Category Archives: LOPSA

Leaving the LOPSA Board

It’s with some amount of sorrow and trepidation that I begin this blog entry.

One of the things that I often need to be reminded of is my own limitations. I think we all can forget that we’ve got human limits and sometimes we take on more than we can deal with. I am a chronic “joiner”. I like people, I like to build communities and organizations, and I like to put forth effort to make things happen.

By itself, this is fine, but in the macro, I try to do too much – certainly more than I can accomplish. My work suffers across the board from my lack of attention in any one area. It’s like the old problem of task switching, but when the tasks are completely unrelated to each other, it’s like context switching my entire brain out, and when I do it too often, I lose because of how inefficient it is. Worse than that, the tasks suffer.

For a long time, I was able to not let that be a massive problem, because I worked hard to keep myself out of the “critical path”, so that when I was concentrating on task B, task A could comfortably wait. But that’s not the case anymore. The quality of my work has been suffering, and it’s to the point where not only is everything I’ve been doing mediocre, those organizations where I’m in the critical path have suffered, and I’m no longer willing to make other people suffer because of problem of taking on too much.

Effective today at noon, I’m resigning as a Director of LOPSA. This might be surprising given how much I wanted to actively work and lead the change that I believe the organization needs, and I can tell you that no one is sorrier than I am that I’m stepping down. This isn’t me “breaking up” with the organization. I still believe that the organization has a lot to offer and its community of IT Admins is a potent force capable of a lot of good. But I’m not going to serve as a sea anchor to slow it down just when it needs to be more agile.

I’m really fond of the “golf ball an hour” analogy, and I’m going to start spending my golf balls on my family, and improving my IT skills. I remember when I was a good sysadmin. I don’t feel like that anymore. It’s not impostor syndrome in this case. It’s that I haven’t spent the time honing my skills and keeping up. So I’m going to try to fix that. And maybe I’ll be able to get some blog entries written about what I learn along the way.

So anyway, I’m going back to being a community member rather than a community leader, and I’m fine with that. The other LOPSA Board members have been very supportive of my decision, and I thank them for that, and I thank my many friends who have done the same.

If you were one of the many people who voted for me in the LOPSA Board election when I ran, thank you. You can take heart in the fact that I believe I was able to make some significant changes in the 18 months I served, and I really think that the organization is more aware of what its possibilities are than it ever has been. I’m glad I had the chance to serve and contribute. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.

Adam Moskowitz’s video: The Future of System Administration

My friend Adam Moskowitz presented a topic at LOPSA-East this past year that is one near and dear to my heart – the Future of System Administration.

I’ve written a blog entry with something very close to that title twice:

A while back, I started to realize something…and I haven’t written about this before, but I’m firmly coming to see that a system administrator is not just something someone is, system administration is something someone does. Regardless of whether someone’s title is SysAdmin, IT Operations, Systems Engineering, or Sparkly DevOps Prince(ess), you might not be a system administrator, but you are doing systems administration.

And in the future, a lot of the people who are going to be doing systems administration are developers.

<voice=”Levar Burton”>But you don’t have to take my word for it…</voice>

The Future of System Administration from Adam Moskowitz on Vimeo.

Reminder: Tomorrow in Providence, RI – MeetUp

Just a reminder, tomorrow evening I’ll be in Providence, Rhode Island at the LOPSA-RI group speaking on the topic of user management. People are way harder than computers, so come down and we’ll discuss what we can do about it.

Leveraging Good User Mojo to Simplify your IT Day-to-Day

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014, 6:00 PM

10 Dorrance St, 9th Floor Providence, RI

11 IT Pros Went

Check out our Pre Meetup Chat and hear what’s coming up at our next Meetup: we have ten or more attendees we’ll be raffling off two O’Reilly Media books, so bring a friend!Keeping end users happy can be one of the toughest parts of an IT pro’s day-to-day. Join Matt Simmons to learn some tips and tric…

Check out this Meetup →