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My password

2012-10-08 4 comments

Just reviewed my stats on my blog…  For the person searching ‘sparks password’ you probably won’t find it via Google.  Just sayin’.

Categories: stuff

Management skills

2012-05-17 6 comments

I’ve held more than a few positions in my career and I feel that I’ve collected several bits of things should never do.  Here are a few:

  • A manager should balance the needs of the company with the needs of the employee.  Never ask an employee to work an extra day, and thus have the employee loose a day of his weekend, just because the company is shifting the employee’s work week around.  If the company is making the change then it should be up to the company to eat the missed time.
  • An employee should never have to justify asking for assistance with a problem.  If you are the manager of a group where your employees can’t simply ask a question and get an answer without having snide remarks in reply or have to justify the need to ask the question in the first place then you have a problem.
  • Actually listen to your employees.  As much as people think business is top-down ruling if you piss off enough people at the bottom you’re going to have a problem.  Think you have a good team working for you?  Don’t want to lose any of the brain-trust that you’ve built up?  Better open your ears and make working in that team something they won’t want to walk away from.
  • Money does not motivate everyone.  That’s not to say that money isn’t a motivator but when it comes down to it do you really want someone working for you if they are only going to do a good enough job to get paid?  Personally, I’d much prefer to pay someone good money who wanted to be there anyway.  At least that way you know their work and dedication will be tops and you’ll pay them well so they won’t have to even consider going elsewhere.  And if you think you have people that you’re paying that would rather be elsewhere then you had better figure out how to excite them or you’re liable to loose them.
  • Don’t hide in your office.  Leading from the front and being a part of what’s happening not only improves your leadership skills but also lets you see what’s actually happening.  It’s a good thing to get your hands dirty every so often.
  • Make time for your employees.  I once worked for a guy who was constantly on the phone.  You could hardly get five minutes to shoot the breeze or ask a work question because he was constantly being pulled in different directions by meeting and phone calls.  Don’t get me started on his email in-box, either.  A few times a week, especially when he knew he’d been out of touch with his people, he’d go around and spend fifteen minutes or so with everyone just to make sure everything was working well and there were no problems that needed to be dealt with.  He also treated us with ice cream!  Even though he was busy he’d make sure to spend some time with everyone.
  • Trust your employees and what they think and say.  Don’t believe or agree with what’s being said?  Have you actually talked to your employees and understand why they have come to a different conclusion?
  • Handing off management of a task to a subordinate is not failing as a manager, it’s called delegation.
  • Praise in public, correct in private.

There are many others but this is what comes to mind right off hand.  What are some that I’ve missed?

Categories: stuff Tags:

2011 in review

2011-12-31 Leave a comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: stuff

Looking to purchase a laptop with Linux

2011-08-07 Leave a comment

With starting my new job I’m looking at purchasing a new laptop for work.  Beyond the solid state drive, i5 or i7 processor, and lots of RAM, I want to purchase a laptop without the Microsoft tax.  I don’t use Windows and I certainly don’t want to reward Microsoft for poor behavior.

Anyone have any recommendations on where to spend my money?  The only requirements of my new employer is to purchase a three-year support contract so I will need a company to do that.

Creative Commons License
Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Categories: stuff

My next adventure: Cloud.com/Citrix

2011-07-23 Leave a comment

For the past three years I’ve been working as a contractor to a government agency.  Coming from the world depicted by the US Navy the last three years haven’t been easy.  The mission I had, to secure the system we were developing from those that shouldn’t have access, recently came to a head where the government decided I had completed my mission (security is never complete and is always evolving, by the way) and they needed to trim some money from the budget.  My company made the offer for me to change projects but it seemed like it would be more of the same and would start me over from where I had been three years ago.

Seeing as how I hate to move backwards or simply tread water I starting putting my feelers out.  To my surprise I had several companies/organizations that showed interest in my career history and future potential.  One of those companies is Cloud.com (now Citrix).  I’ve been impressed by this company’s mission and work so to get an offer from them made me feel great.  Of course this means there will be changes in my knowledge base coming up.  While I’ll always have a security mindset (how can I get into this?) it’s important to keep learning new things.  Cloud computing is something that fits well with the availability portion of security and is very important for systems that just have to be up.

I’ll be officially saying goodbye to the coworkers that became my friends during the last three years on Tuesday.  Luckily, though, I’ll still be in the area and available for those Friday lunches (with ice cream!).  At the beginning of August I’ll join up with a new set of (hopefully) future friends with Cloud.com/Citrix.

Creative Commons License
Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Categories: stuff

Moving my Linux blog

2010-10-20 Leave a comment

Because this blog is basically my journal of Fedora activities I’m moving over to Fedora’s blogging solution.  I haven’t quite figured out how to move all my current data over but I’m sure I can get that completed in the next couple of days.

Please join me over at my new space and follow my new feed.  (Those following me on Fedora Planet will find that you won’t miss a thing!)

Creative Commons License
Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Categories: stuff

Signing and encrypting Logwatch messages

2010-09-29 Leave a comment

Anyone setup Logwatch to sign and encrypt, using GPG, the output messages?

Creative Commons License
Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Categories: Security, stuff

Where have I been?

2010-08-26 Leave a comment

I’m still trying to acclimate myself back into the working world.  If you didn’t know, I took three weeks off for a road trip.  We left Virginia and made it to Maine, hugging the coast as much as possible, and the returned coming through Pennsylvania.  It was fun and did me good to get away.

Creative Commons License
Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Categories: stuff

ircd-seven

2010-06-16 Leave a comment

I’ve been playing around with several ircd flavors, recently, and was wondering if anyone would like to have ircd-seven packaged for Fedora/EPEL.  Since Freenode is using it and it has lots of features I’m looking for I’m wondering if others would be interested.

Creative Commons License
Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Categories: stuff Tags: ,

Interesting links…

2010-06-13 Leave a comment

Being a part of the FOSS community means exchanging ideas… constantly.  Well I definitely received a lot of ideas over the weekend at SouthEast LinuxFest.  Lots of people from various geographic locations and different communities coming together is always a good thing!

So I collected a few URLs that I thought were worth passing along…

http://opensource.com/
Red Hat’s “why to be opensource” website.  Very good information.

http://whatwillweuse.com/
Apparently this page was created as a bet to see whether or not Microsoft would have a majority market share by SELF 2011.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

http://www.slideshare.net/macoafi/sysadmins-rosetta-stone
Mackenzie Morgan’s presentation from last year’s Ohio Linux Fest for Sysadmins.

http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Southeast_LinuxFest
A study on women in technology and more specifically what are the trends of women presenters at area linux fests.  Good to see the trend on the upswing.

I think I’ve included the other relevant links in previous SELF posts as there were quite a lot during each talk.

Creative Commons License
Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Categories: stuff
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