The top 19+ DevOps conferences in 2017

DevOps is about community, technology, culture, new technologies. We spent dozens of hours finding the best conferences so you didn't have to.

As described by Jesse Robbins—who started Opscode and the Velocity Conference and is credited as one of the people who started the DevOps movement itself—DevOps is about community. DevOps is about people working in teams, together toward common goals, rather than isolating themselves in silos as they try to optimize whatever‘s directly in front of them.

Of course, DevOps is also about tools. Tools that support this way of working are exploding, as are conferences organized by the people who make those tools. DockerCon, for example, put on by the maker of container technology, is growing at a phenomenal pace.

The thing is, with DevOps being an emerging set of cultural ideas, traits, and practices, it‘s not like you can just go buy a DevOps guide to gain deep expertise. Since community is a key part of the practice, it makes sense to go out and seek that community when you‘re on the DevOps path. That makes conferences, trade shows, and other events an invaluable resource, whether you’re a C-level exec, IT lead, or development and operations manager. Attending a conference is equally useful for the engineers and administrators who are on the teams that want to get on the DevOps bandwagon, network with peers, and learn from other organizations about how to do it right (and wrong).

Below are the best picks for the DevOps conferences, trade shows, and events for the must-go conferences for this year, as well as others worth attending (if reasonably convenient) and a few worth mentioning, should they fit a narrow focus or be close by. My top selections for DevOps conferences are based on input from past attendees, be they conference speakers or other subject-matter experts, in combination with the upcoming programs, if available, or prior years’ programs if not. I also reached out to DevOps pros to find out which events are likely to wind up in their calendars for 2017. After all, if a show is creating a buzz with these practitioners, it must have some honey!

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Must attend

I selected this list of don’t-miss conferences primarily because the DevOps pros I conferred with regard them as such. In many cases, their attendance rates, which are growing year over year, underscore the fact that they’re featuring technologies that are picking up steam and generating buzz. Some conferences in this grouping are based on technologies that help DevOps teams automate essential processes—including, for example, Jenkins—while many are larger venues, such as Interop, that feature tracks that focus on important DevOps technologies. The shows are arranged alphabetically within this and the following sections.

AWS re:Invent 2017

Dates: Nov. 27-Dec. 1

Location: Las Vegas

Cost: Not yet posted; 2016 cost for full pass was $1,599

Web: https://reinvent.awsevents.com

Twitter: @awscloud / @jeffbarr

With Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s clearly become a leader in cloud technology, despite all the competitors that are working on building their own public clouds: pioneering computing giant IBM, database titan Oracle, and software bigwig Microsoft. As Barb Darrow reported for Fortune soon after the 2016 re:Invent wrapped up, AWS is growing gangbusters. At the end of the most recently closed quarter, AWS reported sales of $3.2 billion, up nearly 55 percent from $2.08 billion for the year-ago period. Darrow says the growth points to an “almost insatiable demand from businesses that want to offload computing and storage tasks to third-party providers, rather than build more of their own data centers.”

Steve Lynch, director of DevOps and managed services at Qwinix Technologies, a DevOps solution provider and AWS advanced consulting provider, says AWS is “highly relevant” to DevOps in that the cloud platform makes automation much easier, particularly with the supporting services AWS offers. He found that for the 2016 AWS re:Invent show, organizers made a significant investment in the Internet of Things (IoT). That’s not surprising, given the flood of data IoT is creating and how AWS is helping customers wrangle it. Lynch also found the Alexa platform and automation interface to be interesting and plans to keep an eye out for the many ways he thinks it will be leveraged in the coming years, both within and outside of DevOps. Attendee Adam Scott put it succinctly: “I had a blast at my first AWS re:Invent 2016. So much learning and networking!”

If this is your first time attending, make sure to do everything early. Rooms in Las Vegas sell out for this massive show, and it can be hard to get into some in-demand classes. Bring plenty of business cards, and make sure to check out the 2016 Survival Guide and an updated Session Planner.

