Back in November 2015, I had this great idea to give a presentation at my local VMUG. A spot opened up at the last minute and I was asked by the leadership team if I had anything I wanted to present upon. Originally, we talked about specific automation tools and my work with Cisco UCS Director came up. I’m always leery and weirded out by giving presentations about competing products at user groups, so I fired back about wanting to approach the topic of DevOps and getting a general understanding of it from a vSphere administrator’s perspective. I had just finished “The Phoenix Project” and “DevOps for VMware Administrators” and felt I could provide a little bit of perspective to my peers. What resulted was a pretty decent presentation (I swear there was very few “Ums” during the entire thing). My intention was to get the concepts of DevOps out to my peers without having to delve directly into the specifics. I felt pretty good about my topic and figured I’d keep this one in my vault for future expansion.
It didn’t take long for me to have to dust the presentation off again. This time, I gave a condensed version of this presentation (along with updated information) at the St. Louis VMUG UserCon. Although I did have to drop the overall time of the presentation down from 35 minutes to 10 minutes, I did get some pretty good feedback from the persons who listened. I felt I probably bit off more than I could chew with such a broad topic. I wanted to discuss so much more with the people listening. My own critique aside, I did feel that my main message, which was to start looking into things such as scripting/coding and configuration management, was a good one, since I felt those were a couple of technologies that a typical vSphere administrator could add to their knowledge arsenal rather quickly.
Now why am I babbling about DevOps (again) and past presentations that I’ve done on the subject? Two reasons: 1) I’m very passionate about making sure that my vSphere admin brethren understand that a change is coming and that’s it’s time to add to existing skill sets and 2) I feel that this is a message that needs to be repeated until more of my brethren learn these skills. That’s why I’m taking my presentation to another venue. In early June (June 7th, to be exact), I am going to be updating and giving this presentation at the Minneapolis VMUG UserCon. My plan is to continue to delve into topics like automation, configuration management and understanding DevOps principles, without getting into any deep dives of specific tools. I feel that the concept of DevOps is heavily misrepresented in our community (for crying out loud, DevOps != The Tools) and I want to try to add a bit of levity to the conversation.
I have no idea where the DevOps discussion is going to continue to take me, but rest assured, I’m going to get some of you coding and figuring out how to use configuration management techniques that aren’t called “gold masters”. See you in Minneapolis!