DevOps Institute

2020 Global DevOps SKILup Festival Highlights

DevOps Basics, Humans of DevOps, SKILup, Transformational Leadership, Upskilling


SKILup Day Auditorium


What a month it has been at DevOps Institute so far – We hosted the 2020 Global SKILup Festival! After last year’s Global SKILup Day, we decided to kick it up a notch and bring you a jam-packed 5-day virtual festival with a Career Fair, Certifications, Courses, and a full Global SKILup Day!

This year’s event focused on celebrating the Humans of DevOps, offering career tips and advice, your chance to SKILup with workshops, training, and a full day of the industry’s leading practitioners sharing stories of DevOps transformations and current trends in the marketplace. 

We also continued to highlight contributions from DevOps Institute Ambassadors throughout the month. You can see the latest contributions on our blog, as well as our Medium publication, The Humans of DevOps. 

We also live-streamed a portion of the CrowdChat backchannel on YouTube if you want to see the hosts’ video chat.

From December 7-11, we hosted the main event – Global SKILup Festival! This 5-day virtual event featured sessions from Mirco Hering, Helen Beal, Patrick Debois, Siddharth Pareek, Romnick Acabado, Sendil Kumar Nellaiyapen, Chinmay Gaikwad, Mark Solomon, Sean Mack, Eric Robertson, John Willis, Bryan Finster, Savinder Puri, George Hamilton, William Jimenez, Vanessa Vallely, Adam Frank, Mark Abrams, Tracy Ragan, Angel Rivera, Ray Elenteny, Dan Lines, Tracy Bannon, BMK Lakshminarayanan, Peter Maddison, Alejandro Mercado, Najib RadzuanCornelia Davis, Mark Peters, Lisa Chan, Biswajit Mohapatra, Shivagami Gugan, Shannon Leitz, Charity Majors, Michael Kublin, Benjamin Treynor Sloss, Steve Pereira, Alejandro Debenet, and Andi Mann.

If you missed the Global SKILup Festival, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with a quick round-up of the key themes that emerged during the week.

Career Fair

On Monday, we kicked off the Global SKILup Festival with a Career Fair! Eveline Oehrlich started the Career Fair by sharing her findings from the Upskilling 2020: Enterprise DevOps Skills Report. According to Oehrlich, 52% of respondents are recruiting or plan to recruit for DevOps humans. Vanessa Valley also shared the power of a profile and tips on to get comfortable sharing your successes and aspirations. 

During the Career Fair, Savinder Puri also shared tips on building a career in DevOps and tips on crushing a DevOps interview. “When you’re going for an interview, revise your fundamental skills. You’d be surprised by how many people know all the fancy [skills], but when you ask them the basic questions, they can’t answer,” said Puri.

Eveline Oehrlich Presentation Global SKILup Fest

Certification Courses

Throughout Global SKILup Fest, we also provided attendees with numerous opportunities to upskill with certifications, workshops, and training held in regions all over the world. Our partners offered certification courses in SRE Foundation, Certified Agile Service Manager, DevOps Foundation, DevOps Leader, DevSecOps Foundation, and more. DevOps Institute Ambassadors hosted various workshops: Simone Jo Moore hosted a Relationship Agility workshop, Glaudia Califano hosted LEGO® Serious Play, and Maciek Jarosz hosted Business Bootcamp.

DevOps Institute Partners

DJ Party

On Wednesday, we hosted a DJ party for all those joining the Global SKILup Festival! It was a fun and interactive way for everyone to come together and celebrate. The party was attended by speakers, sponsors, ambassadors, and DevOps Institute Partners. Attendees were able to network and chat with one another while listening to music, plus visiting areas streaming mixology and yoga.


Global SKILup Day

On Thursday, we hosted Global SKILup Day! The 16-hour event featured back-to-back speakers, panels, games, discussions, and networking opportunities. Throughout the day, speakers and attendees shared personal stories of DevOps transformations and discussed current and future trends in the marketplace.

You can connect business and tech with a transformational digital strategy.

All through SKILup Day, speakers shared and discussed the importance of digital transformations. During John Willis’ presentation ‘Qualitative Analysis for Digital Transformation’, he shared the three transformations killers are often: frameworks, impersonal, and mental models. “You can’t Lean, Agile, SAFE or DevOps your way around a bad organizational culture,” said Willis. 

Eric Robertson, Brad Rodgers, and Marcelo Peviani also discussed digital transformation during their presentation ‘Connecting Business & Tech Ops with a Transformational Digital Strategy and Intelligence Platform’. “These days, every business is a digital business. However, there is opportunity for companies to shift from being disrupted and being a disruptor,” said Robertson. He explained that digital transformation has allowed business ops and tech ops to connect and deliver on essential business initiatives.

