Cora Hays-Magan

DevOps Days as a Newbie

Into the Wilds of the Unknown

August 26, 2015

DevOps Days Chicago is a tech conference focused on the development to operations side of the tech world. This is where everyone who deals with deployment, servers, security, testing, and all of the systems needed to get code and the things created by code out the door and into use. It breaks walls between creating the code and getting it out the door, asking both sides to work together. In DevOps, deploying code is a continual process.

DevOps Days Chicago was my first tech conference and an ambitious one at that. I was in Phase 0 of Dev Bootcamp (so at the very beginning of a code school) and had yet to write enough code to deploy, let alone deploy continuously. Later, I was at a different event and was talking about what I learned at DevOps days in relation to the topic at hand. I was told not to worry about DevOps...but I want to worry about it. I want to get my hands dirty creating and manipulating massive code bases, and I want my code to be deployed.

Sometimes, life hands you opportunities in a weird order. So I walked into the Chicago DevOps conference without a job in tech, at the beginning of my code school learning experience, alone, where I was assured to be the odd person out by being female and having to google devops the day beforehand. I walked into that conference and learned so much from the experience.

So, what did this newbie learn? Many things:

These are the points which stuck in my head in a more permanent fashion. Other attendees might have walked away with deeper, more detailed knowledge (remember: I was starting from square zero).

All the talks were recorded and are available to watch to your hearts content.

One of my goals for the conference was to learn what a new dev needed to know about devops and the operations side of a tech team. Here's what I learned in a nutshell to take forward: Make the devops or operations team your friend. Talk to them outside of big deploys and include them in discussions of the code. Work together to get as much automation in testing and deployment as possible, so no one comes in on the weekend unexpectedly. If code doesn't get out the door (or if it gets out the door broken), it's everyone's problem, not just the operations side, so make them your friends at work.