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Free DevOps: Hatched in Response to COVID-19

April 11, 2020 By Derek Weeks

I’ve now been working from home for 30 days since Maryland closed our public schools and advised its citizens distance themselves.  It was also 30 days ago that we had nearly 1,000 executives and managers at State Farm preparing to receive a small group of All Day DevOps speakers for a special on-site conference on their campus. With lockdowns and travel restrictions being enforced across companies and countries, we made the right decision to postpone that event to a later date.

Within hours or days - it all blurs now - other conferences that I was speaking at in the Spring like O’Reilly’s Software Architecture Summit and DevopsDays SLC were pulled off the map, or postponed.  For many of my friends across the industry who speak occasionally or regularly at conferences, their travel was grinding to a halt too. Their roles as evangelists, advocates, thought leaders, and educators were impacted abruptly.  They were all grounded.

I knew at that point, we could pull something off to help those friends and continue to serve the DevOps community around the world. For the past five years, we’ve assembled All Day DevOps as a free, online, 24 hour, 150 speaker, no vendor pitch experience. We’ve done it with help from the community.  We know how to organize it. We know how to produce it. And we know how to gather thousands of people for a great experience. Even though All Day DevOps has been an annual thing, three weeks ago we introduced a special “Spring Break Edition” that will kick off this Friday, April 17th.

Normally, All Day DevOps has a nine month planning cycle, but the Spring Break Edition nor COVID-19 afforded us that luxury.  We would normally have a CFP open to all, but with many friends not traveling and conferences cancelling, we had a good feeling that we could fill the agenda with incredible people and some rapid outreach.  This Friday, we’ll have over 30 speakers and a band of merry moderators supporting us online for 10 hours across two tracks. We’ll all be at home, sharing what we know, and conversing with everyone in our Slack workspace. We will offer the same core promises: online, free, and no vendor pitches.

Serving the DevOps community from afar is why we started All Day DevOps in the first place.  We knew not everyone could make it to a live conference because of cost, distance, or approvals needed.  This Friday, our original idea will continue to serve the community with education for all. Please join us and about 4,000 others from around the community.  We’re looking forward to meeting you again.

You can register yourself and encourage your team to do the same at https://www.alldaydevops.com/spring-break

Tags: all day devops, News and Views, COVID-19, 2020 All Day DevOps

Written by Derek Weeks

Derek serves as vice president and DevOps advocate at Sonatype and is the co-founder of All Day DevOps -- an online community of 65,000 IT professionals.