Speaker Profiles

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Master of Ceremonies -John Krewson

John is the founder and CEO of Sketch.  He started Sketch in service to the mission of improving the ways people and teams work together. Sketch Development Services is a software development studio that provides Agile and DevOps coaching, consulting and training. Sketch delivers software for its customers using Agile principles and practices, and helps organizations through their Agile transformations. John has been an active member of the Agile community since 2003 as a developer, ScrumMaster, product development leader and coach. He has worked with dozens of companies from startups to the Fortune 50 to help them learn, adopt, and apply Agile, Scrum, and Lean/Kanban principles and practices. His past experiences as an Agilist and professional actor are the primary sources of inspiration in leading this mission.  John will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the DevOps Midwest event and will provide welcome remarks to kick us off and wrap up with insights from the day. 


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Looking for Flow in All the Wrong Places - Chris Gallivan

Chris is a Principal Flow Advisor at Planview Tasktop. Chris advises large, Fortune 500 organizations on making work visible, and improving the flow of value to customers. Prior to joining Tasktop, Chris had two decades of experience improving flow in the automotive industry at Chrysler. His experience ranges from DevOps Dojos to Platform Engineering, from traditional software to embedded systems. Chris has previously spoken at DevOps Enterprise Summit 2018, IIBA BAcon 2022, and numerous other local events in the Midwest. In this session we will talk about the corporate world’s efficiency obsession, and how it has caused us to lose track of what really matters when trying to faster value to customers. How many times have you heard managers talk about unproductive people ? How about people who aren’t following the process? What about teams who take on too much WIP? The unfortunate side effect of these sorts of questions, is that individuals feel pressure to create local optimizations in order to make themselves feel productive. The truth is, even if individuals are highly productive and following the process, the majority of waste still occurs between the seams of individuals and teams. Just like Johnny Lee was searching for love in all the wrong places, we’ve been searching for flow in all the wrong places. Leave this session with a better understanding of how to answer the real question, “Where do we need to invest?”


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Maintaining Enterprise Governance with CDK Aspects - Ryan Jensen

Ryan is a cloud architect and practitioner at Sketch Development Services.  He lives and breathes all things AWS (careful what you ask him, ‘cause he’ll go on for hours-on-end telling you how cool VPC transit gateways are). One of his passions is Infrastructure-as-Code, and he’ll be discussing one of those flavors, CDK, in this session. Specifically, we’ll go over the Aspects – well, “aspect” – of CDK and how it can benefit enterprises by maintaining governance and compliance while, at the same time, giving development teams the freedom to create their own infrastructures in the cloud.

Jake Beasley

Deploying Large Language Models to Kubernetes - Jake Beasley

Generative AI is quickly becoming the hot topic in computing. In this presentation, you will learn the basics of the Generative AI ecosystem as well as how to deploy a large language model of your own to your Kubernetes cluster. Attendees will walk away with the basics of how to build and train a large language model as well as an understanding of the broader large language modeling ecosystem. Jacob is the co-founder of m9sweeper, the most complete open-source Kubernetes Security platform. He is passionate about DevOps, Kubernetes, and Security, and hopes to be able to share his passion with the Community!


Travis Frisinger

The Role of AI in DevOps - Travis Frisnger

In the rapidly evolving domain of software development, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a critical catalyst for enhancing DevOps methodologies. The talk elucidates how AI extends beyond a mere technological addition, emerging as a transformative force that escalates the velocity and reliability of software delivery. We'll begin by exploring how AI fits into the world of cloud-based applications, and using real examples, we'll show how AI has made a real difference in improving the way DevOps teams work and solving complex problems, similar to how we deploy apps using Kubernetes. This talk would also include the challenges and issues that come with bringing AI into DevOps, spotlight some cutting-edge AI tools and look to the future of where AI might take DevOps. Travis Frisinger is a Principal Crafter at 8th Light, where his passion for innovation drives excellence in the DevOps domain. With a career marked by a passion for solving complex problems and fostering technological advancements, Travis has cultivated a reputation for advancing technology through a meticulous approach to software craftsmanship. His dedication to creating clean, maintainable code and promoting efficient development practices underscores his philosophy that great software is the foundation of modern technological success.


