TechSummit Washington, D.C.

Join us for an enjoyable day of tech insights

Don't miss this chance to hear expert speakers share tips, tricks and ideas on a wide range of tech topics. Join others from the tech community in a day of informal chat and information exchange – all in the Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University. It’s a great day out and only $50 for a full-day, and $35 for students (including food!).

Some of the topics our speakers will cover this year are:


Daniel Hochman

Daniel Hochman

Sr. Platform Engineer,
Oliver Hardt

Oliver Hardt

Software Engineer,
The New York Times
Arnoud Vermeer

Arnoud Vermeer

DevOps Engineer,
Alex Qin

Alex Qin

Software Engineer,
David Calavera

David Calavera

Terrence Ryan

Terrence Ryan

Developer Advocate,
Chrystie Twigg

Chrystie Twigg

Associate Director, Web Infrastructure,
Best Buy
Adam Leff

Adam Leff

Technical Community Advocate,
Chef Software, Inc.

More speakers will be announced soon!


9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Registration & Coffee
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Opening Notes
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Alex Qin - Skillshare
Shaving my head made me a better programmer

How do perceptions and stereotypes affect those in the programming community?

This talk tells the true story of my physical transformation, and the surprising and drastic ways in which it affected how I was perceived and treated as a programmer. This new perspective allowed me to take a hard look at our community, and how it can at times be less welcoming and inclusive than we all intend it to be.

This talk also covers the effects of unconscious bias, micro-aggressions, and stereotype threat within our community, and how to make engineering teams and our entire field more inclusive to all, and thusly more successful.

10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Daniel Hochman - Lyft
The (un)Written Rules of Lyft Engineering: How to Sustain 10x Growth

Most people think that the biggest challenge in a high-growth environment will be the implementation and operation of scalable infrastructure. Running systems to handle millions of users per day is no easy task. Handling 10x headcount growth in an engineering organization at the same time is exponentially more difficult. Learn how Lyft keeps its developers happy and productive while making it easy for them to optimize for scalability and availability. The talk will cover the key patterns used for scalable applications, infrastructure, monitoring, and development, as well as the dynamics of microservice and personal communication.

11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Coffee Break
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Terrance Ryan - Google
LAMP in containers

There is momentum to moving container based systems instead of the traditional single machine (or virtual machine) model. Where does that leave your mission critical LAMP stack application? Can it be containerized? Without tremendous amounts of pain? Of course it can.

Containerizing LAMP stack apps is pretty straight forward, once you know what you're doing. The goal of this session is to get you there. This session will walk you through setting up a LAMP app on an existing Kubernetes cluster using Replica Sets, Stateful Sets, Persistent Volume Mounts, and other Kubernetes tools you need to run the LAMP stack in a container based system.

12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Oliver Hardt - The New York Times
How to survive election traffic: using Prometheus to monitor services for performance, availability and resource planning

The Personalization and Messaging Teams at the New York Times use Prometheus to monitor their systems for performance, availability, and resource consumption and planning. Over the last few months we migrated parts of our system from an EC2 & Consul architecture to Kubernetes while continuing to use Prometheus for monitoring. This talk will give an overview how Prometheus works well for us in both a classic instance-based environment as well as within Kubernetes.

12:30 p.m. - 13:30 p.m. Lunch
13:30 p.m. - 14:00 p.m. TBA
14:00 p.m. - 14:30 p.m.

Adam Leff - Chef Software, Inc.
Application Automation Awesomeness with Habitat

Adam Leff is a Technical Community Advocate and Software Engineer at Chef. Prior to joining Chef, Adam held engineering and management positions at WebMD. He lives in Northern VA with his family, is endorsed for sarcasm and donuts on LinkedIn for some reason, has horrendous travel karma, and can frequently be found at local DevOps meetups in the DC area.

Application Automation Awesomeness with Habitat will discuss common pain points with application deployments and pitfalls with containers - and will show you how this can be solved with Chef Habitat.

14:30 p.m. - 15:00 p.m.

Chrystie Twigg - Best Buy
Containing Jenkins: Lessons in Solving the Problems of Jenkins at Scale

Jenkins is a powerful and easy-to-use tool for build automation, but the advice given to teams just getting started very often fails to discuss the options, trade-offs, and decisions that teams will face once they need to scale. Most Jenkins installations start out simple, and as time goes on, administrators find that it’s initially easy to add resources, slaves, and plugins to keep up with the pace of development. But what do they do when they suddenly find themselves--years later, perhaps--managing multiple sprawling Jenkins installations, supporting hundreds of developers, and running thousands of builds a day? How teams continue to scale? How can administrators retain control of their infrastructure, while still allowing developers the flexibility they need to do their jobs?

In this presentation, I will detail the path undertaken by Best Buy’s Build Infrastructure team as we faced these very problems. I will discuss different options for scaling Jenkins, trade-offs for each of the various approaches, and details about how we at Best Buy ultimately turned to containers to help us scale and modernize our Jenkins infrastructure to support development on one of the world’s busiest e-commerce websites. I will also discuss many of the lessons we learned along the way, both technical and cultural, that are applicable to other growing teams as they make decisions about how to scale their own technical environments.

15:00 p.m. - 15:15 p.m. Coffee break
15:15 p.m. - 15:45 p.m.

David Calavera - Netlify
Securing the web with Let's Encrypt

Let’s Encrypt has challenged the status quo of Certification Authorities by providing free trusted certificates for everyone. Platforms like Netlify are leveraging Let’s Encrypt to make their customer web projects secure by default. This talk is about how we designed and evolved Netlify’s certificate architecture to integrate with Let’s Encrypt and issue hundreds of certificates every day.

15:45 p.m. - 16:15 p.m.


16:15 p.m. - 16:45 p.m.

Arnoud Vermeer - LeaseWeb
Living with IPv6 Only

It's 2017. All IPv4 addresses are depleted. But not much traffic is flowing over IPv6.

If I was to connect to an IPv6 only network, what are all the things that would break. I'm going to challenge myself to live on IPv6 only for a week.

16:45 p.m. - 17:00 p.m. Closing Notes
17:00 p.m. - 18:00 p.m. Drinks


Jack Morton Auditorium, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

The Jack Morton Auditorium at GWU is the ideal location for our event. The auditorium is located on the first floor of the MPA Building at 805 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20052.

Jack Morton Auditorium, Washington, D.C.

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