paid (as we can't provide much training) marketing intern(s), and a paid community manager 19:03
    nmswede Sounds good. Perhaps have one question that we can prep an answer for? To set off the discussion? 19:03
    penglish1 Some hours, every week, on the regular. Board members can't/shouldn't be doing labor - they should be making decisions. And generally don't have time to do a bunch of extra volunteer stuff, from what I've seen/experienced myself 19:03
     atsoli  *nods 19:04
    penglish1 The listing in the LOPSAgram for the Community Manager position covers a lot of the "just labor" work that we've identified, that is currently being done (or not) by Board members.. and when Board members do it, supplanting the planning/decision making that they SHOULD be doing.. IMHO 19:05
    vt102 I have found that lots of people want to volunteer but are then surprised when that requires effort from them! 19:06
    scott5 I'm in agreement with that. I'm currently on two boards and we have a disproportionate mnount of work to do. Getting volunteers is difficult. 19:06
    penglish1 Okay, my quick answer got long.  I'll stop now, unless there are further questions. FWIW, I expect to put in some volunteer labor hours once my term is up.. possibly more than I've done as a Board member 19:06
    nmswede Having a community manager would be really cool 19:06
    penglish1 scott5: getting "the right sort" of volunteers in particular, in our case. We've got a GREAT technical team who put in tons of time and do a fantastic job. Not so much on the marketing, social media etc side 19:07
    nmswede It's hard to get stuff done on only volunteer time 19:07
    penglish1 +1 19:07
    atsaloli I'm afraid I have to get to my next engagement.  Talk to you next week? 19:10
    nmswede Definitely 19:10
    nmswede same here 19:10
    vt102 See you then! 19:10
    scott5 Thanks for participating everyone. I hope the next one will be as informative. 19:10
    Trev71 Thanks guys! 19:10
    atsaloli Thank you scott5 and Trev71!  thank you all! 19:11
    penglish1 Thank you everyone, candidates et al 19:11
    nmswede ! 19:11
    vt102 Thank you! 19:11
    penglish1 I also need to head off to $NEXT 19:11
    druonysuse Thank you all. This was super fun! 19:11


    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

  • 18 Jun 2017 6:56 PM | Anonymous member

    JUNE 14 CANDIDATE Q&A (CONTINUED)

    #LOPSA-Live 2017-06-14

    scott5 The next question is from Lee Damon: With the failure of LOPSA-EAST and the less-than-successful Cascadia IT Conference this year what is your plan for LOPSA to ensure higher quality/more successful conferences in the future? 18:47
    scott5 Answer order: 18:47
    scott5 - Andree Jacobson 18:47
    scott5 - Aleksey Tsalolikhin 18:47
    scott5 - Drew Adams 18:47
    scott5 - Andy Cowell 18:47
    nmswede Andree Jacobson - Less frequency, more quality. Organizing conferences just to organize them - especially when the interest is down. We need to drive up the interest first, and then rediscover the need for the confernces. 18:49
    nmswede I don't know the attendance numbers for the last LISA as I was not able to go, but like someone else said, we need to be on top of the current technology. Perhaps, specializing on certain hot topics. Rather than launching a full-on conference, I'd attempt to do some sort of online forum first. Maybe, try to get involved with an online university, to offer a class. 18:51
    nmswede We could also partner with other organizations, for example - there is a Machine Learning society in San Diego, they grew to 2k members in a matter of a few months. If we did some joint meetings with them, bringing scientists together with sysadmins to build some really good systems for them, that might spark an interest. EOT 18:52
    atsaloli I love the joint meetup suggestion.  I've done a few joint meetups in LOPSA LA and that helped us get more exposure. 18:53
    atsaloli We're up to 386 members on the LOPSA LA meetup now. 18:53
    atsaloli The time Cascadia had the most attendees is when LOPSA had a marketing intern. 18:53
    atsaloli I would help get another marketing intern and do some marketing.  There is no 18:54
    atsaloli substitute for marketing to increase or generate demand. 18:54
    atsaloli EOF 18:54
    druonysuse DREW – I think we need to look for other projects and organizations that share some target demographics with us and then try to collaborate with them to cross promote or co-locate more events. Also, we need to work on the strength of local chapters and have a better way to promote the events within those local chapters. I think a major help for us would be for the LOPSA name and brand to be better recognized and have more pull. And that 18:56
    druonysuse loops me back to more of what I was talking about in my response to the last question. We need to emphasized the benefits of systems knowledge and learning in and with LOPSA no matter your job title or lack there of. 18:56
    druonysuse END 18:56
    vt102 Andy Cowell: 18:56
    vt102 A national organization backing a local conference, communicating with them and finding out their needs, and having the experience of supporting other regional events, should help make sure local events are more successful.  Perhaps the national organization could arrange corporate sponsorships of regional events, providing subsidies, speakers, and/or prizes?  Or just coordinating communication between other regions for 18:56
    vt102 advice? 18:56
    vt102 The other leaders in East Tennessee and I are forming our own 501(c)(3) LOPSA affiliate in order to receive tax deductible donations from companies (for meeting space, snacks, etc…) since we have not been able to directly receive donations as a local LOPSA chapter.  That may provide an example others can follow. 18:57
    vt102 That said, I have not had experience with these issues, and would want to consult with those who have before committing to any particular path. 18:57
    vt102 EOF 18:57


