I helped organize and spoke at DevOpsDays Raleigh 2017 back in September. From an organizers perspective the team was fantastic! If you ever have the opportunity to organize an event with any of the fine organizers in Raleigh you will be learning from true professionals.

From a speaker’s perspective it was a blast. I had the opportunity to convert my article The Dark Side of DevOps into a talk. While it went very well I wish I could have elaborated more on it in the future. There is so much story to tell! But, I held back a little because in the audience there were former co-workers who had been on these journeys with me.

There was one funny thing that happened immediately after the talk. I was approached by the person who replaced me at on the Global DevOps Team at SolarWinds MSP. They were concerned that one of the themes in the talk was about SolarWinds. It was a little comical to me at the time but I can only imagine how this person felt as I was telling a DevOps horror story. I eased their concerns and reassured them that this was not the case. The sigh of relief was very clear.

Something I learned by giving this talk is that discussing personal experiences will elicit emotions on stage. Some of the things I’ve experienced in my time in DevOps caused me great anxiety. Other DevOps experiences gave me great joy. If talking about these emotional polar opposites there should be easy transitions from one to the next. The need to be ready to manage those feelings in real time is now very apparent. Another thing I learned: Star Wars themed presentations go well if you aren’t too cliche about it (and I’m still upset about Han Solo).


These slides are also available on Speaker Deck and video is also available.

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