YOW! Sydney 2019

Day 1

The Unicorn Project and the Five Ideals – Gene Kim

Gene brings lots of energy to his talk, and I’m a huge Gene Kim fan, so I had my books ready for him to sign. Gene paints a great vision from data showing the correlation between high performing companies and adoption of devops practices.

Evolving Chaos Engineering – Casey Rosenthal

Can you imagine what it would take to convince your boss to let you deliberately make things break in your production environment? Casey is the kind of guy who could make that argument. Casey is rapid-paced, will lots of gentle subtle humour, and some fun historical stories.

3 Insights From 4 Years At Spotify – Jason Yip

Everyone has had someone in their company want to ‘do’ the Spotify Model. What does it really look like? Jason gives a down-to-earth, human approach to solving organisation problems without the hype.

Multi-cloud, A Large Enterprise Perspective – Scott Shaw

Scott links together classic patterns we’ve seen in the software industry, that we’ve seen over and again over the last 30 years, and shows how they’re happening again with cloud vendors.

Interaction Protocols: It’s All About Good Manners – Martin Thompson

How is the Court of Versailles, Francis Bacon and the ITEF related? Come to this talk and find out. Martin rants wonderfully about the problems with the BSD sockets API and links it to a different way of thinking about problems.

Growing Your Personal Design Heuristics – Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Can you distill the way other people think in concepts? Can you capture and repeat your own abstraction process? Rebecca brings decades of experience to the meta-problem of your own problem solving process.

The Reactive Revolution – Josh Long

It’s the end of the day and Josh’s energy hits you like a bolt of lightning. Every developer has seen Java. Josh does a demo that will knock your socks off. This was so much fun.

Scale, Micro-services and Flow – James Lewis

There is this inspiring theme that builds up through this day, starting with Gene Kim, about organisations living and dying as organisms. James kicks off with a great t-shirt reference, and links quickly to fractal networks. James is great fun.

Day 2

The Morning Talk Walkthrough

Aino and Michele – succeed in making the talks appealing, but also bringing in a dry-humour of their own. Make sure you ask Aino about the OODP talk she did in the past. (Hint – it’s not about Design Patterns). Michele is great to chat to during the day, and has put lots of thought into making the conference a great experience.

Rise of the Breaches – Troy Hunt

Troy Hunt wrote haveibeenpwned.com and has testified before the US Congress on Security matters. Security is both deeply serious, and knee-slappingly hilarious and Troy piles it on.

Quantum Computing and You – Matthew Keesan

Imagine the Computing World in the 1930s – before Von Neuman…

What are all the element of a good YOW talk? Energy. Jokes. A vision of a better future. Real world applications and shooting down myths. Feeling empowered and inspired to do it yourself. This talk ticks all the boxes. Probably the best non-keynote talk.


In the 90s I imagined that IT people ate burgers and drank soft-drink. 20 years later we have a different kind of metabolism, and the conference caters to that. The Sydney food was artisanal and filling.

Automating Operations with Machine Learning – Matt Callanan

Pure, real-world, on the ground, battle-hardened solutions. Matt is neck-deep in this stuff and you can throw him any question.

Ready for Rust – Erik Dörnenburg

If you haven’t yet wrapped your head around the key concepts of Rust and its benefits – Erik packages it up neatly in 50 minutes, with some great demos. Erik brings the passion of one who enjoys programming, talks about industry applications, and drops some sick burns.

93 Easy Steps to DevOpsing Your Monolith – Cat Swetel

The room packed out for Cat with good reason. Cat delivers irony and sarcasm like few you’ve ever seen. Be ready for your sacred cows to be roasted, because Cat is going to tell you how it really is.

Designing Distributed Systems with TLA+ – Hillel Wayne

What does the complete state space of the interactions with your software system look like? Can you represent that as a 3D wireframe? What language would you use to describe that? People love computer languages, but this is not what you think.

How I learned to stop worrying and love Misery – Gil Tene

Gil Tene wrote the best JVM. What happened when he went to measure it with customers? Here are the principles he extracted from his experiences. A year ago I wouldn’t have needed this talk. This past 12 months I’ve been using this all year.

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