First rule of DevOps fight club, don’t talk about DevOps fight club


A cadre of top-flight DevOps practitioners will gather later this week at an undisclosed location in Northern California.

It will be considerably friendlier than Fight Club, thank goodness, but it’s nearly as mysterious. The goal: To hash out important issues they see in their own deployments, to compare notes on problems they see and to talk in a way that they feel they cannot do in vendor-driven trade shows and conferences, according to one DevOps expert who will attend the invitation-only event.

Wanted: vendor-free venue

“We want to be able to talk and share without being barraged by vendor c#$p,” he said.

DevOps pros from Twitter, Square, Webex (s csco), Facebook, Evernote, TicketMaster, RapLeaf and other big-name companies have RSVP’d yes to the event, he said.

The “DevOps” movement aims to get in-house developers and operations people to work together closely instead of at cross purposes. These two camps were traditionally at odds — developers always want the latest and greatest technology as fast as possible while operations people like slow, controlled rollouts of IT. That’s a tough difference to reconcile.

Rapleaf will be there, talking about Hadoop, for example.  In a more traditional venue, Cloudera, Hortonworks, EMC (s emc) or some other Hadoop vendor would be on hand and that very presence impacts the nature of the discussion. “We don’t want that,” he said.

Sharing successes and snafus

“People who come have to share and feel comfortable in that,” he said. The goal is an open discussion where these experts  can talk about what they’re doing, what the problems they have, and ask the others what they’re seeing.

There will be a segment on cloud computing of course. “The cloud is great for certain workloads and variables. We want to talk about workloads and variables and when it makes sense given those variables for them to stand up their own hardware,” he said.

What’ll be in it for these people other than education and camaradarie? “Well, I hear the food’s going to be great,” he said.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Polina Sergeeva


adrian cockcroft

So this article already breaks the first rule, so who thought this was a good idea and who decided to publicize it? Lets hear some names…


I haven’t noticed anyone being shy about telling a vendor their product is shit at any conferences I’ve been to. I also haven’t noticed much in the way of pushy sells. The only problem I’ve ever had is getting off vendor email lists.

Andrew Clay Shafer

In any other place, in any other industry, this event would be called ‘Thursday’.

If people want to go off to have a talk in private about the work they do, I have no problem at all and neither should anyone else.

The only reason this is an issue at all is someone told someone who invited someone who once said devops and it got written up on gigaom with that title.

Brandon Burton

This is pretty ridiculous. The solution to being frustrated with vendors trying to “sell sell sell” at DevOps oriented stuff isn’t to go off and have sekrit meetups to exclude them, it’s to tell them outright that you don’t like their blatant selling and that you won’t put up with it. Force them to participate as an active member of the community, instead of trying to treat it like a revenue channel.

All that this kind of behavior does is make it difficult to realize actual change and create an open and involved community. Some people will be angry and stop listening to things with a “DevOps” label, others will see it as validation that “DevOps” is just another exclusive club, and the vendors will go on trying to “sell sell sell.”


Not that I don’t understand the frustration with “sales pitches” but it seems to me that the DevOps community would want the vendors to participate in the discussion (assuming it is participation). As a vendor I want to build tools that enable and facilitate better DevOps culture. I guess it is just difficult for me to believe that the right answer is “we need to solve the problem in a vacuum, then go away and build it ourselves, then in two years open source it”.

Brandon’s right, force us to be a part of the conversation.

Barb Darrow

i took away something a bit different — there’s a place for trade shows and vendor pitches and then there’s a place for discussions between peers without distractions or outside pressure — the fact that this person talked about it probably distracts from that.

Lee Thompson

DevOpsDays events in Austin and Mountain View hitting attendance limits is an issue we need to address in public, talk about fight club, no vendor c#$p format events

Brandon Burton

It’s pretty easy to address, help us find a venue that can accommodate more people. As a volunteer run conference, we’re limited by the venues that we’re able to find from folks who are willing to host us.


Lame. If it is invite-only, then these peeps are no experts (the real one’s would laugh at this, as I’m sure they are). Shame on “Twitter, Square, Webex, Facebook, Evernote, TicketMaster, RapLeaf and other big-name companies”…

All that said, I’m not surprised.


The real first rule of devops is sharing and not creating exclusive clubs.


Andrew Clay Shafer

If it’s your first time, you have to fight.

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