Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to team up with other volunteers in the Kansas city area to organize a DevOpsDays conference for Kansas City. When the opportunity presented itself, I was very intrigued by the idea of organizing a conference…I was also intimidated by it! My goal for these posts is to recap the major events and lessons learned over the 10 months it took to organize the conference.

Aaron Blythe, who runs the local DevOps KC Meetup, threw out the idea of organizing a DevOpsDays conference in KC toward the end of 2015. At the time, DevOpsDays conferences were planned for most major cities around Kansas City (exception for St. Louis): Denver, Austin, Minneapolis, and Chicago. All of these are at least 6 hours away from KC, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Throughout the month of December, 9 people had volunteered to organize. None of us had any experience doing anything like this before, so we had a lot to learn. Luckily, the core organizers of DevOpsDays had already come up with a guide on how to organize a conference.

Our project officially started on December 31, 2015 when Aaron sent the names, company, and contact information for each of the volunteers to Bridget Kromhout and the core organizers. Shortly after that, we were invited to the DevOpsDays Slack team and newly created the #kansascity channel. A month later, we had our first planning meeting via Google Hangouts.