DevOpsDays Manchester


A few weeks ago, whilst travelling, we stopped off overnight in Minneapolis, and met Bridget and Joe for dinner in the awesome city they call home. A few margeritas in, and conversation turned to the DevOpsDays conferences which Bridget helps organise both in the Twin Cities, and on a global level. Somehow, the idea of DevOpsDays Manchester was suggested, and I left thinking that it would be a neat little thing to try.

Well, I say “little”. Organising an event, any event, is a true trial of logistical prowess, but never shy of at least having a crack of something, I thought I’d test the waters to see how popular and well-attended a DevOpsDays Manchester event might be.

Manchester is home to a fair few organisations who now practice, for some definition of this overloaded, often over-hyped, marketing buzzword, ‘devops’, including large public institutions such as the BBC, large firms like Auto Trader and consultancies like ThoughtWorks, as well as a number of smaller firms and organisations in the middle. There’s a wealth of operations experience in Manchester, and it seems to me a crying shame that people don’t often talk about their experiences more often.

DevOpsDays events aren’t just aimed at people who run infrastructure and operations as their day job, though. They’re aimed at everyone; those who do the role day-to-day, those who dabble in it, those who wished they did it more, and those who are brand new and haven’t ever touched infrastructure in their lives. They’re run for anyone and everyone interested in actually learning more about infrastructure and how to build it, run it and keep things working for users of their services.

The typical format of DevOpsDays events is to spend approximately half of the time (usually, a whole event will last a day or two) with presentations submitted from the public and selected in a fair, impartial and preferably anonymous fashion by the organising committee, and the remaining half of the event in open-space discussion. Events welcome topics from a wide variety of concepts, ranging from cultural discussions to implementing network, database and compute services.

I’m a big fan of the “rules” of running a DevOpsDays event, too:

  • ensuring that all DevOpsDays events have a code of conduct, and that events are run in as inclusive and respectful a way as possible, for all;

  • ensuring an open call for proposals exists, and accepting registrations from the general public, and giving fair consideration to all those who submit a session proposal;

  • ensuring events aren’t for individual or corporate profit, with all money left over from organising an event either going to help another event out, or going to charity;

  • ensuring that sponsors, whilst very much welcome and appreciated, treat attendees with respect, and never by selling or sharing contact details of attendees with sponsors in an attempt to kerb sales pitches.

There’s a lot I’ve not thought about, but I thought I’d get some brief idea first; if you’d be interested in coming along to a DevOpsDays in Manchester, then it would be great if you could let me know by emailing andrew[at]ajlanghorn[dot]com.

You’re not committing to anything just yet; I just fancy a rough idea of how much interest there would be.