Tuesday, 2016-05-17

scott5I’ll be moderating tonight and the format will be as follows:21:07
scott51) Brief intro from the candidates21:07
scott52) The moderated Q&A21:08
scott5Well handle the questions by having anyone with a question direct message me that they have one and I'll prompt you in the order they came in by asking you to ask your question on the main channel.21:08
scott5The candidates will take turns answering. The order will be varied to allow for everyone to have a turn being first.21:08
scott5is that simple enough?21:08
Trev71Works for me21:09
+stevevSounds fine to me.21:09
lanningman, I thought it was going to be a free for all, with Donald!21:09
SsuehleMake LOPSA great again?21:10
scott5OK then. Let’s get started. First up for an intro: gbeech21:10
+gbeechI'm George Beech. I've been serving on the LOPSA board for the past two years. In addition to being a current board member, I have been working as an SRE at Stack Overflow for the past 5.5 years. I've been working as a Sysadmin/SRE for about 15 years.21:10
scott5next: Brian G21:11
+uphillian_s/George Beech/Thomas Uphill/21:11
split_horizonHi, I'm Brian Globerman. This would be my first time serving on the LOPSA board.21:11
scott5Scott S is next21:11
split_horizonI have been member for past several years.  Have been working as systems engineer/network admin for past 11 years21:12
scott5Trevor T21:12
Trev71I am Trev Thorpe, 45 years young, 14+ years in IT. I've done everything from Help Desk to System Administration to my current position VP of IT.21:12
scott5Thomas U21:12
SsuehleHi I am the relative new blood here. I am a recovering service engineer. Current Community Manager for Cumulus Networks. Hoping to bring my community experience to the role.21:13
scott5Your turn Thomas21:14
scott5OK, Steve :)21:14
uphillian__ok, try again21:14
uphillian__using the web client...21:15
uphillian__Thomas Uphill, I've been on the board one year, I help with Cascadia and SASAG mostly.  I'm a sysadmin at Wells Fargo21:15
+stevevI'm Steve VanDevender.  I've been on the LOPSA board for two years, a LOPSA member since 2006, worked for the University of Oregon for almost 20 years as a sysadmin, and have some years of sysadmin experience before that.21:15
scott5Thanks for the intros. We have a first question from Warner.21:15
scott5What's a unique skill that you could bring to the board outside of your experience as a System Admin?21:17
scott5we’ll go in alphabetical order and rotate. George will be first this time around.21:17
+gbeechdamn alphabet21:17
+gbeechI have a very strong organizational and planning skill. I like to plan things 5 or 6 steps ahead. I think the ability to plan and execute on that plan is a strong skill for a board member. In fact over the past two years I know that it is something a good board member does. Being able to balence work, life and the time it takes to volunteer as a board member is essential to being an effective person in general, but also an effective board member. 21:20
scott5brian? you’re next21:20
split_horizonThank you.  I would also call attention to my organizational, planning, and time management skills as key attributes that will help me be effective as a board member.  I have found these skills served me well for the years I was president of a regional alumni chapter, where I was tasked with organizing events and increasing membership.21:22
scott5Scott S?21:22
SsuehleAs I mentioned, I bring the experience as a community manager and feel this is a helpful aspect to help bring LOPSA forward. I believe that there is a lot of good here and I think it is a great base to build on. Growing the community and expanding the reach is a goal I would like to undertake.21:23
Trev71As far as a unique skill or set of skills that I may have that other candidates don’t have, I am not sure I could list a single ‘skill’ that answers that. I do very well with breaking down communication walls in various companies I have worked at, increasing department to department teamwork etc..However, that said, I do consider myself a really good ‘jack of all trades’. I tend to do well in most everything I set to work 21:23
Trev71on. I also don’t shy away from tough or unwanted tasks that need be done or managed… I get along with 21:23
Trev71that was an extra paste at the end :) disregard.21:24
scott5was there something after get along with?21:24
uphillian__I would like to see the board do and sponsor more communication about sysadmin doings and 21:26
uphillian__I think my skill is communication, definitely not organization21:26
+stevevFor 17 years I've taught an 8-week intro course in system administration for the U of O that has been successful at getting students excited about system administration and brought more people into the profession.  Or, in other words, I've been good at explaining the profession to people unfamiliar with it and directly bringing new people into the community.21:27
