June 2018 LOPSAgram

09 Jul 2018 1:45 PM | Deleted user

1. New Board Members

Election results are in and we have three new members to the Board of Directors, and one returning to serve LOPSA for another term. Winning by acclamation the following LOPSA Members come to serve on the Board of Directors.

  • Brian Globerman serves another term and is the LOPSA Treasurer
  • Andree Jacobson
  • Mark Lamourine
  • Branson Matheson

2. Meetup Pro Global Network

LOPSA has purchased Meetup Pro for Nonprofits and is happy to announce the availability of this resource to our Chapters and Local Groups. All currently existing LOPSA Chapter Meetup groups have been added to our Global Network. Going forward, any Local Group that wishes to have a presence on Meetup.com may have one set up for them by the Community Manager.

Meetup Pro solves two major concerns for Local Groups. Firstly, it allows LOPSA to assume the expense of the Meetup group. Secondly, it allows LOPSA to ensure continuity in case it becomes necessary to "pass the baton" to new organizers. We will be able to assure active organizers are empowered to keep their Chapter healthy and assure that our Members continue to be served.

E-mail community@lopsa.org if your Chapter or Local Group is interested in taking advantage of this service.

3. Member Spotlight

Bruno Henc

How long have you been a Member of LOPSA?

Since April 12th, 2018.

What made you join LOPSA?

At my first job after my work with Funtoo Linux, I was a freshly-minted solo system administrator for a local company, handling everything from cabling, racking servers to troubleshooting production code. It was a hectic but rewarding job since there was a lot of opportunity to grow - I have learned a lot during those months but oftentimes lacked the know-how to push for decent standards in the organizations, something a more senior system administrator would have probably achieved with ease. I have dedicated a lot of my free time to reading books at that time to compensate, and I've stumbled Time Management for System Administrators by Thomas Limoncelli. There I read about LOPSA and I was intrigued enough to join the organization. Frankly, I did not know a single system administrator before that, and it was hellish to work solo since there was no one I could turn to for advice. I strongly feel nobody should have to deal with the terrible reality that is IT Operations on their own, and that one of the greatest failings of modern operations is the lack of a strong and tightly-knit community that supports each other, something that developers have achieved seemingly with ease. Also, I felt that to get better at being a system administrator one has to actually talk to professionals with different viewpoints and work experiences. The chess community has for a long time been a good model on how to achieve mastery - no one gets better at chess by playing on their own. You have to play agianst better and better opponents, loosing sometimes, learning from your mistakes, and pushing forward. I think that the same holds true for IT - the only way to get better at running infrastructure is to interact with a vibrant and diverse community, and work on projects together. Reading blogs and books just doesn't cut it.

What are you doing with LOPSA, and hope to in the future?

I'm currently working on the chat.lopsa.org Mattermost instance which will hopefully make it easier for new people to communicate while keeping the IRC community intact. It's a work in progress but I hope that with the next deployment it will be production-ready for general use. There's a ton of things I would like to achieve in the future, including a local Croatian LOPSA chapter, a LOPSA booth at FOSDEM and an open learning platform for learning all things sysadmin. It is going to be a lot of work, but I do hope to achieve some impact in my local community and in the general IT community to make it easier to be a sysadmin.

What is your background? 

I went to the elite informatics high school MIOC in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and frankly I got spoiled by the high teaching standards there (We had better maths nd physics than the first/second semester of college). In my final year I considered going to college in the US, but ultimately it was financially impossible though my grades and SAT scores were good enough. After trying to combine my studies of medicine and computer engineering (I wanted to work on medical devices) I've stumbled upon ecole 42 in Paris and decided to give it a go. I've passed the piscine and frankly I've been left impressed by the whole school (more on that later). My medicine studies didn't pan out, but I got part-time work maintaining wordpress websites, so I decided to switch to a computer science college. But I wasn't impressed at all what I experienced there: cutthroat and hostile people, outdated corses which had nothing to do with the skills that earned me money, and general lack of depth in teaching. Compared to 42, to the IT industry, and the open source community, IT colleges seemed to be stuck in the stone age. I dropped out, took the money from the second semester and bought myself a system to work on a Kaby Lake optimized Funtoo Linux build. At that point, working on an open source project was the most fun I've had in months. I've never looked back from that point on. Now I am a system administrator thanks to all the work I did independently of my main education.

