5 Key insights from DevOps Days Amsterdam 2023

Jul 18, 2023 3 min read
5 Key insights from DevOps Days Amsterdam 2023

Site Reliability Engineer David Soff had a fantastic time at DevOps Days Amsterdam 2023. In this blog post, he shares insightful takeaways and the reasons behind its success. Discover his key learnings and memorable moments from the event.

DevOps Days

DevOps Days Amsterdam 2023 was an exhilarating three-day event filled with passionate DevOps practitioners, thought-provoking sessions, and an incredible sense of community. As a seasoned attendee, having previously experienced the conference in 2017, I was eager to delve into the world of software development, IT infrastructure operations, and the intersection between them. The conference exceeded my expectations, providing valuable insights and lessons that I will share with you here.

1. Monitoring: the key ingredient to success

One cannot underestimate the power of proper monitoring when building a successful platform for your development organization. The sessions by Andrew Clay Shafer emphasized the critical role that monitoring plays in maintaining the health and performance of your infrastructure.

Without it, it is impossible for you to know if your platform is performing the way your users expect it to. It is essential to invest time and resources into monitoring solutions that give you real-time visibility and actionable insights.

2. Codifying platform promises for enhanced reliability

To set your platform apart, it is important to define and codify the promises it makes regarding your non-functional requirements like latency, uptime and throughput. By documenting these promises, you create a solid foundation that guides your operations and platform teams.

It also enables your development teams to focus on building features without them having to worry about the platform's stability. If they have additional requirements for the platform, they can raise these at the beginning of the process. Establishing and communicating these promises not only boosts confidence in your platform but also enhances reliability.

See also: 5 key takeaways from our visit to the Container Days in Hamburg

3. Integrating security scanning: A gradual approach

Security should be a priority at every stage of your DevOps pipeline. The “First Steps to Full Lifecycle Security in your DevOps pipeline with Open Source Tools” session, led by Anais Urlichs, shed light on integrating security scanning gradually, ensuring it becomes an integral part of your workflow. By avoiding resistance, you can gradually introduce security checks and validations without overwhelming your teams.

4. Accountability: the backbone of successful operations

Achieving accountability for all components of your infrastructure is no easy task. DevOps Days Amsterdam highlighted the importance of establishing clear ownership and responsibility within your teams. Without this, your operations team may – at least in my opinion – end up shouldering the burden of "everything else".

By defining accountability, you create a more streamlined and efficient operational ecosystem. Remember accountability is only effective if the team can influence the state of the service. Accountability without the power to do anything about it is disastrous for morale and should be avoided at all costs.

5. Automating toil through SREs

It has been said many times before, but the Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) teams play a vital role in driving excellence and eliminating toil. Andrew Clay Shafer stressed the importance of SREs leveraging automation to remove repetitive, manual tasks from the system during his “Domain Driven DevOps” workshop.

However, it is crucial to remember that simply shifting toil around within the organization is not the answer. Instead, you need to focus on eliminating toil altogether to free up valuable time for innovation and strategic initiatives.

In conclusion

DevOps Days Amsterdam 2023 was a testament to the vibrant and collaborative DevOps community. From enlightening sessions to engaging open spaces, the event provided a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

The top five takeaways from the conference offer valuable insights for building successful platforms, integrating security practices, fostering accountability and embracing automation. And as I see it, implementing these learnings will elevate your DevOps practices to new heights.

See also: How incident drills help us prepare for the inevitable

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