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March 30, 2020

DevOps Enterprise Summit London is going virtual: A Letter from Gene

By Gene Kim

Hello, Everyone,

Okay, at long last, we can finally announce our plans for DevOps Enterprise Summit London!

Because of COVID-19, we will be conducting DevOps Enterprise Summit London as a virtual conference, held during the same dates (June 23-25, 2020), in the London timezone, closely matching the schedule of previous conferences.  

Speaking on behalf of the programming committee, our goal remains to create the best learning event for technology leaders, which includes bringing in the best speakers and experts that technology leaders need to advance the DevOps Enterprise mission to win in the marketplace.

Although the programming objectives remain the same, we are actively planning ways to maximize the attendees’ ability to learn, interact with experts, form new relationships and peer support groups, and enable those awesome, serendipitous interactions that make physical conferences so worthwhile (e.g., “the hallway track”).

To reiterate this: for nearly 20 years, I have loved going to conferences, and attribute so much of what I’ve learned, and the life-long relationships I’ve formed, to those conferences. In fact, every person I’ve co-authored a book with over the last decade, I’ve met at a conference.

I am fully aware that achieving the type of magic that occurs at a physical conference is difficult to do in a virtual format, but I’d like to set your expectations that this event will be, if not the best, as darned close to as awesome of an experience as the previous DevOps Enterprise Summits we’ve run.

On the one hand, we want to replicate all the great things that we’ve been able to achieve in the previous DevOps Enterprise Summits — great experience reports, great expert talks, and attracting the best technology leaders doing courageous and innovative things in large, complex organizations, and everything else you expect from us. 

On the other hand, let’s face it — virtual conferences are different, but they have some potentially unique advantages. One of the largest constraints of a physical conference is the amount of physical space (i.e., rooms for separate tracks, meeting spaces, etc.) at the venue. In a virtual format, we will likely accept even more amazing talks from fellow technology leaders, giving you more talks on the topics most important to you. We will also experiment with new “non-talk” formats to maximize experiential learning.

So my advice to you is this: if you plan on attending, reserve the time on your calendar. To paraphrase the famous philosopher Clint Eastwood: “You only get out what you put into it.” I’ve often registered for these types of online events, let it play in the background while working, and eventually turned it off. I certainly didn’t get much out of those events.

We are designing our virtual event to have a high level of interaction — we will be experimenting with many things to make the time you invest as worthwhile as possible. For example, we’ll likely be able to enable more Q&A with speakers, as well as other interactions with the speakers and experts you are seeking. We may have virtual happy hours. We’re still planning on having the lean coffee and “birds of feather” sessions to help you find kindred spirits and fellow travelers.

Stay tuned for more news — now that the speaker selection process is nearly over, the attention of the programming committee will now shift to creating the structure that will enable our best learning event ever.

I hope to see y’all there!


For more information, visit our notifications page. We’ll notify everyone when registration opens for the virtual event, but if you want to make sure we reach you, take a moment to sign up.

- About The Authors
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Gene Kim

Award winning CTO, researcher, and author.

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