DevopsDays Edinburgh 2019

DevopsDays 2019 moved away from the “culture” focus of the 2019 events. There are therefore technical notes this year. I will format these better as time goes on. For the moment though here they are for what they are.

dod-edi.info for generic info on the event


The big takeaways this year might be “Team structure / integration counts” and “Learn to walk before you run”Last year was veering off into Dev and Ops “living side by side on a piano keyboard”. This year even the “culture” talks took a more practical business organisation approach to what that can actually look like.

October 17, 2019
08:00 – 09:05 Registration and coffee
09:05 – 09:15 Opening welcome
09:15 – 09:45 Stuart Davidson – TBA

Are devops “product teams” or “enablement teams”? This was expanded upon later with looks at team organisation. Interesting to see the tandem nature of the questions “what are we trying to achieve with the team?” and its influence over “how do we arrange the team?” In large organisations hybrids were a potential.First book recommendation 

09:45 – 10:15 Andrew Dufour – System Accidents: The Unanticipated Interaction of Multiple Failures
Another “dead people – disaster enterainment” talk – I’m still not liking using contemporary disasters to make talks engaging. God knows there are plenty of prior examples – e.g. Tay Bridge, Titanic etc.
Recommandation of YouTube talk – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA5U85LSk0M “How Your Systems Keep Running Day After Day – John Allspaw”
https://www.amazon.com/John-Allspaw/e/B002BMN7XW

Big and interesting question for me personally “Why were people who know not persuasive?”https://www.amazon.co.uk/Drift-into-Failure-Sidney-Dekker/dp/1409422216
Some discussion of the “amoral calculator” – had a root around – https://quizlet.com/44514109/the-challenger-vaughn-flash-cards/
so tied up in “normalisation of deviance”.
Alleged take away “Diversity is Better” – I’d like to see citations on this. I like working in diverse teams, gender, sex, nationality, race, culture religion I love it all. However, clashes of people that have different tolerances to correction, inability to view things from another direction, an unwillingness to accept that intention and execution cna be at variance. I’d rather have a bunch of imaginative people in a supportive environment (homogenous or not), than a group of unimaginative people who main motivation is backbiting or identity politics.

10:15 – 10:30 Break + coffee
More catching up with Remi and Alex from Ingenico – is the grass green on the other side of the fence? It is hard to tell.Nice compliment from Remi about the work I carried out 6 years ago – good to know it wasn’t in vain and I still have 20 year software and recent software in every high street in Britain ;-).
10:30 – 11:00 Jessica Andersson – From Developers and Operations to DevOps and Autonomous Teams
https://twitter.com/MeltwaterEng
https://github.com/meltwater/MeltwaterEng-public-presentations/blob/master/files/2019-10-17-from-devs-and-ops-to-devops.pdf
Takeaways 1) 30% improvement (not quite sure what that means) 2) you build it – you run it 3) Everyone on call – pay regardless of call out (reduce conflict of interest)4) Skills matrix5) Celebrations – common goalsThe nightmare of different laws on “on-call” in different countries

11:00 – 11:30 Joe McGrath – Wrangling Data Science in a DevOps World
https://www.kainos.com/
Machine learning needs real data (access to live data)Large quantities of data also required (std issues of big data and flexible processing) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog_computing
Stripped down data (only the fields you need)Need to knowPetabytes of dataModels are bigFlexible processing capacity
For storage you need an artefact repo – people will deposit bit files in git if you let them.For generation then issues are eased by automatic generation (where recipe and config are what were supplied) – also automate garbage collection to clear out old models.
Jupyter is the de facto tooling. Sagemaker.
 Development requires much greater resource than production. Data scientists are not devs and are not as big on reproducability and inclined to throw too many resources at marginal improvement.
Use Githooks and makefiles to automate. Githooks for example can be used to automatically train and deposit the config and data used.Tool to strip “jupyter notebooks” outputAutomate model trainingDeployment options -1) Docker + API + Model2) AWS and Sagemaker3) Azure databricks4) Google ML
Use standard security methods – e.g. publish behind secure TLS; Sanitize input; Protect data (data modifications can be used to break or adjust models).

11:30 – 11:45 Break

11:45 – 12:15 Maik Wojcieszak – 7 Effective ways to waste time
@tmlsoftware
To make meetings effective – agenda; <5 topics; minimum people; encourage engagement (all a bit NSS).
“Because it is a strategic decision” is BSDon’t bother asking customer for prioritized requirements – waste of time – no context.Beware “Bright ideas” but no customers – they might be a waste of time. NSSDunhigg : The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change https://www.amazon.co.uk/Power-Habit-Why-What-Change/dp/1847946240

12:15 – 12:45 Piotr Gaczkowski – Ego-less Programming — the philosophy of better code
12:45 – 13:45 Lunch Break
13:45 – 14:15 Ignites

Dave Stanke – All Tech is Debt @david.stanke “Did you ever have to figure out code before modifying it?” yes, every time. Users need retrained (although small increments helps with this). Slackbot to help people raise and close trivial issues. donut.com The 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps: Elite performance, productivity, and scaling: https://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/state-of-devops-2019.pdf
Adarsh Shah – Role of Team structures in DevOps Transformation Journey
Turned out to be a trailer for the talk the next day
Emanuil Tolev – 4 ways to help people in their careers

14:15 – 14:30 Sponsors
14:30 – 14:50 Open Spaces Proposals
14:50 – 15:05 Coffee

Open Spaces Session 1- 15:05 – 15:35
(four options in each session – the one chosen marked with an asterisk)
Hutton Room – DevOps & Agile in regulated industries.
Boardroom – Engineering Enablement
* Biosphere Blue – Which managed Docker container platform do I want?
Salisbury Suite- Is re-imagining the wheel always bad?

