Recently, I attended DevOpsCon in Berlin with our Tufin Orca team. I've been working with the German market for many years, and I've gotten to know the culture to some extent. I find it unique in that it is often innovative, yet also risk-averse. They don't jump on the bandwagon with every new, hyped-up technology.
In this respect, I didn't know what to expect at the DevOps conference - how popular is DevOps in Germany? How many people are already working with Docker? Kubernetes?
During the first day, our team got the impression that most people at the show were just beginning their journey with Docker. In the expo hall, there was a combination of software vendors in the DevOps space and local companies like Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Bahn who were there to hire developers.
On the second day, I was scheduled to give a talk about "Security automation using Istio service mesh.” As I was preparing for my session, the room quickly filled up. By noon, it was packed with people, some of whom were standing or sitting on the floor as all seats were taken. This was a clear indication of interest and it gave me a boost of motivation.
We started with a couple of surveys by a show of hands: how many people are in dev vs. operations and how many were familiar with Kubernetes. The audience skewed a little more towards developers, but most people were familiar with Kubernetes - good start!
After a brief overview of Docker and Kubernetes, I moved on to introduce the Istio Servicemesh. I sensed that the audience was truly engaged and there was a good vibe in the room. I then introduced the concept of "Shift Left,” which is the idea that by embedding security into the CI/CD pipeline, you can enhance security and improve agility. The concept was apparently new to most people, but it resonated well.
We went on to do a live demo of Tufin Orca with Kubernetes, Istio, and DevOps security all baked in, which elevated the excitement yet again. The Q&A session was very lively, which validated my feeling that the talk went well (I wasn't just imagining it!), and afterwards more people came by our booth to continue the discussion.
My takeaway is that developers in Germany are very keen about DevOps and understand its potential to revolutionize IT and security, but this might not yet be driven strategically by the companies they work for. Perhaps this has to do with Germany's risk-averse culture, although I can’t say for sure. But one thing I am certain about: the growing interest will soon translate to significant adoption of secured Kubernetes environments.