scott5OK, the next question is from Dan Rich21:28
scott5What do you see as the biggest challenge for LOPSA in he next year and how would you address it?21:28
split_horizonI think the biggest challenge is to keep current members engaged, and to persuade sysadmins that are relatively new in their roles that LOPSA can make a significant difference in their career development.  I believe engagement happens when people see value in this organization.21:30
SsuehleBiggest challenge is to get everything organized and cleaned up. Bringing the different groups together and working on the unified front. Once together we can work towards our outreach and engaging the community in worthwhile ways.21:32
scott5for those who came in late, anyone with a question should direct message me that they have one and I'll prompt you in the order they came in by asking you to ask your question on the main channel.21:32
scott5next answer - Trevor21:33
Trev71Great question Dan, the biggest challenge with LOPSA in the next year, quite honestly I can’t answer that without a more thorough understanding of the goals. However, cruising through some of the board meeting notes on the wiki, it would appear that membership numbers and membership interaction seems to be an issue. Especially with the recent cancelling of a conference and the associated loss of capital.21:33
Trev71How to address it, communication, and engagement jump to the top of the list for me. Let’s get members engaged and work on communication avenues. Perhaps we need to take a look at the value of the membership, what do I get for my membership? Does that draw membership? Does that entice people to join and be active?21:33
uphillian2I think we will struggle to remain relevant21:34
uphillian2Devops overshadows everything in this industry21:34
+stevevI think we really need to revive LOPSA-East (or PICC or whatever we want to call it) as well as maintain the success of Cascadia IT Conference.  And that's going to take a lot of up-front planning and organization, starting now, as well as more support from the board (financial, logistical, and oversight) to make them happen.21:34
+gbeechOPSA is currently like a young professional. We have made great strides, survived some growing pains and come out the other side. Over the next year our greatest challenge will be to start to move onto the next phase of life as an organization. We will need to consolidate what we do, continue to support our programs and push forward while at the same time start to settle in. Now is a time to fully commit to the goals of being an educational and care21:35
+gbeechsigh didn't copy the L at the begining :(21:35
scott5The next question is from me. What is one accomplishment you would like to have in your first year?21:36
SsuehleThanks! In the first year I would like to see our group build on the past and use that to help move forward. Thomas mentioned Devops overshadowing everything, but I do not feel it needs to be that way. I think we need to enhance our place in that world and show off how we fit in. 21:39
Trev71I would like to help make a positive impact on the organization as a whole, via committees or other avenues. I don’t feel listing a single achievement is what the organization really wants to hear, most organizations would not. The achievement I want to be associated with is, positive organization growth and direction via member engagement.21:40
uphillian2I would like to grow the cascadia conference21:41
+stevevHelp ensure we have LOPSA-East in 2017.21:42
+gbeechI want to take the Mentorship program as it is right now and revamp it completely. There are many things that are done right with the program, but there is a ton of behind the scenes work that burns people out constantly. I want to bring the program into the 21st century by updating its processes, making it easier to find a mentor or mentee and “closing the loop.” When we close the loop on mentorship we get the opportunity to get feedback that w21:42
cat-xegerThat sounds remarkable, gbeech;  how exactly are you going to accomplish what nobody else has in the last 20 years?21:43
theWarnerPlease ask questions through the moderator. And to be fair, the mentorship program is not that old nor is LOPSA.21:44
scott5Your answer is next Brian, not rushing, just letting you know that question is after you finish21:46
split_horizonI would agree with Thomas that CascadiaIT should expand, because of the value it provides.  I would also ensure that monthly meetings continue as opportunity to hear talks and interact with other sysadmins.  I would like to implement some question/answer forum on the website outside of scheduled meetings.  I also agree that the mentorship progam needs to be strengthened, particularly to attract new sysadmins21:46
