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September 10, 2013

Register For Flowcon! See The Best DevOps Enterprise Practitioners On Nov 1, 2013 In San Francisco!

By Gene Kim




I’ve had the privilege of working with Jez Humble on helping shape his upcoming Flowcon conference. Jez is one of the most prominent figures in both DevOps and development — he’s the co-author of the Jolt Award winning Continuous Delivery, published in Martin Fowler’s Signature Series (Addison Wesley, 2010), and the forthcoming Lean Enterprise, in Eric Ries’ Lean series.

Jez and I share a passion for accelerating DevOps adoption in enterprises. If organizations like Etsy, Netflix and Amazon are unicorns, then enterprises are horses.

Chris Little said it best: “If there’s anything horses hate, it’s hearing stories about unicorns.” (Haha!)

Both Jez and I believe that the majority of the DevOps value will be created in changing how horses work.

Flowcon is an amazing conference, because it collects some of the best practitioners to share enterprise transformation success stories, across the entire IT value stream, from UX to Product Owners to Dev to Test to Ops

Here’s a sampling of some of the schedule — do you see why I’m so excited about this conference?

  • Velocity and Volume (or Speed Wins), Adrian Cockcroft (Netflix)
  • Successfully Establishing And Representing DevOps In An Audit, James DeLuccia (Ernst & Young)
  • From Mainframes to Continuous Delivery in 1000 Easy Steps, John Kordyback
  • Balancing Dev Agility with your IT Ops Mission Using Kanban, Dominica DeGrandis
  • A Practical Approach to Large Scale Agile Development at HP, Gary Gruver (Macy’s)
  • Care and Feeding of Feedback Cycles, Elisabeth Hendrickson
  • Organizational Change Myths and Patterns for Evangelists, Linda Rising

Flowcon is on November 1, 2013. Register here! (Use registration code KIM50 for a 10% discount – if you click on the link the code is automatically applied.)

Here’s Jez Humble on why’s he so excited about Flowcon! And I hope to see you all there!

Q: Why did you put together Flowcon?

I speak at a bunch of conferences, and it always bothered me that they were domain-specific. I wanted to help to grow a conference that discusses all the elements of creating great products and services – UX, product management, development, testing and operations – and how they can work together in the lean paradigm.

It might have just remained an idea except that John Esser bugged ThoughtWorks into producing it, in collaboration with Trifork. Then I was able to get together an amazing team for the program committee: John Esser, Gene Kim, Lane Halley and Elizabeth Hendrickson, and between us we put together what I think is a truly stellar line-up of unmissable sessions.

Q: Why is it so important to you?

ThoughtWorks has been consulting with enterprises for over twenty years, and we consistently find that one of the biggest problems is the failure of people to communicate with each other effectively. The different groups involved in building and running products and services all optimize to make their own part of the work efficient, often at the expense of other groups. Meanwhile, the state of the art in each field is rapidly moving forward, whether that’s UX, engineering, operations or product development. Whole new fields, such as mobile and big data, are emerging, and we can only be successful if we approach them with a joined-up view. That’s what this conference aims to give you.

On a more personal note, I enjoy a lot of the conversations in the hallway at conferences – especially with people outside of my field – and this one is designed to provide that in spades. We also have a conference party at the end of the day so you can hang out with other conference participants and speakers which should make for some interesting discussions.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at Flowcon?

The response to the call for proposals was amazing – we had over 90 talks submitted – and so the quality of the sessions is extremely high. I’m going to have a really hard time working out which talks to see, even though we only have three tracks. Obviously the keynotes are all going to be fantastic – I’m particularly looking forward to hearing Linda Rising talk because she has tons of deep experience combined with excellent comic timing. My personal hidden gems are John Kordyback talking about continuous delivery with mainframes, and James DeLuccia talking about audits. Not the most sexy topics, but ones that people often find to be problematic in real life enterprise situations.

Q: What was your biggest surprise putting this conference together?

I’ve been involved with putting together a conference program before, and I think my biggest surprise was the level of enthusiasm within the wider community for the subject of the conference, which meant we found it relatively easy to secure some really great speakers and a set of excellent submissions. The other surprise has been how much work you need to do to get the word out. There’s no “if you build it they will come.” So please forward this email to anybody you know who might be interested, or send them the link to the conference!


See you at Flowcon on November 1, 2013 in San Francisco! Register here! (Use registration code KIM50 for a 10% discount – if you click on the link the code is automatically applied.)

- About The Authors
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Gene Kim

Award winning CTO, researcher, and author.

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