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May 6, 2021

Why DevOps Enterprise Summit Virtual – Europe 2021 Will Be Amazing

By Gene Kim

As always, our goal is to out-program the previous conference, and this year we’ve done it again. See for yourself by checking out what we’ve got planned below, and see you at DevOps Enterprise Summit.

Note: Along with this post, it’s recommended to open the full conference agenda in order to see talk titles and descriptions.

Our Amazing Keynote Talks

I’m so excited that we have the most senior leaders speaking at this conference—this shows that the work being done in this community matters, to people who matter. And we have experts who will teach us things that I believe every technology leader needs to know.

First, let’s talk about the experience reports —

Experience Reports

Alfredo V. Colás; Senior Vice President IT – Procter & Gamble
Olimpia Nitti; Vice President, CIO Global Baby Care – Procter & Gamble

So I met Alfredo V. Colás last year and was blown away by the work he and his teams have been doing elevating the state of the practice at Procter & Gamble. I was also so excited by Olimpia Nitti’s work modernizing the website, which is so familiar to expectant parents around the world, and will describe how they were able to better achieve their brand goals.

Ben Conrad; Head of Agile Delivery – HMRC
Matt Hyatt; Technical Delivery Manager – Equal Experts

Every citizen in the UK will likely know someone whose lives were impacted when the UK government dispersed hundreds of billions of dollars directly into citizens’ pockets. Many call it one of the most successful government services ever. Hear how it happened.

Fernando Cornago; VP, Platform Engineering – adidas
Vikalp Yadav; Senior Director – Head of Digital SRE Operations  – adidas
Andreia Otto; Senior Platform Engineer – adidas

How adidas, during a global pandemic, went from a period of controlling costs to doubling down on technology, specifically choosing which markets to compete in and to dominate in. They will describe the adidas strategy, how technology enables it, some challenges they’ve experienced along the way, and specific lessons learned.

Jakob Knutsson; Product Area Lead Engineer – Infra Platform Engineering – H&M Group
Daniel Claesson; Chief Product Officer – H&M Group

After seeing Jakob Knutsson present on the amazing DevOps journey at H&M, I was delighted to find out that there was so much more to the story. He told me about an audacious effort to move technology into the four key parts of the business, and elevate developer productivity to better achieve business goals. He will be presenting with Daniel Claesson on their goals, and what they were able to achieve during the global pandemic.

Jason Cox; Director, Platform & Systems Reliability Engineering – The Walt Disney Company
Plus, several members of Disney’s Technology Management Rotation program.

I’m so delighted that Jason Cox will talk more about the amazing Technology Management Rotation program, which finds technology leaders and puts them in four assignments over a two-year period. Their mission is to help transform the business by shipping guest-delighting content, experiences and products in ways that are better, faster, safer and happier. Hear from Jason and several members of Disney’s Technology Management Rotation program.

Julia Harrison; Head of Product – UK Government Digital Service

I was amazed by how the Government as a Platform service is helping product teams across the UK government, and how the agency helped so many UK citizens during the pandemic. Earlier this year, I spoke with Julia Harrison and learned about how the capabilities that her group created has helped ensure the safety and health of UK citizens, including some of their most vulnerable populations, during the global pandemic. I am so delighted that she’s going to tell that story!

Leanne Bridges; Risk CoE Lead and Chief Product Owner for Intelligent Control – Nationwide Building Society
Mark Rendell; DevOps Consultant – Nationwide Building Society

An interesting talk about compliance and control?! Absolutely! Leanne Bridges describes the horrendous obstacles and hurdles that every product delivery team faces, which can stretch out over a year, and what she and her team are doing about it. As Chief Product Owner of Intelligent Control, she and Mark Rendell describe their aspirations and achievements helping teams be more compliant and secure, with less effort than ever. This is a fantastic talk that shows that compliance controls way beyond traditional continuous deployment pipelines.

