nobodys perfect nbc GIF by The Good Place from Giphy

Talk Summary – FDE Conference “Automation in an Infrastructure as Code World”

Format: Theatre Style room. ~70 attendees.

Slides: Available to view (Firefox/Chrome recommended - press "S" to see the required speaker notes), Code referenced in the slides also available to view.

Video: Not on the day, but I recorded a take of it at home after the event. The delivery on the day was better, but the content is there at least! :)

Slot: Slot 2 Wednesday 14:15-15:00

Notes: FDE is the abbreviation of "Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer", an internal program at Fujitsu. Each year they hold a conference for all the FDEs to attend. This is my second year as an FDE, and the first where I'm presenting.

This slide deck was massively re-worked, following some excellent feedback at BCMcr9. I then, unusually for me, gave the deck two separate run through sessions with colleagues, and tweaked it following each run.

This deck includes Creative Commons licensed images (which is fairly common for my slide decks), but also, in a new and unusual step for me, includes meme gifs from Giphy. I'm not really sure about whether this is step forward or back for me, as I do prefer permissive licenses. That said, the memes seem to be more engaging - particularly as they're animated. I've never had someone comment on the images in my slide deck until I did the first run through with the memes in with a colleague, and then again when I ran it a second time they particularly brought up the animated images... so the memes are staying for now.

I'm also slightly disappointed with myself that I couldn't stick to the "One Bold Word" style of presentations (the format preferred by Jono Bacon), and found myself littering more and more content into the screen. I was, however, proud of myself for including the "Tweetable content" slide, as recommended, I think, by Lorna Mitchell (@LornaJane). I also included a "Your next steps" slide, as recommended by Andy Bounds (although I suspect he'd be disappointed with the "Questions?" slide at the end!)

This deck required quite a bit of research on my part. I'd never written CloudFormations (CF) before, and I'd only really copied-and-pasted Terraform (I refer to it as TF which probably isn't right) before. I wrote a full stack of machines in CF, Azure Resource Manager (ARM) for the native technologies, as well as the same stacks in both TF and Ansible for both Azure and AWS. I also looked into how to deploy the CF and ARM templates with both Terraform and Ansible, and finally how to use TF from Ansible. I already knew how to run Ansible from within userdata/customdata arguments in AWS and Azure, but I included it and tested it as part of the deck too.

I had some amazing feedback from the audience and some great questions asked of me. I loved the response from the audience to some of my GIFs (although one comment that was made was that I need to stop the animations after the first run!)

Following the session, as I'd hoped, it brought a few of the fellow attendees to the forefront to ask if we can talk further about the subject and I would encourage you, if you are someone who uses these tools to give me a shout - I want to do more and find out about your projects, processes and tools!

My intention is to start using this slide deck at meet-ups in the Greater Manchester area, hopefully without having to re-write it that much!

One thought to “Talk Summary – FDE Conference “Automation in an Infrastructure as Code World””

  1. Jon – your presentation was excellent, and I had no problems with the content. I do highly recommend our presentation ninja course.

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