John Willis Global SKILup Fest Presentation

Digital Transformation and DevOps Journey Presentation by Eric Robertson

Chinmay Gaikwad Epsagon Global SKILup Fest Presentation

Adam Frank Moogsoft Global SKILup Fest Observability Presentation

Observability is crucial

“Observability should not only tell you that something has gone wrong, but it should point to where and why,” said Chinmay Gaikwad. During his presentation ‘Comprehensive Observability via Distributed Tracing’, he dove into the power of observability and why it’s crucial success in today’s digital world.  

Adam Frank also discussed observability during his session ‘Move Faster and Break Fewer Things with Observability + AI’. “The customer experience we’re all delivering is a digital experience,” said Frank. “By introducing visibility and control over incidents earlier in the development cycle, we can reduce toil.”

How can you continuously deliver?

Continuous Delivery was also a popular topic during Global SKILup Day. Bryan Finster discussed this during his presentation ‘What Can’t We CD?’. He shared that you can optimize for value delivery by building a pipeline to get quality feedback, relentlessly improve that feedback, and organize around communication. 

Angel Rivera also discussed continuous delivery and increasing your app confidence during his presentation ‘Increase App Confidence with CI/CD and Infrastructure as Code’. He said, “Smoke testing or simple preliminary tests can reveal failures.” 

Bryan Finster of Walmart Global SKILup Fest Presentation

Angel Rivera CircleCI Global SKILup Fest Presentation

Don’t forget, DevOps is for Developers too

How can you get developers onboard the DevOps train? Ray Elenteny has you covered. During his session ‘Getting Application Developers Onboard the DevOps Train’ he discussed how to get application developers to embrace DevOps techniques and ways of working. “The first step is overcoming the fear of change. It’s human nature to dislike change and developers are no different,” said Elenteny. “Convince the developers and demonstrate that the organization is behind them.”

Dan Lines also discussed DevOps for developers during his session ‘Promoted from Dev to Team Lead: 8 Things They Didn’t Tell Me’. “Some of the leading questions I like to ask during a stand-up are things like: ‘What’s the feature rollout plan that you’re working on today. Is it going to all the customers or just one customer?’” said Lines. “The type of response you get from developers can help you know who needs help and who doesn’t.”

Ray Elenteny Global SKILupFest Presentation

What’s holding DevOps back?

Different DevOps teams are at different stages of maturity. Further, there is no end-state of DevOps maturity, according to Mirco Hering, who presented the keynote session, “The Journey to DevOps Maturity – the Never Ending Story.”

“You can’t have a transformation program with a view that it’s done at some stage,” said Hering. Instead, he says, the organization needs to adapt to a new lifestyle that is all about ongoing learning. Hering compares the challenges of Agile and DevOps transformation to the first mapping software available on the internet, where you printed off directions to get to your destination. When you take one turn,  you end up in a situation where you are stuck and on your own. Instead, he says DevOps maturity should be viewed as a never-ending journey, “If you can stick through this, if you can keep improving… and ever moving forward – then we will be successful.” 

Biswajit Mohapatra’s session, “DevOps in Hybrid Multicloud Transformation,” further proved the point for this ongoing, continuous work toward maturity by explaining the core role of DevOps in transformation.  Mohapatra said, “DevOps is actually the DNA of all digital evolution that is happening in the industry today.” 

Additional challenges along the DevOps journey to maturity include expectations across teams. During the session, “Making an Elephant Dance,” Lisa Chan shared insights from the Petronas DevOps journey, highlighting the big wins, as well as challenges. “DevOps is so popular, so pervasive that everybody has some sort of conception about it – and very often it’s a misconception,” she added.

Global SKILup Day featured so many amazing speakers and sessions. Want to know more about the Global SKILup Day sessions? For a quick recap of each, check out the sketches below. You can also view the videos and download the slide decks by viewing the DevSecOps SKILup Day on-demand.

Global SKILup Festival Session Gallery



SKILup IT Learning blog side bar ad

Community at DevOps Institute

related posts

[EP99] How to Capture Future Creators With Jessica Lindl

[EP99] How to Capture Future Creators With Jessica Lindl

In this episode, Eveline Oehrlich is joined by Jessica Lindl to share their expertise on the key steps to take when it comes to fostering creative innovation in today's ever-changing business landscape. 👩‍💻 Jessica founded and scaled Unity Social Impact - enabling...

5 Reasons Why Continuing Education is Important For Your Career

5 Reasons Why Continuing Education is Important For Your Career

Anyone who’s read The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, et al. knows that the Third Way of DevOps is based on continuous learning and experimentation. This is perhaps the most important principle and pathway to human, DevOps and digital transformation. Choosing to continue...

4 Ways To Improve Psychological Safety in the Workplace

4 Ways To Improve Psychological Safety in the Workplace

Image source Icagiao via Getty Images By Dr. Gautham Pallapa, Award-winning Author, Leading with Empathy | Founder, Transformity Psychological safety is the belief that an individual or team will not be punished or humiliated for sharing ideas, taking risks, or...