This is the 3rd year that we're running devopsdays in NYC, and based on what we've learned so far, we've decided to do things a little differently. The biggest differences are that this devopsdays is only one day long, will be entirely comprised of open spaces, and there will be no vendor tables or presentations.
Before we get into the details of how open spaces will work, we'd like to share the reasons that we've made these changes.
First, the devops movement is about 5 years old, and is entering an early adolescence, or possibly the Trough of Disillusionment on the Hype Cycle. If you've attended any of the devopsdays conferences (and there have been close to 40 in the last 2 years all over the world) or seen any of the 332 videos from these events, you've spent a lot of time listening to talks about the theory of devops.
Theory, of course, is important, but is nothing without practice. That is why we've decided to make the practice of devops the theme for this devopsdays. This is the conference where devops practitioners will gather to discuss topics like:
What is working (or not) for devops practitioners?
What issues are organizations that have embraced devops facing, and how are they overcoming them?
How has your real-world practice of devops evolved since you've first adopted it?
What do you do differently now that you're "doing devops"?
What's harder or easier with devops?
What have been the biggest surprises in your experience with devops?
We feel that the best way to facilitate sharing information on how devops is actually practiced is through open discussion and conversation, and the best way that we can think of accomplishing that is through open spaces.
Second, although we've all heard that devops is not only for "sysadmins who code", in practice the attendees of devopsdays (at least in NYC) have been predominantly systems/operations people. This year, devopsdays is happening the same week as Velocity (September 15-17), which is immediately followed by WebPerfDays (September 18). We want to encourage devopsdays attendees to attend WebPerfDays, and vice versa, by offering everyone who registers for one event a 50% discount on the other. That is also the reason why this devopsdays is only one day, immediately following WebPerfDays (September 19).
Third, we've been incredibly lucky to have amazingly supportive sponsors, and have been happy to provide them a venue to present their products and services to devopsdays attendees. However, sponsors were typically in a separate room and were somewhat disconnected from the rest of the attendees. So this year we've decided to integrate them much more into the conference: just like "regular" attendees, sponsors will be able to propose topics for open spaces and participate in discussions happening at other open spaces. We believe that this setup is much more valuable and natural to both attendees and sponsors.
How will open spaces work? The venue will open at 9am for breakfast, and this will be the first time that you'll be able to write down your proposed topics on a board in the main room. We'll have an official opening of the conference at 9:30am, and after that we'll go through what has already been proposed, which is when you'll be able to advocate for your topic. We'll do a quick show of hands to see how many people are interested in your topic, and assign a room at a particular 50-minute time slot. We'll then solicit more ideas from the group, until we've got most of the spaces filled or there are no more ideas. You may prepare materials (e.g., presentations or demos) ahead of time, or come up with ideas on the spot. There is more information about how open spaces work here.
The tentative schedule is:
9 am – breakfast
9:30-10:30 – Opening
10:30-11:20 – Open Spaces 1
11:30-12:20 – Open Spaces 2
12:30-1:30 – Lunch
1:30-2:20 – Open Spaces 3
2:30-3:20 – Open Spaces 4
3:30-3:50 – Coffee
3:50-4:40 – Open Spaces 5
4:40-5:00 – Closing
Devops has always been about its vibrant and expanding community of practitioners, and we hope to see all of you there! You can register here.