Randy Pagels

Shift Left on Security with GitHub and Azure DevOps - Randy Pagels

It’s simple to talk about shifting left on security, but how exactly are you supposed to do that? What tools should you be using and how do you apply them in a way that helps you release with confidence? We will cover the concept of application security, talk about tools available to you and ways that you can help ensure that tools don’t get in the way of development. As a DevOps Architect, Randy led customers in designing and delivering solutions that adhere to industry standards and DevOps best practices. He focuses on GitHub, DevOps, Infrastructure as Code automation, and CI/CD pipeline management. While serving as a technical evangelist and thought leader, he also connected with customers to help them understand options on how to improve their application development practices on Azure.


Ricardo Covo

Serverless Everything! - Ricardo Covo

Serverless services have grown very quickly and broadly. Today you can build modern applications quickly with Serverless offerings for your frontend, your backend, and even your database, without worrying about or managing servers. It is safe to say, the serverless development model helps developers deliver more business value, quicker. In this session, we will go through a completely serverless application, explaining each layer along the way, including a React JS Front End hosted on Azure Static Web Apps, a C# backend build on Azure Functions and a No-Sql Database on Azure CosmosDB. All Serverless services, with built-in resiliency and scalability. Ricardo a professional with 20+ years of experience in software development and have worked as a developer, architect, and agile coach. He enjoys traveling with his family, playing video games, and learning new technologies. He loves football (soccer) and enjoys talking about it just as much as he enjoys playing.



AI Toolbox: Choosing the Right Tool for the Job - John Bush

In the swiftly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, adaptability is key. This talk delves into the strategic importance of creating an abstraction layer in AI implementation. This approach ensures that enterprises are not anchored to a single model, thereby allowing the ability to select the most appropriate AI model for specific tasks and the agility to adapt to emerging, more efficient models. We’ll also explore how this abstraction layer caters to diverse security and privacy requirements; an aspect critical in today’s data-sensitive landscape.


Valarie Regas

Disaster Recovery & You: The Gift of Paranoia - Valarie Regas

Valarie Regas is a DevOps enthusiast, a Georgia Tech coding bootcamp graduate, and a veteran mommy. She holds a BA in Psychology and currently works as a Developer Advocate. After years being a stay-at-home mom, she decided to change her life by entering Tech, and has learned a lot along the way. She enjoys mixed martial arts fighting, table-top role-playing games, public speaking, creating tiny humans, and political activism. In this talk she will discuss concrete, actionable tasks to get a Disaster Recovery plan from idea to fruition. You’ll add incredible value to your role in the eyes of your managers by proactively protecting your product.


Lee Barnes

Continuous Performance Testing in DevOps - Lee Barnes

Lee has over 30 years of experience in the Software Quality Assurance and Testing field. He has been involved in the implementation of test automation and performance testing solutions in hundreds of environments across a wide array of industries. Most recently, he has been involved with bringing quality practices (with a focus on automation and performance) to agile and DevOps teams.Lee speaks regularly at industry conferences including StarEAST/WEST, DevOpsDays, Agile+DevOps East/West, STPCon, EuroStar, and TestCon Europe. In this talk Lee will discuss techniques for implementing continuous performance testing in your pipeline, so you don’t have to roll the dice on your user experience. Topics will include performance testing activities at each stage of the pipeline – from the unit level through testing in production. You will also learn how to rethink your approach to performance testing and work with your DevOps practices instead of against them in areas like test environment and data management. You’ll walk away with a new outlook on performance testing in DevOps and ideas you can begin to implement in your pipeline.