Pieter Jordaan; CTO – TUI Group (The largest leisure, travel and tourism company in the world)

How TUI used a global pandemic, which caused a 98% reduction in revenue, to reengineer their core platforms and reorganize their business around functional capabilities. It’s one of the most exciting and momentous  transformation stories I’ve seen, and I suspect this will be studied for the next decade as people think about how they must change their organization to respond to the digital disruption.

Expert Talks

Corey Quinn; Chief Cloud Economist – The Duckbill Group

You may know Corey Quinn from the snark that he delivers in his newsletter, his podcast, and on Twitter. However, I think he has some of the most insightful, provocative observations about what companies are doing wrong in the cloud. He’ll be presenting some startling advice.

Nora Jones; Founder & CEO – Jeli

Nora Jones, among many things, studies resilience engineering, and how organizations learn from incidences. She’ll be sharing a bunch of learnings from her time at, Netflix, and Slack, that will resonate with every technology leader.

Dr. Ron Westrum; Emeritus Professor of Sociology –  Eastern Michigan University

Anyone who’s read the State of DevOps research will likely recognize Dr. Westrum, author of Westrum Organizational Typology Model. If you’re like me, you’ve read his works, including Sidewinder: Creative Missile Design at China Lake, but have never heard him speak. I’m so delighted that he’ll be teaching us about information flows and technical maestros, something every technology leader should know about.

Gene Kim; Founder and Author – IT Revolution
Dr. Steve Spear; Principal – HVE LLC

This is a teaser for what we’ve got planned…

Replay Talks

These are some of my favorite presentations from the Vegas 2020 conference.

Maya Leibman; Executive VP and CIO – American Airlines
Ross Clanton; Managing Director, Chief Architect of Technology Transformation – American Airlines

I was so delighted to learn that our longtime friend Ross Clanton was joining American Airlines, to work for CIO Maya Leibman, who I met in 2016. They presented together about the amazing American Airlines journey, sharing how they are changing how technology work is performed, and why it’s so important now.

Eileen M. Uchitelle; Staff Software Engineer – GitHub

Eileen Uchitelle tells the amazing, heroic seven-year journey to migrate from Rails 2 to Rails 5, and the increasingly dire problems that made it so urgent. She describes the amazing benefits that resulted, and she gives advice that every technology needs to hear about the hidden cost of not staying up-to-date on open source dependencies, and what is required to stay current.


Admiral John Richardson; Former Chief of Naval Operations for the US Navy

He’ll be sharing his learnings from leadership development, what it is, how organizations aren’t doing enough of it, and the benefits he was realizing in the US Navy. Since his retirement in August 2019, he has joined the boards of several major corporations and other organizations, including Boeing and Exelon, a Fortune 100 company that operates the largest fleet of nuclear plants in America and delivers power to over 10 million customers.

Dr. Chris Strear; Director, Patient Flow – Northwest Acute Care Specialists

Dr. Mik Kersten; Founder & CEO – Tasktop

Jon Smart; Founder, Business Agility Coach and Leader – Sooner Safer Happier

Courtney Kissler; CTO – Zulily & Suzette Johnson; Senior Fellow – Lockheed Martin

Breakout Talks

At DevOps Enterprise Summit, we focus on two types of talks in the general session:

  • The most successful patterns from inspiring experience reports told from technology and business leaders at large, complex organizations.
  • Subject domain experts from outside the community who we asked to teach us things that we believe are important to leading transformation.

The general session is where we celebrate successes in the community through experience reports, rapidly disseminate winning tools and techniques and ways of thinking, share anonymized stories of what ideas or practices didn’t work or resulted in outright failures (“DevOps Confessions”), and bring in the best experts for the problems identified by the community.

