League of Professional System Administrators
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How did the Outreach Program for Women work out for the Linux kernel this year?
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LOPSA Columbus

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LOPSA Columbus is proud to present the second quarterly "Tech Crawl" where we showcase innovative technology businesses in Columbus, OH. Learn about cool companies and how they do things differently than the rest! This November, we'll be learning more about OCLC.

OCLC, a worldwide library services organization headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, is a leader in information technologies and innovative online services. With office locations around the globe, OCLC employees are dedicated to offering premier services and software to help libraries cut costs while keeping pace with the demands of our information-driven society.


Agenda
6:00PM - Eat dinner in OCLC's Kilgour Private Dining Room
6:30PM - Tour of OCLC with Bill Rogge, Director of Data Center Support Services
7:00PM - Management panel


The panel's topic will be "Moving to the next generation: Open Source, The Cloud and Globalization." The session will be moderated by an OCLC Director with a list of prepared questions for the managers. The topic will be OCLC technology and attendees can ask questions as well.
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Reminder: apply for LISA '13 Google-sponsored Grants for Women ow.ly/p161z (Sept. 30 deadline) #sysadmin #devops #lisa13
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LOPSA Columbus

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Come join LOPSA Columbus to celebrate our second year anniversary at 16-Bit Bar+Arcade!

The event will begin at 6PM and will have a loose agenda. Meet like-minded professionals, socialize, share war stories, and just have a plain ol' good time. The event is open to IT professionals of diverse backgrounds who are not currently LOPSA members.

To keep up to date with future meeting information, please subscribe to the LOPSA Columbus mailing list (http://goo.gl/7Oa8Mi).

The League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA) (http://goo.gl/bfHMxL) is a professional organization for System Administrators, looking to further the profession. We will be hosting events with topics relevant to System Administrators and those interested in the field of System Administration.

Please RSVP at the ticket seller URL below!
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LOPSA Columbus

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LOPSA Columbus is hosting a System Administrator's day event with Fast Switch to recognize the efforts and to show appreciation for the IT professionals who work in Infrastructure and Operations.

The event will begin at 6PM and will have a loose agenda. Meet like-minded professionals, socialize, share war stories, and just have a plain ol' good time. The event is open to IT professionals who are not currently LOPSA members.

Food and libations will be provided courtesy of Fast Switch. Fast Switch is one of Central Ohio's leading IT staffing, IT staff augmentation, IT recruiting, and IT executive search company who is also vendor management system friendly.  Fast Switch was formed in December of 1996 and currently has over 450 associates working across the United States. Our client base includes many top companies including: BMW, Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, Cardinal Health, Nationwide, Chemical Abstracts, Ford Motor Company, and many others. Fast Switch is best known for its simple business strategy- "Treat our consultants and clients as we would like to be treated." By being fast, flexible, and creative, Fast Switch stands-out from other companies. Most companies talk a great game, but Fast Switch's reputation for high integrity comes from following-through on that promise as a hardworking, customer and consultant focused team. This yields more opportunities for our current consulting team and future consulting teammates.

Please RSVP at the URL below. Thanks!
Sysadmin Day Social
Fri, July 26, 2013, 6:00 PM
The Three Legged Mare

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LOPSA Columbus

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As more development shops take operational responsibility of Java web and enterprise applications, Java devs need to be able monitor, manage and debug mission critical apps.
 
Christopher Judd and Nathan Case will be presentating about Development Operations. Their presentation provides tips and tools for keeping Java applications and clusters up and running smoothly.

This presentation will be of interest to both IT Infrastructure and Development professionals. Additionally, it will share principles that will be applicable outside of the Java platform as well.
 
6:00PM - Introductions and networking
6:30PM - Presentations begin

Christopher Judd is the CTO and a partner at Manifest Solutions, an international speaker, an open source evangelist, the Central Ohio Java Users Group  and Columbus iPhone Developer User Group leader, and the co-author of Beginning Groovy and Grails (Apress, 2008) as well as the author of the children's book Bearable Moments. He has spent 16 years architecting and developing software for Fortune 500 companies in various industries, including insurance, retail, government, manufacturing, service, and transportation. His current focus is on consulting, mentoring, and training with Java, Java EE, Groovy, Grails, Cloud Computing and mobile platforms like iPhone, Android, Java ME and mobile web.
 
Nathan Case is the CTO and a partner at Rampart Hosting.

Please register at the URL below.
LOPSA Columbus May Meeting
Wed, May 22, 2013, 6:00 PM
130 East Chestnut St. Suite 100 Columbus, OH 43215

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Amy Rich

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IT at Mozilla is a pretty fantastic place to work.  We've just opened up two new high level positions (see the link for full details and to apply).

