How the GitLab conference gave a fresh feeling to DevOps

It can sometimes feel as though when talking about DevOps,  things easily become stale and people often lose site of what adopting a DevOps culture is really all about. At the GitLab Commit conference this year, however, a fresh reminder of why DevOps is so popular right now was injected into an eager and listening audience.

Based in one of central London’s beautiful 18th century buildings,  GitLab brought a wave of sunny American warmth to a cold October day as it conducted its very first UK conference. It’s safe to say the conference was  welcoming, insightful and even came with its very own freshly barista made coffee.

With GitLab being a Cloud-native CI company, the day was all about DevOps, end users, developers and security, with professionals all discussing how this company has helped their working lives.

Talks and discussions

Welcoming the audience to their day ahead was a keynote speech from Sid Sijbrandij, Co-founder of the cloud-native CI company, who discussed cycle time compression and the affect that software is having in the world. “Cycle time is the time between deciding to do something and getting feedback from users using that thing in production” He announced in the speech he titled,  ‘The Power of Gitlab’. Adding, “Cycle time compression is reducing that time and reducing the time it takes to ship software off to users and we agree it’s the key to business success because software is leading the world. Any improvement in business has to be implemented in software.”

Next to speak in a talk titled ‘Establishing a DevOps Culture @Porsche’, was two software engineers from the high end car company who spoke of how GitLab had enabled their progression with building up a portfolio in digital services and how this has enabled the progression of the automation world.

Alberto Gisberty, a representative of Porsche said, “Coming to an open source company takes time… We wanted to have a single source of truth, we didn’t want to go to different tools to check things….With the features we have, we wanted make sure that we had a fit, which is basically why we chose Gitlab.”

Break- off sessions

Other talks included speeches named ‘Flying from Base to Native within the Cloud’ and ‘Closing the SDLC Loop’. Afternoon break-off sessions ranged from further, more in-depth thoughts on cloud-native and DevOps to more specific GitLab focused talks like, “What Not to do whilst Using GitLab’ and ‘From Zero to Production with Rust, Python and GitLab’.

A quote from representatives at Siemens perfectly summed up what working with GitLab as part of a DevOps culture is about when they said “It’s all about people… have the technical skills and the people skills to bring that transaction into the company. You have to walk the walk and look after your customers”.

The conference came after GitLab announced last month that it had managed to raise a massive $268 million to help expand the firm. The aim of the investment was to use the money to extend its DevSecOps and monitoring platforms. Adding to this, the cloud-native organisation also released a product they are calling ‘Enterprise’, which can now be used on VMware Cloud Marketplace.