August 2015 LOPSAGram

10 Aug 2015 6:00 AM | Anonymous

Please email with any questions, comments, or ideas.
We always want to hear from our membership. 

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In this memo:
01. Thoughts from our President
02. Transition to new Board this Weekend
03. SysAdmin Day Contest Results
04. SysAdmin Day Parties
05. Job Openings
06. From the Mailing Lists
07. Cascadia IT Conference
08. Chapter News
09. Thank you to our sponsors!
10. Comments or suggestions? 

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01. Thoughts from our President
I was reading the submissions for LOPSA's SysAdminDay contest earlier this morning, and it got me to thinking. Each of the entries has a slightly different viewpoint on what being a systems administrator is. This might, in a nutshell, be a microcosm of LOPSA's biggest problem -- I'm not sure we really know what a sysadmin is or we as an organization want to be when we grow up.
Being a systems administrator can mean many different things depending on your position and your experience. You might be working with hardware, managing applications or even writing code. The operating system you use and whether you work with systems, storage or networking isn't what makes you a sysadmin; those are just the tools of the trade. It's the way you approach the work that makes you a sysadmin. At its heart being a sysadmin comes down to creating an environment where the people you work with and the company you work for can all do their work without needing to know you exist.
Anyone who knows me has heard me say some variation of the following: I believe that the best sysadmins are people who are both curious and lazy. The person who logs into a system and runs the same script every days isn't a syadmin. A sysadmin would be curious enough(and lazy enough) to find a way to automate that task so they never had to do it a second time. When we need to change the root password on 200 servers we aren't going to log into each one, we are going to find a solution that does it for us.
The thing that most amazes me about the system administrator community is the variety our skills and backgrounds. We have approached the field from many different background and career paths, but we all have the same goal -- to make things work and to keep them working.
As this is my last column as LOPSA's President I want to leave you with some parting thoughts on what I believe LOPSA could become.
With enough effort, LOPSA could (and should) be the organization that answers the question implied above -- "What is a systems administrator?" It should be the "go to" place to not only find the answer to that question, but also to find resources to learn how to become one and if you already are one to become a better one.
I would love to see some of the following available from LOPSA's web site:: 
recommendations on best practices in the industry
peer-reviews of sysadmin-related tools and solutions
educational resources for learning about systems administration and
advancing systems administration skills
a place to foster communication and community among sysadmins 

LOPSA needs to take the lead to fulfil its mission to "advance the practice of system administration." It cannot survive without becoming the leader in defining the profession and providing valuable resources to its members.

02. Transition to new Board this Weekend
The new Board will take over at the Face to Face meeting in Seattle this weekend. The new Board will start work immediately on setting priorities for the coming year. Look for more on this next week and over the next several months. 

03. SysAdmin Day Contest Results
LOPSA's SysAdmin Day contest winners include Maya Karp, Jennine Townsend, Patrick C, and Peter Ferriola. Check out
to see their winning entries. Thanks very much to our sponsors Opengear, Silicon Mechanics, Druva, and Ansible for the contest prizes. 

04. SysAdmin Day Parties
Several LOPSA members took advantage of LOPSA's offer for TShirts and books for their SysAdmin Day parties. There were parties held in Columbus OH, Ottawa CA, Bethany CT, Fayetteville NC, and Fort Lupton CO. For more about about SysAdminDay check out

05. Job Openings
These are a few of the recent postings to our sajobs mail list... 

IT Director - Moorestown, NJ
Data Infrastructure Engineern - Remote work
Windows DevOps Engineer - Knoxville, TN 

For details on these jobs please check out the jobs list archives at:

06. From the Mailing Lists
There was a large dicussion about Slack that changed into a discussion about different types of communications (chat, email) and the benefits of each method. Also discussed was other new technologies that people are using for communicating. Email and chat have been around for a very long time and there are many other options now, but none of them seem to be getting as ubiquitious as email or chat. 

07. Cascadia IT Conference
The Seattle Cascadia IT Conference is gearing up for our next conference. We are looking for volunteers to help with organization, marketing, and sponsorships. This is an easy and fun way to help the community and pad your resume. You can be a volunteer for as little as an hour a month or as much as a few hours a week. Would you like to know more? Contact 

08. Chapter News
On August 13th, Seattle LOPSA members will be hearing from Ski Kacoroski on how to pick a Storage Area Network (SAN). SAN's have become much more critical as folks move to virtualization and their are so many different types to choose from these days. 

LOPSA Columbus threw a party on Sysadmin Day at CoverMyMeds in a collaboration with the Central Ohio Linux User Group and DevOps Columbus. This is one of the larger events of the year and over 50 folks RSVP'd. Sponsor, CoverMyMeds, talked briefly about their open positions. Warner Moore and Bill Schwanitz shared community updates and announced the DevOpsDays Ohio conference on November 18 and 19. The CFP for DevOpsDays Ohio is open now. After hanging out over some craft beer and great conversation, we shared Sysadmin stories from the past year. Folks who presented were awarded either a LOPSA T-shirt or O'Reilly Book. LOPSA Columbus will be announcing their August meeting soon. 

PSA LA chapter organized two meetups to celebrate Sys Admin Day across the megapolis: on the West Side for LunchOps ( and in the Valley for BeerOps ( We are up to
269 members in our group (

09. Thank you to our sponsors!
We'd like to thank our sponsors. We're deeply grateful for their continuing support of LOPSA. For more information on how to become a sponsor visit Become a Sponsor

Thanks to our individual sponsors:
Platinum: Jennine Townsend, Dan Rich, Ski Kacoroski
Gold: Steve VanDevender
Silver: Matt Disney, Lee Damon, Scott Murphy, Ian Viemeister
Bronze: Gary Studwell
Sponsor: John Boris 

Bronze Sponsor O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism. Check them out at

LOPSA's website is hosted by ServerBeach, check them out at

10. Comments or suggestions?
As we close out this month's LOPSAgram, we want to make sure we're giving you the information you want or need. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to send them to

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