#OPENTALKCHALLENGE

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Nurturing an Empathic Culture: Harness the Power of Lean, Agile, and DevOps for a Happier Workforce
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Gautham Pallapa
Gautham Pallapa
VMware, Executive Advisor

The past two years have put enormous stress on organizational leaders. COVID-19, WFH, hybrid work, a war for talent, the great resignation/introspection, drifting relationships, and onboarding remote employees, to name a few. Keeping a remote workforce motivated and happy while creating a psychologically safe environment that fosters innovation, actualization, and advancement is an ongoing challenge.

In this session, Dr. Gautham Pallapa explores

  • Why an organizational culture must be rooted in empathy and psychological safety
  • How Lean, Agile, and DevOps methodologies enable us to become more human-centric and empathetic.
  • How to become an empathic leader

He then presents a practical framework that uses Lean, Agile, and DevOps methodologies to create and nurture an empathic organizational culture. Dr. Pallapa also provides actionable steps to embark on a cultural transformation.

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Building a High-Performing Interrupt-Driven Team
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Mariena Quintanilla
Mariena Quintanilla
Foursquare, Director of Client Solutions Engineering

Finding the balance in your organization between project work and servicing ad-hoc stakeholder requests in a timely manner is a hard problem. Done wrong, it can lead to burn-out, increase attrition and slow innovation in your organization. Done right, your team will feel the value they provide daily -- increasing engagement and meeting the needs of stakeholders. In this session, Foursquare’s Director of Client Solutions Engineering Mariena Quintanilla will provide practical guidance for managing agile dev teams, from structuring your organizing and hiring the right talent, to maintaining work-life balance and resolving friction points. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Metrics Driven Prioritization for SRE
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Christina Tan
Christina Tan
Blameless, Founding Team Member

Leading an SRE organization can be overwhelming - whether you are building the SRE function from scratch, diving in when everything’s on fire, or leading an existing SRE team into a new direction. The goal of this talk is to give SRE leaders a metrics-driven framework for prioritization that will propel them toward needle-moving impact.

First, we'll cover the challenge of prioritization. Engineers can identify what's broken, but that doesn't mean everything can (or should) be fixed instantly. Then we'll go over the Holistic Prioritization Method (HPM). This approach helps you categorize work, ask the right questions, measure what's most suitable for your organization, and analyze gaps. We know that every organization is at a different phase in their SRE journey and priorities will change over time. This framework is meant to help organizations get started with SRE, prioritize what will make the most impact based on real data, and highlight successes throughout their journey. Following this, we'll talk about building a dashboard as a single source of truth, which is important for transparency and building alignment across the business. Finally, we'll provide real-world examples of HPM and the subsequent cultural transformation it engenders. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Essential Strategies for Managing Distributed Teams
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Alex Oliveira
Alex Oliveira
Code Climate, Engineering Manager

The dynamics of a distributed team — whether remote or hybrid — differ significantly from those of an in-office team. Managers must adjust their tactics to account for those differences and lead their team to success. In this talk, Alex Oliveira, Engineering Manager at Code Climate, walks through essential strategies for gaining visibility, boosting alignment, and driving progress on a distributed team. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Why Engineers Ignore You: The Care and Feeding of Software Developers
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Jonathan Oliver
Jonathan Oliver
Smarty, Founder, CEO, & CTO

Software developers are a unique bunch. We are highly protective of our creations, while any attempts to consider alternatives that better align with business outcomes and objectives are met with silence or backroom contempt. Further, attempts to correct the situation almost inevitably create additional layers of resistance among software development teams and which pit management against engineering.

