DevOpsDays Portland Wrap-up

The Event

Chef was a proud sponsor of DevOpsDays Portland on August 9th & 10th at the Oregon Convention Center. A sold-out, diverse crowd gathered for keynotes, presentations, lightning talks, and open spaces to learn, discuss, and promote all things DevOps.

The Presentations

DevOpsDays Portland was in full-swing by 9:15am when Kelsey Hightower took the stage to talk about No Ops and what it really means. The next two mornings saw presentations from influential and forward-thinking members of our community, including two of my own colleagues, Nell Shamrell-Harrington and Jennifer Davis. Topics ranged from DevOps history, managing burnout, how security teams can be more approachable, monitoring, and everything in-between.

The Food

Because it’s Portland, lunch was provided by a variety of PDX’s most beloved food trucks. Participants’ palates were delighted by Hawaiian fusion (808 Grinds), latin american (Fuego), Korean fusion (Koi Fusion), and gluten-free world fusion (Thrive). The two I had the pleasure of eating at were delicious and fueled me up for the action-packed second half of the conference.

Ignite Sessions

Immediately following lunch were the lightning talk Ignite sessions. For those not familiar, Ignite talks are 5 minutes long consisting of 20 slides that advance every 15 seconds. I felt this format was a fun way to digest information quickly and left me thinking, “why didn’t I submit an Ignite talk?!” My colleague JJ Asghar did a presentation on being an introvert. As an extrovert, I really enjoyed hearing how an introvert deals with conferences.

Open Spaces

After the Ignite sessions came my personal favorite, Open Spaces. As expected, a wide variety of topics were suggested and scheduled during Open Spaces. At DevOpsDays Portland, we had three time slots consisting of seven different sessions. I particularly enjoyed the database automation discussions and the AMA (ask me anything) sessions.

Chef Booth

Following Open Spaces, the days were concluded with one final main-room talk per day and closing remarks. I can’t say much about these closing sessions because I was serving booth duty both days during this time.

DevOpsDays Portland Chef Booth
Some of the Chef team in attendance.

Evening Event

Tuesday evening, our friends at New Relic hosted a great party in their downtown Portland office, colloquially known as “Big Pink”. High atop, Big Pink provided the perfect location for a community party. Breath-taking views coupled with drinks, snacks, games, and interesting, intelligent conversation provided the perfect setting for the celebration.

Wrap-up and What’s Next

I really enjoyed DevOpsDays Portland and thought the format and the topics were well thought-out. I loved the Ignite talks and open spaces and could have done a whole extra day of just those. The event was very professionally run and I got the chance to have some awesome conversations with amazing people in the DevOps community.

If you’re in the Portland area, I invite you to join me on August 23rd for the Docker PDX Meetup. I’ll be speaking about Habitat and ways you can contribute to our open-source platform.

Outside of Portland? Check out our full calendar of events to find out when we’ll be in your area.

Eric Maxwell

Eric Maxwell is a Solutions Engineer at Chef Software and is focused on making companies more awesome by helping them "do the DevOps" and enabling them to ship at velocity. Eric has helped dozens of the world’s top companies adopt Chef tools and DevOps methodologies while assisting with their DevOps transformation. Based in Portland, Oregon, USA, Eric runs the Chef PDX meetup and is active on the speaker circuit spreading the love of DevOps.