The Velocity Conference took place in Berlin from 4 to 7 November 2019. We at Humanitec are very proud to have exhibited with a booth on the main floor.

We had a very exciting time, engaging with many different engineers and architects of various backgrounds. Most of them were very interested in our Internal Developer Platform and were open to check it out further. It was also very interesting to connect with other exhibitors in such an open, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Besides connecting with conference visitors, the talks were, of course, the focus of interest.

With regard to the schedule, it was already clear in advance that topics such as the complexity of Kubernetes, infrastructure, and security would receive a great deal of attention this year. And of course, all of these topics raise the question of how they affect team collaboration.

Christoph Richer (CPO), Chris Stephenson (VP Product) and Yılmaz Bekdemir (Backend Engineer) from our team took part in the conference were curious about how theses topics would be addressed by the speakers at Velocity.

Here are our highlights of the conference:
As Vault from HashiCorp is one of the tools that we integrate into our Humanitec platform ourselves, we were particularly looking forward to Danielle Lancashire's presentation. Her talk about “Stateful systems in the time of orchestrators” mainly targeted developers and operators and discussed the question when you should run stateful services yourself versus outsourcing to a managed service.

Furthermore, we have seen a very high-level talk about the internal infrastructure of ING Bank. Janna Brummel and Robin van Zijll (both ING Netherlands) gave great insights about how they transitioned their development process to a cloud native setup in a global financial organization.

As a result of this transition, the organization can now benefit from industry standards and open source solutions. ING Netherlands is only one example of a common trend many bigger corporates end enterprise businesses seem to follow: Core of the setup is Kubernetes on top of a Cloud Platform, and a quite similar set of tools (cloud, SaaS) around it: From CI, configuration and secrets management, to logging and monitoring.

Handling such a bunch of tools, all interacting with each other can lead to a heavy cognitive load on the developers’ side. In his timely talk, Manuel Pias shared his thoughts about The elephant in the Kubernetes room, namely team interactions in such complex environments. “Yet the elephant in the room is that to run, maintain, and evolve the Kubernetes clusters, we need more ops expertise and most likely a dedicated team”, Manuel Pias says.

Based on his experience working across the tech sector - published in the book Team Topologies (Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais, IT Revolution Press, 2019) - Manuel gave a lot of valuable insights and explored how teams could benefit from having their own development platform along with a platform team to support product teams.  All with the aim of reducing cognitive load and so make it easier to develop applications that run on  Kubernetes clusters.

As you can see, a lot of topics that we will be grappling with as an industry for a while yet.

If you missed the conference but would like more background information on the topics, please contact us and we will be happy to report more.
Did you join the Velocity Conference and want to share your thoughts and experiences about it? Just comment or drop us a line! We would love to get in touch with you!