Spring is well upon us, so it’s conference season again! Out of the many great technical events taking place around the world, though, Monitorama (Portland, next week from May 22-24) stands out in the DevOps space due to its focus on monitoring as well as having a great speaker lineup and unique character.
Monitorama started out in 2013 and has since become THE event for meaningful conversations about one of the fundamental aspects of DevOps — monitoring. Its success is reflected in not only being sold out year after year but also in the feedback expressed by the professionals attending the event.
Elaborating upon the origins of the conference, organizer Jason Dixon explained that the goal of Monitorama was “to bring together the community of open source monitoring contributors in a forum that would allow us to collaborate in person, sharing our vision for the future and continuing to promote cooperation and interoperability.”
This spirit of collaboration and sharing sets the stage for the talks and the hallway discussions about the projects, tools, and people driving modern monitoring practices and culture.
In preparation for the fifth Monitorama event in the United States, we spoke with a few of the speakers and asked them how they thought the conference stands out in the DevOps space.
Roy Rapoport, Netflix
“There are four main reasons I think why Monitorama stands out. It’s a single-track conference, meaning no speaker/talk tradeoffs and missing one speaker you want because you want to also listen to another. It’s focused on monitoring, which — speaking as someone who was running NetSaint at home before it was cool (and before it was Nagios) — is something I love.
It’s relatively low-cost, which means people passionate about the topic can come even if they need to pay out of pocket. It’s weirdly the most consistently positive conference I attend. It’s easy to find people unhappy with their jobs, or deeply cynical, at a bunch of tech conferences I go to, but everyone I’ve ever met at Monitorama is oddly happy with their life/job.”
Pete Cheslock, Threat Stack
“I don’t consider Monitorama to be part of the DevOps space (mostly because I hate the term DevOps in general). BUT as successful DevOps means understanding monitoring, then yeah, Monitorama would be a very unique event in the current space of technical conferences.
Monitorama stands alone with a focus on talks from engineers and operators who want to improve our craft of monitoring. Before Monitorama started the common line was ‘monitoring sucks’ — but as the usage of newer technologies like AWS and other SaaS services came about, we needed to improve the tooling to handle this new world.
Monitorama provided a venue for people to show and talk about how they solve problems, using modern monitoring tools. Those conference talks and workshops drive the attendees to further improve the tools they are using and contributing back to the community at large.”
Ian Bennet, Twitter
“I think it’s a chance to see the direction the industry is moving in, while also sharing to help learn from each other’s mistakes and successes. I feel like I can take away more information and have a chance to interact with my peers, given that it’s a smaller capacity and a single track conference.
I don’t have to worry that I’ll have to trade off missing a talk I’m interested in for something else scheduled at the same time. Then all of the content is available as a live stream and after the event. I’m excited to experience the event and hope that I can contribute some small share of what I’ll take away from it.”
Gianluca Borello, Sysdig
“Monitorama’s uniqueness stems from its focus on monitoring.
I think a key element for the success of the DevOps craft is effective visibility into applications. I work for a cloud monitoring company so I’ve experienced this first hand by operating on our own infrastructure, and second hand by seeing what our customers do. Monitoring and visibility are truly what makes a difference when dealing with services at scale and are critical to the success of the business.
Why is that? Teams in technology companies need to iterate quickly on products, it’s the key to stay relevant in this highly competitive space. By ensuring a great level of visibility into their own infrastructures, teams can then confidently and aggressively push the boundaries of innovation, knowing that if something breaks, as it always does, it will be quickly identified and acted upon, before it damages the business and impact customers.
Hence, having a conference centered around monitoring like Monitorama makes it a very unique event in the DevOps space.”