Experience Reports 

Vodafone UK — Driving Cultural Revolution with OKRs at Vodafone UK

  • Ben Connolly (Head of Digital Engineering at Vodafone UK)
  • Sabina Kamber Salamanca (Lead Agility Coach at Vodafone UK)

Sainsbury’s — The Sainsbury’s Story

  • Nick Poulten (Principal Agile Coach at Sainsbury’s)
  • Stuart Richards (Head of Platform Engineering at Sainsbury’s)
  • Ed Carr (Principal Agile Coach – Ways of Working, Transformation at Sainsbury’s)

FedEx — Getting Business Results Faster With FedEx DevSecOps Fast Lane

  • Matthew Pegge (Managing Director IT at FedEx)
  • Ilia Shakitko (DevXOps, SRE & Emerging Tech Lead at Accenture) 

Siemens Healthineers — “DevOps to the Metal”: Achieving “Flow” in a Large Organization and in Cyber-physical Systems

  • Thomas Jachmann (Head of Software, Computed Tomography at Siemens Healthineers)

NAV — From 4 Releases A Year, To Once Every Other Minute, In The Public Sector

  • Audun Fauchald Strand (Principal Engineer at NAV)
  • Truls Jørgensen (Principal Engineer at NAV)

John Lewis & Partners – Operability and You Build It You Run It at John Lewis & Partners

  • Simon Skelton (Platform & Operations Manager at John Lewis Partnership)
  • Steve Smith (Principal Consultant at Equal Experts)

CROZ — Building a Successful Platform Team

  • Ivan Krnić (Director of Engineering at CROZ) 

Honeywell — Trials And Tribulations Of A DevOps Transformation In A Large Company

  • Ashley Noble (Engineering Fellow at Honeywell)

Vanguard —  Iterative Enterprise SRE Transformation 

  • Christina Yakomin (Senior Technical Lead for Site Reliability Engineering at Vanguard)

Infosys — Mission Live Enterprise: Distributed Agile and DevSecOps Automation At Scale Through Platform Approach

  • Shilpa Aphale (Delivery Manager at Infosys Limited)
  • KrishnaKanth BN (Senior Technology Architect at Infosys Limited)

Visma — Security + DevOps + Ambidexteriety = Fun

  • Espen Agnalt Johansen (Security Director at Visma) 

Next Gen Ops

adidas — Scaling Data Analytics Delivery Model with DevOps Practices

  • Dmitry Luchnik (Director Data Analytics Architecture at adidas)

Contino — How Can FinOps Save Your Cloud Programme from Extinction

  • Deepak Ramchandani Vensi (Director of Strategy & Transformation at Contino)

DevOps Institute — Engineering ITSM through Site Reliability Engineering

  • Jayne Groll (CEO at DevOps Institute)

Business Benefits of GitOps

  • Cornelia Davis  (Chief Technology Officer at Weaveworks)

DevSecOps – The Broken or Blurred Lines of Defense

  • John Willis (Senior Director, Global Transformation Office at Red Hat)

Spanning Business/Tech Divide

T-Mobile — Retain Software Talent with Empowering Systems

  • Chris Hill (Senior Member of Technical Staff, Director at T-Mobile)
  • Jennifer Stockton (Recruiting Manager, T-Mobile Product & Technology at T-Mobile) 


IBM — COVID-19 sent you home now what?

  • Rosalind Radcliffe (Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect for DevOps for Enterprise Systems at IBM)
  • Jennifer Velasquez (WW DevOps Leader for Enterprise Systems at IBM)

TUI Group — Digital Transformation When Goliath Is Not A Competitor But A Global Pandemic

  • Christian Rudolph (Head of DevOps Transformation at TUI Group)
  • Lisa Dahms (Senior HR Manager Learning & Development at TUI Group)
  • Philipp Böschen (DevOps Evangelist/Coach at TUI Group)

Dynamic Learning Organizations

Cornerstone — D&I and DevOps – A match made in heaven. How addressing Diversity & Inclusion can accelerate DevOps adoption.

  • Adrienne Shulman (AVP Business Systems at Cornerstone)

Nationwide Building Society — Nationwide Building Society: The Ways of Working Award Goes to….

