DevOps Girls bootcamp at ThoughtWorks

Alice
Alice
Feb 29, 2020 · 8 min read

What things usually appear on your wishlist for a Saturday plan? Learn a new tech stack? Polish your DevOps knowledge? Meet new friends? Take your kids out to have fun? Is it possible to do all the things in one day? The answer is YES! This happens regularly at our DevOps Girls events!

On the 1st of February 2020, ThoughtWorks hosted the Docker 101 bootcamp together with DevOps Girls. The bootcamp aimed to introduce our attendees to the wondrous world of Docker. Our event brought 40 attendees together to learn new concepts and ideas. The attendees were mostly developers who wanted to enhance their skills in Docker.

As we also had parents in our crowd, we encouraged them to bring their children in to join a Kid’s Code Club. Held and run by our volunteers, the Code Club ran in parallel to the Docker event and introduced the children to the tech world with fun activities and exercises.

What is DevOps Girls?

DevOps Girls aim to create a welcoming and engaging environment for women and those who identify as non-binary to learn more about DevOps and to empower them to thrive in this area. ThoughtWorks was happy to help DevOps Girls reach more women by hosting this bootcamp.

What was the event about?

This workshop included both theory and practical exercises. For the theory, we spoke of the history of application building and the advantages of using Docker in the modern world. The practical component of this event ensured that what we had explained was practiced and memorised through action. Concepts and practice help the attendees learn and memorise the power of Docker and its uses within a span of a few hours.

Why Docker?

We chose Docker as our topic this time because of its popularity. Buzzwords like “containers” and “Dockers” are everywhere and most people don’t even understand the meaning behind them or what they really are. A few months ago, we ran a poll asking the public what they wanted to learn. Out of the list of topics, Docker was one of the highest ranking topics of interest. Also, DevOps Girls had never held a Docker bootcamp before so we said, “Why not?” and went ahead to organise one.

Kicking off the day

Participants arrived at the ThoughtWorks Melbourne office at around 9 am. Breakfast was ready for our attendees. The beautiful morning started with people talking with each other, meeting new friends and looking forward to the day ahead. We kicked off the day with an opening speech, which multiple companies and groups including DevOps Girls, ThoughtWorks, Code Club Australia and AirWallex, collaborated on together to contribute to its success.

Learning about Docker

The workshop was focused on explaining basic concepts around Docker and also giving people a hands-on experience. It was divided into four main parts: Concepts, Basic Commands, Building Docker images and Docker Tagging. Main content used in the workshop can be found here: Docker 101.

Part 0: Docker Concepts

To understand the importance of Docker, we turned back the clock a little. We spoke about the brief history of how we used to deploy applications, and compared it to how we would do it today. With the feature of portability and isolation, Docker simplifies and accelerates workflows for developers with an integrated development pipeline and application components.

Lightning talk : “It takes a village to raise a child”

Nik Skoufis, DevOps Engineer, MYOB, presented his talk highlighting the non-technical skills for DevOps adoption. He argued that the technical merits of a tool are rarely enough to get people using it. His presentation also explored the range of non-technical skills and techniques required to ‘sell’ DevOps products to technical and non-technical audiences.

Part 1: Docker Basics & Machine Setup

There is no better way of understanding a concept than using it. We started to run Docker in this session.

In this part, attendees learnt how to pull down and run images, and then they were given an exercise: find and run the WordPress image! A good challenge to strengthen the understanding of Docker and the two new processes/concepts. Everyone was so involved in tackling the task and whenever they needed help, our mentors were around to answer any questions.

Lunch time!

We had a great spread of food and drinks. Most importantly, there was a comfortable and welcoming environment for people to talk with each other, share stories and grow their network. From new tech stacks, teaching kids coding, reasons of being a DevOps Girls volunteer to interesting things in previous projects, people talked to each other and were inspired by one another.

Part 2: Creating Docker Images

As neat as it was to quickly run pre-existing images, it was a good time to let attendees explore how we could create our own images. In this section, we took a look at Dockerfile.

Lightning Talk: “My Journey from Dev to DevOps”

Kiruthika Samapathy, Lead Consultant, ThoughtWorks shared her journey from being a Software Developer to leading a DevOps Team in Australia. She shared stories from her journey where developers had very little understanding of how things were getting deployed on the other side, and how she enjoyed being able to participate in these decisions. She shared some great insights and tips with the participants on how to approach a project undergoing a DevOps transformation.

Part 3: Docker Tagging

With docker images created, we would need a way to share them with people or systems so that they could be executed or deployed. We shared knowledge on mechanisms like Docker tag and Docker push to make this happen.

Another fun exercise involving correlation came along, which was to create a Public repository, pushing an image to it and asking the person nearby to pull the image down and run it.

