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A midtown adventure at VelocityConf

velocity day one

I recently attended Velocity Conference in New York where I had the opportunity to learn and share with some of the best technologists in our industry.

Like us at CoverMyMeds, many folks are hiring. Unfortunately, my ability to type fast doesn’t translate directly to artistic skills or quality of handwriting.

CoverMyMeds is hiring

There were some exceptionally thought provoking talks and I’m pleased to share some highlights…

  • Todd Konklin’s presentation about people screwing up was exceptional. Beyond being an engaging presenter, he proposed changing the way we think about failure from who to how. Moving beyond blame and building resiliency into all the we do.
  • Mike Rembetsy and Patrick McDonnell presented about the leadership development program they built at Etsy and how they’ve managed to scale their culture. Following their presentation, we went through an innovation exercise around performance reviews and ways to improve them.
  • J. Paul Reed and Jim Kimball presented about tyranny of Service Level Agreements (SLA). While SLAs are common in the industry, they suggest that people ignore them unless a relationship is toxic anyway. They proposed that internal SLAs should only form context about a conversation and not be used to beat each other up.
  • John Allspaw during his keynote unveiled his recently completed thesis on Observations of Teams Resolving Internet Outages.
  • Dan McKinley published an article earlier this year on choosing boring technology. I was pleased to see his presentation about his concept of limiting technology choices to three “innovation tokens” with the goal of not adding unnecessary risk and complexity to a technology platform.
  • Evan Gilman presented about perimeter-less networks. At PagerDuty, their systems in AWS are using a combination of IPSec and host based firewalls. They’re not using traditional network segmentation or internal IPs with NAT. Evan proposes this as the ideal security solution for shops that keep their production systems in the cloud.
  • Finally, Bridget Kromhout and Peter Shannon presented about DramaFever’s tech stack. They’re using AWS and contains to dynamically scale during load spikes.

Jason Yee, O’Reilly’s community manager, hooked me and some other DevOpsDays organizers up with an awesome DevOps sticker that he had made. Unfortunately, O’Reilly has a policy that excludes mythological animals or those of disputed existence. Jason told me that he “likes to focus on animals coming together to solve a problem… Cuz that’s what DevOps is all about.”

No unicorns!

I had some fantastic conversations with folks. I joined Patrick Debois, Steve Pereira, Dave Lemaire, Pete Cheslock, and J. Paul Reed over dinner where we conversed about entrepreneurship, devops, scaling tech, and innovation in information security.

From left to right Warner Moore, Patrick Debois, Steve Pereira, Dave Lemaire, and Pete Cheslock. Photo credit to J. Paul Reed.

Big thanks to the conference organizers, speakers, and sponsors. I’m already looking forward to the next Velocity!

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