  • Sarah Sambidge (Senior Engagement Lead at Nationwide Building Society)
  • Zsolt Berend (Business Agility Coach at Nationwide Building Society)
  • Paul Blackler (Senior Ways of Working Enablement Specialist at Nationwide Building Society)

AWS — IT’s Role in Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)

  • Mark Schwartz (Enterprise Strategist at Amazon Web Services) 

Overcoming Old Ways of Working

Continental Tires —  Industrializing Your Data Science Capabilities

  • Dubravko Dolic (Global Team Lead Advanced Analytics and AI at Continental Tires) 

Nationwide Insurance — DevOps and Internal Audit: A Great Partnership (Part 2)

  • Clarissa Lucas (Audit Director at Nationwide Insurance)
  • Rusty Lewis (IT Audit Specialist at Nationwide Insurance)
  • Ethan Culp (NTEC Sr. Associate at Nationwide Insurance)

Nationwide Insurance — Identity and Access Management: How The Infrastructure Product Model Accelerated Delivery and Transparency To Drive Outcomes and Increase Engagement

  • Tod Bickley (AVP Identity and Access Management at Nationwide Insurance)

Splunk — Beyond Firemen vs. Safety Matches – Growing the DevSecOps Talent Pipeline

  • Amélie Koran (Senior Technology Advocate at Splunk, Inc.)

BYJU’S — Scaling Enterprise BizOps By Automating DevOps Practices

  • Prashanth BN (Asst. Vice President of Technology at BYJU’s)
  • Akash Mahajan (Founder/DevSecOps Team Lead at Appsecco)
  • Ramesh Karra (VP Business Development at BYJU’s)

One important lesson we’ve learned is that perhaps the most important feature of any conference is to have opportunities for attendees to connect with, and learn from, one another and the presenters.

Networking Opportunities – Both Structured and Unstructured

Having speakers available for Q&A on Slack while their talks aired opened up a new form of interaction that is only available in a virtual format.

To that end, my friend Jeff Gallimore and I have established different ways for people to learn, and ask/answer as many questions as possible. We believe the quality of the audience is something that separates DevOps Enterprise Summit from other conferences, and the more we can incentivize interactions amongst attendees, the better.

Here are the formats you can take advantage of during the three-day event:

  • Gather (new!): The new hangout spot during the conference. We’ve been building our own 2D online world, and will use it to facilitate the “hallway track”, happy hours, and even our popular Birds of a Feather sessions. Thanks to LaunchDarkly for their support in making it possible.
  • Speaker Q&As: A dedicated way to connect with speakers directly after their presentations and during scheduled hours each day of the event.
  • Lean Coffee: Led by Courtney Kissler, CTO, Zulily—attendees can connect with and learn from their peers in a semi-structured format all three days of the conference.
  • Birds of a Feather: Similar to the DevOpsDays unconference sessions, with less structure than a Lean Coffee format, and these sessions are driven by specific topics that attendees want to discuss and learn about. Hosted in Gather.
  • Virtual Happy Hours & IT Revolution Author Ask Me Anything Sessions: Dedicated time for attendees to gather and make new connections, which will also feature Jon Smart, Matthew Skelton & Manuel Pais and Jeffrey Fredrick & Douglas Squirrel for Ask Me Anything sessions at dedicated Happy Hour tables.
  • Conference Slack Workspace: A place for people to connect with speakers, attendees, and sponsors. This is where the majority of interactions and announcements take place, including the popular speaker Q&A during the airing of their talks. 

To preview DevOps Enterprise Summit Virtual – Europe, and learn more about the conference, please watch previous videos of our presentations and download the slide decks in the Video Library.

And of course, check out the full conference agenda.

As a thank you for taking the time to read this article, use code EUR21PREVIEW for $150 off when you register.


- About The Authors
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Gene Kim

Award winning CTO, researcher, and author.

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