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My notes about DevopsDays 2019 Ghent talks

posted at 18-11-2019

First Day

Nigel Kersten - Enterprise DevOps 10 years on: What went wrong? and what went right?

  • Missing parts of DevOps in most organizations these days: Culture and Sharing.
  • DevOps includes: Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement, Sharing

Joshua Zimmerman - Why We're Bad at Sharing Devops

Teaching concepts are hard, sometimes we focus on the word it self, but we should focus on the concept. It can change from person to person, even if everyone have the same explanation about a version of a concept, a lot of different versions will come from there. Probably I got something totally different from this talk than other person on the audience.

But what DevOps really means? That's the thing. Some people even say that DevOps is dead.

How can we improve the way to teach concepts?

  • don't focus on language, focus on concepts
  • pose more problems offer fewer solutions!
  • create more spaces for collaborative learning

Ken Mugrage - Everything I need to know about DevOps I learned in The Marines

  • Words matter, having a obiquos language, that everyone knows what you're talking about, knows what that means.
  • Empowered teams: diverse and inclusive team, know what to do with your skills, and support each other

Ramon van Alteren - Applying (Supporting) devops practices to technology procurement

  • When you have stuff in house, you know about costs. It's fix. But when we go to cloud, any team can run whatever they want in cloud, and the costs can go really high.

  • Costs is a factor in how you design & run systems for every teams


  • 1 - Create a safety net - to be free to test stuff on cloud
  • 2 - Global cost optimisation before local -
  • 3 - Explicit frame of reference -
  • 4 - cost reduction =! goal - goal is bring value for users

Julie Gunderson - You Can't Buy DevOps

  • You can't change culture with a credit card

What devops isn't:

  • moving to the cloud
  • forming a DEVOPS TEAM
  • getting rid of the ops team
  • something that you can download
  • not a prescript checklist

What devops is:

  • culture
  • people over processes

westrum three cultures model five keys to a successful google team (image)

Psychological safety:

  • allow to take risks, without pointing fingers to blame
  • Incorage people to take risks
  • people are not afraid to speak up
  • allows to ask questions


  • discipline doesn't cost money
  • automation
  • right tools (choosed by the team, and try to get the right ones)
  • continous deploys, small changes
  • test - continous integrations

Daniel Maher - What MMA taught me about working in tech

  • Mixing techniques toguether

Fundamentals win fights:

  • some basics that we need to learn
  • don't be dogmatic about fundamentals
  • we need to explore more than know how to use a loop or something like that, there are a tons of ways to do the same thing

Diversity makes you better by default:

  • Fresh eyes and fresh ideas - Getting stuff for people from different backgrounds, using different tools, this kinda stuff.

Knowing that we can do stuff, getting everything together, diversity, data, everything, but sometimes we get frustrated, sometimes we get the "WTF's happenning here?"

Sasha Rosenbaum - Admitting that hard problems are hard

Do we need all the complexity that we put in our architecture?

It's a really huge cost admiting ignorance.

I'm a bear of very little brain, and big words really bother me. Winnie the pooh

We should stop pretending that:

  • Distributed systems are easy
  • people are available 24/7 and if they work more than other people they are better than others
  • Unicorn companies don't have technical debt
  • that new product will solve all of your problems

Stereotypes are self-perpetuating - assumptions, if you have a assumption about someone, you'll not hire this person

Costs of complexity:

  • time to learn, to build, to maintain
  • increases the changes of failure
  • money (what business care in the end of the day)

Psychological safety

  • make space for some other people ideas
  • to admit mistakes
  • you don't know everything

"You're here to improve not to prove your self"

book: mind set - the new psychological of success

Second Day

Patrick Debois - Devops beyond dev and ops

  • Report bugs for services that we use, give good feedbacks, they'll appreciate if it's for a trully porpouse
  • Companies should get employees that are willing to learn, to work with their product, even if they don't have 100% of the skills needed.
  • Technology needs to be aligned to the legal contracts and stuff. It's cool the revisit it once a while that something changes
  • DevOps is a tiny part of the company, not overestimate your power as a tech person

Jody Wolfborn, Kimball Johnson - Pipelines to Production: Detangling the DevOps Web (of Lies)

  • Automate practices.
  • Right tools for each problem.
  • Delivery small changes and tested
  • Monitor proactively
  • Trustness, create safe environment

Culture = DevOps == Empathy

Michael Ducy - Different Paths, Same Place - A Human Case Study

  • Different paths = Same goal
  • Diversity of all things.
  • Never criticize a person until you've waled a mile in their shoes

George Miranda - The Perfect Storm - How We Talk About Disasters

  • Have a plan for incidents
  • Share what we learned from the incidents
  • What is the next step? How the future looks like
  • Retro on teams out of tech teams

Bryan Liles - Sysadmins to DevOps: Where we came from and where we are going

  • write softwares to solve biz problems
  • most likely runs on servers somewhere
  • Team understand the full stack
  • We had dev vs ops

Good parts:

  • automate - code as infra
  • empathy
  • collaboration -> with peeps that know more than you.
  • use a little of agile

Bad parts:

  • DevOps - a made up word, WTF?!
  • DevOps Eng - WTF?!!?
  • SRE

Bridget Kromhout - Devops, distributed


  • Grow with more people we're one single point of failure
  • Time: people may not know stuff as you know because xp. Try to share it.
  • Communications & Structure
  • share cross orgs


  • Write docs, make it explicity
  • Complexity can come with chaos
  • Detail & scaling


  • complex & distribuited

We can make different stuff, to not be hard and make something nice for everyone