4 days of Dockercon – Day 4

After doing some more work in the evening for Microsoft and watching my Football match, I didn’t get to sleep until midnight, so I woke with my usual conference groggy feeling. At my age, I really need more hours in bed! Thankfully I had done most of my packing the night before so didn’t have an awful lot to do. However given the fact that I had skipped dinner/ supper the night before I was determined to grab a big breakfast. I’d skipped my evening meal since I really couldn’t be bothered to wander down to the Shopping Mall and waste 40 minutes on a round trip in doing so, nor did I fancy a meal in the hotel restaurant wasting 2 hours of messing around.

This morning I was out of my room by 8 am. and promptly checked out, booked my transit back to the airport and checked my luggage into the Conference drop off point and headed to the post-conference Summits. I had somehow managed to register for two (the Moby Project Summit and Enterprise Summit) and whilst I suspected that the Moby Project would hold slightly more interest for me, I felt that it probably would hold less business value than the Enterprise option. So I deregistered myself from Moby, and went to get myself a freshly-born bouncing plate of bacon, eggs, beans, and… cheese! (yes these Danish folks are nut-cases!!!).

The Enterprise Summit kicked off talking even more about the MTA program and perhaps labored a little too long on its overview (especially since we had witnessed much of this material during the conference and keynotes). A few demos later and I am impressed that MTA and Docker Enterprise are a very good business proposition for most (if not all) businesses, though I really must try these things out myself on some problematic apps. You know the saying that  “if it sounds too good to be true….”? That’s partially how I feel at the moment, and I would rather hear about the serious problems encountered and failures experienced – that (I believe) would be more useful for us to understand the limitations of this service. The Enterprise Summit in truth was an extended series of sessions and regurgitated material and took us up to lunchtime (only 3 hours after breakfast – seriously guys?!) but I decided to take the opportunity now, given the proximity of the hotel to anything else and also taking into account my arranged departure time to the airport (5.30 pm.). The afternoon section of the “Enterprise Summit” consisted of completing the lab exercises, so I decided to finish lunch early and head over to my favorite spot.

Unfortunately for me, by 3pm. I was kicked out of the Conference center since Dockercon was “officially over”, and therefore had no option but to head back to the hotel and continue the labs from the bar area where I managed to do some cool stuff in swarm (playing around with node failures, container scaling and failed upgrades/ rollbacks).

This. Is. The. Future. Folks. (And the future is now…).

Thankfully I’d just finished up and grabbed my ride to the airport and 15 minutes later hit checkin, security, etc. After refuelling on airport pizza I decide to crack open the labs for one last time and 2 hours later remember it is probably a good time to hit the button on this blog post :).

All in all, a very productive 1st Dockercon and I have got much more return on investment than I could ever dream from certain other conferences (which shan’t be named!). I did miss bumping into many of my friends and familiar faces during this conference and certainly found the (presumably) Danes very reserved and hard to have a conversation with at the dinner tables -so after several abortive attempts to get them speaking I ultimately gave up. I already have another (bucket list) conference firmly on my watch list for next year, but really hope I can add Dockercon US/EU also into my budget.

Other posts in this series
4 days of Dockercon – Day 3
4 days of Dockercon – Day 2
4 days of Dockercon – Day 1
4 days of Dockercon – Day 0

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4 days of Dockercon – Day 3

The second and final day of general sessions arrives and I manage to leave my room with a little more time to spare than yesterday. Again, I grab a bite to eat in the exhibitor room and then find myself a good seat for the keynote day 2. This time it was lead by Scott Johnson (COO of Docker) and focused again on Docker Enterprise Edition but with a strong focus on the MTA program and migrating legacy apps to Docker. The atmosphere was slightly more subdued today -probably because people were nursing hangovers from last nights party, but I was intrigued by a few things. For instance, when they talked about migrating a legacy .NET app and modernizing it to Docker, it wasn’t really clear to me whether doing so was also irradicating dependencies on older .NET frameworks.

