infracoders hot topics

It’s been 4 years since Matt Jones and I started the infracoders group.


4 years is a long time in our industry.  4 years ago I spent most of my work day writing automation code in Chef and Puppet.  I worked on VMWare virtual machines and physical infrastructure.  I worked closely with the developers on build pipelines and was primarily responsible for production availability and performance.

These days, it’s still working closely with developers but my focus is more on AWS’s cloudformation for automation.  I work on more of the administrative side of things like keeping a lid on the cost of cloud convenience.  It’s a daily battle to keep up with all of the new shiny technologies people keep inventing.

When we created infracoders I thought we would mostly talk about automation with Chef and Puppet (and whatever else people were using) but we wanted to keep the scope of the meetup open enough to talk about with whatever was cool and new in the broad infrastructure as code area.

The meetup is all about building a community for sysadmins in particular but we welcome others! Our speakers are the practitioners of our craft who write the infrastructure code and get woken up in the middle if the night when it fails. The 88 fabulous talks we’ve had over the 4 years have been interesting and above all useful and educational for our members.

I often wonder what’s next?  What technologies should we be learning about next?

I thought I’d spend a couple of hours analysing the kinds of topics we’ve had presented at infracoders meetups so far.  I used the publicly available topics from each meetup on and put them in a big ole spreadsheet.  Then I classified them into categories as best I could from the topic names and my own fallible memory of the meetups.  I’ve been to most of the 48! to date.

Here’s the results of my analysis.


category count
puppet 4
automation/orchestration 3
sysadmin culture 2
cd/ci 1
web architecture 1
testing 1
packaging 1
chef 1
babushka 1
ansible 1
hardware hacking/arduino 1
windows powershell 1


category count
cd/ci 6
metrics/monitoring 4
sysadmin culture 3
aws 2
networking 2
security 1
web architecture 1
gradle 1
graph database 1
elasticsearch 1


category count
aws 4
sysadmin culture 3
docker 2
metrics/monitoring 2
ansible 2
puppet 1
cd/ci 1
support 1
coreos 1
cloud 1
elasticsearch 1
terraform 1
vagrant 1


category count
docker 10
metrics/monitoring 3
puppet 2
cd/ci 2
storage 2
security 2
networking 1
cdn 1
paas 1
sysadmin culture 1
windows powershell 1
aws 1

“Sysadmin culture” is a category that covers the talks that were case studies or organisational transformation talks.  These are more the staple topic of devops meetups.

I salute our members who spend their own time (or their employers’!) preparing talks.  It is surprisingly time consuming to do (and that’s just looking for pictures of cats).

Do we follow the technology trends in our industry?

This leads me on to the question that I ask at every meetup.  What do you (the community) want to hear about next?    I wait to see eagerly what the rest of 2016 and beyond brings.


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