In this session, we will look at a few ways to obtain better outcomes by considering the needs, challenges, and objectives of engineering, while at the same time helping to align all involved with organizational goals. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Tales from Both Sides of the Fence
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Steve Roberts
Steve Roberts
AWS, Snr. Developer Advocate
David Pallmann
David Pallmann
AWS, Manager, .NET GTM and Developer Advocacy

Steve is an Individual Contributor (IC) who's acted as team lead, or reluctant manager, at various times in his career. David has a background in software engineering management, and recently took over leadership of the .NET Developer Advocacy team at AWS, of which Steve is a member. In this session, David and Steve will "round table" chat about their respective experiences to construct and retain high-performing, motivated teams. Your experiences, and observations, will also be welcome via chat during the session to drive the discussion! You'll get insights into why manager and employee perspectives differ, and how understanding that can lead to a better working relationship. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Distributed SQL and Operational Analytics
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Andrew Oliver
Andrew Oliver
MariaDB, Senior Director of Product Marketing

Your business has changed, moved online, and requires handling massive numbers of customer interactions per second. Uptime requirements are absolute and it is no longer feasible to scale an "engagement database" separate from the system of record. Several times a day your business needs to know what customers are doing and why. Your business needs to know that NOW – not in the next hour, tomorrow, or next week.
Distributed SQL databases are modern scalable databases that support a relational model. Nearly all support SQL. They can serve as a system of record while scaling to hundreds of thousands of queries per second and tens of thousands of transactions per second. Meanwhile, new technologies are making it possible to run ad hoc, real-time operational analytics, and personal analytics against a production system.
In this session, we'll look at the best places to use a distributed SQL database, the way they work, and how they are evolving new capabilities. 

- PDT
OPEN Talk: Scaling Open Source Big Data Cloud Applications is Easy/Hard
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Paul Brebner
Paul Brebner
Instaclustr, Technology Evangelist

In the last decade, the development of modern horizontally scalable open-source Big Data technologies such as Apache Cassandra (for data storage), and Apache Kafka (for data streaming) enabled cost-effective, highly scalable, reliable, low-latency applications, and made these technologies increasingly ubiquitous. To enable reliable horizontal scalability, both Cassandra and Kafka utilize partitioning (for concurrency) and replication (for reliability and availability) across clustered servers. But building scalable applications isn’t as easy as just throwing more servers at the clusters, and unexpected speed humps are common. Consequently, you also need to understand the performance impact of partitions, replication, and clusters; monitor the correct metrics to have an end-to-end view of applications and clusters; conduct careful benchmarking, and scale and tune iteratively to take into account performance insights and optimizations. In this presentation, I will explore some of the performance goals, challenges, solutions, and results I discovered over the last 5 years building multiple realistic demonstration applications. The examples will include trade-offs with elastic Cassandra auto-scaling, scaling a Cassandra and Kafka anomaly detection application to 19 Billion checks per day, and building low-latency streaming data pipelines using Kafka Connect for multiple heterogeneous source and sink systems. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Why Can't We Build Secure Software
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Tanya Janca
Tanya Janca
Bright, Director of Developer Relations and Community

A lot is expected of software developers these days; they are expected to be experts in everything despite very little training.  Throw in the IT security team (often with little-to-no knowledge of how to build software) telling developers what to do and how to do it, and the situation becomes strained. This silo-filled, tension-laced situation, coupled with short deadlines and pressure from management, often leads to stress, anxiety and less-than-ideal reactions from developers and security people alike.
This talk will explain how job insecurities can be brought out by IT leadership decisions, and how this can lead to real-life vulnerabilities in software. This is not a talk about “feelings”, this is a talk about creating programs, governance and policies that ensure security throughout the entire SDLC.

No more laying blame and pointing fingers, it’s time to put our egos aside and focus on building high-quality software that is secure. The cause and effect of insecurities and other behavioral influencers, as well as several detailed and specific solutions will be presented that can be implemented at your own place of work, immediately. No more ambiguity or uncertainty from now on, only crystal-clear expectations. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: You Can’t Code Career Development - A Technical Professional’s Guide to Soft Skills in the Workplace
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Vanky Kataria
Vanky Kataria
Turing, Evangelist - Global Communities

Technical aptitude will take an engineer far in their career but ultimately it's the ability to navigate workplace environments through the refinement of soft skills that will determine the heights that your career can scale.

