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Highlights in DevOps and Open Source from the Future Developer Summit | Day 2

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

by Stathis Georgakopoulos

The Future Developer Summit returns in 2021 with 4 bite-sized events and a new theme: DevRel, the next day. Discover more.

If you haven’t read the key learnings of Day 1 first, I suggest you do!

The second day for the Future Developer Summit kicked off with a warm-up panel on “what remote-first means to Developer Relations”. The panel was brought together and hosted by Olle Pridiuksson (Co-founder at DevRel.Events) and included Bear Douglas (Director, Developer Relations at Slack), David G. Simmons (Head of Developer Relations at QuestDB) and Jana Boruta (Director of Global Events & Experiential Marketing at HashiCorp). The topics discussed during the panel were how developer program strategies have changed in 2020, what the panellists did to fit the changes into their teams and the plans for 2021 developer relations programs. Here’s what they said:

Jana Boruta

  • We put more emphasis on building our community online and its platforms and worked on mass education

  • We’re putting emphasis on engagement

  • All of a sudden we had to learn how to do new things like broadcasting

  • For the next years, HashiCorp’s looking at hybrid events, small group in physical presence to build connections but also live broadcasting

Bear Douglas

  • We’ve worked on minimizing our environmental impact

  • There’s so much we’ve had to learn about everything being online, building connections remotely

  • As long we are not travelling or going to the office, Slack won’t plan on any kind of event other than virtual

David Simmons

  • We’ve had to redirect everything online, which is a much bigger challenge on creating one on one connections

  • The DevRel community is used to seeing each other at events. This situation has been hard on DevRel professionals

Developer Marketing for the DevOps Crowd

After everyone was warmed up by the morning panel, it was time for a touchdown keynote, brought to everyone by Adam Fitzgerald (VP, DevRel at HashiCorp). Adam talked about the cloud, the multi-cloud and what happens when dev meets ops:

  • Cloud is an expensive game to play, only a few providers will remain at the end

  • Both developers and IT operators are driving the move to the cloud

  • Multi-cloud is inevitable: 54% already use more than one public cloud provider

  • Break traditional application silos - find the right tool for the right job

  • Cloud helps reduce errors, improve system control, enable self-service IT

  • Focus on workflows, not technologies

  • When dev meets ops:

    • we have less tribalism, more pragmatism

    • Handling complexity is a requirement

    • Connector ecosystems are essential

    • Credentials matter

  • Cloud is the future and multi-cloud is the cloud’s future

What do developers have to say about DevOps?

Kostas Korakitis (Research Operations Manager at SlashData) took over to share an update on DevOps trends from our latest survey and 12,000 developer responses:

  • The vast majority of professional developers (more than 80%) have adopted DevOps practices but don’t necessarily self-identify with the term “DevOps”.

  • CI and CD are two of the most commonly employed DevOps practices, and More than half of developers use continuous integration (40%) or deployment (37%)

  • Programmers have embraced the DevOps model, but mostly in terms of automating their code releases. Their involvement in infrastructure management and monitoring is still limited.

  • DevOps adoption is not equally high across all software sectors. With some exceptions, sectors with a high concentration of experienced professionals (such as backend) are more closely associated with DevOps practices.

After this dive into DevOps insights, it was time for the first Lightning Talks of Day 2, from Amr Awadallah (VP, Developer Relations at Google), Tamao Nakahara (Head of Developer Experience at Weaveworks) and Melissa-Evers Hood (VP, Intel Architecture, Graphics and Software at Intel).

Seven Techniques to Increase Trust in Reliable Software

Amr was first and he offered seven tips to make your software more reliable and trustworthy:

  • Reduce human input as much as possible, especially for repetitive high toil tasks (via devops automation).

  • Stop reinventing the wheel by leveraging standardized software frameworks.

  • Adopt a microservices architecture coupled with an API service mesh to reduce blast radius of failure and enable graceful degradation.

  • Enforce monitoring and logging via automated observability (monitoring by default).

  • Test as early as possible leveraging continuous integration + continuous delivery techniques (shift left).

  • Progressive deployment coupled with canary testing to catch bugs with minimal impact on user population.

