Yes folks, its that time of year to start thinking about the Large Installation System Administration Conference (LISA), this marks the 25th Large anniversary of the event. The Theme for LISA ’11 is “DevOps: New Challenges, Proven Values.”. I have seen many different definitions for DevOps [1], in general I am not a fan of the term but the core ideas I think are common sense for anyone who has been herding cats for very long. LISA has long been home to discussions around automation, performance, scaling collaboration, and cooperation, and while the term DevOps is new, the associated tools and concepts are not.

If you are proud of your work, and enthusiastic about the practice of systems administration you should join LOPSA, and participate in the mentorship program and attend LISA (joining LOPSA and participating in the mentorship program was previously crossed out, this was meant as a joke! I love LOPSA, and you definitely should join the mentorship program regardless if you are a LOPSA member or not. LOPSA and mentorship don’t have anything to do with LISA but apparently my humor dosn’t go very far so I’ve changed it to be what I really intended to say). It’s in Boston MA this year and takes place December 4th through the 9th. For me LISA is the most beneficial career event that I have attended. You are in direct contact with people that face the same challenges you do, they love what they do, contrary to popular belief they love to share info, and while many people see the spices as a hermitish recluse SysAdmins actually love to have a great time. Every time you turn around there is yet another interesting conversation and another interesting person. The friendships you forge at LISA will help you in your career and in your general day to day life out side of being a SysAdmin (is there such a thing?). If you can’t attend this year, start planning for next year. Even if you can’t afford it, don’t despair. There are frequently chances to get your trip subsidized by being involved. Usenix now has a blogging team, there are student discounts and other opportunities that may help you make your way to LISA.

Get involved! LISA needs participants in order to function. From the call for participation

We welcome participants who will share their experiences/lessons learned and provide concrete ideas to implement immediately, as well as those whose research will forge tomorrow’s infrastructures. We are particularly keen to showcase areas that lead to cross-fertilization between DevOps, Web operations, and enterprise computing. This is your conference and we want you to participate.

For more information on how you can participate visit

I hope to see you at LISA! (and I hope to see you active in LOPSA and taking advantage of the mentorship program or even helping out).

[<a name=>1] DevOps: an umbrella concept that refers to anything that improves the interaction between development and operations.