In this session, Vanky Kataria (Evangelist - Global Communities) will share how focusing on soft skills can play an instrumental role in your career development and explain how engineers benefit from thinking about their workplaces beyond their roles and responsibilities as technical professionals. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: What is Developer Relations and How to Hire/Manage a DevRel
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Shai Almog
Shai Almog
Lightrun, Developer Advocate

Software ate the world. We're now in the second phase where developers are the most sought after commodity. HR helps you bring developers into the company fold but that's only a fraction of your true potential.
Pretty much every company provides APIs for 3rd party developers. How do you get developers to use these APIs and make your company into the infrastructure on which other companies are built?
That's where developer relations come in. They expose your company to millions of 3rd party developers. They form communities and promote your company to a valuable segment of the population: developers. This simplifies hiring and can lead to completely new lines of business. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Why and How to Roll Out OpenTelemetry
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Ted Young
Ted Young
Lightstep, Director of Developer Education

Organizations benefit from a consistent observability. But as teams are added, legacy codebases, technology changes, and acquisitions can lead to a fractured landscape containing multiple observability systems. Ripping and replacing instrumentation can be costly and time consuming, making it difficult to move towards a unified observability solution.
OpenTelemetry helps manage the mess by providing a consistent OSS standard, supported by every major observability and monitoring solution. In this talk, we'll go over what tools OpenTelemetry provides, how it can affect your bottom line, and helpful strategies for a successful company-wide roll out.
Learn how to put operators in charge of a scalable observability pipeline, avoid making developers the accidental gatekeepers to configuration changes, and easily run bakeoffs between different observability providers using production data. We'll cover quick wins to power through a rollout, as well as organizational practices to ensure long term success. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: The Rise of Fake Data: How to Achieve 100% Use Case Coverage with Advanced Data Synthesis
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Andrew Colombi
Andrew Colombi
Tonic.ai, Co-founder + CTO
Kasey Alderete
Kasey Alderete
Tonic.ai, Head of Product

Quality testing is not possible without quality data. The majority of DevOps teams still burden themselves with building test datasets in-house creating a negative impact on productivity. The fragility and limitations of those custom scripts also impede QA teams in maximizing their results. With the ever-increasing complexity of today’s data ecosystems, generating useful, safe test data has become harder and riskier than ever. An effective test data solution must work across a variety of database types, while de-identifying production data in a way that ensures data privacy without diminishing data utility. A challenge? Yes. Attainable? That, too.

Test data solutions now exist that integrate directly into your data ecosystem to create test data that looks, acts, and behaves like your production data because it's made from your production data. By hydrating QA and staging with useful, safe, mimicked data, dev teams are upleveling testing, catching bugs faster, and shortening their development cycles by as much as 60%. Data mimicking sets a new standard of quality test data generation that combines the best aspects of anonymization, synthesis, and subsetting.

Discover why in-house workarounds fail to provide QA teams with the data they need and demo a first of its kind platform that:

- Increases your team’s efficiency by 50%
- Increases releases 5x per day
- Maintains consistency in your test data across tables and across databases
- Subsets your data from PB down to GB without breaking referential integrity
- Achieves mathematical guarantees of data privacy 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Accelerate Application Development with Agile Microservices Management
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Nikhil Unni
Nikhil Unni
Cortex, Co-Founder & Chief Architect

Development teams are increasingly choosing a microservices architecture in order to boost apps' agility, scalability, and maintainability. With this decision to switch to the modular software architecture — in which each service is a separate unit with its own logic and database that communicates with other units through APIs — comes the need for new testing strategies and new testing tools.

This presentation will provide an overview of the key microservices testing strategies, types of tests, & the best testing tools to support dev teams in accelerating application development.