Top 8 DevOps conferences of 2018 and what to expect from them

As someone who builds software by the DevOps approach, you’ve seen firsthand the benefits of attending conferences and networking with peers and experts, talking about challenges, wins, and finding direction for the future. DevOps conferences are essential if you care about performing at your best in your current role and moving ahead in your career. For the organizations that host these conferences, it’s the busiest time of the year. It’s when they announce the biggest features and updates they’ve been brewing for months. They even let customers play around with and experience these features before they’re released to the entire user base. They get some of their biggest customers, and customers doing the unique things with their products to share with the entire community. DevOps conferences are great for gaining knowledge, networking within the industry, and even getting inspired.

As you look ahead in 2018, which are the DevOps conferences you should attend? There’s so many of them and you’ll need to be picky about the ones you choose. To help with this, here’s a list of the top DevOps conferences with the essential facts about them all.

DevOps conferences

Red Hat Summit

May 8-10
San Francisco

Red Hat was recently in the news for its $250 million acquisition of CoreOS. This is big news considering the importance of CoreOS in the DevOps ecosystem. They’re one of the frontrunners in the container space and one of the leading contributors to the Kubernetes project. This is what made them prime targets for Red Hat, which wants to repeat with Kubernetes what it’s built with Linux.

Red Hat’s flagship cloud platform OpenShift has been going through some major shifts in direction and strategy. About a year back, Red Hat announced that it would be shifting the focus of OpenShift from OpenStack to Kubernetes. Now, with the CoreOS acquisition, we expect to see the very capable Tectonic platform getting integrated with OpenShift. This is in keeping with Red Hat’s push to be the leading cloud vendor for Kubernetes powered infrastructure. It’ll be interesting to see what plans Red Hat has for OpenShift given all the investment they’ve made in it over the past year.


June 11-12
San Francisco

Docker has been growing up as a company. It’s now squarely focused on capturing a large portion of the enterprise market. Keeping with this goal Docker has brought on Steve Singh as CEO. Interestingly though, the founder Solomon Hykes has just announced his departure from the company. This raises some questions about the direction the company is taking, and whether it’s lost touch with its roots. Docker has floundered a bit since the rise of Kubernetes and while enthusiasm around its core technology hasn’t died down, the same isn’t true for its commercial products. Docker has struggled to find the right balance between its open source and commercial offerings. At DockerCon 2018, the company will be looking to reaffirm its position as the pivotal organization in the container ecosystem. Expect to hear lots of enterprise success stories, and lots of hands-on workshops showing how to do pretty much anything cloud with Docker. Solomon Hykes most likely won’t be presenting, but it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the team takes on his mantle of providing direction for the container ecosystem.

Google Cloud Next

July 24-26
San Francisco

Google Cloud trails AWS and Azure in the cloud computing market, but with the success of Kubernetes and GKE being one of the most mature Kubernetes services out there, Google Cloud is a worthy challenger. Google Cloud has been winning many big deals like Shopify and Spotify, and we expect some of these customers to share their journey from other vendors and on-premises to Google Cloud. Google has also been releasing some interesting products like Stackdriver APM (application performance management) platform. This is said to be more developer-centric in comparison to the other APM solutions. It also aims to bring deeper visibility into Google Cloud resources. It’ll be interesting to see what else Google has cooked up for its Cloud Next conference.

Jenkins World

Sept. 16-19
San Francisco

CloudBees, the parent company of Jenkins, has been busy finding new direction and looking toward Kubernetes. They’ve recently announced integration with Red Hat OpenShift where they power the DevOps pipeline for modern or legacy apps that run on OpenShift. CloudBees has ambitions beyond OpenStack, and is looking to be the management pane for operations across any cloud vendor. While the cloud vendors provide the infrastructure and resources, CloudBees wants to be the preferred way to manage apps on these resources. Jenkins has always been big on integrations, and at Jenkins World, we can expect to hear lots about how Jenkins is platform, vendor, and technology-agnostic.

Microsoft Ignite

Sept. 24-28

DevOps conferences

Last year’s Ignite conference was big for Azure as it announced its AKS (Azure Kubernetes service) platform. Microsoft has a deeper reach in the enterprise marketplace than pretty much any organization out there. In fact, some surveys say that Azure even leads AWS among Fortune 500 companies, which is the most valuable segment of cloud customers. Azure has doubled down on its focus on containers and is keen to be the easiest place to run Kubernetes on.

Oracle OpenWorld

Oct. 22–25
San Francisco

Oracle is likely the most interesting of all cloud vendors at the moment as it is making the biggest transformation among them all. Going from a very late start, to now making some key acquisitions like and Wercker, Oracle is making up for lost time. Fighting a battle on many fronts, Oracle is looking to gain dominance with cloud infrastructure, container services, serverless computing, and retain its large market share of cloud databases. Larry Ellison never fails to bring it and doesn’t mince words in his keynotes taking aim at AWS. Expect more fiery comments from him at this year’s OpenWorld, but also expect the unexpected and exciting announcements from Oracle as it (to borrow a word that AWS identifies with) “reinvents” itself all over again.

AWS re:Invent

Nov. 26-30
Las Vegas

re:Invent is the mother of all cloud computing conferences. AWS makes huge tidal waves with its announcements here, and pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the industry. AWS is the leader in this space, and the sheer breadth of the AWS-verse is breathtaking. Last year, AWS announced EKS, their Kubernetes service, which was long overdue. In AWS style, they also launched Fargate, which is very forward-looking in how it approaches cloud management. It brings in a great bled of serverless computing and container orchestration. Apart from the staple of new instances announced by AWS, and price drops for storage, you can never tell where AWS is going to take the industry next. re:Invent is one conference to attend.

KubeCon & CloudNativeCon

Dec. 11-13

In case you didn’t notice yet, Kubernetes is likely the most repeated word in this article. It’s not because I’m obsessed with the container orchestration tool, but rather that every single cloud vendor out there is doubling down on Kubernetes. Every conference has Kubernetes as one of the key topics it addresses. This being the case, everybody who’s a somebody in the DevOps and cloud computing space would want to attend KubeCon. The topics range from Kubernetes 101 to service mesh tools like Istio and running Kubernetes in production. Considering the explosion of activity around Kubernetes, and the likelihood that any organization running containers today is probably using or considering using Kubernetes, this conference is at the bottom of this list, but should be on the top of your list of DevOps conferences to attend in 2018.

2018 DevOps conferences: Get inspired

From cloud infrastructure to containers to continuous integration, there’s a conference for everyone and every interest. Depending on what your focus areas are for this year, you can decide which of the DevOps conferences to attend. Book your tickets, and get ready to be inspired at one — or more — of these DevOps conferences in 2018.

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