O’Reilly Velocity Conference 2019

David Wagner

Between November 5-7 I spent three days on the O’Reilly Velocity conference. This post documents the sessions I liked the most.

The conference organizers collected the speaker slides here


I travelled to Berlin on Monday and started the conference with two, half-day tutorials.

Open Telemetry workshop

In this workshop, tutored by Liz Fong-Jones, I learned about OpenTelemetry: a project aiming to standardize metrics and trace collections from applications.

Our task was to instrument the provided Go code. This was an HTTP service computing the Fibonacci sequence using its recursive definition. To compute the preceding two numbers in the sequence the server code repeatedly issues HTTP client calls to itself. This implementation is terrible for production, but it is an excellent classroom example.

For the practical exercises we wrote the code on Glitch. I think this was a great choice, I could immediately start working on the execrcises without installing anything on my computer.

SRE classroom (PubSub)

In this workshop Google engineers lead us to design a strongly consistent, multi-datacenter queue. The instructors described how the system should behave, what latencies are tolerated, what failures modes are allowed. We formed groups of five-six people to come-up with an implementation plan. Then, we created a bill of materials to estimate the cost of building the system.


The power of good abstractions in systems design Lorenzo Saino (Fastly)

Kubernetes the very hard way Laurent Bemaille (Datadog)

Privilege escalation in build pipelines Andreas Sieferlinger (Scout24)

Grafana and metrics without the hype and anti-patterns (wasn’t that good finally) Björn Rabenstein (Grafana Labs)

Configuration is riskier than code Jamie Wilkinson (Google)

M3 and Prometheus Rob Skillington (Chronosphere), Łukasz Szczęsny (M3)


Building high-performing engineering teams Lena Reinhard (CircleCI)

Controlled chaos: devops and security Kelly Shortridge (Capsule8)

  • slides
  • recording
  • The “DIE” triad: distributed, immutable, and ephemeral infrastructure

Cultivating production excellence Liz Fong-Jones (Honeycomb)

Keptn: Don’t let your deliver pipelines become your next legacy code (Dynatrace Software)

Stateful systems in the time of orchestrators Danielle Lancashire (Hashicorp)

Consensus is for everyone Tess Rinearson (Tendermint Core)