Reasons to attend:

  • Networking
  • So many sessions it will make your head spin
  • PARTY PARTY PARTY!

 


DevOps Days

Dates: Held throughout the year

Location: Throughout the world, mostly in the U.S. and Europe, but also including Moscow, Beijing, and Vancouver

Cost: Varies

Web: http://www.devopsdays.org

Twitter: @devopsdays 

This is a conference series that’s run by volunteers. You can’t help but stumble over one, depending on where in the world you are: There were 42 DevOps Days conferences last year, to give you an idea. DevOps luminaries such as Patrick Debois and Damon Edwards work with local organizers to run these events worldwide. From their start in 2009, the goal has been to get geeks together to bridge the gap between developers and IT professionals: those Devs and those Ops.

Here’s a taste of the upcoming conference in Baltimore on March 7-8: Conference goers will hear from Nathen Harvey, vice president of community development at Chef, who helps the community build up the ecosystem around the Chef platform. As somebody who’s been participating in the community from its earliest days, he’ll be offering a look back at the history of DevOps, as well as going over ways attendees can help build and participate in the local DevOps community. He’ll also share tales of how some teams are successfully incorporating lessons learned from open source, DevOps, and other communities.

Craig Topper has attended DevOps Days conferences in his Washington, D.C., area. He says it’s a great opportunity to network with other like-minded folks who are predominantly local, including people in both the private sector and the federal space in D.C.

Reasons to attend:

  • Networking with businesses and DevOps people in your area
  • Big impact on a local scale, perhaps less so nationally
  • Good for developers and IT Ops


DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES)

Dates: June 5-6; Nov. 13-15

Location: London (June 5-6), San Francisco (Nov. 13-15)

Cost: London prices: £750 +VAT; San Francisco prices: $1,800 (in both cases, there are discounts for early bird and “blind bird”—sign up before programming is announced)

Web: http://events.itrevolution.com

Twitter: @DOESsummit / @DOESsummitEU

This is the conference for leaders of large, complex organizations implementing DevOps. At this level, most players start out with their hair on fire, said Dr. Nicole Forsgren, CEO and chief scientist at DORA and an academic partner at Clemson University, in a panel podcast live from DOES16. “They start out with this giant problem to solve. [And they eventually say] ‘I’m just going to start somewhere!’”

As the conference has matured, it’s gone past the initial feel of “Here’s the problem.” A first-year presentation was typically all about where an enterprise started with DevOps. But it evolved from there: The second year’s presentations tended to be about where organizations got to; the 2015 presentations were all about metrics and monitoring; and 2016 presentations put attention on a strategic approach—“Here’s what we found, and here’s what we‘ve done.”

At DOES 2017, expect to pick up on a more mature evolution still, with speakers from many large companies. Last year’s DOES featured stories of DevOps transformations from the likes of Allstate Insurance, American Airlines, Equifax, Capital One, Hearst, Hyatt Hotels, Johnson & Johnson, and Nationwide Insurance. And it’s worthwhile: Craig Topper, scrum master and agile/DevOps catalyst for TRI-COR Industries, says it’s a great show for networking.

Reasons to attend:

  • Networking with developers, operations specialists, CxOs, software architects, and systems and network admins
  • Lessons learned from large enterprises on what it takes to transform into a DevOps organization
  • The place to learn about bringing lean, agile, DevOps, and continuous delivery practices into large organizations


DockerCon

Dates: April 17-20

Location: Austin, TX

Cost: Standard $1,150, Monday workshops $150

Web: http://2017.dockercon.com

Twitter: @DockerCon

Over the past few years, the allure of containers—especially Docker—has exploded, sending this conference to the top of the list of the hottest IT industry events. And why not? Containers use less CPU and memory than the virtual machines they sometimes replace. With origins in the FreeBSD operating system, containers are praised for getting more apps running on one server and for simplifying the packaging and migration of those apps. DockerCon started in 2014 with fewer than 500 attendees, sold out its 2,000 seats in 2015, and had more than double that number registered in 2016.

