DevOps Days Austin — John Willis: Culture as the secret weapon in the war of hiring

May 2, 2013

DevOps Days Austin took place earlier this week here in our fair city.  Kicking off the festivities was Mr. John Willis who delivered the DevOps state of union.

I grabbed sometime with John on day two to discuss what he talked about:

Some of the ground John covers:

  • Culture as the secret weapon in the war of hiring
  • Comparing and contrasting the cultures of Netflix, Gighub and Etsy

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


DevOpsDays Austin — The provisioning panel starring JuJu, Crowbar, Puppet, Chef and Pallet

April 11, 2012

Last week DevOpsDays was held here in Austin.  It sold out in about day after it was announced and had a big waiting list.  The two-day event, which was held at National Instruments (who did an awesome job as host), featured talks and panels in the mornings and “open space” discussions in the afternoons.

The panel on the first day,  moderated by John Willis, was entitled: Provisioning Panel – Meet Juju, Crowbar, Puppet, Chef, Pallet + discussion.  After the panel I caught up with each of the members for a follow-up chat.  Here they are:

Juju – Mark Mimms of Canonical

Crowbar – Rob Booth of Zenoss

Puppet – Dan Bode of Puppet Labs

Chef – Matt Ray of Opscode

Pallet – Antoni Batchelli of Pallet Ops

Stay tuned for more DevOpsDays goodness in the days to come!

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


DevOpsDays Austin kicks off, A short history

April 3, 2012

Yesterday, DevOpsDays Austin kicked off at National Instruments.  If you’re not familiar with DevOps, its the idea of using people, processes and tools to break down the wall that traditionally exists between developers and operations with the idea of removing friction and increasing velocity to better support and drive the business.

The Austin event was maxed out the day after it was announced a couple months ago and there was a waiting list of over one hundred people.   About half the crowd was from out of town with a big contingent from the Valley and New York.   Near the end of the day yesterday I caught up with one of the organizers, Damon Edwards to learn more about the event and how it came to be.

Some of the ground Damon covers:

  • How “DevOps” and DevOps Days came to be: How John Allspaw‘s talk at Velocity to Patrick Debois to set up the first event
  • 3:36:  How the event has transformed over time:  from a focus on people to a focus on tools and now back to a focus on people
  • 4:56  Who attends DevOps Days and how the mix between developers and operations folks has shifted over time.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Dell’s Analyst Event – Summary of day 1 and feedback from Redmonk’s Michael Cote

May 3, 2011

Today at the W hotel in Austin, Dell held its bi-annual analyst summit.  Today’s event is the third in a series of analyst functions organized around the theme “Services and Solutions for the Virtual Era.”  The first event was held in San Francisco in March of last year and the second came six months later in Boston.

Today’s program

Today’s event was broken into three sections.  The first section featured presentations by

  • Karen Quintos, SVP and CMO
  • Dave Johnston, SVP Corporate Strategy
  • Brian Gladden, CFO
  • Steve Felice, President, Consumer, Small and Medium Business
  • Paul Bell, President, Public and Large enterprise

In the case of Steve and Paul they also each featured a couple of customers on stage.

The second section was a solutions panel moderated by Brad Anderson, SVP of Enterprise solutions and featured members of his team who manage strategy, storage, networking and computing platforms.  The final section of the day was also a panel.  This featured the GM of Dell China, the head of Dell’s OEM business, Dell’s GM of Public and Large Enterprise in Europe, Middle East and Africa, the head of Dell Channels and the GM of Dell Small and Medium business solutions.

How did we do?

To see how the event came across, I grabbed some time with Redmonk analyst Michael Cote and we sat down for a chat (I’m hoping to grab more analyst  feedback at day two tomorrow):

Some of the ground Michael covers:

  • What his clients ask him about Dell and what, as a result was he looking for today
  • Dell’s focus on solutions and de-emphasis on technology
  • Is Dell putting on its big boy pants?
  • The value of expanding on Dell’s success in select verticals

Pau for now…


Cloud Camp Austin 2010

June 17, 2010

Last Thursday over a 100 cloud enthusiasts gathered for Cloud Camp Austin.  The event was held at Pervasive Software‘s headquarters and kicked off after 5PM with munchies and beer.  The event brought in folks all around Austin as well as visitors from exotic areas like upstate New York (the group had been in town for meetings).

Pre camp munchies and drinks as folks assemble.

Dell was one of the sponsors along with IBM, Microsoft, Twilio, Tropo, Redmonk and our  hosts Pervasive .  As always, the event was guided along by Mr. cloud camp, Dave Nielsen.  Being an “unconference,” after a spontaneously assembled “unpanel” who was called upon to answer questions from the audience, the crowd worked together to decide on the topics that would be discussed.

Dave Nielsen explains how this "unpanel" is going to work.

What a difference a year makes

I attended last year’s cloud camp in Austin and I don’t know if its the fact the industry has evolved so much since then or that this year there was a greater percentage of knowledgeable attendees (I suspect a little of both) but this year the topics and questions were much more sophisticated/technical.  As a results the conversations were much more meaty and focused more on “how to” rather than “how do you define.”

All in all a very cool event.

The schedule created on the fly by the attendees.

If you liked Cloud Camp and you like Hadoop, you’ll love

Speaking of camps, Dave Nielsen is taking the camp idea and applying it to the world of Big Data.  The event, which will be held in Santa Clara on June 28, is imaginatively entitled, Big Data Camp Santa Clara.  This unconference  is targeted at users of Hadoop and related technologies and is held the night before Hadoop summit 2010.  So if you’re in the area and Hadoop/Big Data are your thing, check it out.

