DevOpsDays Austin 2024

The Beat Goes On

We will have Office hours (for questions, thoughts, and conversations around your talk) for 2024 on Wednesdays at 1 pm CST starting the second week of January (at the link sent to you confirming your submission) until March 27, 2024.
If you would like to attend Office hours to polish your CFP before submitting it, please email [email protected], and we will send you an invite with a conference link. If you would like a “one-off” hour to work on it, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the email above, and we’ll do our best to schedule it with you.

The Call for Proposals is your chance to participate more actively in the DevOpsDays Austin conference May 2nd and 3rd, 2024 and place your mark on the Austin DevOps community. We encourage a wide range of original material, focusing on new and local presenters. This year, our theme statement is "the beat goes on.”

For our theme in 2024, we wanted to bring forward the focus on resilience from 2023. Budget crunches and layoffs have continued to plague the industry, and we would like to call back to Monsters of DevOps (2017) and DevOps Unplugged (2018) by having a theme centered on improvising through the chaos with a music-focused theme.

We want this year’s conference to take a beat from learning from past experiences. We want folks to bring their stories of inspiration from coming through a cycle of change, whether it’s a well-executed plan or rising from a series of dumpster fires. We’ve all been through a lot. Let’s talk about what we did to get through it and how we can improve as we proceed.

Types of proposals we are looking for:

  • Ignite lighting talk: A 5-minute, 20-slide talk, with slides automatically forwarding every 30 seconds, delivered to the entire conference audience. If you are unfamiliar with ignites, look here. (Note: These have a 75% acceptance rate; if you want a challenge and a high probability to speak, this is your spot!)
  • Presentations: A 20-minute talk on the topic of your choice, optionally with some time for questions, in one of our two parallel talk tracks.
  • Workshops: A 90-minute interactive session on the topic of your choice in a dedicated room, hosting up to 30 attendees. Great for hands-on learning!

General Guidelines

  • Be concise.
  • But on the other hand, be specific and detailed. It’s hard for us to greenlight a “mysterious” pitch, given there’s usually a 10:1 proposal-to-talk slot ratio. What exactly will someone get out of this talk?
  • Up to 2 entries per person are welcome.
  • No “vendor talks” - we don’t allow talks that are product pitches. Submissions that seem like sales talk will be declined, so please ensure your summary doesn’t come across that way.
  • All speakers and presentations must conform to the DevOpsDays Austin code of conduct.
  • LOCATION! We prefer to highlight speakers who work with or in the Austin community, so we’d like at least half of our schedule to be composed of local experts from here in Austin.
  • We are interested in showcasing the less-heard voices among us, and priority will be given to submissions by members of underrepresented groups in tech. Please submit a talk!
  • We prefer not to have talks that have been given in other venues previously, especially ones that can be viewed online easily. Please consider making a new talk to submit to DoD Austin!
  • Please do not submit talks on behalf of someone else. In our experience, these usually end up falling through and are not really tailored to our audience when they don’t. These will likely be rejected.
  • For presentations, consider adding an outline in the notes section so that we can get a better idea of what you might focus on.
  • If you aren’t sure what to offer but have something to teach, consider proposing a workshop. Creating a workshop and leading a group of people to something cool is sometimes easier than a talk!

Ideas

The kind of talk best received at DevOpsDays is the real-world experience talk: “We had problem X; we did Y to address it, here’s how that turned out, both the good and the bad.” Sometimes people feel they should dilute their experience and turn it into a more generic presentation. This almost always makes for a weaker submission. Genuine implementations and personal lessons learned are what our audience has consistently found the most compelling.

As for content areas - pretty much anything! DevOps culture, process, technology, tooling… Here are some examples of things we would like to hear. Do you have experience bearing on them?

  • We’ve all dealt with a lot of change. What’s been your experience with change in the DevOps/SRE/Platform Engineering world?
  • The DevOps movement has been around for a while. Did anyone find out if it really helped your organization? Are there numbers for this?
  • Did the culture of DevOps/Cloud-Native/SRE/Platform Engineering spread to other parts of your company? If not, why?
  • Is this the magic silver bullet that solved all your problems? What are the problems it didn’t solve (although you thought it would)?
  • Were there unexpected problems during your cultural change in this ecosystem?
  • Did the required skill set of people change?
  • Did people leave because you moved in this direction? Was this good or bad or both?
  • Have there been technical changes after the culture in your team changed?
  • Did the change affect the business/sales/marketing side?
  • Has DevOps affected you personally? How do you feel about the change it brought to your work?
  • How was an organizational transition to SRE? What challenges did you face? Do you believe it was successful?
  • What have your organizational experiences been with Cloud Native, Kubernetes, Serverless etc?

The “classic” DevOps questions are of course not fully answered, either…

  • What is the role of QA/Tester in DevOps, and how do we integrate QA in the continuous delivery process?
  • The impact DevOps has on traditional security/auditing/change control
  • The impact of DevOps on HR policies, and the hiring process
  • Help prove that DevOps can scale beyond the 5-8 person web startups, we love traditional IT enterprise cases
  • With all the automation, data is still a hard thing to handle, how does it affect DBAs, backup strategies, etc...

We want to thank DevOpsDays KC and DevOpsDays DC for the inspiration for this CFP, like in the DevOps spirit we took something that worked well and iterated on it for the Austin Community!

You can enter proposals until 2024-03-29 14:00 (America/Chicago), 1 month from now.