LinkedIn at Velocity Santa Clara 2014

July 16, 2014

Every year in the early summer, O'Reilly hosts a conference called Velocity in Santa Clara, CA. LinkedIn sponsored Velocity this year, and over 50 of us attended from our Site Reliability, Engineering, and Performance teams.

As a member of our SRE team, I love going to Velocity - mainly because it's a conference where all the content is going to be relevant to making our site faster, better, and more reliable. There's no fluff or superfluous content. The presenters are engaging and address concerns we have about operations at our scale. I went to sessions on Docker, performance testing, engaging women in tech, quantifying on-call interruptions, and of course to the incomparable Ignite Velocity. Ignite is an ultra-compressed, ultra-informative series of short (5 minute) presentations, where the slides advance every 20 seconds. You really get to see the passion people have for ideas - I highly recommend it!

I also walked through the exhibit hall and got to meet people from some of our vendors, competitors, and other large websites. It is a great opportunity to build relationships for the betterment of the large web community as a whole. For many of the attendees, getting to build these relationships is one of the best parts of the conference.

We don't just go to learn great content and meet new people, though - at LinkedIn, we believe in giving our knowledge back to the community, and we did that through two presentations:

I gave a presentation called "Growing the Site Reliability Team at LinkedIn: Hiring is Hard". I discussed how we screen and interview the high-growth SRE team and gave some best practices for how to do that better. Look for the video to post soon!

Kurt Andersen gave a presentation called "Operational Costs of Technical Debt" and told a packed house why tech debt was problematic and gave some examples for how we've repaid it here at LinkedIn.

Photo of LinkedIn Engineers at our booth

We also maintained a booth presence again this year, reaching out to the conference attendees, telling them about LinkedIn, and passing out cool t-shirts and chocolate! Our awesome recruiting team was there to help reach out and explain how people could help join us and Build Opportunity here at LinkedIn. Having the booth helps us reach out to attendees, answer questions about LinkedIn, and to help share our enthusiasm with the crowd!

We plan to come back to Velocity Santa Clara again in 2015, and we'll also be sending a contingent to Velocity New York in the fall! If you're attending either conference, come find a LinkedIn employee, and we'd love to talk to you about how we do what we do. Relationships matter at LinkedIn, and going to conferences is one way that we walk the walk on that value of ours - it's important to us to be a leader in the broader technical community, and we enjoy taking that challenge on.