David Messina, Docker’s senior vice president of marketing, told GeekWire that 100 sponsors went to DockerCon 2016, compared with maybe 30 in 2014. Yup, that’s some pretty rapid enterprise absorption. Chris Riley, founder and DevOps market analyst at Fixate IO, says DockerCon is right up there with DOES—the top two DevOps shows, in his opinion.

Attendees said the 2016 DockerCon attendance was “truly diverse and inspiring,” with attendees from many walks of life. That included 10-year-old presenter Zeph, who was using Docker containers to help search for a cancer cure.

The sessions in past DockerCon shows were so jam-packed that this year the organizers added a third day. Expect to see repeats of the top-voted sessions, more time given to complete the Hands-on Labs on Monday, and more time for other learning opportunities still in the works.

Pre-conference workshops focus on subjects including Docker 101, deep dives in networking, hands-on Docker for Raspberry Pi, modernizing monolithic ASP.NET apps for Docker, Docker for Java, and advanced orchestration. Taught by Docker engineers and captains, the workshops are designed to give attendees hands-on instruction and insight into key Docker topics. Spots are limited to 50 per class, so don’t get shut out; DockerCon attendees can sign up at the registration site.

Reasons to attend:

  • Advanced tech talks
  • Case studies
  • Hands-on labs
  • Lots of networking opportunities


Gartner IT Operations Strategies and Solutions Summit

Dates: May 8-10

Location: Orlando, FL

Cost: $2,925; early-bird price $2,600 through March 10; public-sector price $2,425; discounts for groups

Web: http://www.gartner.com/events/na/infrastructure-operations-management#

Twitter: @Gartner_Events

The focus at this executive-level conference will be on top priorities in strategy, leadership, DevOps, agile IT operations, cloud, virtualization and more. The tracks include emerging trends in IT operations, with of-the-moment game changers such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and algorithmic IT operations. There will also be a deep-dive into hot topics in cloud and virtualization, including managing virtual assets and how to effectively leverage containers.

Chris Boorman, Automic’s chief marketing officer, attended this conference for the first time in Berlin in mid-2015 and said it was “quite an eye-opener” that left him with a sense of urgency. Gartner said at the time that the window was only 24 months in which "digital leading businesses will take such a lead that other companies will be playing catch-up for a long, long time,” Boorman recalled. At the time, Gartner was predicting that by 2030 we’d see 30 billion-plus things connected to the Internet, and the revolutionary changes the IoT would bring included plants in Kew Gardens asking to be watered instead of watering happening at specific times; large telco’s working in Africa that tell the operations department when pilferage is happening at a specific tower; and smart irons that understand what fabric they’re ironing and that verify the correct temperature online.

These are the kinds of interactions we will be seeing. The IoT is going to interact with everything, and this completely changes the dimensions that we are used to. Gartner used this show to offer recommendations for IT Ops on how to invest and plan for the automation and programmable infrastructure to run it all.

Reasons to attend:

  • Big picture; not too techie
  • Help with navigating both risk-averse/pro-stability and risk-aware/pro-agility parts of IT Ops


Interop Las Vegas

Dates: May 15-19

Location: Las Vegas

Cost: 5-day all-access pass $2,899; 3-day pass $2,099; early-bird 2-day summit/workshop pass $1,799

Web: http://www.interop.com/lasvegas

Twitter: @interop

This will be the 31st year for this venerable show, which will delve into infrastructure topics such as virtual environments, modernizing the data center, container technologies and architectures that support mobility, security architectures and the growing threat of ransomware, the issues of risk mitigation, and much, much more. On the DevOps-specific front, the show will look at continuous delivery, agile methodology, building cross-functional teams, and using DevOps concepts and tools for configuration management and automation.

Reasons to attend:

  • During its long history, Interop has weathered numerous IT industry transitions and revolutions. Whatever the next tech tool or methodology comes along, you’ll find a useful presentation explaining its appeal.
  • Interop always has a big exhibit hall. If you’re shopping for tools, you’ll get to see every vendor and compare solutions across a variety of approaches.


