All posts by ITGuyEric

LAS2018: Day 1

IT IS HERE! Libre Application Summit 2018. This is the first IT conference I have attended since a VMware Summit in 2012.

Not only do I get to listen to some really cool talks…okay, let’s be real. A lot of this is at the edge of my understanding. After all, I am in a room filled with some of the brightest developers from all across the globe. I am just a dumb Sysadmin, haha. It is amazing material non-the-less. I even doubled-down on my usage of Flatpaks.

The venue, Parkside Mansion, is beautiful and the staff have been nothing but accommodating. I fully expected to use my skills and an outgoing personality and as a IT Guy at this conference, however, the one set of skills I didn’t give much thought to was my knowledge of live production. I have been helping get lighting levels right, troubleshooting audio feedback, and helping plan for the future of GNOME conference technological offerings.

While the talks have been interesting, the real call of events like this is to be able to meet and interact with people from all over the world. Within the first 30 minutes of the doors opening, I was able to guide a developer to guys from Elementary OS; the developer was looking to put a mechanism into Flatpak that would allow for end users to donate money back to the developer. Who better for him to talk to than the project that is already trying to do that with their app store?!

I have interacted with people from Red Hat, Endless, KDE, and others. We have discussed American history, Steam gaming on Linux, and solved all of the worlds problems…maybe we’ll tell the world, maybe we won’t.
This conference is starting to sway my opinions on the future of my career. Maybe my time in the deep weeds of code and terminals is coming to a close in the near future to give way towards a focus on people – organizing events, making connections between people, providing a spotlight on growing projects making a difference or in need of help… now that…that sounds like a career to be proud of!

The ladies headed off to a nice dinner up on a rooftop, meanwhile, the guys headed over to the Code Think Air BnB for some grilling, card games, and some amazing conversations: The need for funding the foundations, some history of KDE, and bug tracking horror stories!

Day 2 looks like it’ll be EVEN better!

LAS2018: Travel Day

Kansas City, Missouri to Denver Colorado, 1 Interstate, 609 miles, 8 hours of podcasts… Nothing but rain! However, the nice thing about this road trip was it gave me time to consider a few things about my home lab, my career, you know big things.

I have spent the majority of my career deep in the weeds as a Linux Systems Engineer. I have worked with Red Hat, CentOS, and Ubuntu. The operating system has been my domain for a long time. The problem is, in the past couple of years, the area I have been deriving the most energy from has been the community. This summer, I have been working social media for the GNOME Foundation, made appearances on the Linux Unplugged podcast, helped manage Peer Tube and Gitlab instances. Now here I am on the eve of my first FOSS conference.

Another big decision I made while dodging visibility-killing downpours was how to rebuild my home computer lab. I have been using Digital Ocean to manage services like Quassel and Nextcloud. Part of my responsibilities as a Systems Engineer is to stay on top of trends. Well, for projects to survive the velocity of development these days containers and automation need to be at the heart of all their efforts. To be a responsible Sysadmin, I need to be prepared for that shift. So, I plan on setting up a Kubernetes cluster and running all my home services out of a Gitlab instances into containers!

The last big thought I spent time on was the next step in my education. I am a huge fan of Linux Academy. Learning from their courses is great, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into something industry recognized: IE a certification. The only cert I hold at this point is a RHCSA (Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator) in RHEL6. After this road trip, I hope within the next 3 years to hold my RHCA (Red Hat Certified Architect)!

After a drink and some tacos, its time to hit the sack and get ready for LAS2018 tomorrow!

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