Information for potential speakers

General Info

Sonoma County System Administrators (SoCoSA) is a group of sysadmins that meets in Sebastopol on the first Tuesday of every month. We're about an hour north of San Francisco (over an hour during commute hours); presentations start at 7pm with pizza and whatnot starting at 6pm. We formed January 2006.

We welcome speakers on a wide variety of topics. Anything of a technical nature, of course, but also non-technical topics such as legal issues relevant to systems administration, disaster recovery, etc. The primary criteria is whether or not it's relevant to the jobs of the majority of systems administrators in the group.

Our membership includes sysadmins for Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, the Coast Guard,, O'Reilly Media, Copperfield's Books and others...

What to expect

Attendance: anywhere from ten to twenty attendees, depending on topic, time of year, etc. We're still new, but we usually get about a dozen people.

Audience: Professional system administrators. Anywhere from a couple of years of systems administration experience up to multiple decades of experience. People from companies with IT departments of over 50 people; people who are the entire IT department for their company. Windows sysadmins; Linux sysadmins; Unix sysadmins; mainframe sysadmins; sysadmins who have to deal with multiple platforms. They can be a tough audience, so it's best to send somebody who can answer detailed questions; like an engineer, sysadmin or programmer; often sales people can't answer the kinds of questions our members will want to ask.

Location: O'Reilly's Sebastopol offices. If you're coming up from San Francisco, leaving at 4pm will get you there at about 5:30pm, and leaving at 4:30pm will get you there at 6:30pm.

Facilities: One 10/100 ethernet port with DHCP, a 1024x768 projector, a wall to project onto, a space that can accomodate 30 people easily, or up to 90 with some advance planning.

Presentation Length: length for a full meeting would be 45 to 90 minutes (including time for Q&A). We can accomodate shorter presentations, but that takes more planning. Running longer (120 minutes) tends to wear people out, but if there's a really good reason to go that long let us know.

How to arrange to speak to our group?

Contact Us: Send an email to steering [at]

What we need: In order to promote your presentation, we'll eventually want:

  • Your name, organization or project you'll be representing, and your position, if applicable
  • A short title "Securing Foos" for the talk
  • A one-paragraph (or longer) description of the talk. URLs appreciated.
  • Some biographical information on the speaker is always nice.
  • What you need from us. Internet access? A projector?

Give-aways: Flyers, pamphlets and handouts are all welcome. If you want to bring a few t-shirts, some books, a product sample or anything that you can only bring a few of, we can raffle those off as door prizes.

Sponsoring a Meeting: We normally start at 6pm and order pizza. We'd be happy to let you buy pizza (or some other food) and drinks for the whole group. Make sure to let us know ahead of time so we can let the members know in advance (free food will probably draw a bigger crowd).