New Relic London Summit 2016

This year I was fortunate enough to attend New Relics London based summit. Not quite as prestigious as its Futurestack15 San Francisco event, it was non the less, worthwhile.

The mission statement, if it were to be summarised would read something along the lines of:

We're New Relic; we do stuff with data and here are some of our customers to wax lyrical.

And that's not a criticism, the event was on-par or better than most conferences I've been too in recent years.

I'm not going to write a blow for blow breakdown of each talk or gush over the free food and drink (it was epic) but I'll try to summarise some of the key points that resonated with me…

##Analytics As a company whos’ business model is about the logging of data and the interpretation of information; this was (understandably) repeatedly enforced.

If your going to really understand what your customers are experiencing then your going to need data. But data which can't be interpreted, is useless, thats where NR come in. They'll store your data, organise it into interpretable information and alert you when something is going pear shaped.

##Devops For me the best talk was by one of NewRelics own engineers, Alice (a DevOps) gave a great presentation on building and maintaining a DevOps team. Some of her recommendations included:

  • Create documentation
  • Pair programming (not just programming, while DevOpsing as well)
  • Standardise where/how your documentation stored. NR use a Git and GitPages.
  • Make you documentation both searchable and archivable (not just chat logs)
  • Create GISTs for one off tasks
  • Create an approved list of languages, frameworks and tool. Avoid a free for all on tech
  • When communicating with support NR have this concept of a “Hero”. A rotating weekly nominated person, designed to share the responsibility and throw newbies in at the deep-end.
  • Remote workers are good, BUT:
  • Involve them
  • Don't treat as 2nd class citizens
  • Take notes during standups and distribute
  • Fly them in on a monthly/quarterly basis
  • Do swag drops (Jumpers, t-shirts, stickers etc)
  • Make them do deployments, if this makes you uncomfortable, why? (Poorly documented, communicated?)

There was more, see slides.

She also mentioned that NR use docker in production and have been for 2 years now…

Ben Squire

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Leicestershire, United Kingdom