Recommended DevOps sessions on AzureCon

Do not forget: Azurecon is on the 29th of September. The sessions I want to watch are in one way or another related to DevOps:

  • Azure for developers
    Gain a thorough understanding of the components of Azure and how you can take advantage of them as a developer.
    Speaker: Scott Hanselman

This is a Scott Hanselman's session(!), it is always entertaining and informative, even if you think you already know everything he is talking about he will surprise you with a new twist :-)

Claude joined Microsoft with Incycle's Release Management tool purchase, and now its technology is being integrated into VSO and Azure. A must see if you are a DevOps practitioner.

This is pretty much the complement of what Claude will be talking about, and both delve into the "last mile" of software development. Again, a must see if you are a DevOps practitioner, with the added benefit of watching Donovan Brown who is now a DevOps program manager at Microsoft.

 

Outside of DevOps I will be watching this one out of sheer pleasure and my interest on AI applications:

  • Applying Azure Machine Learning to software development
    Azure Machine Learning has proven to be effective in a variety of application domains, including speech recognition, object recognition, and image retrieval. In each of these domains, Machine-Learning based programs must adapt to changing conditions, handle large data sets, often with irregularities, and come up with algorithms with little or incomplete knowledge. Sounds similar to software development? Turns out that Machine Learning is being applied to the field of software development, including reverse-engineering legacy code, software fault-detection, and requirements analysis. In this session, you’ll look at various examples of how Machine Learning is being applied to software engineering problems.
    Speaker: Vishwas Lele

I will add some of my notes and comments to this post after the event. Enjoy!

Attending MeasureUp 2015: highlights

I took the 26th of September, a Saturday, to attend MeasureUp, a free conference provided by ClearMeasure, a provider of custom Cloud (especially Azure) development services in Austin.

I have known Jeffrey Palermo for a while ever since we had a chance of briefly working together at Dell. Later he successfully applied his deep knowledge, discipline, and personal charisma (Jeffrey’s parties are famous) into entrepreneurship to create his own consulting company which became ClearMeasure.

The conference was an interesting combination of technical and business sessions, all highly relevant and cutting edge. While on site I I happened to focus mostly on the business related talks except for a couple sessions, but will later come back and watch the other technical sessions as well, as they represent leading trends going on in application development.

Here is a quick list of the sessions I attended, Hopefully my brief notes will help decide to go ahead and watch when they are available at UserGroupTV. I will be updating this post as recordings are released.

9:00

Enabling Continuous Delivery – Justin Mason

10:00

Success as a Remote Worker: Love your Job, Have a Life.James Chambers

11:00

Behold the Power of the PPO!Kevin Hurwitz

12:00

The Leading Measures of VelocityAllen Hurst

2:00

Reshaping the Company- Continuous Deployment and Culture Change
Gabriel Schenker

3:00

Easy Wins for Enhancing Your Development Process – Colin Pear

4:00

The DevOps Silver Bullet – Peter Siri

5:00

MVC6 – What You Need to Know When Moving to NextJames Chambers

9:00  Enabling Continuous Delivery – Justin Mason

Justin went over the foundational concepts of CD using Humble and Farley's book as a reference, while adding his own extensive practical experience when providing practical examples of how the ideas might be applied. This experience has been extracted from working with hundreds of companies, which made his recommendations even more authoritative.

10:00 Success as a Remote Worker: Love your Job, Have a Life. – James Chambers

James works remotely for ClearMeasure out of a 35,000 person town, but he is on top of all things clip_image001MVC6 so he pretty much interacts with the world through the window provided by working remotely from his home. That takes a lot of discipline and know-how, and this great talk explains some of the best practices he has achieved. The talk was so good that it made me look forward to his next one on MVC6.

11:00 Behold the Power of the PPO! – Kevin Hurwitz

clip_image002Kevin started by spelling out why the emperor has no clothes, and explained that the biggest lie he had been hearing in the last ten years is that having a Product Owner in your project will solve all of your disconnects between what is asked and what is delivered.

clip_image003

After making the case for a PPO or a Proxy Product Owner, he explained why this person has to be:

  • 50% Developer
  • 50% Analyst
  • 100% Owner

clip_image004

It bodes well with Scrum.org thinking itself when it recommends to developers that you should know the domain as well as the product owner themselves in order to make a valuable contribution. Kevin ideas reminded of the concept of Chief Programmers and Chief Architect in FDD, but the difference is that he achieved his definition of PPO in the course of working with 160 plus customers and asking what worked and what did not when interfacing with the PO and/or end user.

Again, another seasoned contributor so I could clearly see he was speaking out from a different kind of experience, forged in the reality of solving thousands of problems in the line of duty of customer satisfaction.

12:00 The Leading Measures of Velocity – Allen Hurst

Watch it at http://usergroup.tv/videos/the-leading-measures-of-velocity

Allen’s take on the concept of team Velocity expanded it into beyond the one commonly known to Agile, taking into account other factors that affect teams, including, for instance, morale and management styles.

image

To the end this talk was more about metrics in general, and how not to overdue their usage while gathering enough to be able to consistently plan your releases. As with some of the other talks, I will have to watch it again as Allen provided many interesting references for follow up.

2:00 Reshaping the Company- Continuous Deployment and Culture Change
– Gabriel Schenker

Watch it at http://usergroup.tv/videos/reshaping-the-company-continuous-deployment-and-culture-change

image

In Gabriel's presentation I could see my own experience when going from totally undisciplined production release habits in my earlier jobs, to the almost precision-clockwork sophistication of some of the teams I work with.

The take away was that without changing the culture, implementing CD will be only as successful as the cargo-cult teams ability to mimic improvements, but eventually if these practices are not internalized and become second nature, they will die under their own weight.

4:00  The DevOps Silver Bullet – Peter Siri

Watch it at http://usergroup.tv/videos/the-devops-silver-bullet

image

In this talk Peter took the commonly assumed concept that there are no “silver bullets” in software development, and moved it upside down by showing his own idea of what that silver bullet would be. I will not spoil the surprise by giving away what his analogy is, but as with any good vampire movie, it kept my attention to the end. Smile

5:00 MVC6 – What You Need to Know When Moving to Next – James Chambers

Watch it at http://usergroup.tv/videos/mvc6-what-you-need-to-know-when-moving-to-next

James went over the latest and greatest on what is coming in MVC6 – and then I realized how much I need to catch up on my MVC knowledge. It was one of the richest presentations on an upcoming technology I have heard for a while. This one will I will definitely have to watch again, as soon as Shawn Weisfeld, our Microsoft Technical Evangelist for the Cloud, publishes it in his http://usergroup.tv/ website. Thank you Shawn for your contribution to this event.

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