Big room (Biosphere Blue) for this: Openshift needs a team of 6. Use ansible and Molecule to drive system test


Session 2 – 15:40 – 16:10
Biosphere Blue – What is your team topology.
Salisbury Suite – How to implement DevOps for zOS environments?
Boardroom – Speaking at conferences and Meetups.
* Hutton Room – How do you introduce TDD/BDD or should you?

Cucumber scripts can provide estimates (although, and this was a bit scary “if you are still doing estimates”).Cucumber scripts – created by analysts(but placed in a “do not run” directory); picked up dev and massaged to be runable.Selenium tests take about 10 secs per test and “expect some brittleness”. Use the tests of the target to test the deployment scripts and the deployments themselves.

Session 3 – 16:15 – 16:45
*Biosphere Blue – Bad habits vs. good habits in DevOps
Salisbury Suite – Secrets management
Hutton Room – Mental health in Tech
Boardroom – DevOps. How to get started
16:50 – 17:00 Day Close
17:00 – 20:00 Evening Reception and Networking

October 18, 2019
08:00 – 08:55 Registration and coffee
08:55 – 09:00 Opening welcome
09:00 – 09:30 PJ Hagerty – From Turing to Big Data: A Look at Computing and Analytics

A keynote (no comments)

09:30 – 10:00 Tom Riley – Prometheus in Practice: High Availability with Thanos
thomasriley.co.uk There are some standard logging tools – how do these compare with nagios and Datadog ? Check this out before re-inventing the wheel.

10:00 – 10:15 Break + coffee
10:15 – 10:45 Andy Burgin – History repeating

Roles of “platform engineering” Providing self service platforms; Industry best practices; test,integrate,deploy,operate; Optimal to automatedMission Statement : Outside Squad – no human between feature and customerAnother person in favour of Chatops/chatbots – this time an advocate for Monkeybot

10:45 – 11:15 Adarsh Shah, Priyanka Rao – Enabling DevOps culture with a Platform engineering team
This was very good – How to Avoid another Silo- Enablers vs doers- Cross team internships- Pairing with App Dev Team- Lunch and Learn sessions- Common goals
Pair stairs – encourage story pair rotation. Anchor on area (what is this?). Glossary (e.g. environment means something specific in Docker). Postmortem on issuesSkills matrix
General arguments — product thinking – rather than project thinking- Observe and talk to your internal customers- KPIs for a bit of objectivity- Innovate and experiment (safety and space).
The Path to Production – a roadmap for devopsAcross the top – concerns- Logging, Monitoring, BC, DR, Security, Infrastructure and SupportDown the side – horizons- Now;Soon;Later;Near;FarPlans are there to be shared.

11:15 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:00 Ali Hill – Don’t Be a Hero

This was a well constructed talk on the pitfalls of overdoing it. I don’t know if you would call it “burnout” but certainly an argument for “pacing” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3230825/
There is quite a lot of glib medicalisation around this topic.

12:00 – 12:30 Nataliya Remez – Cultural aspects of DevOps transformation
Empathy Map Canvas – Google it https://www.amazon.co.uk/7-Rules-Positive-Productive-Change/dp/1523085797
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Esther-Derby/e/B002BLJE8A/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 – 14:00 Ignites

Adrian Mouat – Advanced Container Build Tooling
Good stuff from Adrian covering advantages and pitfalls of advanced tooling. I’d need to be doing this day to day to get more from it.
Look up “Tonus Tiigi” for more info and YouTube talks
Nik Knight – Using Coaching Skills to Grow Compassion, Empathy and Kindness in DevOps
A bit of a change of topic – main takeaways – talk the person through the 5 steps of strategic decision making – consider training people to mentor via role play
Andy Burgin – So You Want To Run Your Own Kubernetes Cluster ?
Don’t do it – use a managed service until you are confident

14:00 – 14:15 Sponsors
Open Spaces Session 1 – 14:50 – 15:20
Biosphere Blue – Why do we still use Jenkins
Hutton Room – Hacking through the tools jungle
Boardroom – You build it you run it
* Salisbury Suite – Release management in a continuous delivery worl
d
Check out K3S “sort of Kubernetes lite”

Session 2 – 15:25 – 15:55
Biosphere Blue – Monitoring best practice
Salisbury Suite – Diversity in tech orgs
Hutton Room – Software engineers on call
* Boardroom – Deployment: what strategies and tools do you use

Fix forwards – i.e. don’t look back – better to fix than revertMoving the DB forward – modify getters/setters/lo-level to cope with both – when client changes are complete then tidy up. Example: to change telephone number to string – add field – change getters/setters to set both and convert when accessed – when done covert the rest and delete the old column.
Do NOT try to change your project cadence all in one go (six month releases to daily releases in one step is madness)
This man talked sense:Paul Hammant 
https://trunkbaseddevelopment.com
https://www.branchbyabstraction.com
https://ph-l.in/ks

Session 3 – 16:00 – 16:30
Salisbury Suite – Project work firefighting improvements : the best balance
Hutton Room – DevOps vs. Legacy and vendor software
Boardroom – Making (regulatory) security processes agile + valuable
* Biosphere Blue -Do you treat your laptop like a cow,

DevOps for local dev envsIf using ansible as a dev-machine setup tool then just iterating over an app deploy list is a good startI need to check out no-machine again
16:30 – 16:35 Return to main room
16:35 – 16:45 Day Close

And off to the bus station to meet son #2, and thence Black Isle to see Ma and Pa.

I’m slowly working my way through the links and business cards acquired.