Is it still worth it to go to physical events when you can learn so much online? I’d argue that it is. As we enter an era of more accelerated software innovation than ever before, keeping pace with new technologies is essential. Plus, the shifting nature of the software business means that many developers and other IT professionals need to constantly reinvent themselves, absorb new skills, and seek new job roles.
Never has it been more important to refresh our expertise, network with other practitioners, share knowledge, ask questions and get them answered by peers, or raise our individual profiles – especially as DevOps professionals. And conferences, where people can sit down together away from their usual workspaces and focus on the bigger picture, are a great way to achieve all that.
For instance, in my own DevOps specialist area of testing, test automation is among the biggest challenges facing professionals. It is also one of the biggest delays to continuous delivery maturity. At conferences this year, I expect to learn more about better decision-making around what tests to include in the pipeline, how AI and ML help achieve that, and the importance of quality visibility across various DevOps activities.
[ Are you looking ahead enough? Read also: DevOps’ next decade: How to prepare teams. ]
10 DevOps conferences to consider in 2020
A quick glance at the list of DevOps events in 2020 shows that other key themes include mixing open source frameworks into commercial ones, more on shifting left but also shifting right (DevSecOps, DevAPMOps), and a greater focus on improving leadership practices around agile and DevOps.
If you are immersed in DevOps in your organization and want to improve, there are more than enough reasons to add a few events to your calendar this year. Here are a few events I attended last year that are on my radar for 2020.
QA or the Highway
When: February 25
Where: Columbus, OH
Why: This software testing event helps connect the dots between testing and DevOps through shift left, agile testing, and similar sessions to help uncover challenges that hold back DevOps maturity. This is a great event for test automation engineers and practitioners.
Triangle Software Quality Association (TSQA)
When: February 26-27
Where: Durham, NC
Why: TSQA addresses challenges and practices in software test automation and how that can help application developers in the mobile and web space be more agile while improving quality.
When: March 5-8
Where: Pasadena, CA
Why: This is a huge community-run open source and free conference. This year, there are expected to be around 150 exhibitors and 130 sessions, tutorials, and special events, including a DevOps track on Friday, March 5.
Techwell events: Epic, STAREAST, and STARWEST
When: April 19-23 (Epic), May 3-8 (STAREAST), October 4-9 (STARWEST)
Where: San Diego, CA (Epic); Orlando, FL (STAREAST); Anaheim, CA (STARWEST)
Why: These are the leading U.S. software testing events, fully dedicated to software managers, from development through testing. Topics like agile practices (BDD, TDD, continuous testing), test automation framework use cases, unit testing, security, and accessibility of apps are a few of the topics covered at these events. These events are great for practitioners as well as managers, and they offer relevant tracks to both personas through sessions and workshops.
When: April 21-24
Why: This conference focuses on continuous delivery, microservices, containers, cloud, and how to build a lean business. DevOps professionals can meet DevOps thought leaders and attend inspiring sessions and in-depth workshops to learn what they need to push their skills to the next level.
Agile + DevOps West
When: June 7-12
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Why: This is one of TechWell’s biggest events on the west coast. It is a great mix of DevOps-related areas, from development in DevOps/agile process through testing and release engineering. This event is a good fit for software developers, release managers, test engineers, and test managers.
DevOps Enterprise Summit
When: June 23-25
Why: Hear advice and lessons learned from practitioners and leaders driving DevOps transformations within large, complex organizations. This event is geared toward executives and managers who want to learn what works – and what doesn’t work – from subject matter experts.
When: September 21-24
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Why: Fully dedicated to CI/CD pipeline maturity with best practices in building a winning dev strategy, this annual event led by CloudBees is the one-stop shop for DevOps specialists, release managers, and test managers. Attendees come to learn the latest and greatest practices and tools like Jenkins, Circle CI, and others. Topics like automated continuous deployments, cloud CI, and others are covered in this event.
QA Financial and QA Retail events
When: Multiple dates
Where: Multiple cities
Why: These vertical-oriented events gather practitioners from retail and banking enterprises to share success stories and practices that they use daily to deliver value to their clients. These events are more relevant and appealing to higher-level managers from testing and development.
When: November 12
Why: While I’ve focused on the benefits of physical events, I’ve included this online 24-hour event for the impressive lineup of 150 practitioner speakers covering five tracks: Cultural Transformation; DevSecOps; CI/CD Continuous Everything; Cloud Native & Infrastructure monitoring; and Site Reliability Engineering. It is ideal for DevOps specialists who want to learn from their peers.
In our busy work lives, it can be hard to make space for outside events, but for our collective business future, participating in the right events — whether as a speaker or a delegate — is worth the time and effort.
[ How can automation free up more staff time for innovation? Get the free Ebook: Managing IT with Automation. ]
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