I had the opportunity to attend and speak at Open Source 101 at NC State’s McKimmon Center for Extension & Continuing Education this past weekend. It’s always nice to visit Raleigh, NC and Red Hat Tower. I met several awesome attendees and speakers while I was in town too. The All Things Open team did an absolutely fantastic job at every facet of this conference. If you have the opportunity to attend one of these events you most definitely should!

What is Open Source 101?

Open Source 101 is a one-day conference covering the basics of open source, open tech, and the open web. Target audience includes existing professionals and students of all types. Each event is designed to be accessible to anyone with a desire to learn. The format includes TED style keynote talks as well as track sessions from industry experts.”

Avoiding the DevOps pit of misery: Tips from the trenches

Jason Hibbets and I teamed up for this talk. We dived into the murky underworld of poorly executed DevOps transitions. One point we made is that if your customers are alerting you to downtime then you’re not doing DevOps. I think that’s a pretty salient point. This happens more than I think people want to admit.

We kept the talk pretty high level but dived into outcomes focused DevOps. We brought some stats to bear from the 2017 State of DevOps report. We discussed The Three Ways and why change is difficult. I feel like we did a great job providing technical reasoning behind the importance of diversity. We also backed up the benefits of diversity and inclusion with hard numbers to argue with.

Touching on my favorite topic, failure, we mentioned, “If it fails in production you’re not doing DevOps.” I think there are some caveats to that but, when it comes to deployments and testing, it’s 100% accurate in my opinion. I mentioned shifting left as a way to continually improve on your failure models. We also touched on blameless postmortems. Needless to say, you can turn almost any one of these points into a full-blown talk.

The last part of the talk we point people to some tips and tricks to help them on their DevOps journeys. It is hard to prepare a person or organization to facilitate a DevOps transition in a thirty-minute talk. One thing to keep in mind is, “You’re not Netflix, but you could be one day.”

Slides and video of the talk are available:

Thoughts on Diversity at Open Source 101

One thing I wanted to point out about Open Source 101 was the fact I felt like an outsider at this conference. I mean this in the best possible way too. As a white male, I definitely felt like a minority at this conference. There were so many young, underrepresented minorities attending and speaking! It was great to be able to socialize and network with so many diverse people. All of whom were so enthusiastic about open source. Even the keynotes were dominated by women which was amazing to see. Todd Lewis and the All Things Open team did an amazing job welcoming everyone to this event.


I look forward to seeing what Open Source 101 Columbia brings. I also have a feeling that All Things Open is going to be absolutely awesome this year too. There are still tickets available for the Open Source 101 event in Columbia, SC in April. Grab some tickets and come experience a truly unique phenomenon with me!

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