DevOpsDays MSP 2014 Survey Results

First things first: all DevOpsDays Minneapolis 2014 attendees can choose one free O'Reilly e-book from a list compiled by the DevOpsDays Minneapolis organizers. We selected what we think are great titles, so please take a look!

After choosing your free book courtesy of O'Reilly Media, you can also read our survey results. The tl;dr is that the conference was pretty great, and with some work on our part based on your input, can be even better!

We’ve gotten a 31% response rate on the DevOpsDays MSP 2014 survey (85 answers out of 271 registrants).

This was the first DevOpsDays for 75% of survey respondents (and 83% of attendees who weren’t speakers, sponsors, or organizers). We estimate that 23% of all participants were women; 31% of our speakers were women.

The most common places people heard about the conference were from colleagues and/or friends (67%), at a local meetup (20%), on the website (19%), and on Twitter (15%). This means that you made all the difference in getting people to attend, and you talking about your experience this year is what will help us do this again next year!

Individual respondents also called it “engaging”, “awesome”, “inspirational”, “good for pitching”, “well organized”, and “well worth the time and registration cost!”

Ratings for organizer communication (95% positive), venue (92% positive), presentations (89% positive), and audiovisual technology (89% positive) gave us an idea of what you’d like to see repeated. For people to whom the price was applicable, all were positive (69%) or neutral (16%). We will likely have a similar price structure in the future, encouraging early registrations.

Some comments on presentations praised the “culture” focus and some asked for more tech-specific talks. Typically at DevOpsDays the deeper dives into specific tech topics happen during Open Space, but it’s always a good idea to propose the sort of talks you’d like to see! One comment noted that we had a mix of local and “imported” speakers; indeed, only a third of the presentations were from out-of-towners. Minnesota has many great voices in this space!

Open Space was rated 73% positive, 11% neutral, and 14% did not attend; making the Open Space sessions easier to find and to move between is a goal for the future. Other venue-related concerns are reflected in the 76% positive/16% neutral on venue catering and the 74% positive/20% neutral on sponsor presence. Some of the sponsor experience was affected by the available space, which is an issue we recognize and intend to address.

Although 56% of respondents saw the Thursday evening social event positively and 1% were neutral, 42% did not attend, which means we need to improve both the messaging and accessibility around that event (likely with partner tickets).

Another area we plan to improve in is making both this conference and “DevOps” in general more accessible to and inclusive of all interested parties. As attendees of the first Midwest DevOpsDays, you are an important part of making that happen! Today is the last day to propose a talk for Chicago’s conference in October, and we’d love to see you at the Minneapolis DevOps meetup bringing us your views and voice as we look towards the next Minneapolis DevOpsDays. We’re very pleased that most of you enjoyed nearly all aspects of the first one. Even the least positive factors were still rated well by roughly ¾ of attendees, and we topped 90% positive ratings for multiple aspects. Since 91% of respondents are likely (66% very likely) to recommend DevOpsDays Minneapolis to a friend or colleague, this conference will continue to be what you make it.

Thank you all so much for co-creating this event; let’s do it again next year!