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last update : 10/05/2016

DevOps Hack Day



Discounted tickets at €65 are available until 18 April for the 18 May course date. Please quote code : STEP1

Pit your wits against your peers, with a 1 in 4 chance to win a share of €1000. You'll be given an application to deploy, and must work in teams of four to write infrastructure code to deploy the application, build the underlying platform for it to run on, ensure it is monitored and backed up, and can be rebuild from scratch. You will be working on one of two cloud platforms, and at the end of the day you will demonstrate your implementation by destroying you infrastructure on one platform and building it on the second. The implementation is up to you, and you keep what you write. The implementations will be judged across a range of criteria, and the winning team will win €1000. The entry fee per team member is just €95 (€65 if you book with code STEP1 before 18 April), and includes drinks and food all day.

What you need?

Bring yourself, your computer, and your experience. Please don’t bring or reuse prexisting code, the idea is to learn from the process of doing, in collaboration with other people and other experiences. This isn’t a cut and paste workshop!

Who should come?

The day is aim at novice and intermediate devops practitioners. You should know your way around the Linux operating system, and be comfortable with a text editor. Any experience of the main config management tools, like Puppet, Chef, or Ansible would be beneficial, but if you have none, that’s ok too.

Outline of day:

The day will start at 0900 with a brief introduction from the facilitator, and access to the cloud platforms, and a shared github account will be given. The objective will be shared: write infrastructure code to deploy an example application to a linux-based cloud environment, in a repeatable way. Teams then have from 0930 to 1530 to write infrastructure and deployment code that will meet the objective. They will work in teams of four - two pairs per team. At 1530 time is called, and each team will present to the rest of the group, talking about the approach they used, what they learned, and found difficult, and demonstrating their infrastructure code by rebuilding the whole infrastructure on a second cloud platform. The winning team will be judged on a range of criteria, including quality of code, completion of the task, quality of collaboration, quality of feedback, and attitude to learning. Those with little experience will not be judged against those with more - what is more important is how the teams progressed relative to their experience. Food and drink will be provided all day.


The day will be overseen by Devops pioneer Stephen Nelson-Smith. A very experienced coach and trainer, he has delivered training on Chef all over the globe, and written two O'Reilly books on Test-driven Infrastructure. He will be on hand to advise and help the teams. You will gain experience of productive collaboration under pressure, exposure to other ideas and different approaches to solving a problem. You’ll get a share in the learning of the other teams, at presentation time, and in addition to the fun of working on an interesting problem, and the satisfaction of having pulled together a solution in a short space of time, you’ll also get the chance to win a share of €1000.


Stephen Nelson-Smith

About the presenter:


Stephen Nelson-Smith is one of the founding fathers of the Devops movement. A highly experienced consultant, specialising in automated infrastructure, lean and agile software development, and wellbeing and effectiveness amongst knowledge workers, his client list covers a wide range industry sectors and business sizes. A popular keynote speaker and O'Reilly author, he is currently on extended sabattical, researching the philosophical underpinnings of Devops, and the application of systems thinking and mindfulness-based psychotherapy to the software operations and development world. A buddhist, vegan, yogi, he is daily exploring how to bring compassion and value-based decision making into the professional world. UNICOM is delighted to have secured his ongoing support for their seminar and conference programme.

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