We started the Geneva DevOpsDays Thursday May 12th , with dbi services colleagues Pascal ZANETTE, Pierre-Yves BREHIER, Jean-Philippe CLAPOT and Chay TE, with the registration and a few cup of coffee, to prepare this first day.

After the Welcome speech provided by the event hosts, Matteo MAZZERI and Matthieu ROBIN, I follow the first main stream session, provided by Julia GIACINTI and Xavier NICOLOVICI, from PICTET, on “How to support the emergence of a DevOps culture within a large company”. In a well-defined sketch, Julie and Xavier explained the DevOps discovery of a traditional Prod manager and the incomprehension of this new way of work. They detailed this journey within their company, gave us a few tips and tricks, shared the challenges they faced and conclude with the current situation as well as the next steps.

It was then to David BARBARIN to present “Why we migrated the DB monitoring stack to Prometheus and Grafana”. David first detailed the current Migros Online architecture and explained the constraints and challenges which leads to the decision to use these tools. He gave a lots of details and explanation through his technical demonstration and conclude with the achievements and results of this migration.

David explaining the new Prometheus+Grafana setup flow

The next presentation was done by Giovanni GALLORO, who gave a deep technical demonstration on Tekton pipelines named : “Tekton : from source to production inside Kubernetes”.

The last session of this busy morning was provided by Denis JANNOT who demonstrate how to implement “Advanced authentication patterns from the edge”. Denis shows the new challenges faced to properly secure a K8s cluster and detail several solution available which can be evaluate, based on infrastructure needs and constraints (Envoy proxy / Gloo Edge, API server…).

Gloo Edge architecture from Denis session

After a well deserved lunch break, we had a very interesting talk from Max ANDERSSON, who explain the audience how to “close the feedback loop for infrastructure development. Max recall the well know “3 ways” DevOps pillar and provide a refreshing and dynamic interactive session with the attendees.

Max showing the Development cycle shortcut

We then reached the last session of this first by following Hervé SCHWEITZER, dbi services founder and CTO, session around YAK, a powerful internally developed tool for multi-cloud deployment. YAK is a derivation from IAC acronym (Infrastructure As Code) and was designed around Ansible and Docker, to allow a host deployment with the same setup independently of the destination (on prem AWS, Azure,…), using only one specific command. Hervé conclude with a Geneva DevOpsDays exclusive announcement : the YaK core component will be share with the community in the next months, probably around September this year. Stay tuned on this Blog website for the next announcements on the topic.

YaK configuration example – Host layer

We ended this well filled first day with a cocktail diner, where passionate discussions and exchanges continued until late at night, in a very good ambiance.

After this short night (and a few cup of coffee), we started the second and last day of this event with Ankur MARFATIA, who clarify how to “Turn an enterprise to a learning community”. Ankur provide a real case example of learning share session put in place in his company, and underline the benefits of such internal events. He also linked these kind of internal practices with what can be found in external events, such as the DevOps Days. Interestingly, the importance of having food during these kind of meet-up was agreed by the whole assemble, which proves we are all the same.
He then explained some key points to create a safe and global learning environment for everyone, and reminds the two golden points for successful coaching sessions: Middle/Top Management implication and people wish to follow the training leaders.

Ankur conclude his talk with three important points to keep in mind :
1) learning is a never-ending journey
2) we all have different learning curves
3) change culture takes team and effort.

The next session was “Tips to fight the imposter syndrome”, by Aurélie VACHE a brilliant talk around this perception biases which leads a person to thing he/she does not belongs to his/her role or position. The person think his/her position is linked to luck and not hard work or knowledge. It leads to a self-deprecation feeling and the fear that other people will “realize” this imposture, soon or later. Aurélie gave a very frank and dynamic talk, with a lot of examples and tips to work around this syndrome and received a well deserved round of applause from everyone present in the room.

Right after, we listen carefully Courtney HIBA on how to “build mastery into your daily practice”. Courtney explained what was Mastery, why it was crucial for personal fulfillment and the different Mastery categories (Emotional, Business, Wealth and Relationship). She conclude by proposing an action plan to the audience : define one or two goals to master this year, identify the compelling reasons (why do you want to master it) and take action to start your mastery journey to achieve your goals.

Dr. Joe PEREZ followed, with a real show around “Driving decision with data : delight or disaster”. He gave a very energetic talk, on the difference between the data’s values and their usage or pertinence. He gave us key points to help us to get enough materials to use data as accurately as possible, in order to improve our data-driven decisions, with all the necessary rules and safe guards to make it really useful and relevant.

We jumped into the “Docs-as-code : fix a poor document culture in your organization” presentation, dispensed by Sandro CIRULLI. Sandor first list the consequences of a poor documentation, which could leads to big issues such as : new employees onboarding slowness, productivity decrease, production outage recovery increased time, technical debt, new feature implementation slowness, poor communication,…
He then explained the documentation as code and why we should treat our documentation as we do for our code : versioned and traceable.
He shows the assembly a few tools which can be used for this purpose, such as Hugo, Red the Docs and Antora. He conclude that despite it need efforts from everyone at first, there is huge benefits to apply documentation-as-code and that we need to choose the tool that fits the company needs.

Stéphanie FISHER then share her personal experience and “lesson learned during an Agile transformation”. She highlights five key points she learned during her Agile coach career :

1st lesson : Avoid the word “Agile” to avoid people to block on a single word instead of embracing the concept and idea.

2nd : Resist the urge to fill the gaps : The risk is to substitute the root cause resolution against taking a role in the company.

3rd: Adapt yourself to the client context : you need to listen to your customer needs rather than pushing your own

4th: Accept the frustration in the change : embrace the conflict if needed. Accept the tension as part of a necessary step in the change.

5th : use your own advises and “Agile” yourself ! The world is changing and we need to be flexible, accept the incertitude, not over-analyze, prefer the testing to the thinking, prefer learning objective over that performance objective. It requires patience and resilience but it worst it.

Scott GRAFFIUS, remotely from the USA, detailed the Tuckman’s model to explain the five phases of a team development, Forming/Storming/Norming/Performing/Adjourning, and provide advice and guidance to help team members during those phases.
As a conclusion, Scott mentioned that all these steps are inevitable and seen in most of the teams, regardless of their activity or technical knowledge. Following the guidance shared will help team and individuals to prevent frustration and keep a good work spirit along the organization.

This presentation was followed by a participative open session with Matteo and Matthieu on what we thought about the organization of this event, if we had some improvement ideas or proposal, what we liked the most during these two days, the less,…
This conclude this Geneva DevOps Days and we hope we will see you there next year, we will be present for sure.

From left to right : Chay TE, Pascal ZANETTE, Jean-Philippe CLAPOT, myself and Pierre-Yves BREHIER,