Conference Love

Posted on Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Conferences - some people are addicted, and others have never been. What is the point of conferences? What’s an unconference? Why shouldn’t I just stay home and watch the livestreams? Jason Dixon (Monitorama), Bridget Kromhout (devopsdays Minneapolis), and Pete Cheslock (devopsdays Boston) give their two cents (and more) about why conferences are the place to be.

Show Notes

  • What was the first tech conference you attended?
  • What are things you get from a conference that you cannot learn other ways?
  • How can I maximize my value out of attending a conference?
  • If I’m going to a conference where I don’t know anyone, how can I still have a good time?
  • You both have planned conferences. What are some of the things that go into organizing that people might not be aware of?
  • What is your favorite conference story?
  • How do you learn about new events to attend?
  • How do you pick which events you know about to go to? There are a lot, and it can be hard to narrow down when you only have a 1-2 conference limit from an employer, or your own resources.
  • What was the coolest piece of “swag” you got from a conference?
  • Does the swag at a conference weigh in for you at all? I hear a lot of noise around the big Google events because everyone knows they are walking away with hardware.
  • Lets talk about conference etiquette, and discuss some of the points in Bridget's article


Introversion and Tech Conferences by Tom Duffield

Check Outs







Bridget Kromhout

Bridget Kromhout

Bridget Kromhout is an operations engineer at DramaFever, the largest streaming video site for international content. She’s been paying the bills with Unix sysadmin work since the last time ‘flannel shirt over babydoll dress’ was a trendy look. Her CS degree emphasis was in theory, but she now deals with the concrete (if ‘cloud’ can be considered tangible). She likes finicky wide-column data stores, stats-driven monitoring, formal grammars, bicycle-powered camping, and butchering pumpkins for home canning. In her spare time she helps organize her local AWS meetup and devopsdays Minneapolis.

Jason Dixon

Jason Dixon

Founder of Monitorama. Author of the Graphite Book. Previously: Librato, Dyn, GitHub, Heroku and Circonus.

Pete Cheslock

Pete Cheslock

Pete is currently the head of Operations and Support for Threat Stack, a continuous security monitoring company. Pete is a 15 year veteran of the technology industry and sees Threat Stack solving a critical problem around continuous security monitoring with dynamic, cloud based infrastructure. Previously, he built out the automation and release engineering teams at Dyn, managing and deploying mission critical global DNS infrastructure. Prior to Dyn, Pete was the Director of Technical Operations for Amazon-Backed cloud archiving company Sonian, where he developed and managed a Petabyte scale archiving application across multiple public clouds.


Trevor Hess

Trevor Hess

Trevor Hess is a Senior Product Manager at Progress Software working on Chef Software. He currently works on the Chef Application Delivery, Compliance and Infrastructure offerings.

Coming from a background in .NET Software Development and consulting, he has worked with several large multinational organizations to help kick start their journey to the cloud and the world of DevOps practices and principals. He is excited to engage in new experiences, and learning opportunities.

Trevor enjoys having hearty discussions about DevOps as well organizational change and transformation.

Matt Stratton

Matt Stratton (he/him)

Matty Stratton is the Director of Developer Relations at Aiven, a well-known member of the DevOps community, and a global organizer of the DevOpsDays set of conferences.

Matty has over 20 years of experience in IT operations and is a sought-after speaker internationally, presenting at Agile, DevOps, and cloud engineering focused events worldwide. Demonstrating his keen insight into the changing landscape of technology, he recently changed his license plate from DEVOPS to KUBECTL.

He lives in Chicago and has three awesome kids, whom he loves just a little bit more than he loves Diet Coke.