During the break between the keynote and first session, I decided to pick up where I left off with the Docker Labs and managed to go through the Docker on Linux 101 and Docker on Windows 101 excercises. Apart from a few minor typos in the demo code, these worked really well, although the Windows environment was noticeably slower than Linux which was a little frustrating. I decided to skip the first session so I could work my way through more lab material which took me up to lunchtime.

For my first session of the day I decided to attend “Docker EE Deep Dive” by Patrick Devine, which I found quite interesting but felt that it didn’t quite go as “deep” as I’d like to have seen.  That said, I am convinced that I need to spend more time familiarizing myself with Enterprise Edition if I am ever going to make a success of my “microservices journey”.

After lunch, I decided to speak with a few more storage solution vendors and deliberated whether to go to my second session of the day. None of the sessions that were on offer grabbed me enough, so I decided to extend my adventures with the lab environment and worked through a few more scenarios. So by the time my next session arrived, I was really looking forward to it and chose “Becoming the Docker Champion: Bringing Docker Back to Work” by Jim Armstrong. To be honest, I was more than a little disappointed that the content was not technical and focused more on the “politics” of the workplace and your company’s staff motivations for adopting of Docker (or not). For me, this was largely a waste of my time even though Jim presented the session well, the session needed really to live in a management track (had one existed). During the next long break, I headed back to the Lab area and continued to work through the material. After the last session, I deliberated whether I should attend the last session of the day (of which a Serverless panel was quite appealing), and ultimately came to the conclusion that it was probably more worthwhile if I continued working my way through the labs.

That was really the end of (a slightly disappointing) day, but at least I got some good value from the Labs. In the evening I struggled to remote onto my machine back home so I could watch the Chelsea v Roma game and failed. Therefore I had to resort to finding a hooky stream which kept cutting out every 5-10 minutes. Even though Chelsea went 2-0 up quite early on, the match ended 3-3 to compound my disappointment!

Tomorrow is my last day in Denmark, in which I will be attending one the post-conference Summits.

Other posts in this series
4 days of Dockercon – Day 4
4 days of Dockercon – Day 2
4 days of Dockercon – Day 1
4 days of Dockercon – Day 0

Posted in Community, Events | Tagged | 3 Comments

4 days of Dockercon – Day 2

keynote

Why is it that at every conference I always seem to be rushing around in the morning trying to get to the keynote sessions in time. No matter how early I wake, I always seem to run out of time. Today was the first main day of sessions and I was determined to grab a bite to eat before heading to the keynote, so I headed across to the sponsor hall and grabbed my required bacon supplement for the day and managed to have a very interesting chat with a Docker insider (who is apparently contributing to the keynote the next day – I’ll insert name if that is correct). We discussed the future of containers in a potentially Serverless world and it was really interesting (and reassuring) to note that Docker has their eyes and ears firmly planted in all the right places (can’t say any more right now!).

I managed to get to the keynote just a few minutes late, and the central message was to push the awesomeness that is Docker Enterprise Edition. There were some great demos on show and also some great (but quite clearly staged) banter between the speakers, but unlike most conferences, they were fun and engaging talks. Probably the biggest announcement of the day came when the co-founder of Docker and CTO (Solomon Hykes) wowed the audience with the news that Kubernetes will be treated as a first-class citizen and that it will be baked into the product alongside Swarm, so that choosing one orchestrator over another did not compromise many of the great features present in both. This is clearly great news for Kube fans (and very welcome news at that), but I do also wonder how this will affect other orchestration platforms? I couldn’t quite make out whether other platforms will be closely integrated in the future as well. If I had to guess I would say yes.

I started the day off by going to a Docker “beginner” session called “Learning Docker from Square One” delivered by Chloe Condon. I was in two minds whether an intro session was a good idea for me, but I decided that starting from the beginning wasn’t a bad idea to refresh core concepts. I enjoyed her delivery of the session and general materials and explanations although it was perhaps a little more basic than I probably needed and if I was brutally honest I think too much time was spent on the opening analogies between containers and images -which I mostly didn’t think worked very well. She did, however, use one that I have in the past – that of development code ( or more specifically: Object Orientation concepts) using classes (as the image) and instances (as the container). Anyhow, those minor nit-picking aside, she delivered a good session and I think her “dad jokes” as she put it, generally had people laughing through the session.