split_horizonCascadiaIT has been my point-of-entry into LOPSA, BTW21:47
scott5And Cat’s question to George. Anyone other candidate with an answer feel free to chime in after George.21:48
uphillian2Cascadia is in a precarious position by catering to a smaller crowd size, this is the problem with lopsa east as well.21:49
uphillian2These are not large conferences, but they don't necessarily need to be as small as they are currently 21:49
split_horizon Cat, is your question about mentorship program specifically or LOPSA in general?21:51
+gbeechThere are many things that can be done to improve the mentorship program. The first is the update the current back end systems that are used for match making. This is a project that has been going off and off for a while. Currently we have a few volunteers who are willing to work with us and help code a new back end for the system once a few other of their life obligations have cleared up in the next 6 months. This new system will allow for more sel21:51
uphillian2As for mentorship, I think our biggest hurdle there is taking the process out of email and into something live and modern21:51
Ssuehledefining the mentorship programs goals are something that could help. I have been a part of the Fedora Infra mentor program and it seems to work fairly well. There are parts there that could be used in our program. But first the membership base needs to be revitalized and empowered.21:51
scott5Trev? you had a comment as well?21:51
cat-xegerHopefully it's okay to followup here -- it's about the LOPSA mentorship program in specific, including past history with the SAGE mentorship program;  I'd like to understand better what's going to get it to really work here.21:52
Trev71Sure one sec21:52
Trev71In reference to Cat’s note, I’ll note that I’m fresh meat here guys and gals, I can’t tell you today what was done write or wrong in the last X years for program Y. However, my aim here it jump in with a fresh set of eyes, different experiences, different ideas, and a different mindset and help build the programs that members want and/or need. I may also be able to bring in some volunteers that can help with technical aspect21:52
Trev71s (not a guarantee, but a probability). 21:52
+stevevI would say that one area that is potentially encouraging is that our student membership is growing both in numbers and as a proportion of total membership.  But we need to get better at connecting students with mentors.  And we could probably use a lot more mentor volunteers.21:53
uphillian2Being open to change is another good quality of our board to possess 21:54
Ssuehleadapting to change and the ability to do something with that is what drives innovation and growth.21:55
+gbeechThe fact is our mentorship progam HAS been working. The biggest problem is there is a massive amount of human work that doesn't need to be done by a human bottle knecking everything. I could probably talk for hours about the mentorship program but I don't think everyone here wants that. If you want feel free to email me or catch me on #lopsa at some point to discuss it deeply if you would like21:56
Trev71Not to undermine anyone here, but if your career is Information Technology, change needs to be in your blood.21:56
uphillian2Also true21:56
+gbeechI don't know about you but all that is in my blood is caffine21:56
Trev71You win. 21:56
+stevevYou have blood in your caffeine?21:57
• nbrenckle: has cookies21:57
Ssuehlenbrenckle, are you the dark side?21:57
Trev71So, can I ask a general question to the members that are here? 21:57
scott5That commentary seems to be completed. Anyone else with a question?21:57
scott5go ahead.21:58
Trev71What is it that you want to see in your board?21:58
scott5go ahead trevor that is21:58
nbrenckleSsuehle - they are chocolate frosted so they have a dark side and a light side!21:58
uphillian2The classic sysadmin that knows how to do backups isn't good enough anymore...that us the issue I see.  Devops, or sysadmin that can do other stuff is where the focus needs to be...21:58
Ssuehlenbrenckle, Yes!21:58
• uphillian2: does a lot of dev work lately though21:59
SsuehleI think we live in a world where SysAdmin is evolving into Devops. 21:59
nbrenckleTrev71 - I would like to see more inclusion. 21:59
Trev71Thanks for those answers.. appreciated...21:59
SsuehleInstead of separation, we embrace and show how we play in that world.22:00
nbrenckleI work with a bunch of traditional sysadmins. They draw a solid hard line between "systems" and "applications". That line is fading, quickly.22:00
cat-xegerI'd like to see concrete suggestions that I can reasonably expect to see progress on, and outcomes from;  thus far, for the most part, the discussion has been more about buzzwords and airy ideas.22:01
uphillian2That's the key, I think we need to be LODO, league of devops...22:01