  • 18 Jun 2017 6:54 PM | Anonymous member

    JUNE 14 CANDIDATE Q&A (CONTINUED)

    #LOPSA-Live 2017-06-14

    scott5 The next question is from drich. 18:36
    scott5 Answer order: 18:36
    scott5 - Andy Cowell 18:36
    scott5 - Andree Jacobson 18:36
    scott5 - Aleksey Tsalolikhin 18:36
    scott5 - Drew Adams 18:36
    scott5 What do you see as the biggest challenge(s) for LOPSA and how do you plan to address it/them? by drich (Dan Rich) 18:37
    vt102 Andy Cowell: 18:38
    vt102 Every organization has membership challenges.  To me, the question is really what value a technical organization can bring when there is an absolute explosion of technical information available for free online. 18:38
    vt102 We are unlikely to tell anybody something they can't find out online.  What LOPSA must do is distill our members' experiences into something more useful.  By making speakers available to local chapters, a personalized Q&A can help provide a source of curated information, more directly applicable to members' situations. 18:39
    vt102 In addition, support of things like local conferences, the Mentor program, etc…, all help provide personalized contact where individually directed experience can be communicated. 18:40
    vt102 In short, more personal communication of experiences instead of a firehose of information. 18:41
    vt102 EOF 18:41
    nmswede Andree Jacobson - I think getting the exposure is the hardest part. I agree with Andy, if there is a way we can leverage the member experiences, maybe as case studies, etc. - that would be useful. Another issue is that when reaching out to students, in a non vocational academic program, they might be less inclined to understand how sysadmin experience can actually help them. 18:41
    nmswede Turns out, these students may be among the best at learning the skills. 18:42
    nmswede And getting their information / experiences to share is also important. 18:43
    nmswede I think the board should be first at volunteering to write down their experiences, and share. 18:43
    nmswede EOT 18:44
    atsaloli Aleksey Tsalolikhin: 18:44
    atsaloli Great question. Our membership has stopped growing.  Attendance at our 18:44
    atsaloli conferences has dropped off. I would address it by finding out what people 18:44
    atsaloli find valuable about LOPSA membership and then pushing that, with gusto! 18:44
    atsaloli We can reach out to students as well, by networking with computer clubs 18:44
    atsaloli and societies at local colleges/universities. (I gave a presentation to 18:44
    atsaloli the UCLA computer club a few years back on the sysadmin life, which was 18:44
    atsaloli received with great interest.) 18:44
    atsaloli EOF 18:44
    druonysuse I think it is important to staying relevant in a changing tech landscape. I think that it is not always clear to people the different paths, specialties, and directions that an understanding of systems and a sysadmin background can provide. There are a lot of titles out there such as Systems Engineer, DevOps Engineer, Infrastructure Engineers… the list goes on and on, and a lot of students and people with an interest in tech start off 18:47
    druonysuse with thinking they're options are only software developers or corporate IT and maybe desktop support. I see LOPSA being a great organization for those with systems knowledge or a desire for systems knowledge no matter their job title. I would love to see that emphasized more clearly in the future. 18:47
    druonysuse END 18:47


  • 18 Jun 2017 6:47 PM | Anonymous member

    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.

