Velocity and DevOpsDays

Well, it took me a while to get back to life after a huge jet lag hit me badly. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard when I went from here to San Francisco, but it was much harder to come back to Israel. 10 hour difference in time zones do the thing.

I’m back from 10 days business and pleasure trip to Bay Area - San Francisco, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Paulo Alto, Cupertino, Saratoga (AKA Silicon Valley), San Jose and Santa Cruz. Here is a classic postcard picture I took in San Francisco:

Golden Gate Bridge © David Virtser

We spent 2 days in San Francisco just traveling for pleasure, followed by 4 intensive days of Velocity and DevOpsDays conferences in Santa Clara. The former is expensive, very big, public, focused on Web Performance and Operations. The latter is small, private, focused of DevOps culture.

The conferences were different, but both very good. The reason I go there was to learn more about DevOps culture from experience of real companies and people who do it in modern web industry. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Netflix and others.

Few insights that I marked to myself and were repeated over and over again on number of different sessions which are important for a company to be Agile/Lean:

  1. Make a focus - Great companies do one product, but do it outstanding. They focus on their product whole holistic experience - how it looks, how it feels, how responsive is it, how reliable is it, how easy is it, how intuitive is it, how much time does it take to get an answer from customer support and etc… They invest most of the time in robust and scalable infrastructure, in performance of the applications, in fixing bugs, optimizing and analyzing.

  2. Recruit professionals - experienced, full-stack developers are expensive, but in long run they worth it. You can have a lot of developers with potential, but still they need a senior to show them the right path and explain how things work in real world.

  3. Logging & Monitoring - more than half of the booths and sessions in conferences where about monitoring and measuring of applications in production. It’s extremely important to invest in this area. The tools that where mentioned the most: Graphite, New Relic, logstash/Splunk.

  4. Open source everything - open sourcing your code is coming with great responsibility to support the community (pull request, issues), but it also teaches you how to write good application - tests, documentation, generic code, etc.. If you do it right, you will get help back from community. Open sourcing is social programming.

  5. Bootcamps - workshops, lectures. It’s a common practice. Do it more to train your people and get them involved.

  6. Microsoft - Windows, .NET world is a dead end. It’s hardly scalable (MS SQL Server), slower (IIS), harder to operate, complicated automation, requires stronger hardware and more.

No comments © David Virtser

We are definitely going to work on all of these in eToro.

Few videos from the conferences which I liked and inspired me the most:

Leading the Horses to Drink … Support and Initiate a devops transformation

Devops+Agile = Business Transformation

Continuous Quality

f You Don’t Understand People, You Don’t Understand Ops

Gamedays on the Obama Campaign

That’s it for today. See you at DevOpsDays Tel-Aviv. eToro is going to sponsor this event and hopefully we will be able to present our journey there.