KEYNOTES & FEATURED

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

- CST
KEYNOTE: Austin Tech Council -- When to Take the Leap
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Amber Gunst
Amber Gunst
Austin Technology Council, CEO
Scott Francis
Scott Francis
BP3, co-founder and CEO

The discussion will revolve around knowing the right time to go into entrepreneurial endeavors.

- CST
KEYNOTE: Cobalt -- 3 Tangible Ways to Put the Sec in DevSecOps
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Eric Brinkman
Eric Brinkman
Cobalt, Chief Product Officer

In order to avoid being front page news for having fallen victim to a big cyberattack companies must learn to incorporate security processes directly into their development process, cue DevSecOps. Despite the growing prominence of DevSecOps, the disparity among security and engineering teams, along with a traditionally “reactive” approach to security often stifles critical DevSecOps practices. In this talk, Chief Product Officer at Cobalt, Eric Brinkman, will show the importance of adding security practices into DevOps lifecycles, and how proactive security measures like pentesting can be integrated into developers’ workflows. Additionally, Eric will give real examples of how security and engineering teams can work hand-in-hand to test faster, remediate risks smarter, and ultimately make security stronger.

- CST
KEYNOTE: Stoplight -- Digital Transformation Through a Design-first Approach
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Steve Rodda
Steve Rodda
Stoplight, CEO

You wouldn't build a house without a blueprint. Why build APIs without a plan? But you also can't build a house without the proper infrastructure. It'll take work to get your organization ready to shift left into a design-first API strategy. Learn how to prepare your organization to create a winning API program.  -Why APIs? -What is holding organizations back? -What is design-first and why does it matter?

Thursday, November 18, 2021

- CST
KEYNOTE: Moogsoft -- How to Prevent Burnout and Improve Your Developer Culture
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Thom Duran
Thom Duran
Moogsoft, Director of SRE

Developers, SREs and engineers are wired to be in fire fighting mode. Understandably so, as they’re constantly putting out fires and preventing new ones while keeping customers happy, innovating the product and keeping the business up and running. No pressure, right?In addition, these professionals put a lot of stress on themselves to be all-knowing and to work longer, harder and faster than others. This is especially true in the startup world, where some may clock 100 hours each week. Does this make the developer who clocked 40 hours a slacker? Not if you want to avoid burnout.  There are a couple of reasons why burnout is becoming so prevalent in the developer culture: - Developers, SREs and engineers constantly feel like they need to keep up with the knowledge of their peers and the pace of changing technology. If they don’t know the answer to a question, chances are they quickly Google the answer on the side instead of asking for help. No one wants to feel vulnerable because of their lack of knowledge, but the pressure developers, SREs and engineers put on themselves can quickly feel like an all-consuming failure. In reality, someone is always going to know a little bit more than another person and not fessing up to needing help creates silos of knowledge and quashes collaboration.  - For some, it’s easier to not take a vacation at all than to go on vacation and think about work the entire time, or worse, actually spend time working on vacation. This again leads to burnout as teams are constantly working with no break.  What can leaders do to improve the developer culture and to ultimately prevent burnout from happening in the first place? During this session, attendees will hear from Thom Duran, director of SRE at Moogsoft, on incorporating a culture of trust, transparency and growth for developers, SREs and engineers. Takeaways include:  - Build a culture of trust and learning. As mentioned above, some developers and SREs are more likely to Google an answer than admit they don’t know it. As a leader, it’s important to instill a culture of learning by asking questions that others may have. As a leader, you likely know the answer, but opening up the conversation and encouraging questions mitigates the pressure to know every answer to every question. - Develop a strong training program. On day one of a new hire orientation, give them a list the company’s tools and encourage them to pick one or two to focus their expertise. Additionally, have other team members share their tips and strategies for processes or their advice for getting ramped up. Instilling this mindset during the training process encourages learning from day one. - Adopt modern tools like observability and AIOps. Observability and AIOps is on the rise, and it can not only make systems better, it can also strengthen teams through collaboration and transparency. AIOps allows teams to automate mundane tasks in the background so they can focus on the larger, customer-facing issues and collaborate on delivering the latest and greatest technologies. With observability and AIOps working together, teams have the data and knowledge to know what’s happening, why it’s happening and who is responsible for fixing it. Because teams have eyes on everything their colleagues are working on, responsibilities flow seamlessly between them. People can finally take that much-needed vacation without checking email or feeling that they are dropping the ball. Observability and AIOps empowers teams to collaborate, learn from each other, work together to overcome challenges — and sleep better at night. With these tools and team trust in place, gone are the days of finger pointing and blaming others when a system fails. - Include remote employees. As companies announce extended work from home orders once again, it’s important that leaders implement this same cultural mindset for remote employees. For example, at Moogsoft we have a tool that randomly pairs us off with other team members for an informal coffee break. The only rule is we can’t talk about work. We also have a very active Slack channel that encourages banter...and admittedly places bets on which hat I’ll wear that day. And when we do have Zoom meetings, I never call an end to them because the end-of-call chat is just as valuable as the meeting itself. By incorporating an open and welcoming environment, leadership helps prevent burnout. People want to come to work and more importantly, enjoy it.

- CST
KEYNOTE: Rev -- From Cloud to On-Premise: An API’s Journey
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Daniel Kokotov
Daniel Kokotov
Rev.com, VP Engineering

Today, API software solutions are usually designed first for the cloud, and often a particular cloud services provider. This was the case for rev.ai, our speech to text API. However, many use cases still require on-premise or at least private cloud deployments - whether due to privacy, latency or cost considerations.

This session will describe how we adapted our cloud-based speech-to-text API for on-premise deployment and the challenges we faced in doing so. We will discuss maintaining consistency between cloud and on-premise APIs, maximizing code reuse, and enabling platform-agnostic scalability.

- CST
CLOSING KEYNOTE: ESO Solutions -- Data Mesh: An Emerging Paradigm for Managing Data at Scale
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In 2019, ‪Zhamak Dehghani‪ published a thought-provoking article highlighting common failure modes of centralized data architectures and advocated instead for a decentralized, domain-oriented approach in which data is managed as a product.  This paradigm is described as a Data Mesh and it builds upon prior architectural concepts such as microservices, domain bounded contexts and elastic platform infrastructure solutions that unlock scalability.  In this talk, we will discuss how Data Mesh can be applied by organizations that are looking to expand their product offerings, perhaps even through growth strategies that include mergers and acquisitions.  If you are struggling to derive value from your organization’s data due to overly complex and coupled ETL pipelines or monolithic big data stores, Data Mesh will likely be a refreshing new take that intuitively resonates with teams who need agility in managing, serving and composing novel insights from their product offerings.  Additionally, if you are leading development teams, Data Mesh can provide the missing blueprint that allows you to escape an org chart in which data engineers are siloed from the subject matters experts who can best articulate how your organization’s data can be utilized to great effect.