Mandi Walls

Plan For Unplanned Work: Game Days and Chaos Engineering - Mandi Walls

Mandi Walls is a DevOps Advocate at PagerDuty. For PagerDuty, she helps organizations along their IT Modernization journey. Prior to PagerDuty, she worked at Chef Software and AOL. In her talk we'll learn how Practicing for major incidents gives your team insight into how your applications will behave when something goes wrong as well as how the team will interact to solve problems. Combining your Incident Response practices with Chaos Engineering roots your response practice in real-world scenarios, helping your team build confidence.


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Introduction to Leveraging AI for Your Enterprise -JJ Asghar

JJ works as a Developer Advocate representing the IBM Cloud worldwide. He mainly focuses on the IBM Kubernetes Service and OpenShift, trying to make companies and users have a onboarding to the Cloud Native ecosystem. If he isn’t building automation to streamline his work, he’s building the groundwork to do just that. In this session, we will start with the foundational terms and experiences you must have to find the positives to leverage WatsonX to win in business.


Joel Tosi

The problems that arise when focusing on predictability instead of variability –Joel Tosi

Joel is Owner and Co-Founder of Dojo & Co. For the past 12 years, Joel has been coaching organizations like Target, Northwest Mutual, Nielsen, RR Donnelly, Thomson Reuters, Disney, Pearson, and Verizon in developing new product delivery practices. He has been a dojo coach for more than 6 years. In this session we will start off looking at the value stream and what variability means when, along with the cost. We will then explore examples of variability in the right side (dev / test / operations) of the value stream and how that becomes a negatively reinforcing loop. We end these sessions with simple ways to start capturing the cost of variability and ideas to start addressing it.



The Evolving Developer: Navigating the Expanding Horizon of Skills - Shawn Horvatic, Siddique Hameed, Jeff Barczewski, Moderated by Amanda Graham

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From operations and security to observability, the scope of a developer's focus is expanding rapidly. Discover strategies for managing diverse responsibilities within teams, staying updated on essential skills, and unlocking the full potential of generalist teams or expert developers. Learn how companies can best support the cultivation of expertise in these critical areas, ensuring optimal outcomes in today's ever-evolving tech environment.


Amanda Graham (Moderator) - Sr. Director of Strategic Solutions - 8th Light

Amanda, an accomplished software consultant, boasts a rich background in establishing and nurturing organizations, coupled with a stellar track record of empowering companies to excel through technology-driven customer-centric initiatives

Shawn Horvatic

Shawn Horvatic - Delivery Lead - 8th Light

Shawn, a seasoned Delivery Lead at 8th Light, brings a wealth of expertise in software development. Over his tenure, Shawn has spearheaded the development of robust organizational practices for DevSecOps, specializing in secret management, code analysis, and security practices implementation.


Siddique Hameed - Vice President of Software Engineering - Mastercard

 Siddique is working as a Vice President of Software Engineering at Mastercard. He is an engineering lead for a chargeback prevention platform called Consumer Clarity. During his ten-year tenure at Mastercard, he has been part of many business units & verticals, such as the Sustainability & Innovations team supporting the Environment & Social Governance (ESG) initiative, Payment Gateway services supporting SMB (Small & Medium Business) solutions, and Mastercard Labs in the R&D area.

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Jeff Barczewski - Senior Software Engineer - Sketch Development

Jeff is a Senior Software Engineer for Sketch Development Services with 34 years of experience. Jeff has served as back-end and front-end engineer, architect, teacher, and mentor while working for companies of all sizes. With a passion for teaching, he ran a small training company for several years where he created online videos and taught in-person classes for developers. He has witnessed how the roles and skills of developers have evolved through the decades from the pre-internet era to the present. He enjoys keeping current with the latest technology and helping companies navigate the path forward. In his free time, you can find him either skiing in the snow covered mountains out West or helping out at ministries with his parish. 




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