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It’s all about Culture – Devopsday, Rome

2012 September 11

It’s that time of year again: Devopsdays Europe is on, four years after the original Devopsdays conference in Gent that got the movement started. The second event was in Hamburg, last year’s conference in Gotheborg, and this year’s location is Rome.

With talks covering the whole devops spectrum, including culture, automation and measurement, lots of people will be sharing their experiences. Speakers for this year’s European edition include Damon Edwards,  Jason Dixon , Bryan Berry and Mark Burgess.

Let me introduce you to Alessandro Franceschi,  one of the Italian devops evangelists. Al has been active in the Puppet and devops communities for a couple of years now and is one of the people organising the Rome event, so we asked Alessandro a couple of questions.

Q: After Gent, Hamburg and  Gotheburg, the European Edition of Devopsdays is now coming to Rome.  What makes Rome the perfect place to discuss Devops?

A: In conferences like DevOps Days you go to share ideas, learn new things and meet friends. Rome is a great place for all of these things… and it has many benefits like hopefully nice weather, remarkable sightseeing and good Italian food. This choice happened almost by chance – from just a few discussions to some tweets the location was decided, but to be honest, I think that Patrick, Kris and the other main organisers just wanted to have an excuse to visit Rome (again!)…

We will talk about and discuss tools, processes, people and culture, we will learn how others face our same problems or know about problems we never thought we might have. But there will be a large focus on how the “DevOps way” involves and drives a cultural shift in how people collaborate within a company. “It’s all about Culture” is this edition’s headline, and Rome is a really appropriate location to talk about this.

Q:  Alessandro, you’ve been pretty active in the devops / puppet community for a couple of years now. Can you tell us a bit about the local Italian scene?

A:  Italy is a haven for talented IT geeks. Many are curious and explore trends and technologies way before the companies where they work. Communication frictions, work organisation in silos, established rigidities are still dominant.

At the same time a vital and active startup community is growing larger and larger: it sparkles with vitality and hope amid the depressing fogs of the crisis. Here DevOps adoption is easier, if not plain necessary. There’s interest both from the dev side (where Agile adoption is well established) and from the Ops side (mostly driven by automation needs). Puppet is growing fast and there are various Chef users as well: numbers are still relatively low but the trend is evident.

Q:  The schedule is almost finished,  what are you most looking forward to?

A:  Many of the presentations seem quite promising. The quantity and quality of the proposals were good.
I’m personally looking forward to learn about Damon Edwards’s “levers for change” for DevOps Culture adoption and quite interested in Chris Hilton’s talk “Beyond Continuous Delivery”. I’m also curious on Bryan Berry’s “Monitoring” and Jason Dixon’s “The State of Open Source Monitoring: The good, the bad, the fucking terrible, and a glimpse into our future”. In any case I’m quite sure that I’ll also find enlightening or interesting ideas in more unexpected places. There will be a good number of Ignites, a format that I personally love. But it’s the people who make the event, so I expect vibrant open space discussions and long evening followups accompanied by great beer.

Besides the actual contents of the conference we hope to provide a really nice experience to the participants. We expect an excellent catering service and the location, kindly sponsored by IBM Italy (I want to mention them without reservation because they have been really helpful in making this edition possible), looks a very interesting and unusual place.

Q:  What else besides devopsdays should people visit Rome/ Italy for ?

A:  Rome is an incredible city. If you have been there, you know what I mean. You walk over history with every step you take, you turn around a corner and see something new: a church, some ruins or monuments that might be 2000, 200, 50 years old. It reflects the past virtues and current vices of Italy, with all their contradictions. We plan to propose an informal city tour, the day after the event, to the DevOps who want to chill out together by visiting the town after 2 days of brainstorms

With DevOps from all over Europe, Rome’s charm, Italy’s way (and no more political jokes that are a reality), this is Devops Days.

It’s all about Culture!


Kris Buytaert is a long time Linux and Open Source Consultant. He’s one of instigators of the devops movement, currently working for Inuits.

Kris is the Co-Author of Virtualization with Xen ,used to be the maintainer of the openMosix HOWTO and author of different technical publications. He is frequently speaking at, or organizing different international conferences

He spends most of his time working on Linux Clustering (both High Availability, Scalability and HPC), Virtualisation and Large Infrastructure Management projects hence trying to build infrastructures that can survive the 10th floor test, better known today as the cloud while actively promoting the devops idea !

His blog titled “Everything is a Freaking DNS Problem” can be found at

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