10 practical talks you won’t want to miss at the O’Reilly Velocity Conference in New York 2018

Get advice and insight from speakers who have tackled the challenges you face.

By Ines Sombra, James Turnbull and Nikki McDonald
August 3, 2018
New York Skyline - O'Reilly Velocity Conference in New York 2018 New York Skyline - O'Reilly Velocity Conference in New York 2018

We’re excited by the lineup at the O’Reilly Velocity Conference in New York this year. Our core theme is building better systems: faster, more secure, and more resilient. To this end, we’ve gathered an amazing collection of speakers, talking about the technologies and challenges facing systems engineers today. Our focus has been on finding speakers with real world experience, both successes and failures, who can help you solve (or avoid!) problems in your own environment.

It’s hard to highlight all the talks we love, but we’ve selected 10 talks (aside from our keynotes!) that are unmissable: covering the gamut from serverless, security, and Kubernetes, to monitoring, and leadership.

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Securing serverless: By breaking in — Guy Podjarny, Snyk

Serverless is crossing the chasm and we’re starting to see large-scale real-world implementations of serverless for mission-critical applications. Serverless removes some security threats, but new and different threats are emerging. Guy Podjarny will take you through a live attack of a serverless application and show you how you can protect your serverless environments.

Deprecating simplicity — Casey Rosenthal, Backplane

Casey Rosenthal, who co-wrote the book on chaos engineering, is going to take you through the architecture, system thinking, and engineering priorities you need to consider when building complex distributed systems. He’ll explain how chaos engineering allows you to navigate complexity so you can increase feature velocity without sacrificing resiliency, security, or your sanity. 

Rebuilding the airplane in flight … safely — Shannon Weyrick and James Royalty, NS1

NS1 runs one of the largest and most complex DNS infrastructures in the world. Shannon Weyrick and James Royalty will take you through their journey rewriting the DNS server powering their infrastructure, all while avoiding customer impact. It’s a fascinating story of a complex engineering implementation.

Switching horses midstream: The challenges of migrating 150+ microservices to Kubernetes — Sarah Wells, Financial Times

The Financial Times was an early adopter of microservices and containers—the platform it built pre-dated production-ready Kubernetes. When the FT decided Kubernetes was ready for the mainstream, it faced the challenge of migrating more than 150 services to a new platform, all without downtime. Sarah Wells will talk about why the Financial Times migrated and how it managed to do so with minimum interruption to service.

Communicating and managing change — Rocio Delgado, Slack

Every organization changes. Some changes are handled well, others can cause immense harm to a company and its culture, even minor changes that are simply communicated or implemented poorly. Rocio Delgado will show you how to make healthy change in your organization and ensure good communication, trust, and buy-in.

Building successful SRE in large enterprises — Liz Fong-Jones and Dave Rensin, Google

Liz Fong-Jones and Dave Rensin will take their experiences at the home of SRE, Google, and share them with a wider community. Want to understand what building an SRE team looks like in an enterprise world? This is the roadmap for you. Oh, and there’s also this if you want to get a head start.

The container operator’s manual — Alice Goldfuss, GitHub

Running containers in development is one thing. Running containers at scale for mission-critical services is another. Alice Goldfuss will take you through the real world operational life of GitHub’s large-scale container environment.

How to break up with your vendor — Amy Nguyen, Stripe

We’ve all experienced vendor lock-in. Sometimes you don’t mind being locked in with your vendor and sometimes you do. Like when the relationship goes bad and turns unresponsive, unhelpful, or takes the product in directions that aren’t good for your use case. Breaking up with a vendor is hard, involving potential rework and disruption. Amy Nguyen will take you through the steps of making a vendor transition work with minimum fuss.

Modern security best practices for microservices and distributed systems — Seth Vargo, Google

The days of perimeter-only-centric defense are truly over. Applications require true defense in depth, with security input needed for architecture, design, development, deployment, and operations. Seth Vargo will focus on how to make sure your microservices and distributed systems get the security implementation they need through collaboration and code.

From silos to a single pane of glass at USA TODAY NETWORK — Bridget Lane and Kris Vincent, Gannett & USA TODAY

Gannett & USA TODAY had a complex and siloed environment. Bridget Lane and Kris Vincent will take you through their journey breaking down those silos, building cross-functional teams, and improving the tools and systems managing their infrastructure. It’s a fascinating look at a complex and successful DevOps migration.

We hope this has given you a taste for the larger Velocity New York program. We found it really hard to narrow our highlights to just 10 talks and we think you’ll find it equally hard (in a good way) to decide what to see at the conference. We hope to see you all in New York in October!

Post topics: Operations