2011 Candidate Statement: Philip Kizer


Dallas, TX
United States

To start with: a few items about me, I am a current board member and also President. I have been a sysadmin for 2 decades, and in just the last decade I have been a sysadmin for a large university, for a tiny company of amazing programmers, and as support for a variety of non-profit organizations (open source projects and others). If you go back and read my previous candidate statements, from the very beginning my first public statements were about community and how much I value the people I have met through the various conferences, forums and other gatherings of system administrators.

I have been involved with LOPSA, supporting and promoting it, from the beginning. Although it was not until later that I acceded to the call to join the leadership and realized that I did want to run for the board.

I felt the desire to run for the board because of the very nature of LOPSA: we are a member-driven organization. All of what LOPSA does is driven entirely by the membership that want to dive in and help get things done and I realized that my desire to be one of those members meant that I needed to step up.

I have been elected to the board for two terms, from the first being voted in as Vice-President, then being voted in as President when the former President needed to focus on some changes in his own areas and life. From the first board I worked with through to the current board, I have been extremely grateful for everyone's efforts and realized that so much of what gets done and made to look polished when announced/revealed did require at least a little (though sometimes a lot) of work in preparation for that. [And that volunteers never get the full public recognition they so deserve.]

I am extremely proud of how LOPSA has grown since I have joined the leadership. We have had some steady membership growth are generally on a firmer footing, and those are some of what has enabled the growth in other areas where as have added new programs and projects.

That growth is just an interim step toward LOPSA being able to do yet more. Some of the areas I plan to focus on in the next term include:

1: More smaller projects. Some of our programs are large and encompassing, but that very size can keep new volunteers from rapidly getting a handle on where help is needed right now to further those programs. Make sure we have entry-points even into those larger efforts for volunteers so it's easier for them to help out. By keeping things manageable in smaller pieces we might be able to do more larger projects but it will also allow more of our members to be actively involved with the community that we have built and keeps us truer to our roots.

2: Expand on my efforts to include system administrators of all kinds. I have gone on at length about what I view as a syadmin (all OS and system type variants; Windows, Unix, Networking, Storage, Database, even some classes of Coding, etc). I will continue to reach out to those people that are doing system administrator type of jobs and either haven't felt that we accepted them as part of the community or perhaps do not even realize they are doing something that can be called system administration.

3: Expand various specific programs. Some of the programs we have started recently show how we can satisfy our charge to improve the profession, both by working with individual sysadmins and with organizations at all levels that affect system administration as a developing career. I am extremely pleased with the mentorship program that began during this last term, but they need more resources to expand and grow. We also have a nascent group trying to foster communications with educators of sysadmins, we need to reach out to them again and see what is needed to first help them share successful teaching methods for sysadmins and ultimately expand that to help set curriculum at the college and hopefully high-school levels.

4: Build more sponsorship of our programs that support sysadmins. By working with the companies that have technologies and commercial support for system administrators we can gain the ability to continue our growth as well as use the knowledge we gain in dealing with them to reach more of the sysadmins that are not part of our community. Conferences, training, rebates and donation matching discounts are just a few of the more visible areas where sponsors working with us can help us help sysadmins.

I look forward to talking with you more and would be particularly grateful if you had some area where you felt you could help out by volunteering some of your time and skills. And that's why I am a candidate for the board: there's always something that needs to be done and I want to be here to help out, at whatever level I can. Hopefully I can help continue the growth LOPSA has seen recently.