Winter wonderland

I haven’t had much of a chance to get out on the trails this off-season. Yesterday I had the chance to ride; What a beautiful ride it turned out to be. The trails were slightly mushy, not freezing and were still packed firm. I was delighted that a dear friend was able to join me, Jim Sauls. It definitely helps to pass the time when chatting it up with friends. I was amazed at how we nearly covered 2hrs in a time span that felt like 20m. I was also reminded that  I need to ride more as it’s such a refreshing diversion. Alas, It’s also an unfortunate fact that all good things need periods of rest and time off is just part of the cycle of riding and training.

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DevOps Bootstrapped in both Minneapolis and Milwaukee

Dec 5th and 6th marked the inaugaral kick-off of the DevOps Minneapolis and Milwaukee groups. I was AMAZED at the attendance for these first events especially in Minneapolis. Roughly 40 folks registered and just under that number attended; While Milwaukee was lighter we had almost 10 attendees. Minneapolis had a very diverse group including folks from both start-ups and fortune 100 companies. Thanks to the hospitality of @OpenBookMN and @Bucketworks for providing the laid back yet professional venue.

DevOps Minneapolis

I wish I had time to snag some pictures in Minneapolis but there was some great conversations going on all night. The group agreed on the expected format I provided guidance on and we already had volunteers for the next few Meetups. We wrapped up the night at Grumpy’s Bar discussing our favorite technical topics as well as ways to leverage cloud platforms in the enterprise.

DevOps Milwaukee

Milwaukee was much more casual since the group was smaller and fortunately for me, the entire group was very curious on leveraging @opscode #opschef to automate their IT processes. Continuous Delivery is always a hot topic since getting apps out to production in a controlled manner seems to have high priority with companies these days. We wrapped up the night at @TransferMKE pizza where we had great food, beer and music.

Grabbing pizza at Transfer and listening to jazz.

I am totally stoked for next month and working to grow these groups, helping to drive the tech movement in the Midwest.

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Thoughts of disruption in the Vegas desert.

I was fortunate enough to head to Vegas for the AWS re: Invent conference. I managed to spend some time exploring the beauty that Vegas has to offer. My wife and I headed to Valley of Fire State Park and stumbled across the fire wave. We unexpectedly were exposed to an amazing natural miracle. A small trickle which started long ago and eventually built into an unstoppable force, leading to the creation of natural wonders. In this case, carving sheer rock into layered colors and smooth ebbing formations reminiscent of a huge marble swimming pool. One thing was for certain, once this force was initiated whether accepted by the landscape or not, it’s fate was sealed. Disruption at it’s best …

It got me thinking about a quote I read from Steve Jobs :

“What has happened in technology over the last few years has been about the downturn, not the future of technology. A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets and that is what we’ve done. We’ve been turning out more new products than ever before, and Apple is one of the only two companies making money in the PC business. We’re not making a lot, but other than Dell, we’re the only one. Others are losing money – a lot of money.” -Steve Jobs

It’s definitely easy to look at this as an isolated experience based on a unique opportunity. But when you think about the last 2 major tech downturns, disruption inevitably fueled a new generational revolution within technology, not unlike the trickle which started in the Vegas desert. This disruption can be seen not only from the new tools, products,  processes and people but also by the companies with the foresight to capitalize on them.

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Red Rock MTB – Fun riding in Vegas desert.

Most people think of Vegas as a place to unleash on their vices. I am no different; I just have a different vice than most people; I love to ride my bike, very fast. This past year I’ve taken to doing so over obstacles, because riding fast is not challenging enough.

For those twisted enough to share my vice you have to check out the Red Rock trails. Typical for most areas with avid MTB trails, you can rent the core gear and McGhies is the place. Unfortunately, I haven’t made it very far outside of Blue Diamond but that just gives me more reason to head back 🙂

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