    JUNE 14 CANDIDATE Q&A1

    #LOPSA-Live 2017-06-14

    scott5 hello there, just waiting until the top of the hour 17:47
    vt102 Candidate Andy Cowell here. 17:48
    nmswede Candidate Andree Jacobson here too 17:48
    atsaloli Candidate Aleksey Tsalolikhin here 17:55
    druonysuse Candidate Drew Adams here 18:00
    scott5 we have four candidates so far and it's 6:00. We'll wait a few minutes to let more people join. 18:00
    scott5 I have been informed that Danielle will not be able to make it. I'll discuss that when I get things rolling. 18:01
    atsaloli ok 18:01
    nmswede no problem 18:01
    scott5 must be 6:05, the lights just went out. power saving at its finest. 18:06
    nmswede I got two more hours to go until then, but it'll be perfect as I'll be home from work then 18:07
    atsaloli hi Paul! 18:08
    penglish1 Hi Alexi, hi all. Sorry so late 18:09
    atsaloli Scott's just warming up the crowd 18:09
    scott5 Not a lot of people on yet, but we'll start at 6:15 regardless. 18:10
    penglish1 Aah, I should verify my tweets went out as scheduled 18:10
    drich did anyone make an announcement in #lopsa? 18:11
    penglish1 Social stuff went out. 18:12
    penglish1 drich: I can't say, as I don't have an IRC daemon logger thingie going and I just connected 18:12
    drich I just did 18:13
    scott5 well, I guess we get started. 18:15
    scott5 Hi, I'm Scott Murphy (aka: scott5) I'll be moderating tonight and the format will be as follows: 18:16
    scott5 1) Brief intro from the candidates 18:16
    scott5 2) The moderated Q&A 18:16
    scott5 If you can keep from posting anything for a moment, I'll provide the rules for this session. 18:16
    scott5 We'll handle the questions by having anyone with a question direct message to trev71 that they have one and he will queue up the questions and tell me who to prompt. I'll prompt you in the order they came in by asking you to ask your question on the main channel. 18:16
    scott5 The candidates will take turns answering. The order will be rotated to allow for everyone to have a turn being first. 18:16
    scott5 Hopefully the rules are simple enough that this herd of cats will follow them. 18:16
    scott5 So now that the rules are stated, the members are online, and the candidates are present, let's get started. 18:16
    scott5 Just to make sure we are all on the same page, the candidates are: 18:16
    scott5 - Drew Adams 18:16
    scott5 - Andy Cowell 18:16
    scott5 - Andree Jacobson 18:16
    scott5 - Aleksey Tsalolikhin 18:16
    scott5 - Danielle White 18:16
    scott5 Unfortunately, Danielle can't make it tonight due to a prior commitment and the short notice. We will be providing the questions and the answers will be posted to the LOPSA site after we get the responses. 18:16
    scott5 The candidates  can introduce themselves in alphabetical order.  First up, Drew Adams 18:17
    scott5 Drew? 18:20
    druonysuse Awesome. Thanks @scott5 I am a DevOps Engineer in Los Angeles CA. I right now I am working a lot with Salt, Docker, Kubernetes. I am a long time Salt user and community member and have given a couple talks at SaltConf. I am also a long time openSUSE Project Member and Advocate. With openSUSE I orgnize the openSUSE booth at SCaLE every year, 18:20
    scott5 Next, Andy Cowell 18:21
    vt102 Hi, I'm Andy Cowell.  I've been in system administration since the mid-‘90s, and my claim to fame is we hosted Metallica.com when Metallica sued Napster.  Which was fun.  I have served in a lot of technical roles— developer, network, storage, virtualization, and cloud, for some of the largest sites on the Internet, such as Dilbert.com and HGTV.com.  For the past few years, I have managed a team of sysadmins who have 18:21
    vt102 transitioned into cloud engineers.  I have been an active and enthusiastic member of my local LOPSA chapter since 2012, where I have been in a leadership role for the last year. 18:21
    scott5 Next, Andree Jacobson 18:21
    nmswede Hi, Andree here. Working as CIO for New Mexico Consortium in Los Alamos, collaborating with the labs and universities here. I'm very much a working manager though, and I also do some consulting, primarily on the sytems software side, and large scale cluster building. 18:22
    scott5 and last but not least, Aleksey Tsalolikhin 18:23
    atsaloli I've been a sysadmin since mid 1990s. Been involved with USENIX from the beginning, 18:23
    atsaloli which brought me to SAGE and now LOPSA. I run the Los Angeles chapter of LOPSA. 18:23
    atsaloli I'm a consulting sysadmin, and I also train sysadmins (private on-sites for teams). 18:23
    atsaloli I've taught at Cascadia IT Conf, LOPSA East, USENIX ATC, Linux Con North America 18:23
    atsaloli and a few others.  Looking forward to teaching at USENIX LISA this year. 18:23
    atsaloli I would love to help increase our membership numbers and provide more education-type 18:23
    atsaloli services to our local communities. 18:23