cat-xegerIn other words, talk is cheap -- what are you going to -do-.22:01
+gbeechI don't agree that System Administration is evolving into DevOps. DevOps is a marketing term. There is a need in the field for sysadmins that can code, can code well, or not so well. HOWEVER there is still a need for the classic system administrator. It is all degrees. We still need help desk. We still need the sysadmin that can glue systems together. We need the Sysadmin that can bridge Dev and ops. and we need the Sysadmin that can do the job of a22:01
Trev71If you want more Marketing for Systems Admnistration -- we have a LinkedIn page to post and market with.22:02
uphillian2I don't see that at all really22:02
uphillian2Sysadmin only is not a job anymore 22:02
Trev71But yea, I don't agree Devops is 'taking over'. Indeed job search would disagree as well.22:02
cat-xeger(also, bringing up an old, old thread -- there are a huge variety of specializations in system administration; they're not better or worse, jsut different focus)22:02
uphillian2Mom and pop maybe 22:02
nbrencklegbeech - thats why I said inclusive :-) We need the traditional, and the new style.22:02
+gbeechnbrenckle: +122:02
Trev71Cat - well said.22:03
split_horizonwould something like League of IT Professionals be more appropriate as devops role expands?22:03
Ssuehlecat-xeger, Ok, so we get involved in the devops meetups in our areas and recruit. We goto smaller regional events and recruit. And once we do that then we look at universities and other areas where there are a large groupings of our people and recruit.  22:03
Trev71Vmware? Windows? Linux? Mac? Switching/Routing/Jack of all trades/Server Admin...22:03
uphillian2The new stuff brings more people to conferences IMHO 22:03
SsuehleOutside of that we work on presentations and educate. 22:03
uphillian2Jack/Jane of all trades is key22:04
cat-xegerSsuehle - okay ... we get more new members and do a bunch of writing... what's the goal of this?  More members? Sharing knowledge? 22:04
uphillian2My goal is to learn more, I hope that's the goal for most IT people22:05
Ssuehleboth, as stated we have a diverse group of members that have knowledge in a lot of areas. We need to encourage the sharing of that knowledge with others in a way that showcases our talents.22:05
Trev71"a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattere through a larger society"  -- seemed to be part of the "goal".22:06
Trev71-- spelling error noted, it was a copy paste job from the LOPSAgram.. someone gets 2 demerits.22:06
SsuehleBlog about it, presentations, tweet random tips through out the day, engage the people listening and get the word of mouth moving.22:06
uphillian2Inclusion of more types of sysadmin, sharing of Windows knowledge with networking and Unix, I know we tend to be Unix heavy22:07
cat-xegerPretend that I'm being extra specially dense.  What's in it for me, or for my coworker down the block?  How are you going to get me motivated and excited? (why should I be?)22:07
uphillian2Knowledge 22:07
Trev71But - that knowledge is, can be, free.22:08
uphillian2Particularly if you have a local, the small talk size makes it an excellent place to learn new tech and be able to ask questions real time22:08
Trev71So, what can we offer? great question.22:08
split_horizonregular interaction with peers outside of conferences, maybe hear a talk at a local meeting you wouldn't have gone to otherwise at a conference22:08
uphillian2Neah, don't like people 22:09
nbrenckleArent you running for election? ;-)22:09
cat-xeger'local meeting'?  Would that be 500 or 800 miles away? ;D22:09
uphillian2Locals are very important, we need more of those...but we need volunteers willing to work on them22:10
Trev71cat-xeger what would entice you to bring a coworker in ?22:10
split_horizonI hope most people have local meetings closer than 500/800 miles22:10
uphillian2Many don't 22:10
Ssuehlecat-xeger, "in it for me" is education on a level that is accessible to everyone. see what we have to offer and then engage for content that users would like to see. We can come up with the basic schedule of education but also build in times and spots for requested offerings. If we do not have people geared to what is asked for then we work to explore what is wanted and showcase the findings.22:10
uphillian2That is a good point, and we likely need more entry level talks as well22:11
Ssuehlecat-xeger, local meeting can be blue-jeans, webex, online platform dejour.22:11
cat-xegerSo -- I'm going to answer the question about my coworker in two directions.  For a junior coworker, it's entirely possible that they'd find useful things in the various mailing list and online discussions.22:11
uphillian2I would see if that would work, we could definitely try broadcasting 22:12
