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What We Learned at DevOps Days Austin

Our team had a blast attending DevOps Days Austin last week, celebrating the "Ten Year DevOps Class Reunion” and connecting with engineers from all over Texas. We listened to engineers, experienced and novice alike, reflect on their journeys, the history of the DevOps field, and the future of DevOps roles. 

Sicura DevOps Days Austin
Our leadership team at DevOps Days Austin

Here’s a couple key points and themes that kept emerging through talks, toasts, and open spaces: 

The point of Devops is to break down silos…

DevOps as a field was first named back in 2009, when Patrick Dubois had the idea to bring Devs and Ops folks together  at a conference creatively named “DevOps Days” in Ghent, Belgium. Since then, DevOps practitioners have embraced the idea of breaking down silos between teams and functions. 

DevOps is less what you do, and more how you do it — a holistic approach to solving complex engineering problems across organizations instead of in a piecemeal approach. Speaker after speaker touched on the importance of the key DevOps principals  of culture, automation, measurement, and sharing, regardless of whether your organization is all aboard the DevOps train, or you’re a single practitioner trying to lead the charge. 

DevOps Days Retro
DevOps Days Austin attendee-created retro - what the industry should Stop, Start, and Keep

But silos remain! 

Now that DevOps engineers themselves have broken down the silos between Dev and Ops folks, teams must break down the silos between themselves and the rest of the organization. Just because you have a DevOps team doesn’t mean everyone else shouldn’t be “doing DevOps.” Speakers suggested using the DevOps team as ambassadors to the rest of the organization, or removing DevOps from the team name altogether. 

Additionally, silos around talent and hiring continue to limit individual and organizational growth. Hiring DevOps talent is a huge hurdle for organizations, and simultaneously, many younger attendees shared struggles around not being able to land their first DevOps gig. Teams are starved for talent but new folks can’t get in. As we move into the fully-remote future, DevOps leaders hope that we’ve eliminated location as a barrier to employment. But employers are still seeking candidates with big names on their resumes, when self-taught talent is trying to get in the door. 

DevOps Keep
The parts of DevOps practices and culture that attendees want to keep

Security can and must shift left to get done in a “DevOps way”

DevOps engineers may be quick to complain about security requirements, or the people who implement them. The familiar tagline is, “Ops only cares about security until it gets in their way, and Dev cares even less.” Talk about a silo between security and engineering! But those engineers also know that ensuring configurations and deployments are secure is more and more critical.  At an open space on the topic of security in DevOps, engineers expressed that implementing a secure environment is their responsibility, but they’re overwhelmed with the tools on the market and frustrated with security and compliance people who are unwilling or unable to work with them. 

If DevOps is more a “how” than a “what,” then security can be approached in a DevOps way — holistically, through automation, and integrated into the pipelines and workflows DevOps engineers already use and trust. At Sicura, our team of DevOps engineers designed the security they wished they had, using automation to enforce security policies at the OS level. 

We loved learning from folks at DevOps Days Austin, and the breakfast tacos and MineCraft swag was a plus! Our team can’t wait to meet more engineers at DevOps Days Seattle in July. 

Interested in learning how Sicura can integrate security and compliance into your existing pipelines? Get in touch