LISA

Dates: Oct. 29–Nov. 3

Location: San Francisco

Cost: Not available yet. LISA16 prices ranged from $1,820 for a 3-day early-bird pass up to $3,700 for a non-USENIX member Gold Passport.

Web: http://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa17

Twitter: @LISAConference / @usenix 

USENIX’s LISA conference is considered a great meeting place for professionals who make computing work efficiently across a variety of industries. Good for IT operations professionals, site-reliability engineers, system administrators, architects, software engineers, researchers, or anybody who’s involved in getting IT services effectively delivered.

The program at LISA—which stands for Large Installation System Administration—includes invited talks, workshops, panels, half- and full-day training courses, mini-tutorials, and refereed paper and poster presentations. It’s featured the on-site LISA Lab, where attendees and speakers have demonstrated, collaborated, and tested out new ideas. Also, LISA Build provides hands-on guidance on building and scaling a network. https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa16/glance

Lisa16 was co-located with events such as the Mars Data Challenge Hackathon from {code} by Dell EMC and Data Storage Day from Cambridge Computer. Imagine the hackathon: You’re preparing the base on Mars and there are massive sun storms coming your way, connectivity to Earth has been cut, you’ve got to keep up the protective shields, but you’ve got to monitor temperature and radiation levels to detect sun flares—yikes!

No wonder past attendees have noted that the training at LISA is particularly strong, particularly for systems administrators. Cory Lueninghoener, deputy group leader of production high performance computing at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a LISA14 presenter, had this to say: “LISA is the conference that I send my system administrators to so they can bring the latest tools and techniques back to the rest of the team. Much of our current environment can be traced directly back to LISA.”

Reasons to attend:

  • Evening receptions and Birds-of-a-Feather sessions provide networking opportunities with like-minded colleagues
  • Hallway track
  • Tech sessions
  • Focus on design, building, and maintenance of critical systems


Velocity

Dates: June 19-22, Oct. 1-4, Oct. 18-20

Location: San Jose (June 19-22), New York (Oct. 1-4), London (Oct. 18-20)

Cost: From $1,095 to $2,495 (based on 2015 prices)

Web: http://conferences.oreilly.com/velocity  

Twitter: @velocityconf / @OReillyMedia 

O’Reilly’s Velocity conference offers in-depth training for building websites and services that are fast, scalable, and resilient. The new focus for 2017 is on building resilient distributed systems, the show’s organizers recently tweeted.

The Velocity conference can also offer some fascinating, and hair-raising, insider accounts. One that Velocity 2016 delivered: Artur Bergman, founder and CEO of Fastly, a content delivery network company, told a story about finding himself in the middle of a titanic distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that brought his former company, and its upstream provider, to its knees. Sure, it’s an operational problem, but what about the emotional effects? The lead network engineer was busy moving and had to steal a neighbor’s Wi-Fi to try and help. Except he couldn’t log in because they lost production access. That’s a scenario you don’t often hear described in such believable details: An incident turns into a prolonged incident turns into make sure you sleep and order food for employees!

The conference is about breaking down the silos that separate groups. It brings developer and operation staffers together, and has evolved to offer additional convergence with designers, to boot. Expect more stories like the DDoS one, from groups across the enterprise.

Reasons to attend:

  • Rubbing shoulders with developers, operations specialists, and IT Ops staff
  • Technical, performance-minded, operations-centric content
  • Immersive training courses and tutorials

Worth attending

You might consider some of these must-go shows if you’re already working in—or interested in working in—the relevant ecosystem or industry. Others might not be focused on DevOps but do cover things that are relevant.

Some of these events are smaller, but that’s an advantage compared with fighting the crowds in, say, Las Vegas or San Francisco. “I prefer smaller meetups, as you can usually get more targeted discussions,” says Nikita Ostrovsky, DevOps/data architect at PulsePoint.

