Trip Notes: Docker Distributed Systems Summit

At the beginning of October 2016, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the first ever Docker Distributed System Summit in Berlin, Germany. It was an incredible event that was attended by roughly 125 people from all over the world to discuss using Docker and its application for distributed systems. The event itself had a unique format with a series of deep technology focused talks on the first day, followed by a curated set of Birds-of-a-Feather group sessions and spontaneous hacking sessions on the second day . The topics of the first day were only outpaced by the evening discussions and the sessions on the following day. The team at Docker has been kind enough to publish all of the talks so that everyone can enjoy the content; I definitely recommend reviewing them when you get a chance.

For me, this was one of the first events in a long time that I was attending as an “outsider” so I wanted to share my experience. I won’t lie, when I first entered the room, I was quite overwhelmed as it appeared that most, if not all, of the attendees already had pre-established groups and friend circles. That said, within the first couple minutes my fears were calmed by the willingness of the attendees to include me in conversations and to even start conversations with me. By the end of the first day of sessions, I felt like I was part of the community. Dinner, Berlin’s specialty Döner Kebab, and the evening party were host to many great dialogues and discussions with other attendees. There is without a doubt a tremendous amount of energy and brainpower surrounding Docker.

In an odd twist of fate, I experienced one of those rare moments when two worlds collide when I realized many of my friends from JSConf EU knew the new friends I had just made at the Docker Summit. It was one of those moments that you clearly see how small the world actually is. Special thanks to Laura Frank and Stephan Seidt for providing me with this moment of amazing kismet.

The next day was a series of Birds-of-a-Feather and Q&A sessions that continued the incredible vibe of open and deeply intelligent discussions. I learned a tremendous amount about the current and future security posture of Docker, the best way to describe the new swarm mode in Docker 1.12 (versus Docker Swarm), and several other great tidbits of knowledge about deploying distributed systems. At the end of the day, I left the event far more knowledgeable, with a lot more friends that when I first entered, and a huge amount of appreciation for the Docker events team and all involved in setting up this event.

If that wasn’t magical enough, that evening, Docker Captain Bret Fisher and I were able to enjoy a wide array of homemade Bavarian dishes and some local Berlin home brewed beer by heading off the beaten path. As I headed home, I had a great conversation with Victor Coisne from Docker about amazing things happening in the community, the leadership, and the overall future for the container ecosystem. I know there are discussions about hosting more of these summit like events — if you get the chance to attend them, I would strongly suggest it!