DevOpsDays Rockies 2022 Recap

Long time listener, first time caller

I went to my first DevOps-oriented event eleven years ago. Over the last decade-plus of attending DevOpsDays events, it has been hugely rewarding to see the DevOps movement stretch into being, orient and define itself, and build toward a community of practice.

One of the best parts has been how welcoming DevOpsDays has always been to new practitioners, and DevOpsDays Rockies has been no exception. An informal poll showed somewhere north of 40% of the audience were first-time attendees.

Mondoo belongs on that list of first-time attendees, too! DoD Rockies was our first conference outing as a company, and I couldn’t have been more excited to debut our security and compliance platform to this audience.

Mondoo helps DevOps & infrastructure engineers

I’ll confess: I was a little nervous the first morning of the conference. When you work hard with a team on something that you all believe in, even if you’ve already shown it to people before, it’s still a little nerve-wracking to put it on display in front of 250 strangers who have never heard from you. But, we’re here to help DevOps engineers use policy to manage large-scale infrastructure. We want to help them surface and resolve those times when company policy and delivered value are at odds. We want to help infrastructure engineers demonstrate the value they’re bringing to their business in ways beyond that binary metric of, “Is production up?”

I think it’s a great story. It’s a story that resonates with people who run infrastructure teams. But how will the engineers at the conference react?

Imagine my delight when this happened in the opening keynote: 

Hot topics

The concept of “Guardrails, not Gates” may have become a cliche in the last few years, but it’s still a hot topic in the DevOps space. Many speakers spent time going over the power of managing via policy. Kristi Perrault, who has a knack for giving these concepts snappy names, calls these rules “enabling constraints.”

Half of each day at DevOpsDays Rockies was given to open spaces. These conversations ranged in a wide variety of topics, from the technical to the social, to the personal. People came together to discuss how they could use new Software Bill of Materials standards to better secure their infrastructure. In other sessions, they compared compensation. Yet another talk was given over to what DevOps means to people, ten years into this process.

Seeing is believing

Meanwhile, thanks to Scott Ford’s expert product demos, people who live their daily lives at the command-line saw how the Mondoo platform could fit seamlessly into their work. Eyes lit up as people saw how Mondoo could solve critical security problems their fleet. They saw how they could use Mondoo to answer ad-hoc questions about their infrastructure and how to convert those queries into new policies quickly. 

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And special note, the food was excellent.

A post-pandemic conference well done

Overall, DevOpsDays Rockies was an excellent preview of what post-pandemic conference life can be. It was a great reminder of the value of dedicated professionals coming together to discuss our shared specialty and interests. We heard a lot of new ideas, connected people with Mondoo, and met with industry friends old and new.

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