June 30, 2016 / by Torsten Bøgh Köster / CTO / @tboeghk
Monitorama. What would expect there to happen? A bunch of bearded nerds talking about their “killer monitoring tools”. That did happen - maybe - somewhere hidden in the closet. What surprised me was, that Monitorama is not about tools and techniques, it was about human interaction, collaboration, empathy and conversation.
What’s great about this conference is the single track format. Everybody gets to hear all the talks. And as each and every talk was excellent, there was not a single minute wasted. The first day focused on meta, which was great to set the stage for the following days that were more into tech. The first day delivered great think pieces about alert fatigue, people analytics and how metrics shape culture. The second day focused on tech and use cases. Pinterest, Dropbox and Basecamp shared insights on (database|security|scaling) monitoring. The third day kicked off with great talks by Netflix and Etsy. Netflix presented their awesome admirably vizceral project. The conference was closed by Google presenting their planet scale monitoring system Monarch.
What’s there to stay?
We took a whole bunch of ideas with us back home, which (surprise) involve a lot of improvement of our monitoring and metrics analytic system. But what’s way more important are the many ideas we are going to implement over the next few weeks. We have concrete plans on how to empower our product teams to gather way better insights into their applications. Moreover we are going to gather metrics about the culture we have crafted over the last years at shopping24.
For us (Torsten, Christian and even shopping24) this was the first time for a team to attend a conference in the United States. The journey was rough and the jetlag was worse. I would definitely not recommend arriving the day before. We had 2 days here in Portland before the conference kicked off to arrive and get settled, which was great as we could attend the soccer meetup on Sunday and take a look at some of the spectecular waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge.
Overall, Portland in June is a great, relaxed and peaceful (very hipster) place to be. Due to the long (tiresome and costly) journey, Monitorama will not make it on our annually conference schedule … but maybe on the biannually … except Jason is going to make this awesomeness happen in Europe somewhere :-)