We've enjoyed our association with the folks from the Professional IT Community Conference (PICC) the last couple of years. It's nice to see local IT sys admins taking control of local conferences.
Local conferences are great, and I'd like to see more of them pop up. It's always a plus to network with local sys admins who are facing some of the same challenges that you are. Plus, it's just plain nice to attend a conference without needing to jump on a plane or pass a kidney stone when you see the hotel room mini-bar prices.
I had the opportunity to exchange some info with John Boris, a past attendee who will be making it to PICC 2012 in New Brunswick, NJ.
1. Low cost Training in my back yard. You can't beat the price. Getting a full day of training runs twice that much and you can get two days. The instructors have been top notch so it is a no brainer for me.
2. Community experience. Besides the training and presentations there is the Hallway track and dinner. You get to meet a lot of people during the breaks and meals. It is neat to have exchanged emails with a person for a year and then meet them face to face.
3. To learn new things. I live my work life at a command prompt on an operating system that is way past end of life. So being able to get somewhere and see what is going on is a plus. Getting to see how someone else solved a problem or handle an issue is something that you can find at PICC.
Q: Do you feel that there are differences between local sys admin
conferences and national conferences? If so, will you list one or two?
The one big difference between a national conference and a local one, in my opinion, is the closeness of the venue. The training sessions may not be as diverse as a week long conference but at PICC you will most likely meet and speak to every attendee at the conference. That is something you would not do at a big National conference.
Q: As a sys admin, what have you learned from past PICC conferences that
you implemented into your daily workflow?
One main thing I have learned at PICC is Time Management through Tom Limmoncelli's Time Management for System Administrators class. From his class and his book I implemented a Request Tracker (RT) system at work to handle my Tecj support calls and practically everything that I need to track goes into that system. The use of RT in my work has streamlined my desk and has kept me on track. This is coming from an person who has to support 500 users, 25 servers over a five county area plus an office of administrators.
Thank you to John for taking the time to share his thoughts on PICC. If you are interested in attending a conference in your local area check out The League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA) which lists local IT conferences.