Back from LISA…a week later

I’d love to have written this entry last week, but I just didn’t have time.

Two weeks ago, I got the chance to head to Boston, MA and attend LISA’11, the 25th LISA Conference…or was that the 25th Anniversary? I always get those confused…

Anyway, I had a really great time, got to sit in on some great sessions, meet some great people (and see some old friends, too!). You can see the blog entries that I and my fellow conference bloggers made at

Also, I was humbled and honored to be given the Chuck Yerkes Award for outstanding individual contributions on member forums:

Chuck Yerkes Award

I can’t tell you how special that is to me. Chuck Yerkes was a gentleman who contributed greatly to the SAGE mailing list, who helped people, and was, by all accounts, a friend to everyone. He was killed in 2004 in a motorcycle accident, and this award was established in his name. It means a lot to me that the leaders of LOPSA thought so much of my efforts that they decided to honor me like this. Thank you, everyone.

Over the course of the week, I attended several Birds of a Feather sessions (BoFs) as well. At the LOPSA Mentorship BoF, I won a drawing for something really cool:

Now, there’s a slight wrinkle…I’m a USENIX conference blogger…so I’ll be going for free anyway…this is where you come in.

I am going to give away this pass to someone who reads this blog. The only real challenge is how to decide. I need your help figuring that out. Think about it, and let me know how you think I should decide to give away my free pass to the LISA’12 Technical Sessions in sunny San Diego, CA!

  • Hi Matt;

    I suggest you give it to someone who really should attend LISA, but doesn’t understand what it is. I’ve dragged a few people with me over the years, even went so far as to tell a few people that they could get out of the rut they were in by attending and hearing that there really is a community of like minded people who would be happy to help you either understand a problem (opportunity) or provide some serious perspective on what you do and why you do it. All the rest of the fire-hose is just bonus information.

    I have only met a couple of people over the years that didn’t feel they received excellent value by attending. There has to be someone reading the blog who needs this exposure, the real question is how to winnow it down to a short list.


  • Scott: Agreed, the hard part is definitely getting it into the right hands.

    I could make people write a short essay, but not everyone is a writer or feels comfortable doing that. Hrm…..

  • Congrats on the award!

    Having people comment on a particular post by a certain date, then picking a winner at random could work. Since system administration is a profession requiring lifelong learning, you could have them just tell what they learned or skills they picked up in 2011, & what they plan to learn or try out in 2012. And how they plan to make time for that learning, so it happens!

    (See, I *was* paying attention in the Time Management tutorial!)

  • Deborah,

    Thanks! Also, good suggestion! I do want to make it interactive, and to have them contribute in some way. Sharing what they learned in 2011 would be a good way to do it. I’ll definitely consider it. Thanks! :-D

  • Henry Mensch

    you can give it to someone who’s been out of the fold for a while (i used to attend usenix when lisa was just starting out) to remind them of the value.

    i like the lifelong learning emphasis in an earlier comment.

  • Will Dennis

    Maybe people could nominate someone that they know who would appreciate it… I have a co-worker for example who wants to know more about UNIX/Linux, but because he’s a junior admin, never gets sent to any training. Anyways, not sure how that might work, but it’s a thought…

  • Greg C

    Similar to what people have said earlier, but someone who is financially burdened, but would love to attend.

    How you pick? That is the difficult component. Maybe a short list by nominations, as previously discussed, then let readers vote. Focus on someone who has similar ideals and is starting to help out in forums, etc.

    Just my 2c.

  • Matt, this really isn’t a suggestion but, I know where you live…

  • Katherine

    I’d say give it to someone who could benefit from going but who can’t necessarily afford it, like someone whose company has a wimpy training budget and no love for their SAs. I like the idea of contributing in some way as well, like sharing learning experiences. Or best disaster story and what you learned from it. Everyone likes disaster stories!