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Join Us at NGINX Sprint 2020

Save the dates! This September 15 to 17 NGINX is hosting a series of virtual events, which we’re calling NGINX Sprint.

Why are we doing this?

Normally, every September we host NGINX Conf, a three‑day, in‑person user event. However, months ago it became clear to us – as it has to everyone – that physical events are not going to be possible until there is a vaccine for COVID‑19. Furthermore, Conf is a time to celebrate, network, and engage with our most loyal users, and it just didn’t seem right to hold it given all the stress and anxiety we are collectively grappling with due to the pandemic, civil unrest, and racial justice reform.

But we know many of you are back to business, even if it’s not business as usual. So, we went to work planning “Not Conf” (lovingly shorthanded as !conf() internally – we’re all developers at heart). Our goals were simple:

  • Create a low‑friction, low‑key event that users can join if it fits their schedules
  • Share the new open source and commercial innovations we have lined up
  • Provide demos and interactive ways to see the new tech in action
  • Engage with our user community in unique, virtual ways not possible at an in‑person event
  • Scale the event to be more inclusive…and make it free

And so, NGINX Sprint was born.

An Event For Application Teams, By Application Teams

We chose “Sprint” as a cheeky reference to an element of the agile software methodology. Think of NGINX Sprint as a version of NGINX Conf broken down into small increments of work, each with a cross‑functional development team. NGINX Sprint will be focused on the needs of application teams – be they developers, DevOps, or architects. And more than just agile, we want this event to be what you’d expect from NGINX: lightweight, fast, and simple.

A Three‑Day Event that Isn’t Really Three Days

We’re spreading NGINX Sprint across three days, but there are just a few hours of content and engagements total. In this work-from-home world (#WFH #InThisTogether), we know that most of you can’t afford more than a few hours each day to invest in extracurricular learning or attending virtual events.

Here’s a rundown of each day:

  • Day 1: Learn about new open source and commercial innovations. On September 15 we’ll present roughly 2 hours’ worth of “keynotes” – quick, 15‑minute sessions that cover our view of the industry, announce new technology, and feature a customer speaker. We’ll cap off Day 1 with a 30‑minute keynote from a surprise industry luminary. Stay tuned – we know you’ll be as excited to hear from this speaker as we are!

    After the keynotes wrap up, you can tune into a live “news desk” where technical experts will weigh in on the keynote content and answer your questions. We’re excited to be partnering with the crew at Tech Field Day to host our news desk.

  • Day 2: Watch live demos and learn to build an entire app in 90 minutes. On September 16 we’ll continue our partnership with Tech Field Day and host live demos. In a series of 15‑minute demos, 7 NGINX experts will build a web application starting with a web server, then adding an app server, adding APIs, securing it with a WAF, scaling with DNS, and monitoring it all end-to-end. You can watch each demo on its own, or follow along as the entire app is built in less than two hours.

    During the demos you can also interact directly with technical experts who are watching along with you, via Twitter, Slack, or carrier pigeon. Ok, not carrier pigeon.

  • Day 3: Compete with teammates in a hackathon and get your idea funded. On September 17 things will really get good. We’ll host the final presentations of our NGINX For Good Hackathon, which will actually take place throughout the week (more details coming soon). Competing teams will get a chance to present their ideas and a prototype to a panel of Tech Field Day judges.

    Prizes include custom swag, donations to charities chosen by the winning teams, funding to make their solutions a reality, and support from NGINX to launch the app after NGINX Sprint.

Save the Date and We’ll “See You” in September

Our hope is that Sprint will truly be Not Conf. Instead, it’s a virtual event where you can pick and choose among sessions. We want all five hours of sessions to be like NGINX itself: lightweight, fast, and simple. Tune in and learn, or team up and compete. It’s your call.

NGINX Sprint will be free to attend. When you register we’ll collect just enough information to send you calendar reminders for the sessions you select and to save your spot in the hackathon if you choose to compete.

So, what do you do next?

Save the dates of September 15–17. The registration site is launching soon, and we’ll let you know when you can sign up. In the meantime, please give us your feedback on the following questions, in the comments section below. We welcome any other suggestions too! Let us know how else you’d like to participate in NGINX Sprint.

  • Would you attend a group viewing party if local authorities deem such gatherings safe?
  • Would you like us to host formal meet‑ups with NGINX and F5 employees during the three days – either in‑person or virtual?
  • Is there a particular NGINX partner you’d like to hear from during the sessions?
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