Job: Sr. Manager/Director of Service Operations Center
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Mozilla IT is looking for a dynamic Service Operations Center Manager to join us. This senior level position will not only manage & direct a team of engineers and technicians who are responsible for monitoring Mozilla's mission critical services to ensure that it runs efficiently and 24x7 without interruption, but ALSO have the opportunity to build Mozilla's Network Operations Center team and implement the procedures and tools that enable Mozilla to run world class services. The NOC is a new group for Mozilla. It is a fresh new block of clay and you will have the chance to mold it into something great!
 
The position requires an individual with a strong Service Management and Operations background with the discipline and attention to detail to operate a complex systems environment on a daily basis, yet with the creativity to take a team and process to the next level.
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Amy Rich

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IT at Mozilla is a pretty fantastic place to work.  We've just opened up two new high level positions (see the link for full details and to apply).

Job: Information Technology Enterprise Architect
Location: CA or Remote, USA

Mozilla is looking for an IT Enterprise Architect that will lead the Information Technology architecture that connects the Mozilla mission, strategy and goals to the IT strategy. Mozilla IT is responsible for the traditional IT services and the delivery of many back-end services that support the product and services delivered to millions of users (Firefox and Firefox OS) and 10,000+ volunteers and developers.
 
This new role is a catalyst in transforming IT to be the provider of choice and achieving competitive advantage through information technology services. This position is responsible for establishing standards, enabling repeatability and automation, rationalizing and harmonizing services that are used in the delivery of innovative, differentiating, efficient and effective IT business capabilities.
 
In this role, she/he will have architectural accountability on the entire technology stack which includes infrastructure, web services architecture, data warehousing and analytics, SaaS, IaaS and application development.
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Thought some of you might enjoy this page I wrote up on my site about System Administration, LOPSA, etc. If someone has an IT related blog that they would like me to add to this page, please e-mail me directly.

http://darksim905.com/sysadmin.php
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Philip Kizer
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Whether you agreed with his ideas or even knew about him at all, we have recently lost a brightly shining light in the tech field: Aaron Swartz

He was active in the formation of the RSS specification (check the dates and note when he was involved!), some notable high-profile web sites, and countering bad laws like SOPA.

Some of his methods landed him in trouble with some controversy on both sides of the prosecution, but his ideas of free-access I strongly agree with.

Check out Cory Doctorow's comments (linked).
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About this community

The League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA) is a nonprofit corporation with members throughout the world. Our mission is to advance the practice of system administration; to support, recognize, educate, and encourage its practitioners; and to serve the public through education and outreach on system administration issues.
 
 
How did the Outreach Program for Women work out for the Linux kernel this year?
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I thought this was an excellent writeup of how one group became more inclusive. Maybe we can learn from this, get more Windows folks, as well as participants of every stripe and experience level.
 
How Carnegie Mellon Created a More Inclusive Hackathon

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but decided now would be a great time since I'm missing out on Grace Hopper.

In February 2012, ScottyLabs (of Carnegie Mellon) organized the school's first student-run software hackathon, TartanHacks. It saw 150 participants, 50 of whom were women. And this is how it happened.

Two years ago, I was working on a side project to make APIs for school data. By exposing data such as course schedules, room reservations, and menus from campus dining locations, I hoped that students would be more inspired to take on side projects and create change in their community, and realize that they can solve the problems around them.

The team dedicated to exposing campus data eventually became known as ScottyLabs (after our school mascot, the Scottie Dog). We decided that a great way to promote these APIs would be to hold a hackathon. This was just before hackathons exploded; polling the freshman class had shown us that freshmen, overwhelmingly, did not know what hackathons were - the next year that was not the case at all.

From the beginning, we cared about creating a more inclusive hackathon. One big reason was attendance. If we cared about using this channel to get our APIs out there, we wanted people to show up! Hackathons weren't popular among the undergrads. The largest software hackathon on campus had been organized by an outside company and reportedly had 50 attendees, many of whom were master's students, and only 2 of which were women. We also partnered with the school's Women@SCS(School of Computer Science) organization, which meant that we had many conversations about getting more women to hackathons.

Inclusion was also something that was very dear to me personally. Even getting over the "double minority" thing (do you ever get over that?) I never did feel at home in the School of Computer Science simply due to my skills and interests and personality. I thought it was crazy that I was organizing an event I'd never, ever attend. A lot of the tweaks that we'd made would have made me feel more comfortable as an attendee.

