I attended CITCON 2013 in Sydney last February. This year’s sessions covered more non-technical issues compared to CITCON 2010. Two of the more interesting topics for me were on how devops movement could potentially discourage collaboration, and on how large non-tech companies try and still fail to implement continuous delivery.
Those were some of the problems that I’ve been battling for many years. In an organisation where dev and ops are two separate divisions, devops is often a shortcut for dev to do ops tasks while bypassing any ops involvement. Instead, a better alternative would be for dev and ops teams to collaborate and stop fighting over issues like root access.
As for the second topic, continuous delivery is sometimes not as straightforward as it seems. One major obstacle to continuous delivery implementation is a conservative change management process. No matter how you automate your delivery pipeline along your development, test, and staging environments, it would all be useless if production deployment requires manual approval for the sake of auditing.
Technology is often the easier part, the harder part is on people and policies, on changing a culture, on accepting new ideas.
The best part of CITCON has always been its open space format where ideas/opinions/experiences flow during the discussions. And like most tech conferences, the hallway discussions were not to be missed. The quote-of-the-conf went to Jeffrey Fredrick for pointing out that (my interpretation of what he said) technologists often suck for focusing on the technology to sell to the business (e.g. continuous delivery is awesome), instead of focusing on the business problem and how the technology can solve it (e.g. business problem is time to market, continuous delivery can help).
I also caught up with Michael Neale from CloudBees there, here’s his CITCON 2013 notes, along with some familiar faces from CITCON 2010.
p.s.: I took some pictures of Sydney on my way to and from the venue (Atlassian office):
Last weekend I went up to Sydney for yet another friend’s wedding. Spent Saturday and Sunday morning in Katoomba, a nice little town in Blue Mountains, then returned to Sydney by train for the wedding ceremony at Shore Chapel, followed by the reception at RSYS.
I really like walking along Katoomba St, from the station all the way to Echo Point. A quite relaxing walk is always a nice escape from daily work ritual.
Echo Point, the thick fog was blocking the view of the valley.
My past few getaways tend to end up with a walk an exercise in a national park. I went down the Giant Stairway, walked along the Dardanelles Pass, and climbed back up to the Kiah Lookout.
The Shore Chapel, where the wedding ceremony was held. Congratulations to Kristiana and Adam for the wonderful wedding. Made some new friends during the reception dinner, everyone was so friendly and welcoming.
And some more pictures from the Blue Mountains.
Some photos from my weekend getaway in Sydney some weeks ago. Great eggplant and mushroom pizza from Pancakes On The Rocks, great latte from Cellini’s at QVB. Had a superb afternoon nap under a tree at Hyde Park.
Originals are available from the photoset page on Flickr.
I went to Sydney over the weekend to attend my good friend Dioni’s wedding. She’s the girl I referred to when I told my friends in Melbourne, “I know someone who works on a Star Wars game title at LucasArts.” Yes, she’s a game programmer and she spits code as part of the job.
Me, on the left, with the happy couple Dioni & Rendy.
The ceremony was held at Castlereagh Chapel, near Penrith.
The weekend itself was a nice short break right after a project I had been working on since last July. I decided to disconnect myself from the Internet for 3 days and not check my emails, feeds, tweets, and fb updates. Instead, I had a lot of conversations with people irl about various non-technology topics. Some of the interesting ones were on a different interpretation of “the will of the heavens” in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and on various rescue skills you will learn when you join the SES.
Having lived in Melbourne, Australia, for almost 9 years, I finally travelled to Sydney for the first time ever last week.
Planning the trip was easy and quick with Bezurk (a Ruby on Rails application, made in Singapore, I’ve lost faith in travel agents since a long time ago), Wotif (a JEE application, Australian made, works like a charm but they really need a design makeover), and Google Maps (I want my goddamn placemarks on the print result).
I must admit that I like Sydney CBD better than Melbourne’s. My favourite hangout in Sydney was a little cafe in QVB (great ambiance), totally loved the chocolate croissant accompanied by a glass of latte. Another favourite spot was Royal Botanic Gardens, it was totally relaxing, lying on the grass just looking at the blue sky. Last but not least, I think Makoto serves the best sushi.
As for the touristy activity, I took a 2-hour train ride to Katoomba followed by a bus ride to Blue Mountains. And yes, I did all the Scenic World’s Skyway, Flyway, Railway, and Walkway. I also did the bushwalk thingy to Echo Point’s The Three Sisters.
Some pictures from Sydney:
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House
Royal Botanic Gardens