White-boarding

After learning all of these new concepts and getting hands-on experience with Docker application concepts, it was now time to showcase all of this knowledge back to the whole group! They broke off into smaller groups and we asked them to run through each concept and explain it to each other. They got to drawing Architecture Diagrams of a Docker ecosystem based on their own understanding and hands on practicing. Every group managed to successfully produce a detailed Docker ecosystem architecture diagram, which is solid proof that the knowledge was well delivered to the attendees.

Outcome & Wrap-up

The fantastic day ended here with everyone feeling inspired, motivated and pumped to learn more about Docker! With the good coverage of concepts and practical application, Docker was not mysterious anymore for attendees. People knew not only how to use Docker, but also where and how to learn more for the next step.

Kid’s Code Club

Kid’s Code Club was a blast. Having the moms and guardians learn at the bootcamp on a Saturday without having to worry about their kids was something that was offered during the day. A team of volunteers took care of the participant’s kids and took them through the basics of coding and algorithms. It was fun working with the kids seeing their faces light up as they were presented with basic code tooling such as Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/) and invention kits such as MakeyMakey (https://makeymakey.com/). They even had a chance to learn about robotics and play with the Sphero robot (https://www.sphero.com/). Overall, it was a good experience from both the volunteers and the kids who participated.

Kid’s Code Clubs in your area can be found on this map — codeclubau.org/find-a-club

All Kid’s Code Clubs are free and run by volunteers, so if you have an hour a week, please consider volunteering! There’s FREE training and resources provided!

Follow #DevOpsGirls and join the community!

  • See some of the snaps from today on the @devopsgirls account
  • Follow @devopsgirls on Twitter

Feedback from attendees

“It was such a great day! I was so impressed with all the mentors and content delivery! Clearly hours of planning were put into the day and my daughter and I really enjoyed ourselves. Thank you for sponsoring!”

“This was one of the most wonderful events I have ever been to! Big applaud for all organisers, sponsors, mentors and volunteers! I look forward to seeing you all again!”

“The #devopsgirls event, vibe and learning attitude was so contagious, that we can’t skip a beat. Left the place so pumped up! Thanks much team, for organising this wonderful and productive event.”

“Was a great event. Many thanks to the organisers and all volunteers who made it a success.”

“A special thanks to Isha Gupta, Phuong Mai Nguyen, John Contad and the whole “DevOps Girls” Meetup team for giving an opportunity to refresh DevOps concepts and meet some lovely new people. DevOps girls is truly a wonderful platform to empower the whole DevOps community!”

“This is the first meetup that I could attend because I don’t have to worry about my kids.”

“Thanks for providing such a wonderful event! The content is as of high quality as always. Can’t wait for the next one!”

“Thanks to you and everyone involved in organising and volunteering! Hope to attend more events with DevOps Girls in the future :)”

Thanks to organisers and volunteers

A successful event always requires a great amount of effort to prepare. Apart from the visible work on the day, there is a huge load of preparation happening before the event. To make sure everything is well considered and organised, we had one planning kickoff meeting, two checkpoint meetings as well as a couple of content dry runs. Sometimes our organisers and volunteers need to do them after their regular daily work. The event definitely cannot happen without the effort of all the wonderful volunteers from ThoughtWorks, MYOB, SEEK, REA, Slack and ME Bank.

Massive thanks to the following volunteers:

Phuong Mai Nguyen, Isha Gupta, Dalzy Mendoza, Willem van Ketwich, Ziyuan Wang, Alice Jin, Eric Kamara, Nirvana Boodhun, Shuiqiang Lin, Anita Rajalingam, Emily Hoang, Shuying Lin, Suzan Majeed, Ryan Collingwood, Bal Sandhu, Harmeet Sokhi, Emily Namugaanyi, Kiruthika Samapathy, John Contad, Verónica Farías, Dawn Collett, Leoren Tanyag, Vanessa Nimmo, Theresa Neate, Javier Turegano, Nik Skoufis, Colin Liddle, Andy Luu, Lalitha Madhugundu, Leo S, Franca Moretto, and Dolores Arenas.

Photo credits: Dolores Arenas & Theresa Neate & Andy Luu.

In the end, special thanks to our sponsors, ThoughtWorks and Airwallex for sponsoring the event.

DevOps Girls

Likeminded tech folk who help women being upskilled and…

DevOps Girls

Likeminded tech folk who help women being upskilled and included in DevOps. Co-organisers: @JohnContad @TheresaNeate @setoide @francalovescake .

Alice

Written by

Alice

DevOps Girls

Likeminded tech folk who help women being upskilled and included in DevOps. Co-organisers: @JohnContad @TheresaNeate @setoide @francalovescake .