What I didn’t find at DevOps Days…

Sometimes the truth hurts.  Well the truth is what we didn’t find at DevOps Days was a throng of adoring fans waiting to throw their undergarments at us. Come to think of it, that would be kind of gross anyway, especially with the DevOps crowd…no disrespect.

What we did find was:

a) our marketing table nestled so close to our competitor’s that…if our tables had been teenagers, we would have sent them to the Principal’s office (see PHOTO below…with competitor’s name shamelessly Photoshopped out and replaced with ours) … and,

b) a lot of companies and DevOps teams that were fairly embedded in their custom-rigged, hard-fought and hard-won monitoring solutions.

If only, in real life, we could just Photoshop out the competition…

In our last blog post we talked about the “suck” factor in monitoring.  Well, maybe for some, blessed with sizable IT budgets and IT brains, monitoring doesn’t suck so bad at all.  In fact maybe for those who take pride in their ability to cobble together a patchwork of complex solutions into one grand “comprehensive” solution, it’s sort of a way of life… a job within a job, a golden chalice, a worthy opponent for any Real Mensa up to the task.

When I was a kid I entered a Soapbox Derby  – a racing event where the entrants spend the better part of a year (usually with their dads) making, honing, tweaking, and polishing their own motorless downhill race cars.  Well I was new in town and my dad was busy with a new job, so I saved up and bought a Soapbox Derby Car from an enticing ad in the back of Popular Mechanics. The car was amazing. It was beautiful, took me fifteen minutes to put together, and with very little time, effort, or expense I placed an easy second in the popular Derby out of more than three dozen entrants.  I loved it.

When, on the trophy stand, I told everyone I’d bought the car, they called an emergency meeting and, despite having no written rule to back up their judgement…took the trophy right out of my hands and disqualified me from the race. My car was arguably better, faster, sleeker and more attractive than most of the others in the field, but I hadn’t spent hundreds of hours and piles of money and put the requisite amount of blood, sweat and tears into it… so it didn’t count.

Sometimes the truth hurts.  Well the truth is I just completely made up that story.  Sorry, but I was searching for something analogous to what we didn’t find at DevOps Days and that fake memory seemed to kind of fit.  It seemed more rich (and fun) than just coming straight out and saying, “When I was out last week I went to DevOps Days – an event where the participants spend a good part of their year (usually with their team) searching, honing and tweaking a multitude of products like Nagios, Cacti, collectd + graphite + pnp4nagios, Muni,  etc. etc. to create their own monitoring solution…” and so on.

Plus, admit it, it conjured up a nice little twinge of boyhood nostalgia for a few seconds, didn’t it?  Oh well, it did for me.  It also caused me to realize what to do with the rest of this quarter’s marketing & event budget –  we’re taking out a full page ad in the back of Popular Mechanics.