How to Convince Your Manager to ‘Send’ You to DevOps World 2020
This year's DevOps World conference on September 22-24 is virtual, informative, and free. Here's how to convince your boss to let you be there.
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Some of the toughest negotiations in business often take place with your own manager. You want to go to a conference and while your manager would like to send you, they need to be convinced. Conferences typically cost money, and they take time out of attendees’ schedules, so managers need to be comfortable that the time and money being invested is worthwhile.
In past years, DevOps World was a pretty easy sell. If you’re in the DevOps field – or in parts of the organization that need to work closely with DevOps – you had good opening arguments. It’s the world’s biggest and most impactful DevOps show and as an attendee you gain knowledge and experience that will be valuable to the organization.
This year, it’s an even easier sell! DevOps 2020 is being held virtually on September 22-24. That means no time out for travel. Since all the content is online, you’re on your computer, so you’re never completely out of reach. And…this year’s event is free.
If your boss is a really tough negotiator, you have a backpack full of strong arguments to attend the show. Really, the only push-back is the time you'll spend attending virtual sessions. Your job is to convince your manager that you, your team, and your organization will benefit from you investing the better part of three days gaining perspective you won't be able to get anywhere else. To help make your case, here are a few arguments to make.
You’ll Sharpen Your DevOps Skills
If you’re looking closely at this conference, there’s a good chance your organization has big plans for DevOps and is probably using Jenkins to automate your CI/CD pipelines. Your manager knows just how important a role establishing an advanced DevOps culture can play and they know Jenkins skills are necessary to automate key aspects of the software delivery process.
Make the case that this is the perfect place not just to learn about DevOps best practices but also to brush up on Jenkins tools – how they work, how to get the most out of them, how to fix problems, etc. Any resource that helps advance the collective knowledge of the group will be welcomed with open arms.
DevOps World offers a long list of educational sessions to help attendees develop their Jenkins knowledge. Training includes introductory and intermediate sessions on Jenkins administration and Jenkins pipelines. The courses build on each other and propel learners towards Jenkins Certification. You’ll be bringing back knowledge you can apply to your organization on day one.
You Can Turn Yourself Into a DevOps Leader
Organizations aren’t going to create fully functioning DevOps cultures overnight. They need to build up capabilities over a long period of time. This requires a commitment to constant improvement, to building skill levels across the organization, and to putting them into practice. DevOps needs to be nurtured and fed; sending you to a virtual DevOps World can turn you into the DevOps leader your organization needs.
You can start by taking a DevOps Leader course that will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to successfully complete the DevOps Leader certification exam. But it goes beyond one specific course. There are other courses focused on DevSecOps, best practices connected with the use of CloudBees CI and many others. There are sessions addressing topics ranging from DevOps culture to DevOps theory vs. practice. Immersing yourself in all the DevOps content here will raise your knowledge level to new heights.
You’ll Hear from The Masters
You can always read a book by one of the industry’s giants. But seeing the person deliver a subject live and having the chance to interact with him or her offers a whole other level of perspective. DevOps World has a star-studded line-up of keynotes planned that will get you thinking about DevOps in a whole new way. Want to gain some knowledge about where DevOps is now, and where it’s going in the future? Mitch Ashley, CEO of Accelerated Strategies Group, and James Governor, co-founder of Redmonk, will dig into tech trends and talk about how organizations like yours can react to them. Maybe you want some more targeted discussions about ways to use DevOps to your advantage and how to tap the benefits of cloud-native computing. DevOps World has you covered – with Dr. Ann Marie Imafidon, co-founder and CEO of Stemettes; Marky Jackson, director of open source and CDF community ambassador, OpsMx; Tracy Ragan, CEO of DeployHub and CDF governing board member; and Jacqueline Salinas, director of ecosystem and community development at CD Foundation. And executives from CloudBees itself will offer perspectives on the company and on industry trends.
You’ll Get a New, Broader Perspective
DevOps World 2020 is offering more sessions than ever – more than 125 covering topics that are technical, strategic, thought-provoking or, in some cases, all three. Beyond the basic workshops and presentations, you can take in talks about everything ranging from data-driven DevOps to mobile DevSecOps. Want to hear how investment giant TIAA delivers fast, secure, quality software? How the U.S. military counterinsurgency doctrine can teach you about advancing DevOps internally? How to advance diversity and inclusion in the DevOps function? It’s all here. And you can bring the knowledge back to your organization – sharing it in 1:1’s, in presentations or in general thoughts about initiatives for next year.
You’ll Build up Your Network During the Pandemic
It’s hard to network when most, if not all, of your peers are working from home. This year, we’ve all been missing out on work gatherings, professional meet-ups and the general give and take from just being out in the community talking with other technology-obsessed individuals. Conferences have been great in-person networking opportunities in years past, but that avenue has been shut off in recent months.
DevOps World may be online, but there will be opportunities to network during the show. There will be all kinds of chat features – for the Q&As with the speakers and for random meet-ups with other attendees. There will be network lounges for mentors and mentees. Live video chat features will be available at the expo booths. And then there’s a really cool feature – a “speed dating”-type functionality where attendees can turn on their cameras and be randomly paired with another attendee for a 30-second chat.
You'll come away with contacts that can be extremely helpful. Say one of your teammates sends out a note raising an issue she’s encountered with her code. As luck would have it, you were chatting with a DevOps World attendee recently about this same issue. You offer help and your teammate saves hours’ worth of debugging time.
6. You’ll be investing – indirectly – in your organization
Your manager wants to be convinced that this trip will be valuable for all involved. It will be. Just stick to your guns and highlight how you plan to use your time at the show to benefit your company.
Get creative. Talk about frustrations, pain points, staffing needs, business opportunities – you name it, you can solve it. DevOps World has the content and the structure to be a resource for your organization.
Good luck! Hope to see you online at DevOps World. To sign up for free, register here!
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