Trev71Technical forums? A script library for members only ?  Heavy discount at online training IE: pluralsight or cbtnuggets?22:12
cat-xeger... so I'd likely point them in that direction, likely (and ideally) along with at least one LISA22:12
cat-xegerThat said, I have no idea why I'd point a senior coworker at LOPSA, unless they were the truly odd sort that had copious free time available.22:13
Ssuehlegather useful scripts and such on Github(lab)22:13
Ssuehlehave tags on blogs for technical levels22:13
uphillian2Make them a mentor 22:13
+stevevI'd say that LOPSA is trying to make conferences that are like the "gateway drug" to LISA, smaller, cheaper, more affordable, more oriented toward early-career sysadmins.22:13
cat-xeger-why-?  Why should I tell my senior coworker to go an be a mentor?  Is it for the warm fuzzy satisfaction?22:14
uphillian2More affordable is a big problem 22:14
+gbeechI think that we need to focus more on the local/small local conferences the ability to meet new people in our field. To be able to get together with others in the field but not of your office and talk over interesting problems22:14
Trev71My gosh we could leverage the skill sets here and build our own 'members only' tools.... the sky is the limit.22:14
Ssuehlewarm fuzzies are great, but there is also the question of do they see that they have something to share and a desire to be a mentor22:15
+stevevcat-xeger: Teaching (being a mentor) is a great way to learn communication and documentation skills.22:15
nbrencklecat-xeger - thats kinda the only reason to be a mentor. For the warm fuzzies. 22:15
uphillian2For me, I realized I didn't really know things as well as I thought I did until I had to mentor someone...you find out quick "don't believe all you think"22:15
Ssuehlewe are not here to force it, but encourage it22:15
cat-xegerBriefly being a total and complete wet blanket, could the folks up for election comment about liability and risk?22:15
+gbeechinteresting problems that they have not been thinking about all day. That said, we need to produce a framework to give to people that want to start up locals and give them a path to success.22:15
+stevevnbrenckle: I disagree, mentorship is a great career skill builder.22:15
+gbeechcat-xeger: liability and risk in what context? 22:15
cat-xeger"I write a script for the private archive;  it somehow erases all of your files"22:16
split_horizonI would be a mentor because I have a teaching background, and find my understanding of technical topics increases when I figure out how to explain it to someone just starting out22:16
+gbeechNot everyone enjoys being a mentor. It takes a certain set of soft skills and a certain mindset to be one 22:16
uphillian2That is a big problem... conferences should be engineered so that they benefit our members not hotels in garden states22:16
SsuehleLiability and risks come with everything but in this case it is limited as it is a volunteer program and not a certified program.22:16
split_horizonI also have a vast repertoire of career mistakes I would like to leverage for someone else to avoid22:17
uphillian2Or lead them down the path and laugh, either way22:17
uphillian2Still entertainment 22:17
+gbeechcat-xeger: As-Is disclaimer which i think most open source licenses contain22:17
nbrenckleHaving taken many classes from first time college professors, I do not enjoy being someone elses 'learning mistake'.22:18
nbrenckleThat said, we were all new instructors at some point.22:18
uphillian2Another good reason for locals...give speakers the opportunity to practice 22:19
+stevevIn a lot of ways teaching is figuring out how to let people make survivable mistakes in a forgiving environment so they really can learn.22:19
Ssuehlewe are not here to be mentors in the way of writing scripts for the menties, but to encourage the learning of what tools are there, what reference material there is, and share past experience. Not to do their work for them.22:19
+gbeechPersonally I see locals as a path to our regional conferences which are a path to larger conferences if someone would like to speak 22:19
+gbeechgetting into a large conference the first time is HARD especially with little to no previous experience speaking anywhere 22:20
nbrenckleNicely said Ssuehle.22:20
nbrenckleGbeech - encouraging people to speak at meetings is a great thing to do. Everyone knows something that others do not.22:20
+gbeechYep. and honestly talking in front of your friends in a small setting like a local is a ton of fun (for me at least) 22:22
cat-xegerSo -- I'm hearing a lot about the environments that y'all are familiar with, and how you want to expand them -- what about folks like me, that -aren't- anywhere near your environments?22:23
uphillian2I'd like to see more locals first, maybe streaming as a secondary goal22:24
