First a bit of background

I’m Steve Murawski (in case you couldn’t tell from the URL ;) ).  I’m running for one of the open seats on the LOPSA Board.  If you haven’t heard of LOPSA, stay tuned - more on that in a minute.  

I’ve led a circuitous route to becoming a sysadmin, but when I first became a sysadmin, LOPSA was there.  LOPSA (and the Madison, Wisconsin chapter) were my first human introduction to sysadmins outside the handful that worked in capacities similar to mine.

I learned a bit more about LOPSA’s goals in those first years as a sysadmin, but honestly the biggest benefit to me was the discount on O’Reilly books (and even that had a hard time competing with Amazon’s regular pricing).

With the prodding of Matt Simmons, I began to get involved with LOPSA-East (PICC at the time) and Cascadia as an instructor, bringing some of my Windows experience to the training program.  Teaching at those conferences has been a very rewarding experience and I love the community of attendees.

So what is LOPSA?

Many of the readers of my blog might be unfamiliar with LOPSA, so here’s the short version - LOPSA is The League of Professional Systems Administrators, a professional organization dedicated to raising the art and science of systems administration.  There are a number of local LOPSA chapters and affiliates, and two affiliated regional conferences (LOPSA-East and the Cascadia IT Conference).  LOPSA affiliated trainers also engage with several other conferences. LOPSA members enjoy several discounts, as well as access to professional and liability insurance.

So why should I be on the board?

I’m not so sure I should be.  I was asked to run and thought about it for quite some time.  It’d be a lot easier to just go on with the teaching circuit and reap the benefits of a community that I tangentially participate in.  

LOPSA professes to 

  • advance the practice of systems administration
  • support, recognize, educate, and encourage its practitioners
  • serve the public through education and outreach on systems administration issues

I can’t promise to change the world or launch LOPSA to the forefront of the sysadmin community, but I do promise to approach each challenge the board is faced with through the lens of the key goals of LOPSA expressed above.  

A few key thoughts

First, I’d like to raise awareness of LOPSA in the traditional Microsoft community.  A number of the conferences and user groups I attend and speak at have never heard of LOPSA.  Outside the mentoring program, I’ve had a hard time delivering a convincing case for membership. 

Second, if LOPSA is positioned as the organization representing systems administrators, where was the content representing our take on Heartbleed?  That was a bit of a news story, but outside a few member blogs, was there an official LOPSA statement?


If elected to the board, I’d like to see LOPSA, as an organization, take a position on newsworthy events and reach out to the media to share our position.

If you like my thoughts

and are a LOPSA member, I’d encourage you to consider voting for me for the LOPSA Board of Directors in the coming election.