Jim O'Brien, our Vice President of Server Engineering, Support and IT, attended the prestigious ClueCon 2019 held recently. Jim shared his thoughts on “10 Essential network operations tools/systems/things in 30 minutes!" at the conference. He writes about his experiences at the event:
I was fortunate to both attend and speak at ClueCon this year. As it turns out this was quite a milestone for the conference with #ClueCon15 being the official hashtag as it was the conference's 15th anniversary. If I am counting properly, this was my 5th year attending.
The show was a vibrant demonstration of the community that surrounds the FreeSWITCH project. An interesting non-scientific data-point is that about two-thirds of the audience was attending for the first time. The ClueCon team puts on a great show. The other speakers gave great presentations and provided powerful insights. The audience is full of smart technical builders and operators who were all interesting to interact with.
My goals for attending were: to be more social than I normally would be to meet new people, to spend time with people I already knew, and most importantly to be observant of ideas and possibilities that come from these connections.
Earlier this year I was conflicted while thinking about a topic to present to the community. I thought about preparing a talk covering some of the latest features and innovations we are building at CounterPath. I was tempted to talk about some of our customers' successes and the underlying tech that powered these. I contemplated presenting on new service infrastructure we've built at CounterPath. In the end, I settled on a much different presentation than I've presented at ClueCon in the past and of course a topic I'd hoped would be interesting to the audience.
I gave a talk titled "10 essential network operations tools/systems/things in 30 minutes!". While I did cover 10 tools, what the title left out was that the presentation highlighted the monitoring aspects of how we've built and deployed successful services and how our customers have replicated these for their own offerings.
The presentation was geared to introduce attendees to some tools we use at CounterPath with some specific examples. More importantly, it was to provide some perspective on the types of passive and active monitoring that are possible. The goal is for everyone to understand that monitoring can be a 'Sup-er-Pow-er' and they can unleash if they want to win at network operations.
I had a great time presenting, hopefully, I shared something useful to others. I also enjoyed some of the follow-on conversations that the presentation started.
For me this year these connections with other presenters and attendees were frequent and sometimes unexpected. A number of our customers and partners were in attendance which was a great experience too. I was also able to catch up with people I've worked with and didn't know would be attending. I think the importance of these in-person connections cannot be understated.
If you're feeling like you missed out, come next year! I'd love to connect. The FreeSWITCH team also streamed the conference live to youtube. If you are interested in some suggested presentations - I would suggest viewing Anthony's keynote, David Duffett's session and the WebRTC and FreeSWITCH round tables. You can stream the entire conference here.
Interested in learning more about network operations? Check out this blog series 'User-Edge Operations' penned by Jim himself, where he shares his insights on the complex operations landscape for application, service and platform providers of all varieties.