Ssuehlecat-xeger, as I mentioned. Remote meetings can be a great way. I know Docker has an online meetup to share topics that have been talked about in local events.22:24
cat-xegerY'all are also talking a lot about spending money, but not so much about getting it.22:24
+gbeechI'm curious as to what you would see as good value? 22:24
nbrenckleSkype? IRC? NOVA-Lug meets on Google+ (or whatever its called) every month.22:24
+gbeechI can talk all day of ideas but what would YOU like to see done that you would see value in 22:24
Ssuehlebluejeans is an open source meeting platform22:24
Ssuehlegithub(lab) is open22:25
uphillian2I don't think our expenses should be very great either way...I'd like to not see us make a lot of money. I want the conferences to break even if possible22:25
Ssuehletalking at local events is mostly free.22:25
Ssuehleit costs us time22:25
Ssuehlebut does not always need to cost money22:25
+stevevCascadia has actually made us a little money in the past few years.22:26
uphillian2We need to support the locals with time and guidance, maybe a few tools too like a speakers bureau and a meetup account 22:26
cat-xegergbeech - I'm trying to come up with something;  Ssuehle - talking at local events may be 'free' as in 'free beer', but it's not 'free' as in 'no cost'22:26
SsuehleI don't play with pay to play events. If I need to pay to speak it is not a good ROI.22:27
SsuehleIf you mean travel to conferences, then yes there is a cost but it depends on the event and what can be gained?22:27
SsuehleI travel for work some and if it can be worked out to piggy back on that it is win-win22:28
uphillian2Yes, cascadia made money, but if we want it to remain good value we need to reduce the ticket price and reduce the costs.22:28
Ssuehlemeetups are free22:28
Ssuehlelugs are free22:28
cat-xegerSo -- in order to speak well, you'd hope that the speaker's put time into deciding what to say;  attendees are making time to be there (time is money), the space to speak in comes from somewhere -- it's not without cost, just possibly without costs you're clear about.22:29
uphillian2Meetup is definitely not free22:29
SsuehleI mean going to established meetups22:29
uphillian2Somebody has to pay them22:29
SsuehleI am familiar with the cost of meetups if we are to build ours22:29
uphillian2Which is a cost the central organization can absorb22:30
SsuehleI have talked at a couple that are not mine and never been asked to pay to speak at them22:30
uphillian2Space rental I don't think we can22:30
cat-xeger"the central organization" ?  That sounds a lot like "ask mom/dad"22:30
uphillian2I think that's the benefit, some larger organization that buys in bulk22:31
+stevevI think we see LOPSA as a resource for locals, someone who can help them with funding, organization, volunteers, etc. to help get them going.22:31
scott5Not trying to cut the flow and exchange of ideas, but I think the formal portion of this has gone out the window. It’s 10:30 Eastern and we have another of these coming up, so why not save a couple of questions (and answers) for that one?22:31
+stevevNot as a "mom/dad" to get permission from.22:32
uphillian2More like a friendly uncle?22:32
+stevevThe grandparent who slips them a quarter?22:32
Ssuehleyes time is money but if we want a successful organization then we need to be ready to spend some of that to make it be one. Our commitment and choice to run for the board means we are willing to do that. If you are not then you will never fully be engaged in the organization. 22:32
+stevevAnyway, I have to take off in a few minutes and I intend to be at the next #lopsa-live as well.22:32
+gbeechspeaking of. It is bed time for me. Thanks everyone for the questions and thanks Scott for moderating. 22:33
Trev71scott5 I appreciate that effort, some of us have work in the morning :)22:33
cat-xegerThanks guys -- it's been interesting.22:33
Ssuehlescott5, thank you for this22:33
Trev71however, I would love to carry the conversation to another time.. it's been a good read thus far.. absorbing.22:33
split_horizonAppreciate everyone's time this evening22:33
scott5Thanks for participating everyone. I hope the next one will be as entertaining.22:33
Trev71Thanks everyone - for the questions and of course for some of the passionate chat :)22:34
theWarnerThanks to the board and membership for participating.22:34
split_horizonThanks scott522:34
theWarnerThanks to Scott and Andy as part of the Leadership Committee for getting this going.22:34
theWarnerBe sure to come to the next session!22:34
+stevevThanks everybody!22:34
Ssuehlecat-xeger, I would be interested in hearing more from you on your questions. feel free to ping me if you want to chat more.22:35
cat-xegerThanks Ssuehle!  I'll consider -- and I'm also generally around in #lopsa, although not always paying attention.22:36
• Ssuehle: nods22:37
vt102good conversations!22:37

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