Since 2016, we have taken the habit of gathering every two weeks to eat lunch and watch an interesting conference that was recorded and made available online. The conference doesn’t have to be recent (we’ve watched stuff from 10 years ago in 260p and it hurt my fragile millennial eyes as hell, but the content was well worth it). As usual, because I am always late to all the cool online trends, here is our late top 10 conferences we’ve watched this year accompanied with some comments from my colleague @klalumiere.
10. The Road to Chaos - Nora Jones - 2017
Great talk from Nora Jones on the topic of Chaos Engineering as a resilience technique. What’s interesting is that is also covers some often overlooked aspects of it, like cultural acceptance, the impact it has, and how to correctly set this practice in place without looking like the chaotic evil character from your last D&D campaign.
The talk was honest, funny, and easy to understand. It gave important insights about how to introduce new practices in teams so that these new practices are not rejected.
9. If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, It Doesn’t Matter How Fast You Get There - Jez Humble & Nicole Forsgren - 2018
Jez Humble and Dr. Nicole Forsgren talk about the impact of Continuous Delivery and how elite teams are able to differentiate themselves from low performing teams. I really appreciate the methodical and scientific approach taken in this talk, something I wish was more present in presentations that often claim a miraculous way to improve without showing any factual data to back it up.
8. 5 Lessons Learned From Writing Over 300,000 Lines of Infrastructure Code - Yevgeniy Brikman - 2018
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is something well integrated here at Coveo and, over time, we’ve developed some leading practices and some bad practices. It was really nice to compare what we’ve learned to what others have experienced on such a huge scale.
@klalumiere also adds
One thing I’ve seen happening again and again is the trend “this is not code, not really”. I’ve seen this happen (and still see it happen) when talking about automated tests, about continuous integration code, Dockerfile, bash scripts and of course, in infrastructure code. This very important talk enumerates business reasons justifying treating the infrastructure code the same way production code is treated, e.g., giving it proper structure and testing it. It goes past the justification and also teaches us how to do it. Definitely a great talk.
7. Disenchantment: Netflix Titus, Its Feisty Team, and Daemons - Andrew Spyker - 2018
I have to say that I thought this talk was a bit slow at the beginning, but once it kicked in second and third gear, I was floored to see the awesomeness of what Netflix has accomplished over the years and how inspiring what they’ve done is.
6. Spinnaker: continuous delivery from first principles to production - Steven Kim - 2017
Spinnaker is a technology that really grabbed my attention and this video was a good overview of what it does and how it is used.
5. Unconditional Code - Michael Feather - 2018
Michael Feather is an amazing orator that is able to put words and properly characterize how to improve your code readability while reducing the complexity.
4. Idée Fixe - David Nolen - 2017
I would say this talk is about innovation, ideas and how to allow yourself to change your mind and understand how preconception is stopping you from truely innovating.
This is how @klalumiere described this talk:
I’ve watched a lot of presentations by David Nolen and pretty much all of them were great. I think David Nolen is one of the very smart developers out there, and he is also a great presenter. It’s definitely worth listening to him when he takes the stand.
3. Full Cycle Developers @Netflix - Greg Burrell - 2018
Definitely a talk to watch if you’re getting into the devops philosophy or if you’re mid-way through the transformation and would like to know if there is light at the end of the tunnel. Greg Burrell goes through the trials and errors they’ve been through and goes throughout the core concept behind their transformation to where they are right now.
2. Stop Rate Limiting! Capacity Management Done Right - Jon Moore - 2017
I really liked this talk, but I am highly biased because I love queuing theory and resource management. I’ll try not to spoil anything, but the part about decentralized enforcement and adaptive optimistic algorithm for capacity management really blew my mind. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well ^_^.
1. I’ll let myself in: Tactics of physical pen testers - Deviant Ollam - 2017
And now for the most liked presentation by the Coveo R&D team: Would you like to get rid of all your illusions about physical security? Your wait is over, watch this video and all of these will be gone forever! As a bonus, all of your colleagues will be turned into physical pentesters! Jokes apart, this video is really an eye opener and you will never look at doors and physical security the same way ever after.
And that’s it for 2019 😁! I had to rewatch some of those videos to make sure I gave a proper description and wow… they really deserve to be there. These videos are still good to rewatch. See you in a year for the top 10 in 2020.