Friday, October 14, 2016

Recap: DevOps Days 2016

The presentations for both days varied in level of preparedness and quality as is expected to some degree, but overall there was value that I gained from all of them. The Ignites today were a little less interesting than Day 1. Overall today had a lot more technical focus. The conference as a whole gave me a much better feeling at the end that I think I've had with many more expensive conferences, and I think a large part of that has to do with the smaller group atmosphere. There was a lot more chance to bump into people you had previously met on the day before and were able to learn from them and vice versa.

Some of my favorite talks from the event were What the Military Taught Me About DevOpsEnter the Trough of DisillusionmentDebugging TLS/SSLMigrating legacy infrastructure to Kubernetes. The military talk was given by a veteran of the US Air Force, Chris Short where he spoke about how his experiences in the military. he spoke about failures he encountered and the framework with which the military uses, which prepared him to manage business successfully. Enabling him and his teams to recover from failures with plans for the future both near and far. He closed by mentioning that hiring veterans can be very advantageous for all involved due to their focus, goal-oriented nature, and ability to think quick on their feet. While I'm not a veteran myself, I believe this to be a very cogent point, and I personally support. Another talk that was also less technology oriented was the Trough of Disillusionment. 

For those unfamiliar with the term, it comes from Gartner, and it involves the hype of expectations around particular concepts or technologies. In this case it was around DevOps, and how currently we are at a point of peak expectations. The talk dove into how as we head towards the trough what actions we can take in order to continue progress even through potential reigning in of funding and more sullen attitudes towards DevOps as a concept.

The next talk and probably the best put together one was the Debugging SSL/TLS (different link) by John Downey, I have a decent amount of experience with setting up TLS on servers and creating certificates. I think some of my favorite parts were honestly in talking about the history around TLS. However, John did also make mention of the various vulnerabilities that still exist and some great tools including one called sslyze. A tool that I look forward to using should the need arise; another tool I am looking forward to using is Kubernetes.

The last presentation I'm going to be talking about was Migrating legacy infrastructure to Kubernetes. Kubernetes for the uninitiated is a tool which is used to wrangle fleets of containers. While I have never gotten a chance to use it Brandon Dimcheff had a great story of his experiences with the tool. Additionally he made the suggestion for an Open Space Discussion about it of which I took full advantage.

DevOps Days Detroit 2016 has come to a close, and in typical conference fashion, a slow draining of attendees from until only the few remain. I look forward to coming back next year listening to many more good presentations, having some great discussions, and who knows maybe I will be one of the those with the privilege to speak in front of the group.

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