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To keep up with the latest tools and trends in the rapidly changing world of DevOps, NetActuate engineers attended the DevOpsDays Raleigh 2018 conference. The conference was hosted at the McKimmon Center on NC State’s campus in Raleigh, NC. NCSU is the alma mater of several members of the NetActuate family, including President Mark Price, and just down the road from our headquarters.

The conference was kicked off by Nathen Harvey, VP of Community Development at Chef. Harvey’s “DevOps State of Mind” presentation went over some of the key factors and common stumbling blocks to consider when implementing DevOps at an existing organization.

He also offered his own definition of DevOps to keep in mind during the event: “DevOps is a cultural and professional movement, focused on how we build and operate high-velocity organizations, born from the experience of its practitioners.”

The other presentation topics included testing business hypothesis, identifying the best metrics to track operational health, improving intra-team communication, current best practices for Kubernetes security, avoiding biases when making technical decisions, how best to promote and enforce a DevOps culture, and many other diverse topics.

Each morning session ended with Ignite Karoake, a series of short ad lib talks based on a series of randomly selected images. The Karaoke volunteers did an amazing job – their humorous interpretations and personal anecdotes engaged and educated attendees.

One of the most exciting features of the DevOpsDays conference was the afternoon open space discussions. These were informal, roundtable conversations around topics proposed and voted on by the conference attendees. NetActuate sat in on and contributed to talks about balancing organizational consistency and team autonomy, building devops teams and developing engineering talent, and current tools and best practices for application infrastructure observability. We also led a discussion about how anycast can be used to streamline testing and release cycles.

We learned a lot about how different organizations are implementing DevOps internally. The key takeaway was that there is no one “right” way to do it, and the field of DevOps is changing faster than it can be defined.

“We came away with a lot to think about,” said Logan Barfield, Senior Systems Administrator at NetActuate. “We’re already implementing some of the tools and lessons learned to both improve our own DevOps processes, and provide better value to our customers.”

We had a great time at DevOpsDays Raleigh hearing about the current trends in DevOps, and speaking with other engineers and providers about the many different ways DevOps is being implemented around the world. We thank the event promoters, sponsors, speakers, and especially fellow attendees for making the 2018 conference one to remember.