The Silicon Valley DevOps Days (https://legacy.devopsdays.org/events/2014-siliconvalley/) was the second DevOps Days event I have attended. My first was in Austin. Slightly different vibe, but still fascinating and a great learning experience. Velocity had just finished, and they held DevOps Days on Friday / Saturday to not conflict. Some people like myself went to both, but overall a slightly different crowd at DevOps Days. Velocity had a lot of people that were thought leaders and pushing the envelope, from development and operations to product management and executives. There were people like that at DevOps Days too, but there was more of an emphasis on the practical nature of running systems, as you would expect. There was a ton of experience present on what it took to keep large scalable systems up and running. It also feels more like a user group than a conference, with many open spaces sessions where people are sharing what worked and didn’t work in their environment, and learning from each other. It was very interesting to me how as an industry we continually streamline operations with one more level of abstraction. Automation was a fairly common theme. The more you could automate, the more efficient your DevOps is, and the less likely a human error or a fat-finger would impact your ops.
There was also a lot of discussion about the organizational, cultural, and political influences related to DevOps. It’s a hot buzz word, and nearly everyone wants the benefits of continuous delivery, but there is still a lot of education required to achieve in many organizations. You can’t just hire or assign a team of DevOps guys, it has to be a cultural shift about how you go about testing, releasing and maintaining software.
After 3 days of Velocity and 2 days of DevOps, I boarded the plane with sore feet and a tired brain. One of few flights that I left the laptop in the bag and opted for a mindless in-flight movie.