It was now time for lunch and quite a large break, so I decided to grab an (ultimately) rushed bite to eat (since sadly my table mates were about as exciting as a cold bath in December) and then had a great time visiting and talking to sponsors. This is not something I generally do at big SQL Server conferences and mostly find vendors a complete waste of my time (or is that me or theirs – who knows?), but for whatever reason, I really enjoyed talking to them and was particularly interested in persisted storage solutions for containers. I have got a few more to visit tomorrow if possible!

Next up, I decided to keep to my Microsoft roots and check out “Navigating the Docker Toolset in Visual Studio and Azure” delivered by Microsoft’s Shayne Boyer. I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t familiar with Shayne, and I always feel sorry for Microsoft speakers at non-Microsoft conferences (and user groups) since I generally get the feeling of a lack of engagement from the audiences (partially due to the historical leanings and historical open-source community failings of the company). That said, times are changing, Microsoft is embracing and integrating (and contributing) and the future is bright. Shayne did a good job convincing me to crack open Visual Studio 2017 and create and deploy some Azure containers, making it all seem incredibly easy – so when I get the time, this is exactly what I will do.

I now decided to attend “Creating Effective Docker Images” by Abby Fuller since this topic was a no-brainer for me, and it also appeared to be the view held by everyone else at Dockercon. Her session room was absolutely packed and had no standing room available, having (at a guess) 500+ people in it. Her delivery of the material was pretty faultless and given her age (to an old git like me) I watched in admiration of this talent. I learned some really useful things in the session but was left *just* wanting a bit more… Perhaps this is Abby’s intention and perhaps the reason she gets packed rooms?!

Next up was a fairly meaty break (approximately 45 minutes) so I gathered my things and decided to start having a play with the conference workshops. I only managed to get through 30 minutes of the lab (before having to rush back to sessions) but I am going to do my best to try and do them all.

My next session stood out like a sore thumb and was right up my street. I watched “The Truth Behind Serverless” by Erica Windisch. I really enjoyed this session and Erica is quite clearly very passionate about the topic and also very knowledgeable. I would perhaps have like I few more real-world demos, but I left happy and enjoyed listening to yet another unique personality in the world of microservices. I look forward to watching other content by Erica in the near future.

My final session was a real toss up between “My journey to Go” (my #1 choice) by Ashley McNamara (although I later realised I have already watched this at Gophercon) and “Modernizing .NET Apps” with Elton Stoneman (w|t) and Iris Classon (w|t). The latter actually won through in the end for two reasons. The first being that Elton “encouraged” me to come to his session on Twitter which I thought was amusing and the second was because of Iris Classon. I don’t think Dockercon attendees realised (given that there was space available in the room), but Iris is a HUGE name in the world of .NET and has been for a very long time, but she is also an amazing person -as those who have followed her for a very long time will testify. This was actually my first ever time I’ve attended one of her sessions live (oh the shame), but I really enjoyed the experience. Both Iris and Elton worked really well as a partnership and despite one of their demos crashing and burning (which they both turned into a funny ending), it was very nicely delivered. As an aside, I think Iris must hold the Dockercon world record for saying “sh*t” in a presentation :). I definitely couldn’t get away with this, but there is something very endearing the way she does and I think her humor is very Monty Python -very much up my street!

At the end of the sessions, I had to do a rain check on the Dockercon party due to the small fact that I have a ton of stuff to do for Microsoft from the confines of my hotel room, so their gain was my loss. No matter, I had a brilliant day today and look forward to what tomorrow brings.

Other posts in this series
4 days of Dockercon – Day 4
4 days of Dockercon – Day 3
4 days of Dockercon – Day 1
4 days of Dockercon – Day 0

Posted in Community, Events | Tagged | 3 Comments