I will share below my recent experience with this year's DevOpsDays conference, which was held in Zürich, and I will try to identify the main benefits that one can get from attending such an event.
Long story short, yes, it does worth participating. This kind of conference is something that every DevOps engineer must participate in. It is a very good way of keeping posted with the latest technologies and top companies' new practices.
Of course, that this brings up some costs. First of all, you have to buy a ticket to participate at the event. Then, you need transportation (plane tickets perhaps) and accommodation. Only if you're not so lucky to live in the same city in which the conference is taking place.
Lucky for me, all these expenses have been supported by Mindit.io, the awesome company that puts its people first and helps them grow together.
DevOpsDays, as it is also mentioned on its official website, https://devopsdays.org/, is a worldwide community series of technical conferences covering topics of software development, IT infrastructure operations, and the intersection between them.
Each event is run by volunteers from the local area and there is a global team that guides the local organizers in hosting their event. The first one was held in 2009, in Ghent, Belgium.
2021 was the fifth consecutive year that Zurich was chosen to host DevOpsDays. It's a remarkable city, just perfect for this kind of event. Besides attending the event, you also have the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You may walk along the Limmat river, which crosses the entire city, admire the impressive architecture of the old buildings which were been kept in perfect conditions, you can take marvelous shots, visit the lake and so on. And, of course, you must taste the awesome swiss chocolate.
But I think it's enough about Zürich, let's not get too far away from the article's subject.
After the registration and the morning coffee, we were presented with the agenda of the day and the conference has started. The sponsors have provided drinks, coffee, goodies, and, of course, lunch.
Most of the event’s sponsors had time slots to present their own vision and approach regarding the automation, pair programming, cloud technologies, monitoring solutions, CI/CD tools and so on.
The above are only the main/enterprise sponsors, but there were many more startups and community sponsors.
Obviously, the main topic of the discussion was automation, how hard it is to implement, how much time and energy must be spent on it and what are its benefits.
There were also some presentations regarding cloud technologies, various ways to work efficiently as a team, end-to-end monitoring solutions, etc.
I should not forget about the Ignite talks. Each speaker had 5 minutes to talk on a subject while the slides were automatically advancing.
All I can say is that I've gathered valuable and interesting information from each presentation.
One of the most interesting parts was the Open spaces. Attendees have the opportunity to talk about anything they'd like. A person might suggest a topic they want to learn about or they feel like they can help others with.
An even nicer thing is that I could choose from a list of workshops to attend at. I've chosen to participate in 2 workshops, which were very interesting and fun:
1. Kubernetes & GitOps: managing and deploying applications is as easy as… git push!
Andrea Giardini, Trainer in the field of cloud technologies.
The workshop was about the approach of automatically deploying the applications in different environments using git.
2. DevOps 101 Workshop
Batel Zohar, Developer Advocate for JFrog.
It was about JFrog’s devops platform, which includes artifact management, vulnerabilities scan, CI/CD pipelines.
During the whole event there were some coffee breaks and I used them for exchanging thoughts with people working in different DevOps areas.
At the end of the event, a raffle took place and some of the participants have won nice prizes like laptops, headsets and other devices.
My conclusion is simple: going to such events is a very nice experience that you should take into consideration.