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September 8, 2023

What to Expect at DevOps Enterprise Summit Las Vegas 2023

By Gene Kim

We are less than a month away from DevOps Enterprise Summit Las Vegas 2023, taking place from October 3-5. I am so delighted to share what we have in store for you.

We have a bunch of fantastic new experience reports from technology leaders, from large, complex organizations that you’ve definitely heard of: ANZ, Apple, ADP, Cisco, CROZ, DELL, Deutsche Telekom, Discover Financial Services, Fannie Mae, His Majesty’s Passport Office, IBM, GitHub, Google, John Deere, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, Lockheed Martin, Netflix, Northwestern Mutual, QBE Insurance, SPS, SAS, Starbucks, Swedbank, The Walt Disney Company, USAA, USAF Kessel Run, U.S. Bank, US Patent and Trademark Office, US Veteran Affairs, just to name a few.

We have a bunch of fantastic researchers and experts: Bill Bensing, Patrick Debois, Dr. Nicole Forsgren (Microsoft), Bryon Kroger (Rise8), Clarissa Lucas, Dr. Stephen Magill (Sonatype), Dr. Christof Leng (Google), Guilherme Sesterheim (AWS), Steve Smith (Equal Experts), Dr. Steven J. Spear (MIT Sloan), Mark Schwartz (AWS), Robin Yeman (Carnegie Mellon University) and Dr. Suzette Johnson (Northrop Grumman).

And like in Amsterdam, we have an exciting AI track—I can’t overstate how much energy and excitement people had about learning more about what’s possible, and seeing what people are actually doing to get value out of this revolutionary technology.

As always, our goal is to create the best high-learning and high-networking experience ever.  This is so we can learn the things that we need, and meet who can help us achieve our goals.

Throughout my career, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for conferences and how much they’ve changed my career.  All of this has informed how we shape this conference, and I never learn as much in such a short period than at these DevOps Enterprise Summits.

We look forward to welcoming you in Las Vegas, and presenting what will surely be our best programming yet!

And, of course, thank you once again to our amazing programming committee, whose work sourcing and curating the talks for this conference sets DevOps Enterprise Summit apart:

  • Jason Cox, Director, Platform & SRE, The Walt Disney Company
  • Courtney Kissler, SVP, Customer and Retail Technology, Starbucks
  • Jeff Gallimore, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Co-Founder, Excella
  • Jonathan Smart, Founder, Business Agility Coach and Leader, Sooner Safer Happier
  • Ben Grinnell, Managing Director and Global Lead of the Technology and Digital Service Line, North Highland
  • Dr. Tapabrata “Topo” Pal, Vice President, Architecture, Fidelity Investments
  • Scott Prugh, GVP Engineering, UKG
  • Damon Edwards, Sr. Director, Product, PagerDuty
  • Cornelia Davis, Technology Fellow, Spectro Cloud

Here are some of my highlights for the upcoming programming!

Kamran Kazempour, Build and Release Manager – Wallets and Payments — Apple: I’m so excited that Kamran will be sharing some of the amazing work that he and his team have done to help make Apple Pay what it is today. You’ll be blown away by how they’ve made working on a mission-critical service easier, safer, and faster.

Shaun Norris, Executive Director – Cloud Platform Services – Databases — JPMorgan Chase & Co.: JPMC operates at a mind-boggling scale—with billions in annual tech spend and thousands of developers. Shaun Norris will talk about his current role in building the platforms that help developers move their database workloads to the cloud and the surprising areas he’s focusing on.

George Kraniotis, Director of Software Engineering & Erin Daugherty, Director of Product — Discover Financial Services: George’s experience report on “The Leftovers” was one of my favorites from last year. He described how he took responsibility for every service that the product teams didn’t want as they went through their “Project to Product” transformation. It turns out those are some of the most mission-critical services and platforms of the organization. He and Erin will share the continuation of their journey!

Nicole Forsgren, PhD, Partner, Microsoft Research — Microsoft: I’m so excited that Nicole returns to the DevOps Enterprise stage to share what she’s been working on lately! Working with her on the State of DevOps Research, along with Jez Humble, is one of the things I’m most professionally proud of. It’s so exciting to see the work she’s done on the SPACE framework of developer productivity integrated into how so many leaders at Microsoft talk about developers.

Admiral John Richardson (ret), Captain Emily Bassett:  Last year, Admiral John Richardson, former Chief of Naval Operations for the US Navy and currently on the boards of companies such as Boeing and The Exelon Corporation, presented his advice for leaders. Some of you might have seen the workshop he did with Captain Emily Bassett on developing connections. They will be presenting more on their work, helping leaders do great things!

JD Black, Director of Digital Transformation — Northrop Grumman:  One of the highlights of working on my upcoming book “Wiring the Winning Organization” with Dr. Steven Spear is learning more about the birth of systems engineering at NASA. And many speakers have shared the challenges of integrating the work of that discipline into the DevOps workflow. JD will share about exciting tools he built to help enable “systems engineering as code,” to help bridge the gap with systems engineers.

