A Frank Discussion With Your Manager About Why You Need to Go to DevOps World | Jenkins World 2019
If you're struggling to find the answers to some of those critical questions your boss will ask, we've compiled a good script here.
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Do you work in sales? If you’re part of a team in a DevOps environment, your answer is an immediate “no.” As an engineer, testing professional, or operations leader, you are performing technical tasks that help move high-quality software through the pipeline and out into production.
Still, let’s face it, part of all of our jobs is selling something to somebody. You may have to coax a teammate to approach coding a certain feature in a different way than they had planned or convince them to run one last QA test for you...again. You certainly also face situations when you have to sell your boss that an idea you came up with might just help the team do a better job on an important task.
This week, it’s time to put your sales hat on. DevOps World | Jenkins World 2019 is right around the corner and, of course, you want to go! But before you can book your flight for San Francisco to attend the August 12-15 conference, you need to sell your boss on why it’s a good idea for you to attend.
You certainly had no trouble convincing yourself. The conference is the premier annual event for DevOps professionals and Jenkins enthusiasts. The conference has expanded to the Moscone Center this year and the agenda is packed — like it is every year — with educational sessions on CI/CD, DevOps and the technologies, multiple keynotes from experts in the industry, hands-on training and workshops, opportunities for networking, a DevOps Superhero themed after-party and all kinds of other activities like a Fun Run, painting a mural, diversity-focused activities and so much more. (But for convincing your boss, we’ll skip the fun stuff, for now!)
OK, let’s get on with it. It’s time to convince your boss to authorize your trip. Here are a few questions your leader may ask and some tips on how to sell her on the idea.
Q: What’s it going to cost?
A: The full conference costs $1,499 for all four days, but, luckily, we can take advantage of one of the discounts being offered. As you know, I’m a member of the local Jenkins Area Meetup (JAM) group, which gets $300 off the conference price. So, my ticket would run $1,199. In case any of our colleagues ask, there are discounted prices for government and nonprofit workers, Jenkins Certified Professionals, conference alumni ($999) and those who want to just attend the expo ($500). Additionally, anyone who uses a special promo code: DWJW20, gets 20% off (about $300) — which is the same discount I get as a JAM member.
If I attend any of the training and certification sessions, that would be an extra cost. But I’d like to consider it, because they offer additional opportunities to learn more about super timely topics, like DevOps leadership, DevSecOps engineering, application release orchestration, continuous delivery with Jenkins on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Jenkins X, Kubernetes and cloud-native application development.
I have also researched costs for hotels and airfare, and if I can book now, I can still get a discounted rate.
It’s so worth it. The conference has numerous things to offer, and so much knowledge for me to gain. It would be a great investment, with payoff in the work that I do and in the additional value I can give back to our company. Finally, I can share my learnings with the broader team, giving everyone an opportunity to benefit from my having attended the conference, too.
Q: You mentioned training. What kind of sessions are they holding?
A: Where do I start? The first two days of the conference are devoted pretty much solely to training and workshops. There are courses on continuous delivery with Jenkins X, CloudBees Core and Jenkins fundamentals and intermediate courses, as well as other sessions focused on certifications for DevOps leadership and DevSecOps engineering.
Really, there would be value in my attending any of these. I realize I can’t squeeze them all in, but maybe we can talk about how a couple of these sessions could really help me improve our software delivery process.
Let’s start with Jenkins. I’m already pretty far along in terms of basic Jenkins skills, so I could skip the fundamentals course, but the intermediate session looks interesting. It will cover things like shared libraries and Docker agents and there will be hands-on lab exercises. There are Jenkins admin courses – intro and intermediate – that focus on scaling the environment and a second track that covers concepts connected to continuous delivery with Jenkins X. We also work with CloudBees Core, so the CloudBees intermediate course would be a huge help to our group.
What would be really cool would be to get one of the DevOps certifications the conference is offering. There’s one track that certifies you as a DevOps Leader. It teaches how to manage people and situations in a DevOps environment – something our group could certainly benefit from. The DevSecOps Engineering Certification would give me a new skill that I could use to better integrate our team’s work with the overall focus on security we’ve been striving for.
Q: OK, I see the value there. I’m guessing there will be a lot of conference sessions, too. Are any of them interesting? And how would they help us?
A: There’s just an amazing number of cool topics on this year’s agenda. If I go, I’m going to hit as many as possible. Once I get back, I will pull together a summary of my key takeaways and present to our entire team. The conference is offering more than 100 sessions on topics like: the 10 attributes of the DevOps elite, application release orchestration, pivoting your pipeline from monolithic to microservices, Kubernetes and cloud-native app development, machine learning use cases for DevOps, DevSecOps and Continuous Everything.
Remember those problems we’ve been having troubleshooting our CI/CD pipeline and securing our containers? There are sessions focused on those specific topics. I can also take advantage of the Jenius Bar and get access to Jenkins experts to help us triage our issue.
Q: Which heavy hitters are speaking this year?
A: The first keynote is being given by principals from the newly-formed Continuous Delivery Foundation — another opportunity for me to learn how that group of open source projects can potentially benefit us. Chris Aniszczyk, CTO/COO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and advisor to the CDF will kick off the keynote. Also speaking are Kosuke Kawaguchi, chief scientist at CloudBees and Jenkins founder, along with James Strachan, distinguished engineer at CloudBees and project lead for Jenkins X; Andy Glover, director of delivery engineering at Netflix (Spinnaker project); and Tara Hernandez, engineering manager, Google Cloud Platform (Tekton project).
On Wednesday, Sacha Labourey, CEO at CloudBees, is the headliner and on Thursday, Dave Stanke, developer advocate, Google Cloud Platform keynotes in the morning and Redmonk analyst James Governor is the closing keynote at the end of the day.
Everybody knows Kohsuke – the Jenkins founder we all call KK. He speaks every year, and his talk is always one of the high points of the conference. He’s a legend in the Jenkins community, so I definitely wouldn’t miss that. Sacha is funny and really insightful. He co-founded CloudBees and built it into the DevOps powerhouse that it is today. His annual addresses are always entertaining – he always touches on topics about open source, entrepreneurship, software delivery and whatever Sacha’s into that year. James Governor will give us a no-nonsense look at the industry – where we’re headed and what kinds of technologies are going to disrupt organizations.
Q: Who’s going to be there?
A: About 2,000 of the smartest and most dedicated DevOps enthusiasts all in one place. Just being at the same show will be hugely valuable for me and for our company. Every conference I go to, I try to talk to as many people as I can, to learn what kinds of pain points they’re encountering and how they’re dealing with those issues. I’ve kept in touch with a number of people over the years, and, given our organization’s heavy focus on DevOps, it’ll be good to get insiders’ views on how to navigate some of the issues we are facing. When we run into an issue in the future, I’ll have others from the industry I can reach out to. If we start a new project or implement a new technology, I can provide perspective not only from my learnings at DevOps World | Jenkins World, but because I’ll know more people who’ve already tackled what we’re about to encounter.
Q: How’s it going to help our company?
A: So many ways. I’ll be bringing back knowledge, ideas, best practices and contacts we can use to make our team the best DevOps team around.
Good luck! Hope to see you at DevOps World | Jenkins World. (Psst: Use the code DWJW20 and get a 20% discount on your registration.)
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