First Annual DevOps Conference In The Books

Written by Rajat Bhargava on October 30, 2013

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Wow! What an amazing week. The JumpCloud team spent a huge amount of time this past week prepping for our first annual DevOps conference hosted here in Boulder last Wed evening and Thursday. We co-founded the conference with our friends at SoftLayer (Paul Ford, VP of Ecosystem Development, co-chaired the conference with me) and were super excited about the results. For this first one, we focused on inviting our cousin companies within the Foundry GroupTechstars, and Bullet Time Ventures portfolios. Our goal was to get folks from those companies together and spend some time talking about how DevOps is changing the IT world. We knew that it would be interesting to some folks and we thought that we’d have nice turnout, but we were floored with the results.

Two hundred plus people. 10 fantastic sponsors. Two awesome evenings and one full day of discussion. ~30 speakers. 75+ companies represented. And, one killer day of learning. It was clear to us from the Wednesday evening dinner that there was a buzz in the room about DevOps. No doubt that people are taking it seriously and interested in learning. There was great conversation and engagement from the start and the content was great. For this time, we focused on keeping it more strategic and high-level rather than being super technical. That’s a tricky balance and we received a lot of great feedback to create tracks next time – which we will shoot to do. We also had requests for some more “unconference” or open space time – which we are also going to weave in for next time.

We are planning to reach out to all of the attendees to get their feedback to figure out what we can improve. There are a lot of things in our “retrospective” that we would like to do better, but hearing other feedback will be great as well. We are planning to release the video and slides soon, so if you were unable to attend, you’ll still get the chance to see / hear the content. I’m appreciative of all of the speakers and panelists and the time they donated to share with the audience. They were fantastic and so kind to take time out of their busy professional lives and spend a day and a half with us.

What is DevOps?

We believe so strongly in DevOps at JumpCloud that not only do we use it extensively as we are building the next generation Directory-as-a-Service® platform, we see ourselves as a catalyst for DevOps, both in your IT organization, and as an evangelist. We also believe that our customers – whether they are utilizing DevOps or not, will be looking at it over time. Just as Agile has made a significant dent in the software development area, we fully expect DevOps to do that across IT and into sales and marketing. DevOps represents an extension to Agile and lean methodology throughout an organization through automation and deep cross-functional integration. The effect is quicker time to market and a deeper understanding of customer’s needs – which hopefully translates into a more successful, efficient business. So, whether you are using DevOps or not, we think that there is a lot to learn and over time every IT organization and software company will likely at least pick up some pieces of the methodology. We’d like to be a catalyst in the community for that learning and that’s why we took the time to build out the conference and, for us, how to learn more about how we can be the next generation Identity-as-a-Service platform that connects users to the IT resources they need whether that is through managing user accounts on AWS cloud servers, SaaS applications through SAML, on-prem LDAP-based application, or systems.

So, thank you to everybody for coming and to our wonderful sponsors for helping out:

  • Founding Sponsors: JumpCloud & SoftLayer
  • Gold Sponsors: Authentic8, DH Capital, VictorOps,
  • Silver Sponsors: Cooley, Pantheon, PivotDesk, SendGrid, Silicon Valley Bank

We’ll keep everybody posted on our plans. We have a number of very interesting DevOps conference and meet-up ideas that we plan to execute over the next year.

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