Written by:  

Maarten van Kessel

Our Red Hat forum take-aways: technology is about people

Red Hat forum in Utrecht: as Itilians we could not miss that. Read what fellow Itilian Popke and I took away. 

The day started with keynote speeches from various companies, our take-away from the Red Hat presentation itself was that you should process data at the source where possible. You have no other choice if you need to gather your data, upload it to the cloud, process it, feed it back in your loop and still be able to make split second decisions when required.
After that, Microsoft had the stage, and they presented their Digital feedback loop to us. Their message was that data should be shared with everybody, so that it can be used for: engaging customers, empowering employees, optimizing operations, and transforming products.

Technology is about people

The interesting part was that the talks that followed did not focus so much on the technical part, but more on the organizational part, with the speech from Jeroen Wolff of the Dutch Tax Offices as a highlight. His presentation indicated the issues he encountered and addressed for developers at the Dutch Tax Offices:

  • I cannot access the data that I need to do my job
  • I can think faster than I can develop in our environment
  • I have to work some very old stuff
  • I can and I want, but I am not allowed
  • It… is… so… slow…

If one of those 5 issues occurred, the creative mind of the developers was triggered. Which is not good since it results in workarounds (imposing security risks and inconsistencies in the production environment). So, procedures and workflows shouldn’t be pushed top-down, you need to start the conversation with the developers that actually have to work with it.  

RedHat microsoft

Time for a deep dive during the break-out sessions

The second part of the forum was filled with break-out sessions. We visited the following sessions that are worth checking out:

Modern Organization Cookbook: I would recommend everybody to go over this presentation. Have no fear, it is not technical. This talk was on how to create a modern organization with happy workers. Like mentioned in the keynote: listening to your developers and making them happy will generate better results. Don’t get hitched on standards but have an agile approach to reach your goal. “Effective users are motivated users, motivated users are happy users!”

AnsibleFest 2019 afterparty - Fred van Zwieten: Red Hat for the early birds, this session started at 08:30 before the main sessions. It was a recap of the AnsibleFest of last month in Atlanta. Fred talked about the Ansible Roadmap: further integration with Tower and OpenShift by introducing the Red Hat Automation platform. This puts Ansible, Tower and networking in a single easy-to-manage (and bill) package. Also, Red Hat is strongly rooting for the Ansible Content collections, pre-made ‘certified’ playbooks/roles on different topics and also creating an Automation Content Hub to easily acquire and consume these collections.

Ansible + Satellite - Ruud Hendricksen: This was one of the most likeable and easy-listens of the whole event since it connects very well to what we already have been doing for our customers. And you could tell the presenter knew what he was talking about. He described the environment at the Dutch Tax Offices in depth. How they created a pipeline to deploy VM’s using Satellite, Ansible and Ansible Tower. He also went into some issues they encountered when using Red Hat products and how they fixed them. And how Ansible Tower is used to orchestrate the backend (credentials / RBAC / Auditing etc).

All in all, a great forum with interesting and inspiring talks by professionals – we are excited to put the lessons learned into practice.

As Red Hat is open source, all presentations can be downloaded. 


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