Steve Smith, Head of Scale — Equal Experts: The title of his talk is “Not Dead Yet,” describing the challenges of what one does when an application is no longer the top priority of the organization.  The poor outcomes that result when an application is put into “maintenance mode” is very well known—what are the alternatives, and how do we prepare ourselves when that application needs to change again? This is a fantastic talk that further explores how one avoids the “leftovers” dilemma that George Kraniotis from Discover Financial Services described so well last year.

Ivan Krnić, Director of Engineering — CROZ: Earlier this year in Amsterdam, Ivan did a Lightning talk about an exciting hackathon that the engineering group at CROZ held to accelerate learning and explore what generative AI tools could do for the organization. This was so exciting, we’ve asked him to present a full talk on it!

Sascha Schärich, DevOps Evangelist — Deutsche Telekom: Sascha’s talk from Amsterdam was one of my favorites, because it showed the incredible progress at Deutsche Telekom, an organization famous for conservative work culture. This is such an exciting talk about how he and his team are engaging scores of teams across the organization to improve their ability to deliver value to their customers.

Patrick Debois, Dev(Sec)Ops Advisor & Author: Patrick’s talk about his explorations on the vast frontier of what’s possible using the stunning wealth of tools that are utilizing generative AI blew my mind. He’ll be talking about how to practically apply these technologies, something he did so brilliantly over a decade ago—which is why we call him the “Godfather of DevOps.”

Lt. Col. Max Reele, US Air Force, AF Lead – Defense Engagement — Defense Innovation Unit (DIU): Max will share the story about how USAF Kessel Run helped enable the largest non-combatant evacuation operation in American history, helping evacuate approximately 124,000 civilians from Afghanistan in Aug 2021. This is also an astonishing case study full of learning for any technology leader.

Courtney Kissler, SVP, Customer and Retail Technology — Starbucks; Paul Gaffney, Chief Digital Officer — Omni Logistics: It has become almost a platitude to say that “every company is a technology company.” But is it really true? They will make a persuasive case that it may be too sweeping a statement, and if taken literally, leads to bad outcomes. I’ve always been blown away by Paul’s incredible ability to understand the intricacies of a company’s business model to enable technology to help create outstanding business advantages. Together with Courtney, they will share insights that are relevant to every technology leader.

Jason Cox, Director, Global SRE & Amy McCain, Sr Mgr SRE — The Walt Disney Company: I asked Jason to talk in more detail about how SRE changed the charter of his organization, and why it was so important to him and his team. I’m so excited that he’ll be talking with Amy about the work that his teams do, and that we’ll be hearing from other Disney leaders about the value it creates for them.

John Willis, Author, Deming’s Journey to Profound Knowledge: John has been on a decade-plus long journey to understand the work of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, which was the foundation of so many others that came after him, including Goldratt, Ohno, and even DevOps. He will be sharing what he’s learned, his new book, and things he’s learned even after the book came out!

Damon Edwards, Senior Director, Product — PagerDuty: Damon Edwards, along with John Willis and Patrick Debois, were at the frontier of the DevOps movement in the late 2000s. He will talk about the parallels they see between DevOps and the adoption of generative AI and LLMs, and give some very surprising but also very compelling advice on how technology teams should be treating it.

Dr. Stephen Magill, Vice President, Product Innovation — Sonatype: Many years ago, I got to work with Stephen on the Software Supply Chain Report, which was such a privilege because I got to learn about and help analyze the massive amount of data from Maven Central, the heart of the Java open source component ecosystem.  He will be sharing the implications of regulations that will potentially make development organizations be liable for the software and services they create, which includes all the software components they’re made of. And if that’s true, things like GDPR and Log4J are two events that can teach us important things about how to get ready for this new era of software liability.

Rosalind Radcliffe, IBM Fellow, CIO DevSecOps CTO — IBM: In previous years, Rosalind shared the career journey that led to her becoming a Technical Fellow, the highest rank of individual contributors at IBM, of which there are only 84 active right now. In this panel discussion, she will talk about the business critical mission that led to this elevation, and the urgent deadline that resulted from the spinout of Kyndryl, and the instrumental role Rosland and her team played in it. This is an incredible story.

Dr. André Martin, Chief Talent and Learning Officer & Author, Wrong Fit, Right Fit: In the past, Dr. Andre Martin was Chief Learning Officer at Nike, Target, and later was VP of PeopleDev at Google, where he led the global team committed to helping Google unleash the full potential of Googlers worldwide. In this panel discussion, we’ll learn about what he’s learned in his journey, why “fit” is such a useful concept to describe how one feels working within an organization, and what leaders can do to enable it.

Clarissa Lucas, Technology Audit Director & Author, Beyond Agile Auditing: In previous years, Clarissa presented with technology leaders to describe how they can work with internal audit very differently than how we’ve typically done so in decades past, and get wildly better outcomes, not just for technology teams but for the audit teams, too. In this panel discussion, we’ll learn about how these practices have been received by the audit community, advice she has for technology leaders, and how one can have better interactions with their auditors.