ChefConf

Dates: May 22-24

Location: Austin, TX

Cost: Early bird $995

Web: https://www.chef.io/chefconf

Twitter: @ChefConf

The conference is billed as “an invigorating blend of technology and local Austin experiences to engage and energize both technical practitioners and corporate leaders.” Last year’s conference featured companies such as GE, Facebook, Intel, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Google, Alaska Air, and Disney. One workshop was on “Achieving Regulatory Compliance with Chef Compliance,” and sessions included “Balancing Velocity and Compliance: Bringing DevOps into Government” and “Integrating all your tools with Chef—and how we did it at HPE.” There’s plentiful fun to be had, too, including game night and karaoke.

Reasons to attend: The obvious destination if Chef is in your tool set.


DevOps Docker Camp

Dates: June 19-21

Location: Munich

Cost: €1,299; from €1,099 for early bird; group rates

Web: http://devops-training.de

Twitter: N/A

A three-day training event with 12 workshops on microservices and 14 top trainers. The program isn’t published yet, so it’s hard to know exactly what to expect, but last year’s camp covered topics like container technology, demarcation virtualization, the start of a Docker environment, producing images with a Dockerfile, and lots more.

Reasons to attend: DockerCon is the big show, for obvious reasons, but it may be more affordable for European DevOps to consider an event in Munich.


Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo

Dates: Oct. 1-5

Location: Orlando, FL

Cost: $5,750, discount for public sector

Web: http://www.gartner.com/events/na/orlando-symposium

Twitter: @Gartner_Events

By 2020, 100 million consumers will shop in augmented reality, Gartner says. That’s just one of Gartner’s top 10 predictions for 2017, and this show, geared for CIOs and tech execs, will serve them up. Obviously this means that only a subset of the presentations are geared to DevOps, but if your business pays attention to Gartner’s directions, you should be aware of the strategies the research company recommends.

Reasons to attend: If your DevOps interests touch on other IT areas, you might find enough reason to justify the price of ITxpo. It’s a hard sell to the boss if only a few of the sessions apply to your job, though.


IT/Dev Connections

Dates: Oct. 23-26

Location: San Francisco

Cost: $2,099; early bird starts at $1,299

Web: http://www.devconnections.com

Twitter: @devconnections

This conference, aimed at developers, DevOps, and IT professionals, promises in-depth technical training delivered by in-the-trenches expert speakers. Tracks include cloud and data center, data platform and business intelligence, development platform tools and DevOps, enterprise collaboration, and enterprise management, mobility, and security. Last year’s workshops included one on getting ready for Windows Server 2016; building applications for Office 365 and SharePoint with Angular 2, TypeScript, and the SharePoint Framework; and crunching big data with Apache Spark. Speakers included SMEs from HyperGrid, Coretech, Microsoft, TrueSec, and Quicken Loans, among many more.

Reasons to attend: IT/Dev Connections appeals to a lot of Microsoft-centric developers and DevOps, largely because the independent conference (organized by Penton Media) is not organized by Microsoft. If you want to hear advice from techies who don’t toe the Microsoft party line, it’s a worthwhile trip.


Jenkins World 2017

Dates: Aug 28-31

Location: San Francisco

Cost: Not posted yet; 2016 early-bird pass was $399, $100 per pass for groups of 4 or more

Web: https://www.cloudbees.com/jenkinsworld/home

Twitter: #jenkinsworld

The conference focuses on the use of Jenkins for continuous integration and continuous delivery. It’s billed as the largest gathering of Jenkins users in the world, including Jenkins experts, continuous delivery thought leaders, and companies offering complementary technologies for Jenkins. A sampling of sessions from last year’s agenda: a presentation on Jenkins Inside Google, from David Hoover, software engineer at Google; a customer session on Electronic Arts, delivered by Joshua Nixdorf, technical director; and JenkinsOps: An Initiative to Streamline and Automate Jenkins, from Paul Miles, software development manager at NPR, and Grant Dickie, software engineer at NPR.

