#dvoc19 – DevOps Camp 2019 Recap. It Was Awesome.

 By Sascha Neumeier
May 6, 2019 • 9 minute read

The DevOps Camp took place from 26 - 28 April 2019 for the 11th time, and once again in Nuremberg. We were honored to provide the location for the second time. We changed our various meeting rooms on the ground floor of our headquarters into session locations, organized some beer, other drinks (what, there were other beverages as well? :D) prepared the coffee machines, and opened the gates.

200 participants registered, which was also the maximum number of participants, (the DevOps Camp was sold out one week before the start)!

Food, Beverages and Networking on Friday Evening

As always, the event started on Friday evening. Over a pizza and the aforementioned cold drinks, the participants had enough time to get to know each other and for extensive networking. Contrary to cautious estimates, there was already a lot of action on Friday evening, with many great people with a common mindset, and all very down to earth.

The surrounding pizzerias had their hands full for a short time, supplying us all with sufficient slices of dough. We bridged the waiting time with interesting conversations and common board games (yes, indeed, analog, not requiring electricity!).

Session Saturday: We Had a Lot to Talk About!

After the check-in of the participants and an incredibly tasty breakfast buffet, we finally started the official program. Before the sessions there was the greeting and, as usual for a BarCamp, the planning of the sessions.

iA BarCamp consists of talks and discussions (so-called sessions), which are coordinated each morning by the participants themselves on whiteboards, metaplans or pinboards - in grids (timetables). All participants are asked to lead or organize a session by themselves. More information about the BarCamp format can be found on Wikipedia.

 

30 exciting sessions had already been scheduled for the day. Whether Terraform, Podman, API Gateways, Domain Driven Design, Drone CI, Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, test automation or a general DevOps experience exchange, there was something for every participant. My colleague Udo Wiegaertner offered a session on culture hacking, which is not directly related to DevOps, but which can be perfectly adapted to existing corporate cultures due to the agile way that DevOps works.

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iCulture Hacking is a systemic intervention designed to encourage the system to be hacked to change. It is not about target-oriented control, but about stimulating self-change, e.g. by making limitations, malfunctions and problems visible. This stimulation can be visible and provocative or hidden and inconspicuous. Anything that stimulates change is allowed!

 

In the afternoon, the participants were thrilled by impressive sessions such as Frank Prechtel's report on 13 years of Cloud, Container and Confusion, or a 60-minute getting-started in Kubernetes session.

Work Hard, Party Hard

In order not to interrupt the food supply at any time, the well-known Grillmeister Pausch came with his Locomotive Smoker at noon already to prepare the evening barbecue. In addition to all kinds of culinary delights, there was a table soccer, a Carrera race track, music (with a public #dvoc19 Spotify playlist to which everyone could contribute), incredible networking and loads of fun.

Who exactly had the idea at a late hour to start the "Lightning Drink of your Choice Talks" in the large conference room? An awesome idea with a simple rule set:

  • Talk for 5 minutes (strictly time-boxed) about a topic of your choice
  • No Q&A and no discussion afterwards - talks about it later or the next day in a session
  • You must hold the drink of your choice while talking

The result was a wide range of topics from "Why I am committed to Open Source" to "How I became a Corporate Learning Coach" or "Why we IT Nerds are spoiled b**ches" through to "Gratitude for the small successes".

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Learning: There is also a life next to IT, the human brain and its thoughts are incredibly diverse, and we can always and at any time learn from other people. All we need to do is communicate!

Sunday Sessions: Grab a Coffee and Back to Business

It is rumored that on Sunday morning one or the other hangover would have had to be fought; I personally looked into some very tired pairs of eyes. 😉 But there was nothing that couldn't be compensated with a good coffee and the incredible breakfast buffet of @FrauPunktB (Thanks Lisa-Marie, you and your team did an awesome job!).

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After appropriate preparation and session planning we got started. For me as Marketing guy, the coolest session on Sunday was definitely "Using Customer Journey Mapping to Increase Your Own Chances of a Relationship" by Sandra Maria Hofmann. An appendix of illustrative examples along the Customer Journey allowed us to learn why Penny from Big Bang Theory may correspond to a nerd's relationship requirements at first, but in the long run is often not the ideal decision. Way too cool… 😊

The other session slots were also filled without delay, and up to the feedback round at 3 p.m. we talked about topics such as OpenHAB, Micro Frontends, Culture Clinic, Drone CI, monitoring and visualization using Prometheus and Grafana and much more.

Feedback Session and Conclusion

Just in time for the end of the last session, the weather was sunny, and the final round of feedback outside in the sun was a successful end for everyone involved. We were more than happy that everyone liked the location so much, and that we could offer you a comfortable weekend with a little "like home" factor!

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For us as a software supplier, the two days were enormously helpful. On the one hand, we also do agile development, which makes a format like the DevOps Camp very valuable. Moreover, our developers were able to take lots of new approaches into their own daily routine to make our product PRTG Network Monitor even better.

Awesome People, Great Sponsors, 3 Days of Fun!

Thanks to the organizers of devops-camp.de and the many sponsors, who made it very easy for us as the provider of the location to spend a weekend with 200 awesome people, loads of fun and incredibly good food! We look forward to the next time with you!