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ThatConference 2017 – Day 1

It’s another year at That Conference! I’m excited to be back again this year though I am bummed to not be speaking. Here is a run down of my reflections on the first day.

Forget Fight or Flight…Fight Fear

This morning’s keynote was put on by a good friend and mentor of mine, Brian Hogan. His talk was a call to action for us as an industry to work together to reduce fear. Brian and I have had many conversations in the past on a similar topic. Every time I chat with him I am energized and ready to go to battle. As I struggled with fear and doubt over the past couple months in my job search, this talk really hit home. It even fed a little into the open space I facilitated. One of the main take aways I got from Brian is that fear is real and it is crippling. It’s not something to take lightly and brush off your shoulder. It’s something that can impact your physical and mental health.

To beat fear we need to all work together and recognize when someone may be struggling with a fear. Look at your co-worker during a meeting, are they sitting quietly when a topic comes up that you know they are passionate about? They may have a fear of speaking up because they fear that if they make the wrong comment or pick the wrong solution they could lose their job. Run with that thought, now what if they are the sole breadwinner for the family and provide the health care. Add to that a really bad situation like their partner or child is chronically ill. That fear of losing a job could make the company miss out on a great opportunity.

When we notice situations like this we should work to make the environment safe and collaborative.

Route-planning your monitoring stack climb

After the inspiring talk by Brian, I headed over to hear Jamie Riedesel talk about planning out monitoring initiatives. Jamie did a wonderful job breaking down all the thoughts and questions that should go into monitoring.

I took away 3 major points to use as some goals in my next monitoring and alerting project:

  • Make every alert actionable
  • Make every alert specific
  • Don’t allow alerts to be ignored, not having actionable and specific alerts will do this.

In the past, I have been guilty of creating “alerting spam”. I’ve created alerts with the intention of “cleaning them up later”, you can guess the number of times I’ve cleaned them up.

Having a good plan and making sure that these 3 points are accounted for will go along way to creating successful alerts.

Intro to Docker

I dropped into this talk towards the end and was glad that is when I did show up. The main meat of the talk was something I have already experienced. The portion of the talk description that caught my attention was deploying it to Azure and AWS. I was really impressed with the DockerHub and Azure integration.

Open Space: Developer Interview Process

After having spent 2 months looking for my next adventure I wanted to share what I had just been through and also talk about how to make interviews for developers much more consistent. A side benefit was to gain some information to share with my students who are heading out into the workforce.

The conversation was really interesting in that there were a few folks that were hiring managers. Their perspective came from working at large companies where the resumes they got passed through HR screeners and it was a major frustration. Often the thought that they lost out on potential candidates and also got the wrong candidates through this process.

We talked about how to evaluate someone’s technical skill level and fit for a specific job fairly and really struggled to come up with anything different than the broken pattern of a take home exercise.

Overall the first day was fun and exciting. I didn’t even finish this article before crashing into bed.  More to come from day 2!

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