Reasons to attend: Obviously, this event percolates to the top of your list if Jenkins is a key tool in your company’s arsenal.


Microsoft Ignite

Dates: Sept. 25–29

Location: Orlando, FL

Cost: Available in March; standard 2016 ticket price was $2,220

Web: http://www.ignite.microsoft.com

Twitter: @MS_Ignite

Five days of hands-on learning, industry insights, and direct access to product experts—all in one place. This conference is not just all-Microsoft; it draws a plentiful number of other vendors, as well. The show was created in 2014 to consolidate several smaller conferences: Microsoft Management Summit, Microsoft Exchange Conference, SharePoint Conference, Lync Conference, Project Conference, and TechEd. It covers architecture, deployment, implementation and migration, development, operations and management, security, access management and compliance, and usage and adoption.

Reasons to attend: Microsoft’s tech conferences generally are good about avoiding the rah-rah Microsoft marketing messages. With a wide range of tech topics covered and a huge number of workshops, you’re sure to find something relevant to your shop—assuming your business relies on Microsoft tools and technologies.


Monitorama PDX 2017

Dates: May 22-24

Location: Portland, OR

Cost: $400

Web: https://ti.to/monitorama/pdx2017

Twitter: @Monitorama

Nikita Ostrovsky, DevOps/data architect at PulsePoint, says this open source monitoring conference and hackathon is a “must-go.” Here’s a link to the initial speakers list, which will include Julia Evans, a developer working on infrastructure at Stripe; Susan Fowler, a site reliability engineer at Uber who’s working on business-critical microservices; and other hotshots from companies including DigitalOcean, machine data mining startup Honeycomb, and Netflix.

Reasons to attend: Monitorama is for the people who think intensely about the best ways to monitor software and systems, and who want advice about implementation, from scalability to reducing the noise of false system alerts.


PuppetConf

Dates: Oct. 10-12

Location: San Francisco

Cost: Early bird $597

Web: https://puppet.com/puppetconf

Twitter: @puppetconf

All-Puppet, all the time. At this conference, sessions cover DevOps, cloud management, next-generation infrastructure, application delivery, security and compliance, career and personal development, and continuous delivery—all with the expectation that you’re using Puppet to help make those efforts happen. Past conferences have featured a range of case studies.

For example, last year’s PuppetConf featured a case study, delivered by VMware senior DevOps engineer Neil Armitage, about the company’s 2014 acquisition of Continuent, a database replication and clustering company. The year after the acquisition, they had to convert about 50 hosts into an environment with over 1,000 virtual machines, all while avoiding impact on day-to-day operations. Why did they use the open source configuration management tool Puppet in that project? What lessons did they learn in implementing it? How did VMware use Puppet to automatically manage DNS and Naios services, to manage Jenkins instances so as to automatically add and remove testing clusters and environments, and more?

To get a taste of what might be in store for 2017, check out these videos of panel discussions and keynotes from PuppetConf 2016.

Reasons to attend: Once again, when you rely heavily on a technology, it makes sense to go where the experts are. Even if the sessions don’t grab you, the “hall track” is the best way to learn from the people who define Puppet’s direction.


QCon

Dates: London (March 6-10), Beijing (April 16-18), São Paulo (April 24-26), New York (June 26-30), Shanghai (Oct. 19-21), San Francisco (Nov. 13-17)

Cost: New York: $4,080 for the conference plus two days of workshops, with a basic pass starting at $1,840

Web: http://www.qconferences.com

Twitter: @QCon / @QConNewYork

A conference for professional software developers, the New York QCon will offer 18 editorial tracks across three days and 140-plus practitioner speakers from organizations like Uber, Google, Dropbox, Slack, and Twitter, with an 11:1 attendee to speaker ratio. Tracks from the 2016 conference included Practical DevOps for Cloud Architectures, Stream Processing @ Scale, and Architectures You’ve Always Wondered About. Examples of those intriguing architectures you’ve always wanted to hear more about included a session on Netflix’s API platform for server-side scripting, Scaling Uber to 1,000 services, and the architecture that helps Stripe move faster. 