So here's my list of changes that we made. Unfortunately, we didn't test the effectiveness of each of these in isolation, but hopefully this helps you frame tech inclusion in a more practical, less enigmatic way:

We told people what a hackathon was. - We didn't tell people about the type of person that we expected at a hackathon. We told people that a hackathon was an event where you could focus on building something cool - and we're all smart, creative people that know how to build things.

We told people it was okay to be a first-timer. - This was something we put on our Facebook copy, on our posters, and when we went around and talked to classrooms. We said that first-timers were welcome. A lot of people were afraid to even try it out, and telling them that this was exactly the type of environment to try things out made people feel more welcome.

We didn't mention it was a competition. - Internally we were having a fiasco figuring out what we were going to do with prizes, and so we didn't announce prizes until our session on the rules right before the hackathon. Afterwards, a lot of students mentioned to us that they would have been too intimidated to come out had they known it was a competition beforehand. (Students that wanted to believe that we had prizes and a competition either assumed or asked the organizers beforehand.)

We didn't make it grungy. - A lot of students thought that hackathons were gross, grungy events. We decided to put the hackathon in our beautiful new Gates building, and let them spread out. We also advertised that we were serving really good food - "better than pizza." We needed people to believe this was a nice event where they would be taken care of, and return on that promise.

We helped students see this as an opportunity to learn. - Beforehand, we held a weekend of "crash courses" to get students up and running. These were taught by other students. Our approach to crash courses was not "How much can you teach about Rails in an hour?" but "How can you make Rails seem accessible and learnable in an hour, such that students can then spend the necessary time on their own to learn it?"

We made it easy to ask questions. - At the hackathon, we had a team of student mentors, who could provide technical assistance and be a sounding board.

Also - it's important to note that we tried to reach a broad audience in terms of teachers and mentors. We didn't just ask the "hackathon type," but students from all over the community. In fact:

We made it about more than just "shiny webapps." - The second year we held the hackathon, a good friend of mine was the "machine learning" mentor on staff. She helped a prizewinning team build a service that alerted you if your Facebook friends posted suicidal statuses. I'm proud that we had participants that wanted to pursue this project, a mentor on staff to support them, and judges that could award them. Hackathons don't need to be about shiny webapps; we wanted to enable students to experiment with other areas of computer science. We worked to have a technically diverse mentorship staff, gave out prizes not for API use, but for categories like "Best User Interface" and "Best Hack for Hack's Sake" and "First Penguin" (biggest risk), and had judges that could discern the technical difficulty of a project.

We made sure they knew they weren't going to be alone. - We had a free agent mixer before the hackathon started, and also played matchmaker during the early hours. 

And last but not least:

We had pre-registration for women and underclassmen. - This made these groups explicitly know that they were welcome. Surprisingly, we didn't hear any complaints about this policy. This may have been because everyone that wanted to participate ultimately got in.

Here are some things that I want organizers to keep in mind:

The reasons why women weren't going to hackathons were the reasons why people weren't going to hackathons. - It's incredible that we had so many female participants, but it's also incredible that we had so many participants. We made a hackathon that was friendlier and more accessible to our community. We didn't paint it pink. We figured out why women didn't want to come to hackathons and we did our best to fix those problems.

A better hackathon for women was a better hackathon for everyone. - Women didn't get better food. Freshmen didn't get better food. Everyone got better food. A better hackathon is a better hackathon.

"First-timer" does not mean "bad developer." - Just because someone has never participated in a hackathon doesn't mean they don't know development. It doesn't mean they don't know full-stack development. It doesn't mean that they don't have good ideas, it doesn't mean they can't implement their good ideas, and it doesn't mean they can't win. It simply means they've never participated in a hackathon before.

I had another hackathon organizer (from a different school) ask me "How did you make sure the good people still came out?" If you're asking about a very particular subset of people that don't need encouragement to go to a hackathon - yes, those people were in attendance. But more importantly, by paying attention to the sensitivities of the community, we were doing just that - making sure the good people still came out.
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Danielle White

Discussion  - 
 
I'm a SysAdmin and I'm okay! I drive a BMW and I hack all day!

ETA: not my car; it was parked at my work. While I do have a BMW, mine is of the two wheeled variety.
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Great response and feedback to Gathering Clouds' post on DevOps (http://bit.ly/18rXAMM) via +LOPSA 

"I suspect that #DevOps will continue (or maybe return, depending on who you ask) to the concept of being a relationship and a series of methodologies. Agile, quick turn around techniques for making changes, absorbing failures, and building a system resilient to (and maybe even that relies upon) continual, unpredictable, low-grade errors rather than building up to large scale cataclysmic system failures."

