Reflections from the DevOps Enterprise Summit 2022

Conference Themes

Networking is part of all conferences, but at DOES it feels like networking is the main event. In a blog post describing his goals for the conference, Gene Kim shared 3 themes:

  1. Community Reunion from 2014. The first DevOps Enterprise Summit was held 8 years ago, and many original members are just as active today, and have gone on to write papers, books, done more talks and have seen their own careers flourish through the years.
  2. Finally Meeting People I’ve Met During The Pandemic. This is a group of influential leaders who have been actively involved in the community and virtual summits since the last in person summit 3 years ago.
  3. New Technology Leaders. The planning committee stated their intention to not just recycle the same speakers and content year after year. Healthy communities bring in new voices and perspectives and DOES is no different.

Community By Design

I was thrilled to discover that yes, indeed, the DevOps Enterprise community is just as lovely in person as it is online. I met folks before and after sessions, in the expo hall, at meals, in the hallway track, and discovered the same magical culture in person as I experienced virtually.

  • Reconnected (just like first IRL meetings): to real human beings
  • I just experienced something special and unique… Super accomplished people. Seeing so much giving and sharing — people with a genuine desire to help and see other people succeed. I learned things I never would have learned anywhere else…that matter to me and to my team, my organization, and my career. Catching up! I built relationships, invested in, reconnected with people.
  • Surprisingly energized: an incredible energy level, I have more in reserve, feed off each other
  • Walking away with a long list of things I want to research, read, interact with
  • The last three days mattered to me!

Some more reflections

  • On diversity & inclusion: Working in diverse and inclusive teams has been and will always be important to me. The diversity at DOES seemed to mirror much of the tech industry, yet I found it to be a place where I feel I belong, and I can be myself. If given the choice, I will always prefer a more inclusive but less diverse community than one that is more diverse but less inclusive. In his opening remarks Jeff Gallimore encouraged inclusivity, telling everyone to be intentional about being croissants not donuts, which means don’t stand in a closed off circle like a donut, make sure you leave an opening to welcome others into your conversation.
  • The conference tagline is Get Together, Go Faster. This reminds me of the proverb, “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”, except in DevOps you don’t have to choose between going fast or going together! This is what I love the most about DevOps Enterprise — as tech leaders we don’t have to make tradeoffs between fast and together, or between better business value and happier employees. We get our cake and we eat it too!
  • People & Culture. I was pleasantly surprised that so many of the talks emphasized people and culture. This is rare for a technology conference. I often get frustrated about our industry that obsesses on new technologies that promise to transform and save your business as long as you have the right culture, but very little guidance on how to create the culture. Not at the DevOps Enterprise. When I told Gene I was surprised at the focus on all the soft skills, he did remind me we weren’t just at a tech conference, we were at the conference for technology leaders, and leadership is all about the soft skills. Touche.

Learn more and let’s connect

If you missed the conference and want to learn more, check out these links for the main conference website as well as access to recorded talks and slide decks:

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Adrienne

Adrienne

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IT Executive, Engineer, Enterprise B2B SaaS. Interested in innovation, cloud, devops, agility. Passionate about making tech more inclusive.