Reasons to attend: These well-regarded tech conferences give plenty of depth, though for most techies they don’t have as much urgency. If it’s nearby and affordable, though, why not?



RSA Conference

Dates: Feb. 13-17

Location: San Francisco

Cost: $2,595; early bird $1,995; group discounts

Web: https://www.rsaconference.com/events/us17

Twitter: @RSAConference

RSA is a must-go for security wonks, but it’s got plenty for DevOps. An Application Security and DevOps track features topics such as secure application design, containerization, and development methodologies, as well as agile techniques in application security and the intersection of secure development and security operations.

Reasons to attend: Security should be top of mind for everyone in IT, but sometimes you lose out on attending RSA because someone who has “security” in his title gets to the budget approvers before you do. Act now so you can get to this show for the DevOps content.


SaltConf

Dates: Stay tuned!

Location: Ditto: stay tuned!

Cost: Not posted yet; 2016 tickets ranged from $500 to $1,399

Web: http://saltconf.com

Twitter: @SaltStackInc

Last year’s SaltConf, in Salt Lake City, was three days of SaltStack saturation: pre-conference training, plus talks and keynotes from SaltStack customers and users, core engineers, developers and partners. This show’s built for systems administrators, cloud builders and architects, enterprise IT operations, IT directors and managers, developers, and site reliability engineers. Last year’s pre-conference training sessions included an introduction to SaltStack Enterprise, tuning, predictive orchestration, managing Windows with SaltStack, developing Salt modules and the Salt RESTful API, and advanced SaltStack concepts. Case studies came from the likes of National Instruments, Canadian Tire, Lyft, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Reasons to attend: Again, this conference is organized for people who use Salt tools. Nonetheless, it’s earned a good reputation for emphasizing community and technical expertise by its practitioners. Even when vendors are speakers, their attention is on making things work, not selling products.

Worthy mentions

These shows got high marks from a smaller set of DevOps practitioners I spoke with. That doesn’t mean they’re not great—they just might be great for some DevOps pros for more specific reasons. By all means, go if it makes sense—they’re worth it!

Container World

Dates: Feb. 21-23

Location: Santa Clara, CA

Cost: Starts at $800

Web: https://tmt.knect365.com/container-world

Billed as the only event where you can find case studies from the teams that are rolling out container technology, this is the place to be if you’re hungry to learn about the strategic implications of containers. This year, expect to see presentations from Expedia, The Linux Foundation, SolarWinds, Twitter, Banyan, Netflix, Cisco, Carnegie Mellon, and ADP, to name a few.

Reasons to attend: Frankly, this conference hasn’t gotten a lot of attention from the techies I know. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time—but nobody would be surprised if you didn’t attend, either.


Jax DevOps

Dates: April 3-6

Location: London

Cost: £1,199 + £239.80 VAT for 4-day all-access pass; very-early-bird passes start at £840

Web: https://devops.jaxlondon.com  

DevOps is all about continuous delivery, microservices, Docker, and clouds. Speakers include IBM’s Steve Poole, who’ll be discussing moving applications into the cloud—and all the ways to stumble while you’re doing it. Contino’s Benjamin Wootton will be discussing how to scale up DevOps in the enterprise, while freelancer Christian Schneider will give a talk on pen testing and attacking web apps.

Reasons to attend: Although online listings suggest that last year’s event drew 500 attendees, we haven’t found a lot of buzz about earlier iterations of this conference. Perhaps you should attend and generate some?

See any glaring omissions?

So many DevOps shows—it’s an embarrassment of riches! Please do let us know if you’re aghast to see a valuable/quirky/favorite DevOps event left off the list. Think of this as a beta list: We launched it, we can iterate, keep building, and keep laying versions 0.x et al. on you. While we keep up with the tweaking, you go have a blast at some shows. Network, get your hands dirty, listen, learn, party, and report back to rave or kvetch. We’re all ears!