So, you’re attending a DevOpsDays event. Congrats on choosing la crème de la crème of DevOps-related conferences.
For those unfamiliar with the event, DevOpsDays is a worldwide series of technical conferences covering topics of software development, IT infrastructure operations—and the connection between them. Topics range from automation, security, testing and the organizational culture that makes the methodology so unique.
10th Magnitude engineers have participated in several DevOpsDays events, including Chicago, Dallas and Austin. But for those new to the franchise, we thought it’d be helpful to outline key selling points, as well as what to expect at this unique conference.
With that said, let’s dive right into The Top 8 Reasons to Attend a DevOpsDays Event (in no particular order):
A One-Track Mind
Since most DevOpsDays events are single-track, you won’t experience the FOMO (“Fear of Missing Out”) you do at other conferences. This format allows attendees to learn about other specialties they wouldn’t normally pursue at a multi-track event. Since a core principle of DevOps is the intersection of development and operations, you’ll learn about topics like software testing and IT security—areas you may not work with on the daily.
(Wide) Open Spaces
The Open Spaces portion of the conference is probably the most crowd-pleasing of all the sessions. The breakouts are intended to be self-organizing with the energy focus not on running the meeting, but creating a meeting setting that gets attendees’ creative juices flowing. Attendees of all skill sets can collaborate, inspire, and also commiserate with others on DevOps issues they’re experiencing, an activity that always lends encouragement. Participants usually come to the realization that nobody really has all the answers, but through collaboration and inclusion, they can get even closer to solving whatever problem they’ve presented to the group.
The Cream of the Crop
DevOpsDays events attract some of the best and the brightest in the industry, so be prepared to have some knowledge bombs dropped. DevOpsDays Austin 2017 has an incredible speaker lineup, including the four authors of the renowned publication, “The DevOps Handbook,” as well as Nicole Forsgren, CEO and Chief Scientist at DevOps Research and Assessments (DORA). In addition to amazing speakers, expect some fascinating demos of the latest and greatest tools.
The Price is Right
Depending on the conference location and time of purchase, you can score a DevOpsDays ticket for (usually) less than $200. In terms of conferences, it’s relatively cheap, especially given the pedigree of the presenters and the length of the event (usually two days). Oh yeah, did we mention they’ll feed you, too? The deep dish pizza—not surprisingly at the Chicago event—was off-the-charts, and lunch was a great opportunity to get to know fellow attendees.
While respect and empathy are core DevOps values, DevOpsDays events truly embrace the sentiment. Their Code of Conduct ensures everyone can learn and share in a collaborative environment without fear of judgment. This is especially important for those new to the DevOps school of thought. Those attendees more advanced in DevOps generally take the newcomers under their wings so, regardless of skill level, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
While the DevOpsDays franchise does employ sponsors that help keep costs down, don’t expect pushy sales people shoving their brand down your throat. The exhibitor hall usually consists of product/tool vendors like Chef and solutions consultancies like 10th Magnitude, but attendees can browse at-will for solutions and products that, ultimately, will make their jobs easier. In the market for a new gig? The folks at many booths are also recruiting for new hires, so the exhibitor hall is also a great place to network and check out open positions.
Coming to a City Near You
The first DevOpsDays event was held in Ghent, Belgium in 2009. Since then, the franchise has exploded—both globally and in the states. The events have been held in everywhere from Cuba to South Africa, so chances are that there’s an event being held somewhere near your home base soon. If not, take matters into your own hands and organize an event with the help of DevOpsDays core organizers.
Let the Good Times Roll
While professional development is generally top of mind for anyone attending a conference, it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun while you’re there. DevOpsDays is more than just speaking sessions—there’s a huge social aspect to the event. Most DevOpsDays events have hackathons, after-parties and other pre- and post-conference activities. You’ll walk away from the event with a host of knowledge, but also a ton of new friends and unforgettable experiences.