March Meeting

We had our March meeting last night. The topic was IPv6, What you need to know.

It was a bit of a comedy of errors leading up to tonight’s meeting. Our slated speaker canceled at the last minute, but happily it was intended to be a round-table anyway so Evan and I made the snap decision to hold the meeting anyway. Then Evan had a work emergency (hazard of our job) and couldn’t make it. And to cap it off, the elevators in our building decided to go extremely weird which made getting people up to the 8th floor a trial. We saw a lot of the 2nd floor every time we got in one.

Even though we didn’t have a Designated Expert, the conversation stayed on IPv6 for nearly two hours and we discussed quite a lot. Enough of us had done enough reading on it to help the rest come to terms with some of the differences.

A commonly voiced question was, “why would I even bother? What’s going to push me into it?” Continue reading

.Gov as a service

Speaker Gray Brooks of the GSA gave an excellent presentation about the expanding existence of web APIs for government agencies. The President issued a Digital Strategies Initiative aimed at improving access to government data and better facilitating mobile application development using government data. Gray Brooks is currently serving as an evangelist to other agencies to help them expand their online presence in this way.

One of the things they’re actively pushing is to make “/developers” a common location to find an agency’s API or developer resources. Not everything has it, but that’s what they’re working on. Sites like the EPA, FCC, the Census bureau, and even the National Broadband Map. The Department of Energy has quite a list already.

Making the case that this is a good idea is one of the big challenges, as well as overcoming institutional inertia. Sysadmins are frequently the technical point of contact the GSA has for agencies, but tend to be a layer or two below where such decisions are actually made. Our role as internal advocates is quite valuable in this effort, as well as reassuring decision-makers that the technical changes that need to be made are really not that great.

LOPSA DC’s first meeting, now with less wind

Hurricane Sandy forced us to postpone the original kick-off meeting, and now we have the reschedule time! The next/first meeting will be Tuesday, November 27th at 7pm.


When: Tuesday, November 27th, at 7pm

Where: Offices of Logikcull
1400 I St. Northwest Suite 800
(the big glass doors in the elevator lobby on the 8th floor)
Washington, DC 20005

Meeting Presenter: Gray Brooks, Sr. API Strategist at GSA
Meeting Topic: .Gov as a Service – The Role of APIs in Building a Digital Government

Topic Summary:

On May 23, 2012, the President issued a directive entitled “Building a 21st Century Digital Government”. It launched a comprehensive Digital Government Strategy aimed at delivering better digital services to the American people. The strategy lays out actions in a 12-month roadmap and has three main objectives:

  1. Enable the American people and an increasingly mobile workforce to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device.
  2. Ensure that as the government adjusts to this new digital world, we seize the opportunity to procure and manage devices, applications, and data in smart, secure and affordable ways.
  3. Unlock the power of government data to spur innovation across our Nation and improve the quality of services for the American people.

Gray will be exploring the ramifications and results stemming from the ongoing implementation of the Digital Government Strategy. Through that work, why APIs are changing government and why they are the medicine that government has been needing, but also why the changes are unavoidable and impact every part of an agency’s digital self.

Speaker Bio:

Gray Brooks has served at the Federal Communications Commission the last three years as part of the digital team overhauling the agency’s web presence and standing up their current Drupal site. In the lead-up to the release of the Digital Government Strategy, he transitioned to the General Services Administration to serve as Sr. API Strategist. As part of the agency’s recently launched Innovation Center, his role is to promote the role of web services in government and to support federal agencies in their implementation of the Strategy’s milestones

October meeting canceled

It was supposed to be Tuesday, but downtown DC is likely to still be mostly closed and a lot of us will be dealing with our own personal and professional power outages (and maybe floods and the odd tree where it shouldn’t be). Our backup date won’t work with our speaker, so we’re choosing to cancel October’s kick-off meeting all together. Too much peril, not enough topic.

We’ll pick up at the November meeting (11/27). See you then!

LOPSA DC’s First Meeting – October 30, 2012

LOPSA DC is proud to announce our first meeting, we look forward to seeing you there!

Also, if you’re interested in attending our meetings, please fill out this form.

When: Tuesday, October 30th from 7-9pm

Where: Offices of Logikcull
1400 I St. Northwest Suite 800
(the big glass doors in the elevator lobby on the 8th floor)
Washington, DC 20005

Meeting Presenter: Gray Brooks, Sr. API Strategist at GSA
Meeting Topic: .Gov as a Service – The Role of APIs in Building a Digital Government

Topic Summary:

On May 23, 2012, the President issued a directive entitled “Building a 21st Century Digital Government”. It launched a comprehensive Digital Government Strategy aimed at delivering better digital services to the American people. The strategy lays out actions in a 12-month roadmap and has three main objectives:

  1. Enable the American people and an increasingly mobile workforce to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device.
  2. Ensure that as the government adjusts to this new digital world, we seize the opportunity to procure and manage devices, applications, and data in smart, secure and affordable ways.
  3. Unlock the power of government data to spur innovation across our Nation and improve the quality of services for the American people.

Gray will be exploring the ramifications and results stemming from the ongoing implementation of the Digital Government Strategy. Through that work, why APIs are changing government and why they are the medicine that government has been needing, but also why the changes are unavoidable and impact every part of an agency’s digital self.

Speaker Bio:

Gray Brooks has served at the Federal Communications Commission the last three years as part of the digital team overhauling the agency’s web presence and standing up their current Drupal site. In the lead-up to the release of the Digital Government Strategy, he transitioned to the General Services Administration to serve as Sr. API Strategist. As part of the agency’s recently launched Innovation Center, his role is to promote the role of web services in government and to support federal agencies in their implementation of the Strategy’s milestones

Founding a chapter takes people

Two kinds of people are needed for this DC chapter:

  1. LOPSA members, or people willing to become one. These will be our Charter Members.
  2. People willing to present on things.

The two can be one and the same person, but we still need to cover both types.

Presenting really isn’t that hard, we’re not holding you up to the standard shown at industry conferences. What we need is interesting. We already do interesting in the halls at conferences as we swap stories, so plenty of us already have the technical story to tell. The next step is working up some slides, or a demo, to show off whatever that is.

What qualifies as a good topic? Plenty!

  • Solving a tricky cross-platform issue in Puppet/cfengine/chef/bcfg.
  • Adding Windows to an existing Linux-only configuration-management system.
  • Disaster recovery post-mortem notes.
  • Office campaigns to convince financial powers-that-be that a major upgrade really is in their best interest, how the campaign was fought and won.
  • Anything having to do with scaling out systems, and problems encountered.
  • Creative ways of dealing with bring-your-own-device policies.

We have tech-startups, big government, and mid-size private companies all around the area, so there is a lot of potential audience for your story. And these meetings are the kind of place you can share just those stories.

Think you’d like to listen to these stories?

Think you could maybe share one or two?

Fill out this form!

A new chapter

Welcome to the LOPSA-DC site.

We’re still getting details nailed down, but there are a few things we know already:

  • When: Last Tuesday of the month, from 7-9pm.
  • Where: The offices of Logik, 1400 I St NW, Suite 800, Washington DC

We are still in need of people willing to talk about interesting stuff they’re working on.