Don Crawley: The Compassionate Geek: Mastering Customer Service for I.T. Professionals – Half Day Friday Morning

Outstanding end-user support is not just a matter of having great technical knowledge. Successful IT pros build great careers by also understanding the importance of human-relations. Part technologist, part psychologist, the exceptional IT professional understands that there is an art to using technology as the solution for workplace problems. This presentation will focus on helping IT professionals deliver great end-user support by knowing how to combine the technical aspects of the job with an empathetic (and occasionally sympathetic) ear. Don will also cover how to use emotional intelligence techniques to manage emotionally-charged situations, and he’ll conclude with a section on stress management.

Stuart Kendrick: Root Cause Analysis – Full Day Friday

In this workshop, we will analyze incidents involving disruption to IT services.  As part of a small group, you will analyze the problem, using a mixture of the provided data, open-source tools, and brain-storming.  As part of the class, you will explore trouble-shooting options using thought experiments and free-ranging discussion.


  • A laptop running the OS of your choice.
  • A graphics program capable of displaying PDF and PNG files.
  • The Cascadia conference-provided USB stick.
  • A recent (1.6.0 or better) version of Wireshark installed and configured to display, minimally, the following columns:
    • Number
    • RelT: Relative time
    • DeltaT: Relative time
    • Bytes
    • Source
    • Destination
    • Protocol
    • Info

See longer description.

Tom Limoncelli: The Limoncelli Test: Evaluating and improving sysadmin operations – Half Day Friday PM

Who should attend: Sysadmins working on teams or solo; junior sysadmins aiming to be senior sysadmins or team leaders. Tom’s books total over 2,100 pages of advice. In this class he’ll narrow all that down to 32 essential practices. Tom will blast though all the 32 practices, explaining what brought him to include each one on the list, plus tips for incorporating the practice, policy, or technology into your organization. You’ll find some great ideas for providing better service with less effort.
Take back to work: How to identify and fix your biggest problems, cross-train your team, strengthen your systems—and more!
Topics include:

  • Improving sysadmin-user interaction
  • Best practices for working together as a team
  • Best practices for service operations
  • Engineering for reliability
  • Sustainable Enterprise fleet (desktop/laptop) management
  • How to figure out what your team does right, and where it needs to improve

Note: Attendees are greatly encouraged to read the test before the start of class.

Tom Limoncelli: Introduction to Time management for System Administrators – Half Day Friday AM

Who should attend: Sysadmins and developers who need more time in their day, who have problems getting projects done because of constant interruptions, or who want more control over their time and the ability to schedule work instead of working at the whim of their users.

If you agree with any of these statements, this class is for you:

  • I don’t have enough time to get all my work done.
  • As a sysadmin, I can’t schedule, prioritize, or plan my work.
  • I’m spending all my time mopping the floor; I don’t have time to fix the leaking pipe.
  • My boss says I don’t work hard enough, but I’m always working my ____ off!

Take back to work: The skills you need to get more done in less time.

Topics include:

  • Introduction
    • Why typical “time management” books don’t work for sysadmins
    • What makes “to-do” lists fail, and how to make them work
    • How to eliminate “I forgot” from your vocabulary
  • Managing interruptions
    • Preventing them from getting to you
    • Managing the ones you get
    • Sharing the load with co-workers
  • To-do lists
    • Achieving perfect follow-through
    • The Cycle System for recording and processing to-do lists
    • Prioritization techniques
    • Scheduling your work (for a sysadmin? really?)
  • Task grouping: Batching, sharding, and multitasking
  • Handling the most difficult days
    • The day before a vacation
    • The day a big outage disrupts your perfectly planned day

Nadine Miller: Technical Resume Writing – Half Day Friday PM

Technical Resume Writing covers the high points of overhauling your resume to receive better responses from the HR “gatekeepers” as well as potential IT managers and colleagues.

Topics covered include:

  • improving the 30 second response to your resume
  • adding quantitative information to your resume
  • “career objective” versus “professional summary”/”profile”
  • the type of resume to use
  • tailoring resumes to specific job listings
  • and improving the visual design of your resume.

We will look at real-world examples of before and after resumes.  The principles taught apply to social networking profiles in addition to paper and on-line resumes.  Bring your resume and be ready to ask specific questions.

Steven Murawski: PowerShell Fundamentals – Half Day Saturday AM

PowerShell Fundamentals will provide students with a basic foundation to begin leveraging PowerShell to accomplish standard systems admin focused tasks by teaching some concrete techniques that they can begin using immediately. The course begins with some of the basic terminology, as well as the four essential commands to using PowerShell. The course progresses into a number of task-based examples of system administration style tasks. The course finally covers using PowerShell with two products that many administrators have to work with, Active Directory and Exchange. (Note: these can be swapped out for some other product like Hyper-V, VMWare, Microsoft DNS, SQL Server, etc…)

Steven Murawski: PowerShell Tips and Tricks – Half Day Saturday PM

PowerShell Tips and Tricks will provide students with a variety of tips and tricks to make working with PowerShell simpler, more effective, and just plain fun. We will cover how profiles can help you have standard levels of features across users and machines, as well as providing customizability for an individual’s shell environment. We will explore the pipeline and how you can leverage the different capabilities provided by the PowerShell pipeline to make more concise scripts and functions. Additional topics we will cover include tricks with variables, getting around Execution Policy, making the Integrated Scripting Environment awesome.

Mike Pennacchi: Deep Packet Inspection using Wireshark – Half Day Friday AM

Sometimes using tools like PING and Traceroute isn’t enough to isolate the cause of network problems. This class will take a hands-on approach to learning how to use the Wireshark protocol analyzer to capture packets and analyze network traffic. Numerous examples will be used throughout the day to walk the attendees though the process of filtering out those packets that are working well and drilling down to those that are at the root of the problem. Attendees will be provided with a CD containing a number of open source network troubleshooting tools, as well as the trace files used in the class. Laptops are required.

Mike Pennacchi: Using Open Source Tools to Troubleshoot your Network – Half Day Friday PM

Many organizations put off network monitoring due to budget constraints. In this class, we will cover a number of the free and open source network troubleshooting tools on the market and show how these tools can be used to put together a comprehensive network monitoring solution. A DVD will be provided containing a Ubuntu VM that has been preconfigured with the tools covered in the course.

Leon Towns-von Stauber: Centralized Logging – Half Day Saturday PM

Devices on your network are logging a wealth of potentially useful data, but too often it’s distributed and not readily accessible. This talk shows you what’s involved in setting up a central UNIX or Linux loghost to aggregate and effectively utilize that data. It details how to set up syslog-ng and Simple Event Correlator (SEC) to collect and reduce log messages in real-time, turning them into actionable information that can enable quick responses to urgent issues, reveal problems you didn’t know you had, and give you a better feel for what’s happening on your systems.

Aleksey Tsalolikhin: Sysadmin Basics: Power Editing with vi – Half Day Saturday AM

Power Editing with vi – a hands-on course to take you from a vi beginner or intermediate user to a power user, able to leap tall text buildings with a single bound.  Unleash the full power of that blinking cursor, become more efficient at your job, and fame and fortune will surely follow.  Most people use  about 10% of what vi is fully capable of. Awaken to your vi’s full potential.

 Posted by at 4:49 AM