  • Failure will happen. Embrace it. Learn to catch early & recover quickly. Don’t blame, instead learn & improve.

Developer Experience Day 0

Following came Tamao who shared her experience with launching a new project and working on making it successful while keeping in mind the developer experience, from day 0. Here’s what she discovered:

  • Invest in success metrics early. Early metrics can be sign-ups. Then work on strategies, DevRel to manage outreach, offer incentives, work on communicating the value proposition and on lead generation

  • Improvements: shift success metric to engagement, invest in “Zero to Hello World”, create ways for users to try the “Hello World”, work on deeper engagement and incentives

  • Use Mascots to surprise and delight your community, encourage self-expression and belonging

An unsung hero of Open Source

Melissa was then on the stage to talk about the “unsung hero”: governance. Here’s what she had to share:

  • A case for governance:

    • Neutrality - What you do matters

    • Schelling point

    • Crisis strikes

  • Open Source is strong but crisis will come. Know your Schelling points and remember that Governance is the ballast

What do developer program leaders do all day?

That’s a burning question! Richard Muir, Data Journalist at SlashData shared the preliminary results of the Developer Program Leaders survey. Here are the highlights:

Please note: At the time of writing, the full results have been published and made into an independent session. You can watch the updated version here.

Some preliminary results:

  • Most developer programs cover ten or less products

  • A quarter of developer programs gave a budget over $10M

  • Directly engaging developers (33%) and strategies (33%) receive the most attention

  • Many developer programs do not justify their budget directly

  • Social media followers is the top KPI for developer marketing professionals (75%), awareness is the top KPI for DevRel (58%) and GitHub activity and SDKs is the top KPI for dev tooling professionals (58% each)

  • 21% of developer programs do not segment developers

  • 40% of developer programs don’t have a regional strategy

Having figured out how developer program leaders’ priorities, it was time for Lightning Talks round 2, moderated by Mary Thengvall (Director, Developer Relations at Camunda), featuring Priyanka Sharma (General Manager at CNCF, Tobie Langel (Principal and founder at UnlockOpen) and Chris Kelly (Director, Open Source and Engineering Engagement at Salesforce)

End-user driven Open Source is the key to innovation in infrastructure

Priyanka was the first to present how making the end-user a priority drives innovation:

  • End-users are the heart of innovation. They have different priorities but often lack organization support for time spent on Open Source. This is changing

  • Traditional end-user companies are starting to share their innovations in the open

  • As the cloud-native market matures, there will be more startups and solutions that tackle security and complexity issues that now pain end-users.

  • Companies sometimes fail to focus on the end user with their Open Source efforts. You have to think about the end user and avoid tunnel vision and missed opportunities.They are the best resource for feedback and improvements

Then Tobie discussed how competitiveness should be focused on outcomes, not winning and that success comes from collaboration and not competition. And how winning is about building successful outcomes quickly, trust and honesty, catering to the needs of everyone

The core values of Open Source

Chris closed this light talks session, talking about why Open Source is key and its values:

  • Open source is about other people.

  • It’s about community, transparency, collaboration, contribution

  • 3 things to always keep in mind: community, interoperability and developer experience

  • Open source enables your customers. They’re not paying you because it is Open Source, they are paying you to solve a problem. Integration, technical debt, upkeep, and opportunity cost are what keep your customers up at night.

  • You work for your community, they don’t work for you.

Lesson Learned at Microsoft, working with Open Source

Stormy Peters (Director, Open Source Programs Office at Microsoft) undertook the role of sharing the lessons learned at Microsoft, making it a perfect (educating) closure to this two-day event.

  • Open source is the biggest differentiator for organisations: +30% more innovative and +20% in satisfaction and retention rates

  • Microsoft's Open Source Programs Office makes sure we consume Open Source safely, provide secure solutions to our customers and participate effectively in Open Source software.

  • Make it automatic, invest in tooling and share with customers and the world

  • Work with others to develop Open Source compliance tools and best practices for the enterprise.

  • Connect developers to users and give autonomy

  • Learn from others

  • Lasting culture change requires alignment with rewards and compensation.

Enjoyed what you read? Be part of the 2021 Future Developer Summit coming on March 10. Find out more.


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