Dr. Christof Leng, SRE Engagements PA Lead — Google: Site Reliability Engineering has revolutionized the infrastructure and operations profession—the Ops in DevOps. I’ve learned so much from Christof about how SRE works at Google, which pioneered the principles and practices back in 2003. Christof will share some of the key lessons that Google has learned from 20 years of SRE: How to establish a reliability culture, fight toil, and manage change.

Levi Geinert, Head of Engineering Advocacy and Enablement & Antonio Beyah, Senior Principal Engineer & Ian Eslick, Chief Technology Officer —  U.S. Bank:  In 2018, Levi Geinert presented with two of his colleagues back when he was director of engineering at Target. I’m so excited that he’ll be sharing his journey at U.S. Bank, co-presenting with Antonio Beyah, Senior Principal Engineer. Furthermore, Ian Eslick, their Chief Technology Officer, will be talking about some of his goals, and the important achievements along that journey—he’s such an impressive technology leader, and I’ve learned something every time we’ve interacted.

Amy Willard, IT Director, Global IT Strategy and Transformation & Matt Ring, Sr. Product and Engineering Coach, Global IT Strategy and Transformation — John Deere: Their talk last year was another one of my favorites. Since then, I had the privilege of working with Amy on a DevOps Enterprise Forum paper which blew my mind so much, it shows up in the introduction of my upcoming book, “Wiring the Winning Organization.” I’ve learned that she’s a first-rate thinker of how organizations work, and I’m so excited that she and Matt will be sharing the continuation of their journey, and the techniques that they developed.

Jacob DePriest, VP, Deputy CSO — GitHub: Among other things, Jacob is responsible for information security at GitHub. Previously, he was at the National Security Agency, part of the work that Virginia Laurenzano presented on in 2020.  He will not only talk about the transformation of the security function at GitHub, but also how he’s had to respond to developers using generative AI tools such Copilot, and advice he has both for technology and infosec leaders.

Uma Vandegrift, VP Engineering, Engineering Shared Services & Jason Cowdy, Principal Software Engineer — Northwestern Mutual: In their presentation Uma and Jason last year, they presented their journey creating the engineering shared services team at Northwestern Mutual and their “moonshots” for the upcoming year. They will be presenting their fantastic successes, how they’re organized, and their reflections on what has contributed most to their meteoric successes.

Adam Traina, Founder/CEO — TrainAThought: One of the most fun and startling of the 20+ case studies in “Wiring the Winning Organization” book is the MIT Sloan Sailing Team story, where Adam leads the team of eight fellow sailors to compete against other business schools. They adopt a learning philosophy. Whenever they run into problems, they pause—just like the Andon cord in the Toyota Production System. Even in the middle of a race. He will share the astonishing story of how this led to years of victories, even after he graduated.

Chuck Lafferty, Senior Director – Application Development — ADP: Chuck presented last year, and I learned that ADP does more than the monthly jobs report. They’ve done a significant amount of research on the link between employee engagement and organizational performance. Chuck will share some of the highlights of the ADP research, and then will share the incredible story of how he helps make it possible for engineers to do their work easily and well, in order to enable service reps to do their work easily and well. He will share the practices he used, and the outstanding testimonials of the work his teams have done.

Joseph Enochs, Managing Director: Emerging Technologies — Enterprise Vision Technologies: I’ve known Joseph for nearly a decade, and this summer, we had the opportunity to experiment and learn together on how to use LLMs. One of the things we worked on was exploring how LLMs could answer questions such as, how are the challenges and tactics used by enterprise leaders different between industry verticals based on their DevOps Enterprise talks, what insights can be generated based on the role of the leader, generate one-page business case studies from transcripts, and so much more. He’ll share what he’s learned!

Gene Kim, Dr. Steven J. Spear: After over three years of work, “Wiring the Winning Organization” was sent to the printer today! We’ll be sharing some of our top learnings from this process (and we’ll be hosting a half-day workshop on the day before the conference), and we’ll be doing a book signing that evening.  I’m so proud of the way the book turned out. It is my fondest hope that the simple metaphors we use in the book— moving a couch as a metaphor for joint problem-solving and cognition, and moving furniture and painting an old Victorian hotel as a metaphor for how we integrate different functional specialties toward a common purpose— help clarify what leaders at all levels need to do to liberate everyone’s ability to collaborate, use their full creativity, and solve ever more important and larger problems together.

Here’s the full agenda on Sched.

- About The Authors
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Gene Kim

Gene Kim is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, researcher, and multiple award-winning CTO. He has been studying high-performing technology organizations since 1999 and was the founder and CTO of Tripwire for 13 years. He is the author of six books, The Unicorn Project (2019), and co-author of the Shingo Publication Award winning Accelerate (2018), The DevOps Handbook (2016), and The Phoenix Project (2013). Since 2014, he has been the founder and organizer of DevOps Enterprise Summit, studying the technology transformations of large, complex organizations.

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1 Comment

  • Anonymous Sep 11, 2023 2:17 pm

    Excited to attend the DevOps Summit to learn how these companies drive innovation. I will definitely be at the DORA Community Summit! Silvia Davis

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