DevOps Days is an international conference with events happening around the globe covering topics of software development, IT infrastructure operations and their intersection. Events are run by local volunteers with guidance from a group of core organizers. The latest edition of DevOps Days Amsterdam happened in person again after 3 years and was hosted at the beautiful location Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. This was also the 10 year anniversary for the Amsterdam edition. The event took place over three days from June 22 to June 24. More than 400 persons participated in various workshops, talks and open spaces. The whole DevOps team of Techspire attended the event and benefitted from knowledge and experiences of the panel.
Day 1 - Workshops
Day 1 started with registrations and importantly, claiming the event t-shirts. Chris Lennon was an amazing host and brightened the venue with his beautiful shirts. The first day was focused on workshops with hands on exercises. Topics included Terraform, API security, Vulnerabilities, YAML, Security as Code, Agile, Kubernetes, etc. There were also non-technical topics like "The art of failure", "How to say no" and some games. Looking at the attendance Terraform and Security as code were among the favourite topics of the day. There were numerous stalls from sponsors showcasing different tools in the DevOps space with security and observability tools leading the pack.
Day 2 - Talks and BBQ
Day 2 was focused on talks, open spaces and meeting new and old friends in person during a delicious BBQ. The first conference day key note was delivered by Emily Freeman on "Revolutionizing Incident Response”. After learning that dad jokes are a good way to distract the audience from technical difficulties, she presented a new revolutionary model of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) that captures the multi-threaded, non-sequential nature of modern software development (see photo). The rest of the morning a number of speakers delivered 30 minute talks on various topics such as inner sourcing, product mindset, remote teams, DevSecOps etc. One of the highlights was the talk by Piet van Dongen sharing his lessons learned doing mass migrations to the cloud, which he wanted to compare to "eating an elephant". Luckily Amsterdam Zoo Artis didn't allow him to actually eat an elephant on stage.
Post lunch there were open spaces where the topics were suggested by the participants on the go and then they were provided with an open space to discuss those topics with other participants. Ehsan from Techspire proposed a very interesting topic “Why does it always happen in production?”. We can surely all relate to this 😉 The warm summer day ended late with an amazing BBQ, a few custom brewed "DevHops" beers for the event and great conversations.
Day 3 - More talks, swag and taco's
Day 3 started with Stacy Cashmore sharing her journey on culture change and she gave some great tips to get awesome at pair-programming. Followed by some interesting talks on remote working, containerless Kubernetes, quality culture, application design and reliability. There were also some quick fire 10 min talks on terraform modules, CI/CD pipelines and silos. A very entertaining talk was from Matt Stratton on incident management where he compared to the Thanos incident from the Avengers. After a lunch with fantastic taco's and Italian ice cream, the time had come to fill up the swag bag. Vendors and sponsors had some interesting things on their stalls to create engagement with raffles, games and quizes to win Lego sets and cool gadgets and loads of goodies, stickers, shirts, pens, tattoos, etc. aka "swag". Rajat from Techspire won a 100€ gift card for securing the 3rd position in the Super Mario game at the New Relic stall.
Now that the conference was over it was time to head back to the Techspire office and share our conference experiences and a case of DevHops beer with our other Techspire colleagues. It was also the last Friday of the month, which meant our colleague Chieh had organized a South African themed BBQ or "Braai". Another day ending with amazing food, beers and great conversations! It will take a cow belly to be able to slowly digest all this...