Get the full response: http://bit.ly/17lfBNY
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LOPSA Columbus is proud to present the "Tech Crawl" as a new quarterly series, which will showcase innovative technology businesses in Columbus, OH. Learn about cool companies and how they do things differently than the rest! The first meeting will be held at Manta.

Agenda

6:00PM -- Meeting begins.
6:30PM --  Tour the Manta Office and see their open, collaborative work environment. Find out what makes Manta's culture unique and interesting.
7:00PM -- Presentation on Manta tools and processes
Overview of core technologies (Linux, AWS, Apache, mod_perl, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Node.js, Java, HBase)
Internal tools that allow daily deployments (srcrr, livestats)
How Manta migrated MongoDB to AWS

Please RSVP at the URL below!
Tech Crawl @ Manta
Thu, August 22, 2013, 6:00 PM
Manta Media Inc

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LOPSA Columbus

Discussion  - 
 
 
What are the benefits of Configurations Management systems, is it really
worth the effort? Doug Morris will attempt to answer these and other
questions about what you can expect using configuration management
systems in your corner of the system administration world.

Doug is a former 2Checkout contract employee, and previously worked
extensively with configuration management as Web Operations Systems
Administrator at American Greetings Interactive.  Doug's current role is
as a systems build contractor for Nationwide in downtown Columbus via
Fast Switch in Dublin, OH.
Lopsa CMH June Meeting
Thu, June 27, 2013, 6:00 PM
130 E. Chestnut St. Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43215

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LOPSA Columbus

Discussion  - 
 
 
Warner Moore will be presenting on the topic of Highly Available Web Operations. This will include an architectural review of a web application stack and the Open Source tools that can create a highly available infrastructure. Technologies reviewed on a high level will include networking, application servers, databases, load balancers, and web proxies. 

6:00PM - Introductions and networking 
6:30PM - Presentations begin 

Warner has been working with technology for over 10 years with a focus on Internet and multi-user technologies. Over the past 8-years, Warner has served in both leadership and engineer roles running the web operations 2Checkout.com's highly available payments web site. Warner also serves as the Career Track Chair for Ohio LinuxFest and is the President of the Columbus LOPSA chapter. 

The April LOPSA Columbus meeting will be held on Wednesday the 24th instead of the fourth Thursday of the month. This meeting will be held at the new 2Checkout offices in Grandview. Enter the north side of the building and you will see the 2Checkout offices straight ahead. There will be a door bell once you are inside the building. This event is open to guests to attend in addition to current LOPSA members. 

To keep up to date with future meeting information, please subscribe to the LOPSA Columbus mailing list. 
Highly Available Web Operations
Wed, April 24, 2013, 6:00 PM
855 Grandview Ave. Suite 110 Columbus, OH 43215

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urk --- missed it due to a calendaring malfunction ;(
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Greg Riedesel

Discussion  - 
 
My company is looking for some Interns this summer, and we have enough work to really help a budding devop out.
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The big stuff is on the blog post, but we're looking for someone to work on a lot of automation-engineering, as well as a linux project that could get hairy. Specifically, we need to upgrade our workhorse distro to a newer version, and need someone to work through the dependencies for that (as well as any automation-engineering changes).

Also, this intern will be involved with our August major-maintenance window. We don't know what that'll involve yet, but hardware is likely, as well as integration work to get it into use.

And working remotely is not out of the question! Our devops team is half remotes, so that helps. But it might be a problem, so schleping out here to DC may have to happen.

As for the work, we're an eDiscovery company and we're building a very complex distributed processing engine for handling legal documents. You can take a look at the shiny marketing site to get more about the user-visible bits and usecase:

http://logikcull.com/

The "About Us" page has all the fun company bits.
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Nick Anderson

Discussion  - 
 
 
Happy Valentines Day.
A little #CFEngine policy for all you #sysadmin and #devops folks. Court your infrastructure.
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Lee Damon

Discussion  - 
 
If you've been thinking about giving a talk or a tutorial but don't want to dive into LISA head-first, the regional conferences (Cascadia IT Conference -- #casitconf13   and LOPSA-EAST) are a great place to start.

The Call for Proposals for casitconf'13 is still open. We're looking for interesting tutorials and talks.  Tutorials are half-day, talks are 30-, 45-, 60-, or 90- minute presentations akin to the Invited Talk tracks at LISA.  We don't publish a proceedings so there's no pressure to write a paper.
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