A Wicked Good Time at DevOpsDays Boston

Jason Hand - August 25, 2014

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Boston for the very first time and my expectations were completely blown away. I knew that there was something of a tech scene in the area - between the growing list of startups in the area, as well as Harvard and M.I.T. just minutes from downtown, one would have to assume that there are some really brainy people coming up with awesome tools and services.

What I discovered at DevOpsDays Boston was that not only are there a ton of people building really cool stuff, but the diversity of tech in the Boston area is much broader than I ever knew.

Can I DevOps with you?

An important aspect of DevOps is the idea of absolute inclusion. This being my 3rd DevOpsDays event in as many months, it has become increasingly evident that nearly everyone involved with the grassroots event genuinely wants to help spread the good word in terms of best practices and tools to help even the n00biest of n00bs navigate the world of DevOps.


With the main presentation room nearly at capacity for each speaker, it was clear that folks came to learn and share.

From Here to Zero by Jennifer Davis (Chef)

Automation engineer at Chef, Jennifer Davis opened the event with her Keynote describing how there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution towards DevOps and that taking on the role of “Superhero” within your organization won’t get you where you need to be. By not allowing a person to be the single point of failure, teams are better off in the long run.


I first met Jennifer at the Silicon Valley DevOpsDays and she always brings a lot of energy and engaging thought to the idea of NOT being a hero as well as promoting more female engagement within our community.

Intro to CoreOS by Kelsey Hightower

Every once in a while I’ll catch wind of a new gadget, service, or technology and despite having absolutely zero need or use case for it… I feel like I MUST. HAVE. IT.

Throughout Kelsey’s live demo and presentation of the capabilities and power of CoreOS that’s exactly how I found myself feeling.


I think it’s safe to say that most everyone in the audience shared the same sentiment as Mark Cornick when he tweeted: CoreOSTweet

DevOps in the Enterprise

A unique characteristic of DevOpsDays events are the self-organized “Open Spaces”, with the idea being that attendees of the event suggest topics and then form breakout groups to discuss amongst each other. Since I was halfway through reading The Phoenix Project, I was curious to hear what kinds of questions those in larger organizations had as well as the discussion and feedback.

The 40-minute open space had, by far, the most interest with a large turnout. Clearly there is a lot of momentum and interest in introducing a DevOps mindset to larger companies.

One of my favorite suggestions that came from this open space was the idea of developer rotation. If organizations have a situation where some teams have adopted the DevOps methodologies and others are resistant, rotating engineers through different teams may help spread the ideas and open resistant team member’s minds to the possibility of change for the better.

DevHops for the beer lovers

I decided to stick around town for an extra day and attend the local DevOps meetup hosted by AppNeta, as well as present a lightning talk. This is the first time I’d given a presentation in the “Ignite” format and I decided to approach it from a humorous point of view rather than a highly technical one. I decided that the idea of presenting the 4 main tenets of DevOps (culture, automation, measurement, and sharing) from the aspect of homebrewer would be fun.


I’m so glad I decided to stay in town and meet more people that are part of this movement. Boston has a thriving tech scene. I’m excited to make new friends in the area and I’ll definitely be making return visits.