BayLISA is almost old enough to drink


Okay, that headline is a bit misleading… as a person BayLISA would be almost old enough to drink in California, and as a red wine it might be a bit past its prime. But as a system administrators group in the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s still going strong with room to grow and improve even more.

BayLISA came out of discussions at LISA 4, as I understand it, and we incorporated as a non-profit in California in April 1991. The folks who started this local org later contributed to the creation of SAGE, the System Administrators Guild SIG of USENIX. So we have a long and storied history, some of which has even been captured on video.

After the LISA 2010 conference in San Jose, I decided to make good on a promise I made to past BayLISA president Jennifer Davis (either at LISA ’00 or ’05) to come see what BayLISA was all about. And in three months I went from “Oh, I keep meaning to go” to Director to “sure, I’ll be secretary of the board.” And as a result, a number of you may have heard more from me in the last 11 months than ever before. I’m happy and sorry about that, as applicable.

Anyway, in the past year we have seen outreach (much of my contribution to the org) and attendance growing, but board member availability shrinking. And while I try to make it look easy, it takes a substantial investment of time and energy when it’s just 2 or 3 people arranging meetings and speakers and sponsors and so forth.

So I’m looking for a couple of professional system administrators in the Bay Area to join me in this cause, to expand the reach and the strength of BayLISA in the Silicon Valley and beyond. What’s it going to cost you? Less than the price of thirty Ginsu knives with free shipping, that’s what. Or more practically speaking:

  • Got 1-2 hours a week? This includes coming to the monthly meeting, retweeting or blogging or sharing news with your colleagues, coworkers, followers, etc. Doesn’t even have to be every week.
  • Help us by running a meeting every six months, on average. You can do it in parts–find and coordinate the speaker one month, introduce the meeting another month, coordinate with corporate sponsors another month, run the video camera one month, sit in the audience a couple of months, whatever it takes. With 7 people each doing the equivalent of two meetings a year, someone can even get sick now and then. But you don’t have to do that.
  • Expand your connections in the Bay Area, both with system administrators, vendors, and sponsors.
  • Get BayLISA membership for free for the duration of your board term, which entitles you to discounts, early access to videos as we catch up on those, and other benefits that you can help us choose.  This is a $45/year value.

I can tell you more in other venues if you have questions, answers, suggestions, or comments. Drop me a note, leave a comment here, find me as ‘kavonr’ on irc, or email me as rnovak on gmail if you like.

And if you’d like to join me on the board of BayLISA, let me know through one of the above methods, and come to our annual “business” meeting on November 17. Before the guest presentation by Message Systems, we’ll be holding the board elections. (We would want you to come to your first board meeting  on November 28 for officer elections, by the way, although we can also arrange a phone bridge for the meeting if you can’t make it.)

Want to get behind BayLISA but you’re not quite up to the 2 hours a week commitment? Become a full paying member of BayLISA for just $45/year (may be expensable or tax deductible; consult your manager or tax consultant as appropriate) and show your support for our work to further the profession of system administration in the Bay Area. We’ll be adding to our list of benefits, although I don’t think “a pony” will ever be one of them. Sorry, Bruce.

Well, that was easier to fit into a blog post than into a tweet… wanna get involved? Get in touch with me soon.




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