    atsaloli I love LOPSA. 18:23
    scott5 Thanks for the brief introductions. The Q&A will now commence. 18:24
    scott5 First question is from your moderator. 18:24
    scott5 I'm involved in a number of organizations and they are all struggling a little with memberships and mission. How do you plan on keeping LOPSA relevant as an organization in a world that is getting considerably more difficult to keep peoples interest? 18:24
    scott5 and the answer order is: 18:24
    scott5 - Drew Adams 18:24
    scott5 - Andy Cowell 18:24
    scott5 - Andree Jacobson 18:24
    scott5 - Aleksey Tsalolikhin 18:24
    scott5 When you have completed your answer, please indicate that you have with some appropriate marker, EOT/whatever. Someties a pause gets interpreted as a prompt for the next answer. 18:24
    atsaloli ok 18:25
    druonysuse I find that people look to get involved and want to participate but the thing that makes them stay involved is the human connection 18:27
    druonysuse I think it is important to help facilitate that in many dffferent ways 18:27
    druonysuse the path to connect with otherrs needs to be easily discoverable 18:27
    druonysuse good sources for info 18:29
    druonysuse good members that act as a focal point and communication hub 18:29
    druonysuse I think LOSA has a good base with some of these 18:29
    druonysuse but it can always be better 18:30
    druonysuse personally, I think the best human connection is having fun. If learning, collaborating, and participating is fun and easy people will stay engaged 18:30
    druonysuse END 18:31
    vt102 Andy Cowell: 18:33
    vt102 I would like to see an emphasis on the health of local chapters.  The personal networking through our own local chapter has been the best value I have seen personally from LOPSA, and I want to encourage that. 18:33
    vt102 I believe that finding experienced members who could present to other local chapters in a personal and directed way, by video or other means, could help provide value to smaller groups that may struggle to find presenters locally. 18:33
    vt102 In the same vein, a healthy mentorship program helps provide that personal touch, and can help groups that don't have local members able to serve in that role.  Members with long experience can share their expertise to groups that don't have access to that. 18:33
    vt102 The industry landscape is changing, and we need members with expertise in new technologies able to share that experience with those venturing into uncharted waters. 18:33
    vt102 EOF 18:33
    nmswede Andree Jacobson - Memberships are always hard, especially when they are paid (which of course is required in case you actaully want to be able to do anything in the organization), unless there are ample donations - something that's also hard to get. Being involved in many educational activities, that's always a way of reaching out to students, catch them early, highlight student memberships are cheaper, etc. Also, LISA 18:34
    nmswede I.e., early involvement, student programs, etc. are as important if not most important. 18:35
    nmswede and hands-on experience for them. 18:35
    nmswede EOT 18:35
    atsaloli Aleksey Tsalolikhin: 18:35
    atsaloli I would survey our current membership to find out why they are members 18:35
    atsaloli (what about LOPSA is valuable to them); and reach out to past members 18:35
    atsaloli to see why they joined originally. 18:35
    atsaloli Then use the data from surveys to put together a marketing campaing 18:35
    atsaloli to attract new members. 18:35
    atsaloli We can increase our membership through chapter activities and 18:35
    atsaloli participation in conferences. 18:35
    atsaloli I would love to see more chapters and more activities in existing chapters. 18:35
    atsaloli Our mentorship program has great potential as well. 18:35
    atsaloli EOF 18:35

    1 Slight editing was performed to remove blank lines and entry/exit messages

  • 12 Jun 2017 9:59 AM | Warner Moore (Administrator)

    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:

    • Wednesday June 14 at 6:00PM Eastern
    • Wednesday June 21 at 9:00PM Eastern

    Please join us and come prepared with your questions! Additionally, you're welcome to send questions to the Leadership Committee in advance of the sessions.
  • 09 Jun 2017 8:23 PM | Warner Moore (Administrator)

    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!


  • 09 Jun 2017 11:25 AM | Anonymous member

    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.

    Thank you,

    Drew Adams

  • 09 Jun 2017 10:44 AM | Anonymous member

    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.


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The League of Professional System Administrators
1200 Route 22 East, Suite 200
Bridgewater, NJ, 08807
USA

Phone: (202) LOPSA01 (202-567-7201)
Fax: (609) 219-6787

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