PagerDuty Blog

Countdown to PagerDuty Summit 2020: A Sneak Peek Into What’s In Store

We are only weeks away from PagerDuty Summit 2020—and believe me when I say that there is a LOT underway behind the scenes right now to bring this event to life.
But first, if you’re a returnee, welcome back! As you’ve probably heard, PagerDuty Summit 2020 will be a little different this year. Like many other conferences, we’ve made the transition to be fully virtual, which hopefully gives you some more flexibility in checking out a few different sessions across tracks. Even better, it’s free so anyone can join to learn something new! Plus, if you register, you can catch sessions on demand for six weeks after the event is over.

We couldn’t be more excited to share with you some of the sessions we have planned. Whether you’re a DevOps engineer hoping to learn new best practices for handling modern incident response or an IT leader looking to see how others are viewing the Future of Work (especially during COVID-19 and beyond), there will be something for everyone.

Our CEO Jennifer Tejada will kick off the event with a keynote and fireside chat, followed by a product keynote and demo before splitting off into sessions under two key tracks where you can begin choosing your own adventure.

During the first two days, you can pick between Using PagerDuty and Industry Trends tracks. Starting on day 3, there will be six tracks to choose from: Using PagerDuty, Labs, Incident Response, Building a Great Culture, Technical Talk, and Integrations to Improve Workflows.

The last day will round it out with options for Certification Fast Track, Best Practices in Real-Time Operations, and PagerDuty Product Expert sessions.
I went around talking to track owners to see what they have been working on to get a preview of the hottest sessions to help you decide which ones to tune in for. Here are five sessions we’re really excited about:

Sessions, Tracks, Speakers, and More

Session: Cultivating Production Excellence
Speaker(s): Liz Fong-Jones,
Track: Building a Great Culture
When: Wednesday, September 23 at 9:40 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. PT

Overview: Taming the complex distributed systems we’re responsible for requires changing not just the tools and technical approaches we use; it also requires changing who is involved in production, how they collaborate, and how we measure success. In this talk, you’ll learn about several practices core to production excellence, such as giving everyone a stake in production, collaborating to ensure observability, measuring with service-level objectives, and prioritizing improvements using risk analysis.

Why We’re Excited and You Should Be, Too: Lots of companies approach us about how to navigate a transition to full-service ownership and are curious about the principles surrounding the “build it, ship it, own it” culture. This session should be interesting to both engineers and SREs, as well as IT and DevOps leaders evaluating ways to improve collaboration and processes across teams.

Session: Future of Work CEO Panel
Speaker(s): Adam Lashinsky, Fortune; Stewart Butterfield, Slack; Eric Yuan, Zoom; Jennifer Tejada, PagerDuty
Track: Industry Trends
When: Monday September 21 at 10:10 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. PT and Tuesday September 22 at 10:10 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. PT

Overview: Almost overnight, many of us shifted to a remote work environment—but in reality, it was an acceleration of a trend we’ve seen over the past several years. How will we work and collaborate moving forward? What’s in store for all of us? Adam Lashinsky, Executive Editor at Fortune, will moderate a panel featuring the leaders from Zoom, Slack, and PagerDuty as they discuss the future of work.

Why We’re Excited and You Should Be, Too: No industry has been left unturned in the age of COVID-19. It should be fascinating to learn what’s top of mind for three prominent Silicon Valley CEOs around the Future of Work as they reflect on navigating the sudden shift to remote workforces this year and how they envision the road ahead.

Session: In the Heat of the Page: Coping with the Root Cause of Incident Stress
Speaker(s): J. Paul Reed, Netflix
Track: Building a Great Culture
When: Wednesday, September 23 at 10:10 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. PT

Overview: Most SREs, if they’re being truly honest, will admit that being involved in an incident—either as a responder or incident commander—is inherently stressful. But why is that? What makes incidents “stressful?” We’ll take a look at some of the underlying reasons why we experience stress when engaged in incidents. We’ll also look at some techniques (beyond “remember to breathe!”) both individuals and teams can use to combat stress before the pager goes off and in the middle of the charge.

Why We’re Excited and You Should Be, Too: We’ve all attended sessions that mainly focus on how to resolve incidents and usually forget about the humans solving them. The stress of being on call is real, so acknowledging it and keeping an eye out for how it’s impacting your team are super important if you are trying to keep up team morale and avoid burnout.

Session: Cloud Migration Success
Speaker(s): Francessca Vasquez, AWS, and Rachel Obstler, PagerDuty
Track: Industry Trends
When: Monday September 21 at 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. PT & Tuesday September 22 at 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PT

Overview: Rachel Obstler, VP of Product at PagerDuty, will be sitting down with Francessca Vasquez, Head of Amazon Web Services, Solutions Architecture for the Americas, to discuss the trends accelerating cloud migration by organizations and what’s ahead for cloud adoption in the future.

Why We’re Excited and You Should Be, Too: Cloud has been around forever, but it’s a long and often bumpy, non-linear road to move away from on-prem to the cloud. For those of you in the middle of cloud migration journeys, this should be a good session to learn what’s happening from a macro viewpoint and how it might affect your projects.

Session: The Need to Belong: The Neuroscience of Inclusion
Speaker(s): Rachel Parrott, New Relic
Track: Incident Response
When: Wednesday, September 23 at 11:10 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. PT

Overview: What happens to our brains when we’re rejected in social situations or made to feel less than? Surprisingly, the neuroscience behind these reactions is similar to that of our early ancestors—but the difference is that their survival was at stake.

Most of the threats that our brains now face involve inclusion (or lack of) in our workplaces. Rachel Parrott, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at New Relic, will talk about the importance of ID&E in tech, with a focus on inclusivity and the neuroscience behind it. The audience should come away knowing that belonging is a global need and that inclusion is more than being nice—it’s believing the experiences of others, in addition to supporting and validating those experiences.

Why We’re Excited and You Should Be, Too: At PagerDuty, we believe that equality should not be a privilege, but a right for all. We are deeply passionate about using tech’s collective power and influence to drive demonstrable change, equality, and justice. Join us for this session that gets to the heart of the matter on a topic that’s more important today than ever as we all work toward a more equitable world.

PagerDuty University Free Certification

Don’t forget: PDU Incident Responder Certification is free at Summit on September 24!

PagerDuty University is releasing an inaugural three-course and exam series that will familiarize students with best practice frameworks core to building a mature, proven incident command system (ICS). Implementing an effective ICS enables teams to deal with any major incidents that arise in an efficient and smooth way. Becoming a certified Incident Responder is a recommended, optional step toward gaining knowledge and best practices to better the Incident Response process in organizations.

For more on PDU Certification at Summit, check out the promotion here.