VMblog: This is the world's largest Docker and container event. Can you explain what goes on behind the scenes, the amount of work that goes into establishing content for an event of this size?
Docker: Docker is for dev and ops practitioners first and foremost. That means it has to resonate with them technically. And that's why we have a review committee made up of a community panel + employees that review the more than 500 CFPs that get submitted for our use case and wild card tracks. We pick the best content for our community black belt sessions that provide a deep technical dive. And we also work directly with our developers to make sure they are able to present and engage with users via our 3D track.
VMblog: And what are you most excited about in preparing for this year's event?
Docker: This year, we're excited that DockerCon has truly evolved into a key event at the center of a growing industry. DockerCon's growth is also evident with key proof points including the greatly expanded breadth of our sponsors; the kind of meetings and activities that are surrounding the event including community-driven workshops, OCI meetings, etc.; and how varied the community has grown to include new users to the Docker technology as well as including both IT and Ops users.
VMblog: Docker continues its evolution in the container industry. How many attendees are you expecting at this year's event? And how do you keep topping the number of attendees year after year? What's been the key to success?
Docker: We're currently expecting more than 4,000 people at DockerCon this year, which is an 8X increase compared to the first DockerCon only two years ago. Part of that conference success is because of the focus we've given to technology for technologists and a focus on their journey, end-to-end. DockerCon isn't just an event, it's a journey we are building for the attendees.
VMblog: Do you have any special tips to share with first time attendees of the show? Anything they should be aware of before they head out?
Docker: We have invested heavily in hands-on-labs (HOL) this year based on attendee feedback. Attendees requested to have more time with the products.
We also wanted to make our developers much more accessible to conference attendees via the 3D sessions, and our "ask the experts" located in our booth. While at the event, attendees will be able to find the developers that are working on the product and/or feature they are most interested in, and our developers are looking forward to questions and conversations.
VMblog: Docker has also established a fantastic partner ecosystem that is still growing. How many exhibitors will be in the expo hall this year? Any newcomers that might need some extra attention from attendees?
Docker: As part of our growth this year, we also have 96 sponsors in attendance. That's a 2X increase from last year. And we've got vendors coming from and covering all aspects of the ecosystem: networking, storage, monitoring, logging, security, etc. We're also excited to have a special exhibitors program for early stage companies who are building around our platform.
VMblog: Are there any new trends in the industry that people should be aware of or should keep their eyes and ears on the lookout for anytime during the show?
Docker: Absolutely! Containers-as-a-Service is a more flexible alternative to Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Attendees should also keep their eyes open to learn more about the growth of the Docker ecosystem based upon our "batteries included but swappable approach." And don't forget about various opportunities to tie in Docker technology with your existing tools and technologies. Many of those companies will be here at DockerCon 2016.
VMblog: I always like to find out, did you receive any attendee feedback from last year's event that you've incorporated into the show this year?
Docker: Again, absolutely! We are always learning things from our attendees. They love the black belt sessions so we've reinforced our efforts there. And they said they like the ecosystem partner presentations, so we expanded that area significantly this time with two simultaneous tracks where partners will be presenting.
VMblog: For those Docker users who can't make it to DockerCon 2016, is there anything they can do to follow online and participate remotely?
Docker: We're setting up a Livestream link for those users and community members who couldn't make it to this year's live event. We will also have plenty of demos and cool hacks as part of GitHub so they can have the chance to try them out/play with the code from home or the office. Some of the content from DockerCon will also be made available to Docker sessions presented at upcoming Meetups. So be sure to watch for a meetup in your town!
VMblog: What does a successful DockerCon mean to you guys? What are the few takeaways that once the show is over, if those things happen, you'll consider the event a huge success for Docker, its ecosystem partners and its attendees.
Docker: That's easy: Growth and adoption of the Docker platform. We'll also be interested in watching the expansion of the integrations that come from our key partners based upon the newest announcements being made on how the platform is expanding opportunities for them as well.