I went to my first virtual event, DevOps Virtual Enterprise Summit- Las Vegas! I wasn’t sure exactly the three days would entail. Although I did not get to experience the conference in person, I wasn’t disappointed. I got to participate in fascinating conversations with like-minded individuals interested in DevOps as I am. I was a part of a community, adding to the conversations in the DevOps slack channel, happy hours, or breakout sessions. It had a great community vibe. 

I found it really interesting that since these speaking sessions were virtual, most of the sessions were pre-recorded; this allowed the speakers to engage with real-time participants. This produces fast-paced conversations as attendees cannot anticipate when another person is talking as they would in real life. You need to be constantly tuned in to keep up, which could be a bit overwhelming.  Also, sessions began quickly after each other, so once the session finished, your conversation was finished as well, and a whole new one began. Speakers were able to answer questions throughout their sessions but also start a conversation. Of course, in-person speaking sessions typically include a Q&A after it is over, but allowing the speaker to engage while watching their session, I believe, created a unique, captivating discussion.  Throughout the conference, a major theme was the debate if DevOps is a way to build software or culture, or both. I personally believe DevOps is both a combination of building software and culture. Your teams can use various tools to ensure fast turnover to production, but the human aspect of cooperation has a major impact on a team’s productivity. The culture aspect of DevOps is what it appeared most companies struggled with. Switching to DevOps requires a change in perspective, teamwork, and adaptability. 

It was a great opportunity to ask questions about the challenges we were having in our industry and see how other enterprises tackle them. My favorite sessions were those who faced a major setback, such as an outage but were able to turn it into a positive experience for their company. A session in particular that interested me was “Getting Back Up When You’ve Been Knocked Down: How We Turned Our Company’s Worst Power Outage Into a Powerful Learning Opportunity.” After CSG experienced their worst outage, they used this failure to better their company. A few lessons they learned were the importance of pulling together and doing what is needed in a time of crisis, prepping yourself, good people to figure out the problem, and more. Each company faces hardships at one point or another, so it is important to learn mistakes to better ourselves. 

With the state of uncertainty, this year has brought, it was inspiring to hear stories of companies turning negatives to positives and building a unified culture. These speaking sessions gave me industry insights without actually having to go through the individual experience. As for the future, I enjoyed the community as well as the technical aspect.  Next year will come with new technologies, and I look forward to hearing how all the companies in the speaking sessions continue to grow this year. I also look forward to attending next year, fingers crossed in person. For more Opsani updates, check out our last blog post AI Helps Create The Largest 3D Map Of The Universe.