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My new conference life

This blog post is not a kind of post I would normally publish. I’m normally focusing on technical blog posts around Cloud, Kubernetes and containers.

But normal is not normal anymore. In this post, I would like to talk about my new conference life. A life where I attend conferences and meetups without leaving my apartment. 😉

My last four weeks

So what did I do in the last four weeks? Everything started with the Azure Virtual Community Days which was a great world-wide event streamed on Youtube with multiple tracks. I had the pleasure to talk about Containers and Kubernetes on Azure.

This Youtube stream was completely managed by the team. I only had to share my screen via Skype and everything was done — spoiler alert: it will get more complex later 😉

Two weeks after the Virtual Azure Community Day I talked at the third GitLab Virtual Meetup. My talk was on Kubernetes integrations GitLab provides. Containerized pipelines, monitoring, tracing, serverless and other topics.

This one was a Zoom meeting published on Youtube afterward.

A week after the GitLab Virtual Meetup I had the opportunity to talk at the GitLab London Meetup. We planned this a long time ago because I had planned to travel to London to attend and speak at the DevOpsCon in London the day after. Due to the current situation, we moved this one to be virtual.

This talk was on containerized pipelines with GitLab and Kubernetes as well as containerized container image builds with Kaniko.

This one was also a Zoom meeting published on Youtube afterward.

Last but not least we also moved to virtual events for our own Meetups. Two days after the GitLab London Meetup we streamed our first virtual Azure Rosenheim Meetup event as part of the Global Azure Virtual event.

I once again talked about Containers & Kubernetes on Azure.

To be honest, this one was pretty tough. First time in my life I had to build, manage and stream live on Youtube — while doing my talk. But I think it worked pretty well. We also already committed to continue doing virtual events on Youtube as well as stream our in-person events later this year. So be sure to follow Docker Rosenheim Meetup and Azure Rosenheim Meetup to stay up-to-date.

“My view”

Let me add some technical things to this blog and talk a little bit about the things I learned while preparing our own Youtube live streams.

This is my streaming setup.

Not perfect but it works. 😉 It was important to me to be able to fast and easily convert my normal setup by just moving my Macbook and adjust my screen.

So what do we have:

  • my Macbook, doing all the work as well being my primary monitor for slides and demos
  • my iPhone, being my webcam to get better video quality
  • my AirPods, for better audio
  • my iPad with the Youtube app, to verify everything is working correctly
  • my screen with OBS, Skype as a backchannel and remote video source, Youtube comments, Youtube Studio and some other stuff

The main tool is OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). I used it to combine multiple sources and stream them to our Youtube channel via multiple scenes.

Besides OBS another main component was NDI. NDI (Network Device Interface) is a software standard to deliver and receive broadcast-quality video in a high-quality over a network. It can nicely be integrated with OBS to receive audio and video streams. I used NDI to receive my iPhone camera output using the NDI NX camera app and also to receive the remote audio and video stream using the NDI integration of Skype. To receive and work with all these streams in OBS I had to install the NDI Plugin there too.

In the above stream, I decided to use four different scenes. I added short cuts to every single one to be able to easily switch them within my talk. Let’s have a quick look at all of them.

This scene was a pretty basic one. It contained out of a looping audio file and a background image. All other audio and video sources where disabled. This allowed us to start the streaming but still being “invisible” to get ready for the show.

This scene was our intro scene. This one is a bit more advanced. It consisted of:

  • a nice background picture
  • my audio, based on my local Macbook source (via Bluetooth)
  • my video, streamed by my iPhone via NDI
  • the second audio and video got streamed via a Skype meeting and received via the NDI Skype integration mentioned above

The slides and demo scenes once again used my audio and video but also showing my main screen for slides and demo in different layouts.

Happy streaming everyone!

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