What are you doing now in your career?

I'm learning at my new job, since going from managing servers for a small IT company to working for a large hosting company takes getting used to. Ideally, I'd like to work remotely while studying at 42 in Paris, since I learned more there in a month than I did 6 months in college. Regex, shell scripting, actually using git properly, and working with C/valgrind/gdb have proven to be invaluable skills, as did the code-reviews and the other "soft skills" that you develop while learning there.

Do you have any grand achievements?

I am proud to have a full-time job with the knowledge that I have accumulated over a decade of learning on my own. The work, though grueling sometimes, is much more interesting than being stuck in boring lectures. It just proves that being self-taught puts you at no disadvantage if you want to work in IT Other than that, I'm currently working on a smartphone application for monitoring/alerting servers, since I found the existing ones not to my tastes. If I can get it running, that will probably be my greatest achievement.

How is the tech sector where you are?

The tech sector here is mostly dominated by the Microsoft-centric universities which do a poor job of teaching any of the practical skills required by modern IT companies, much to their frustration. It's paradoxical however, that even Microsoft changed the way they operate, adopting more progressive views, but the universities seem to have stayed the same. Hopefully this will change in the future, as schools like 42 are going to be light-years ahead if universities don't change they approach soon.

Florian Rossmark

Tell us about yourself, what is your background? Any grand accomplishments?

Thinking back, I must have been around 9 when I got my first computer, this was around 1991. I read my first book about MS-DOS before I even had a computer. From that point on forward I was hooked and learned a lot - often by experimenting around and for a big part reading magazines and books back then. 

Down the road I started working in consulting and did so for many years. I grew up and started my career in Bavaria, Germany, while I now live in California, USA - my beloved wife and kids on my side. I decided to concentrate more on the enterprise sector rather then staying in consulting. 

Now, you asked me about accomplishments, I think that knowledge is important and deep understanding of the matter someone talks about, but I am not all about certificates what some might see as accomplishments. I have a few but the truth is there are many people out there that have a lot of them while not fully understanding the matter and others that actually have the knowledge but never saw the reason to do all those certificates (that expire constantly). I see myself in the middle - if I think it helps me to gather a better understanding I might start studying, if I think I like the matter I might even do the certificate. In the end, all of what I really have accomplished is, that I worked and work with a great team of people that love IT. All of them did let me learn and grow and I hope I could to some point help them to accomplish the same. If it wasn't for all of them I wouldn't be where I am today. A big thank you to each and every single one of you - you are my biggest accomplishment.

Where do you work, and what do you do there?

Accriva Diagnostics, San Diego aka. Instrumentation Laboratory/Werfen - Sr. Systems Administrator

How is the tech-sector where you are located?

As for the company I work for, we are constantly updating our environment and as well migrating in to and adapting to the standards of the company that acquired us

As for San Diego, it is a big city close to the so well known Silicon Valley - there are plenty of high tech companies around it - a lot of very smart people as well

What made you decide to join LOPSA?

Curiosity and the hope to find a group of professionals that are dedicated to their role, other then the countless newsgroups that are often overrun (to say the least)

What do you hope to get from your LOPSA Membership?

Asking others about their experience with certain products I might look in to or e.g. how they designed specific tasks in their network - like R&D requirements etc. - things that come up in the ever changing world of IT

What do you hope to bring to your new LOPSA community?

Share knowledge and ideas as well has support other system administrators with their daily challenges (as far as my time allows me to do so of course )

"Having come across LOPSA quite a few years ago already, I always wondered what LOPSA is really about and why I should spend money to join "the club". In the hopes to grow further and help others to grow, I finally joined. Still, a bit confused about on how to access all the tools (forums, chats, meetings, etc.) LOPSA is all about, I got in contact with Roger Luedecke from LOPSA who helped me already out a lot. It seems to me that this is what I hoped to find, a growing community of dedicated professionals around the world. I am honored and happy to be a part of it and hope I can do my part to help it become even bigger while sharing my knowledge as well as accessing the communities knowledge."