Pau for now…


Blueprint to Sponsor Cloud Camp Austin

April 16, 2009

Rackspae, Microsoft and Sun find themselves in good company :)

Rackspace, Microsoft and Sun find themselves in good company :)

As an application that leverages all the agility and reach that the cloud provides, we thought it only appropriate that Lombardi Blueprint help sponsor Cloud Camp Austin 2009.

Along with lesser known companies like Microsoft, Sun and Rackspace, Lombardi Blueprint is a gold sponsor of the event (actually since I took the screenshot to the left, Aserver, Rightscale and Zeus have also joined the golden ranks).

As a gold sponsor we get to deliver a 5-7 minute lightening talk at the beginning of the event.  The only restrictions are that it be cloud related and it can’t be a product pitch.  I will be talking about the cloud and democratization of information.

What, When, Where…

The event takes place next Saturday, April 25th from 10AM – 4PM down at Austin City Limits on the UT campus. Here’s how the webpage sums up the event:

CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas. With the rapid change occurring in the industry, we need a place we can meet to share our experiences, challenges and solutions. At CloudCamp, you are encouraged you to share your thoughts in several open discussions, as we strive for the advancement of Cloud Computing. End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate.

(Here are a few more thoughts regarding the event from co-organizer and Red Monk analyst Michael Cote.)

Free for All

The cost of the event is FREE and all you need to do is register online so they know how many folks are coming (heck, I bet if you showed up that day they probably wouldn’t turn you away.)  So come on down next Saturday and enjoy and learn.  And remember, since its an unconference that means anyone can propose and lead a session and we all learn from each other.

Hope to see you there!

Pau for now…


Pics from the show floor at SXSW

March 16, 2009

As I previously mentioned, on Saturday I headed down town to the Austin convention center and SXSW.  Although I’ve lived here in Austin for 2 years this is the first time I’ve checked it out.  I drove down after lunch and bought myself a day pass to the show floor.

The entrence to the convention center.
The entrance to the convention center

While the biggest part of SXSW, Music, doesnt start until later this week, the Interactive and Film festivals kicked off on Friday.   Film and Interactive had a combined “Trade Show” which ran from Saturday thru today and that’s where I hung out on Saturday.

Although the show floor was a modest size it was chock-a-block full of tech and cinema offerings (here’s the map and list of booths — my unofficial guess would be it was 80% tech/20% film).  I hung out there for about four hours catching up with old friends and checking out the various offerings.

Artefacts from the event: Rackspace tube socks, Montana film board leather coaster, business cards, BarCamp pass, brochure from "Austin's only tiki shop" etc.

Artifacts from the event: Rackspace tube socks, business cards, BarCamp pass, Montana film board leather coaster, a brochure from "Austin's only tiki shop" etc.

As you would guess, social media apps dominated the tech offerings and a lot things seemed to be some derivative of facebook/twitter/craigslist/linkedin with an innovative (or not so innovative) spin.  Microsoft had a big booth as did Sun who was showing off its JavaFX.

Don’t touch that dial!

Coming up later this week, the video podcasts I did with Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group and Jason Hsiao of Animoto.

There were a fair amount of apps that looked like this.

There were a fair amount of apps that looked like this.

Here are a few of the faces from the show floor.

A picture of Guy Kawasaki taking a picture of the Lunarr booth.

A picture of Guy Kawasaki taking a picture of the Lunarr booth.

The ever helpful Josh Dilworth of Porter Novelli working the press info stand.

The ever helpful Josh Dilworth of Porter Novelli working the press info stand.

Ka'awa was there promoting a tour of singers from Hawaii.
Ka’awa was there promoting a tour of singers from Hawaii.
Porter Novelli adds new meaning to the phrase "booth babe."

Kevin takes the hand-off. PR firm Porter Novelli gives new meaning to the expression "booth babe."

Pau for now…


Happy Thanksgiving from Austin, TX

November 27, 2008

When our kids get older, we’re looking forward to having traditional Thanksgiving dinners like we remember.  At this point, however, given their attention span and energy (one being short, the other seemingly infinite) we decided to go out to a family friendly restaurant that comes with an outdoor area for the kids to romp around before the meal.

Below is a summary of our day in four pictures.

longhorn_thanksgiving1

1) Checking out the mini-herd of longhorns about a mile from our house

thanksg_park

2) Going to the park with Grandma and Grandpa

thanksgiving_threadgills

3) Threadgills for our Thanksgiving feast (notice the armadillos coming out from under the eaves)

thanksgiving_sunset

4) The sunset on the ride home

All in all, a great day.

Pau for now…


Goats in the Trees

October 20, 2008

On Saturday we took the kids to the Sweet Berry Farm pumpkin patch in Marble Falls, about an hour outside of Austin.

When we checked out the petting zoo we were quite surprised to find the goats hanging out in the trees.  I thought I’d share this rare glimpse of the species goatis-tree-dwellis.

This guy even has his own tree house.

Pau for now…


The Coolest Pumpkin in the Neighborhood ’07

October 2, 2008

Last year when I took my daughter trick-or-treating I came across the amazing pumpkin below.

I have no idea how they carved this.  If you don’t recognize the creature, he’s from the film Pan’s Labyrinth.

I can’t wait to see what they carve this year!

Pau for now…


All Creatures Great and Small (in Austin)

September 22, 2008

I’ll have to admit that I was a bit surprised to learn that there was an exotic zoo/safari park just outside of Austin.  To be more precise, its just outside of Johnson City (the boyhood home of LBJ) which is probably why its named the Johnson City Exotic Resort Zoo. The park has over 500 animals of 80 different species and they take you around the 137 acres in a cool tractor-pulled trolley.

We visited the Zoo on Sunday and the kids had a blast.  Just another one of the wild and wacky reasons Austin is a great place to live.

Pau for now…


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