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Velocity 2009 Retrospective: Sharing the experience

Been back in the office a few weeks removed from Velocity 2009, and had some time to reflect on the volume of great information and superb conversations from that week.

Sharing the Experience

During Velocity, in addition to all the tweeting by participants, Cory (@cvonwallenstein) and I (@lhagemann) set up a Jabber channel on our corporate server so we could share information and commentary with our teams back in the office. The channel became my de facto note-taking location, and provided a way for the teams to keep up to the minute on the various topics, as well as provide feedback or questions for us. This same technique is being employed by our team members out at OSCON this week. And drives quite a bit of conversation and debates.

This live exchange of ideas and information is just an extension of daily life here in the Dyn office. We also had a Spring Conference Recap where team members who had been out to conferences in the previous month gave a quick recap to the entire company about their top take-aways. We’re always sharing our experiences.

Take Aways (and I don’t mean SWAG)

Our top take away from Velocity comes straight from the format of the Conference itself — Development and Operations track together. They are not parallel, but intimately intertwined.

One of the most heavily attended sessions was “10+ Deploys Per Day” with John Allspaw and Paul Hammond from Flickr. See the video here. Their talk reinforced a lot of what we already do here at Dyn, and provided good ideas for improvements in the communication channels. I realized I had fallen out of the habit of keeping tabs on the DynECT Platform systems graphs, and was relying on the Operations team for that. No wonder I owe them a couple of beers!

Eric Schurman from Microsoft and Jake Brutlag from Google provided some very telling data related to Performance Impact on Revenue. See the video. The primary take away from their talk: keep your site fast; lose views to slow page load and they don’t come back easily. We all know that faster experience is good for the user, but they had the data to back that up.

My personal favorite quote of the week came from Marissa Mayer of Google and her reasoning for getting rid of rounded corners on webistes: “html wants to be square.” And I got the t-shirt to prove it.

Superb Meet ‘n Greet Opportunities

Finally, one can’t ignore Velocity for the elbow-rubbing potential it provides. As @macros tweets: “There is a huge social value to conferences that goes far beyond the track, #velocityconf is truly amazing in that respect.”

As a matter of fact, due to socializing with the folks at Engine Yard we missed a BOF on Chef. But then Adam Jacob from Opscode gave us a personal intro to their infrastructure automation platform at lunch the following day.

Also enjoyed some great conversations with Dan from StumbleUpon as we always seemed to end up in the same sessions, or bumping into each other throughout the expo hall.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet up with some DynECT Platform customers such as Twitter and Wikia and welcome them aboard personally. I got some great feedback directly from our users, and there are new features on the way.

Keep an eye out for Dyn at a conference near you. And we’ll keep Sharing our Experiences.


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Whois: Lisa Hagemann

Lisa Hagemann is a Senior Automation Engineer at Oracle Dyn Global Business Unit, a pioneer in managed DNS and a leader in cloud-based infrastructure that connects users with digital content and experiences across a global internet.