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Impressions from DevOpsDays Vancouver 2016

DevOpsDays are always a great event for a geek to attend. You get to chat to fellow hackers and coders and therefore people, who actually understand what you are talking about. The vibe that results from these conversations is always amazing. Presenting is definitely a challenge, but great if you can pull it off. Let’s see how I fared at DevOpsDays Vancouver 2016.


I set out to present about the complexities of dependencies and parts that constitute your “application” in the new world of increasing complexity and uptake in usage of Docker containers.  Before the set of lightning talks though, I got to warm up by learning about capacity planning at Demonware. Pretty amazing what goes into making sure gamers have a satisfactory experience.

The following talk from Diógenes Rettori about containers and security was a great introduction for the audience explaining things like layers of a Docker container and the numerous dependencies. He used some excellent analogies, had some interesting examples and excellent, hand-written slides that you should definitely check out.

The next two presentations after the break were technical in nature, yet extremely educating.  Both topics “Empathy” and “Gender in Organizations” showed what amazing things we can learn when we look beyond the mere technical aspects of our work. Just like the agile movement in the past, the DevOps movement is realizing that human and social aspects are crucial to any successful implementation. I am looking forward to check some of the many referenced articles, books and authors.

The ignite talks session concluded the morning and included my very own talk. Ignites are always tricky to prepare in terms of timing and to present in terms of content and last minute adjustments. Check out the recording to see yourself how I did. Or plain content – have a look at the slides.

After lunch I proposed the container, security and software supply chain management topic for a one hour open space session as host together with Diógenes. The big interest resulted in a lively discussion of about 50 people. We covered many topics including repository manager usage or other tooling, but also talked about soft topics like how to involve security teams in the discussion and processes.

The next day opened with extremely interesting talk about the CI pipeline at Shopify – full of impressive ideas, performance and scale. John Arthorne and his team have some amazing experience and sure know what they are doing. The slides have something for you to learn from for sure!

The day continued with more interesting talks about technical and social topics. We chatted things like

  • Mentoring and onboarding
  • Taking care of Jenkins deployments
  • Cognitive science and mirror neurons
  • Optimizing single page web applications

And a host of other topics in various hallway chats.

Overall it was great to attend a local event full of things to learn and great people to meet. And to top it all off I ran into a few people right from Victoria, that I have not met in quite a while. So if you are still not sure if you should attend your local DevOpsDays or similar conference, my recommendation is this:

Don’t miss out – go for it! I will see you there.. 

Picture of Manfred Moser

Written by Manfred Moser

Manfred is a former author, trainer, and community advocate at Sonatype. He speaks regularly at conferences such as JavaOne, OSCON, DevOpsDays. He is a long time open source developer and contributor.