My LOADays experience started with a discussion-filled evening during and after the speakers’ dinner on Friday, with the “after” portion taking place in the hotel bar. I think I stumbled into bed after midnight.

Up early the Saturday morning to drive Pieter and Andrea to the venue in time for the lovely breakfast they serve speakers there. (If you need a reason to speak at LOADays: the thin, fluffy, tasty omelettes are hard to beat, pun not intended.)

Robert then accompanied me to the room reserved for a bit of a special event: when we last met, I promised him I’d do a special introductory DNS talk for his apprentices, a dozen of which attended bravely sitting up in the front row. I hope I didn’t speak too fast, and that whatever I said made half sense: it’s difficult to distill all I have to say about the topic into a single hour, particularly to young people possibly not accustomed to a lot of technical info. Even so, I had the impression that a few of the attendees were really interested.

and there were books

As a special feature, I schlepped two cases of my book along and gave each of the students a complimentary copy. If nothing else, I told them, they could look at the nice diagrams in it. :-) I was touched upon being given a cellophane-wrapped basket containing a selection of Belgian beer. Those of you who know me know that I’m not terribly partial to it, but I will make a point of explicitly tasting each and every one of them. Here they are, all neatly lined up before I stow them in the fridge.

belgian beer

After the DNS intro (which we’d opened to the “general public”) and after a bit of a break I took, I listened to the tail end of Bert Van Vreckem’s talk on Leveling up your shell scripting skills which had a few interesting tidbits along with some rather impossible ones in my opinion: the example of idempotence on creating a Unix user was “cute” but it doesn’t work the way he showed us, because he completely ignored changing gecos field, shell, or home directory (that requires config management).

Next was Pieter Lexis whom I consider to be a particularly fun speaker; his Running containers and Operating System images with systemd-nspawn sparked quite a bit of joy with me except for his use of “dark mode” on screenshots. (That happened a lot this year; I think nobody listens to me: I yell that out clearly every year several times :-) I’ll study the screenshots quietly directly from Pieter’s slide deck. I’ve always thought it’s a shame systemd-nspawn isn’t spoken about more, and Pieter drove that point home again: it’s really worth looking into, particularly as it’s really well integrated into systemd, whether you like it or don’t.

Pieter Hollants (yes, another Pieter: and there was a Peter too, but he didn’t speak much :-), gave an overview of how he didn’t become an electronics engineer which was fun, and he brought hardware along. The talk saddened me a little bit because it drove home how playing with toys like those is becoming more and more difficult for me with eye-sight failing and hands shaking. His slides are here.

There was a bit of a “Zabbix Track”, if I may call it that: Patrik Uytterhoeven talked about Low-Level Zabbix Discovery for JMX, and I also had a Zabbix talk on loadable C modules and Low-Level Discovery. I had the impression attendees weren’t really thrilled to hear about all of that. I did.

Andrea Tosatto, a very good presenter and colleage of Pieter and Peter, gave an excellent talk on scaling Ansible. He’s fun, he’s fast, but to be honest, he could have simply used my slide deck and saved a lot of time. I’m just kidding of course. His presentation has numbers and it’s well worth your time

Before the traditional open-air pizza (omg I thought it was soo cold outside!), there was a “PowerPoint karaoke” which was hilarious, but it was also too long for me. Shoutout from me to Jeroen Baten and Pieter Lexis for being fantastic spontaneous speakers!

I had to leave that evening due to “management” having made alternative engagements and so missed out on the Sunday breakfast and talks. As such, I’m already looking forward to LOADays 2020. :-)

conference :: 05 May 2019 :: e-mail