Load Balancing for Humans

Tips, tricks, and tactics for keeping your sanity as a modern sysadmin.

The era of the Mainframe and the shadowy sysadmin has passed, and we’re entering an era where users are progressively more informed, inquisitive, and have more control over their devices. Balancing your workload between users, services, systems, coworkers, emergencies, and having a life outside of work can seem impossible at times. Over the course of my talk I’ll be covering coping skills, tactics, and life lessons for taking what can be one of the most stressful jobs around and turning it into something enjoyable. YMMV, of course =)

Key Concepts:

  • How to stay calm, composed, and in control in stressful situations.
  • How to step back and regain balance in the face of catastrophe.
  • Ways for relating to users.
  • Ways for explaining things to users in terms they get.
  • Effective interaction with users.
  • How to turn a potentially stressful job into fun.
  • Fostering a warm, PEBKAC and BOFH free work environment.

Foundational Lecture – 75 Minutes

Vanessa White, New Relic

Vanessa White

Vanessa is a lifelong Mac geek whose mission is to facilitate better the relationships between people and their Macs. She currently works with the awesome nerds of New Relic supporting programmers, their Macs, and Mac servers at their Engineering office in Portland, Oregon. Her previous background includes being a Mac SysAmin in a small business setting, maintaining Mac OS X lab builds at Portland State University, several years at an Apple Store doing triage, and tending Macs around her back to 1994.

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