4. Volunteers Needed

As should be no surprise, a volunteer-based organization needs volunteers! We want you to get involved in pressing the LOPSA mission into the future.

We need your energy, creativity, and skills to strengthen our ability to execute our mission. Whether big or small, there is almost certainly something you can do for your LOPSA community.

Perhaps you want to start a new Chapter, or just have a great idea. Whatever it is, your creativity can make a difference. Maybe you just have a contact for a potential sponsor or partner. No matter what your idea or ability is, we can use it. LOPSA first and foremost is about community and the empowerment of individuals within that community. Together we are stronger and more capable than we are on our own. There has never been a better time to make your mark on the direction and dynamism of your LOPSA community. Together, we can make LOPSA stronger and more useful for everybody.

If you would heed this call contact the Board.


5. New Infrastructure


LOPSA has acquired Slack for non-profits. Slack is a very popular communication and collaboration tool. If you want to get involved with internal matters, or would just like to interface with your peers please feel free to join us. Our join link can be found at this page.

We recommend using Slack with its native app for your platform such as Windows.


Mattermost is a free and opensource collaboration platform very similar to Slack. We have an instance running internally. We are beginning a staged rollout while we polish a couple remaining tasks. We expect to have this resource stable and available for use by our Local Groups and any committee or projects that would find it useful no later than mid-July.

Besides making a fantastic resource available for your use, we are hoping that the adoption of Mattermost will enable more streamlined communication and planning for Local Groups. Beyond that, we hope that it will empower your groups to leverage LOPSA resources and more easily get help from the Community Manager.

It is also our hope that by making resources such as this available we can begin to coalesce the ways that LOPSA and Local Groups communicate with one another and internally. Besides streamlining and assuring reliable communication this will also allow LOPSA to have greater oversight of Local Groups. This oversight can be vital if an administrator or organizer ceases to perform their duties and allows these groups to use the Community Manager to pick up the slack.

Stay tuned for when this becomes available, and like Slack, we encourage the use of native applications for your preferred platform.

Special thanks to Bruno Henc (see section 3. Memberr Spotlight) for doing this excellent work for us.

6. Member Certificates and Cards

Membership Cards

LOPSA will be making Membership cards and certificates available upon request. We expect to be ready to receive requests by mid-July. The Membership cards will feature a more refined design than our virtual cards, and will be printed on high quality plastic. 

Membership Certificates

Certificates of Membership are also being made available and will be offered on demand. This design is not final and is pending feedback from the Board as well as the Membership. 

Please send your feedback to community@lopsa.org

7. Chapter News

Los Angeles

On Thu 6/28/18 5:30-9: 30 pm our Los Angeles chapter held a Free LPIC Beta Testing in Burbank 

"The Linux Professional Institute, Vertical Sysadmin, and Coding Dojo are working together to give LOPSA-LA a very special opportunity this Thursday evening:  Free LPIC certification exams as beta testers for the brand new versions.

Yes, the exams that are normally $400 will cost our members nothing!  LPI just needs our feedback.  Beta testers who pass will receive the exact same professional certifications as full price engagements. There's win all the way around in this."


Kano Nigeria

We are pleased and excited to announce the newest chapter of LOPSA in Kano Nigeria. The tremendous effort of the organizers have resulted in the approval of our first Chapter in the African continent and is merely the beginning of a tremendous expansion. So much more is on the way.

The Kano Chapter has a web presence on Meetup and is the first Chapter to adopt LOPSA's Mattermost.


San Diego

LOPSA SD has begun planning their monthly meeting typically held on the 4th Thursday of each month. A location and speakers have yet to be announced. Stay tuned for more information, or join their group on Meetup.


East Tennessee

Celebrate the 4th on the 3rd at the KTown Tavern. Hosted by Andy Cowell and Ben Taylor, happy hour starts at 6pm. Just ask for LOPSA at the front.


Upcoming events

  • No upcoming events

The League of Professional System Administrators
1200 Route 22 East, Suite 200
Bridgewater, NJ, 08807
Email: info@lopsa.org

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