In late April, the Essent CRAFTs Heroes (click here for more about CRAFSTs Heroes) team had the privilege of attending the highly anticipated DevOpsCon in London. This renowned conference focuses on the latest developments in CI/CD, the Kubernetes ecosystem, Agile & Lean Business, and attracts top professionals from around the world. We are thrilled to share our experience and key takeaways from the event with you in this new blog post, so let’s jump right in!
Why attend DevOpsCon?
Well, for the CRAFTs Heroes team, despite our diverse backgrounds in both culture and software engineering, DevOps is the common thread that ties us all together. We firmly believe that the DevOps culture, processes, and tools are the key to creating high-quality software that not only satisfies our colleagues but also delights our customers.
Attending a conference like DevOpsCon provides an unparalleled opportunity for engineers to connect with peers in their field, expand their network, and exchange insights with industry leaders. Not to mention, we had a blast meeting new people and engaging in stimulating conversations.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the conference was hearing different perspectives on what DevOps means for various organizations and roles. We heard from speakers who argued that DevOps is a role, a culture, a socio-technical system, or a combination of all three. We heard from advocates of automating everything, as well as those who emphasized focusing on solving customer problems first. Through these discussions, we came to realize that there is no single, one-size-fits-all solution for DevOps. Instead, it's a journey of continuous learning and improvement.
For us at Essent, it's clear that DevOps is more than just a set of tools or processes. It's a culture that permeates everything we do, and one that we are committed to fostering and nurturing.
When it comes to moving into the DevOps space, it's easy for companies, both big and small, to feel overwhelmed. While it may be tempting to simply purchase a pre-packaged DevOps solution in hopes of becoming a DevOps company overnight, the truth is that each company's culture is unique and requires a tailored approach.
As Andrew Clay Shafer famously said, "You can sell DevOps, but you cannot buy it." To truly succeed in DevOps, companies must empower their engineering teams to work together with leadership to develop solutions that are customized to their particular context and goals. It's about solving both cultural and technical problems that are specific to your company and products.
The key to success in DevOps is finding the right balance between people, processes, and tools that work for your particular situation. This is where high-performing companies set themselves apart from their competitors. By enabling their teams to build their own DevOps culture and solutions, they are able to achieve greater success and more effectively meet the needs of their customers.
Processes are a critical component of any company's culture, and they are essential for maintaining software quality and delivery speed. While Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery have been widely adopted as best practices in modern software engineering, the rapidly increasing pace of change has brought about new challenges in delivering software to customers.
One of the most notable trends we've seen in recent years is the "shifting left" of security practices, which involves increasing transparency and ownership of security configurations throughout the development process. Although not a new concept, this is becoming ever more important in today's fast-paced software landscape.
Another trend that is gaining traction is the use of dark releases and feature toggling at scale. This approach enables high-performing companies to run hundreds, if not thousands, of experiments simultaneously, with real end-users. This type of experimentation is critical for companies seeking to continuously improve their products and user experiences.
Ultimately, the key to success in modern software engineering processes is the ability to adapt and evolve as the technology landscape evolves. By embracing new approaches and being open to experimentation, companies can stay ahead of the curve and continue to deliver high-quality software at scale.
When it comes to tools, there was one name that stood out at the conference: Kubernetes. This open-source, platform-agnostic tool impressed us with its flexibility and ability to handle complex relationships between services. With its ability to scale up and down according to demand, Kubernetes offers engineers a wide array of possibilities.
One particularly interesting keynote was delivered by the lead architect of a telecommunications company, who shared how they were able to create a private cloud using the idle processes of employees' laptops. This innovative approach speaks to the power and potential of Kubernetes, and has us excited about the possibilities for implementing this tool at Essent.
As we look ahead, we're eager to see how both Kubernetes and Serverless will be leveraged to solve problems for our specific use cases. There's no doubt that these tools will play a critical role in shaping the future of software engineering at Essent and beyond.
Attending DevOpsCon was an incredibly valuable experience for our team. We gained fresh insights and perspectives from leading experts in the field, and were inspired by the innovative approaches and solutions being developed across the industry.
As we look to the future, we are excited to continue building on our existing strengths in architecture-supported processes and culture, while also exploring new developer-driven solutions and tooling. With our eyes firmly fixed on the goal of becoming a leading technology company, we are confident that the knowledge and inspiration gained from DevOpsCon will help propel us further along this path.
That’s all for now, until next time!