by Haidee LeClair

Meet the Amazing People Who Visited NuoDB at Red Hat Summit 2019

Take a survey, get a NuoDB sock monkeyWe had a great time at Red Hat Summit this year, speaking to hundreds of attendees. Part of what we wanted to learn at the event was who was there, what they were interested in, and what was the biggest priority for their organization going forward. We learned a lot, and we’re happy to share the results with everyone.

NuoDB Booth Visitors at Red Hat Summit

First of all, who visited our booth? Well, in short, all kinds of wonderful people visited our booth and took the survey (and brought home a sock monkey)—333 of them, to be precise! Let’s start with our broad takeaways—here’s who visited the NuoDB booth at Red Hat Summit this year:

Red Hat Summit 2019 Survey: Job Roles

Our next big question was about you—what did everyone who visited our booth enjoy doing? Many people were surprised that we included cleaning in our list—big news for you folks—15 people said that cleaning was their thing! More than clubbing, knitting, lacrosse, rugby, or even rock climbing! I was particularly delighted that reading won (77), followed closely by coding (73, not surprising at a Red Hat event, despite the many people who were skeptical about that option), and gaming with 70 votes. Here's how all those votes tallied: 

  • Reading 77
  • Coding 73
  • Gaming 70
  • Walking 65
  • Cooking 59
  • Soccer 54
  • Running 53
  • Biking 51
  • Other 45
  • Hiking 42
  • Camping 39
  • Football 38
  • Swimming 37
  • Dancing 32
  • Baking 27
  • Writing 23
  • Cleaning 15
  • Rock Climbing 13
  • Knitting 9
  • Clubbing 8
  • Rugby 6
  • Lacrosse 4

We had a lot of other interesting votes under Other—stay tuned to learn more about who filled in something unique in that category.

Finally, as far as what’s next for your organizations- we had a very close tie between Containerizing (58) and Digital Transformation (57), followed by Adopting DevOps (42) and Moving to the Cloud (40). Not surprisingly, some people also identified other priorities for the year ahead.

Red Hat Summit 2019 Survey: Priorities


Five CEOs or Presidents answered our survey (you would have expected a higher number, considering how many people suggested to us verbally that they were the CEO—guess most of them were joking). We learned that they’re an active group!

Red Hat Summit 2019: CEO Activities

The hands down for the winner of the next big thing for CEOs was digital transformation with four votes, with the remaining single vote going to security. Hopefully their digital transformation process will include security. We’ve all seen enough data breaches to last a long time.  

Job Seekers or Students

I was surprised that we just had one person self-identify as a job seeker/student. I know that unemployment is very low, but with so many schools in the Boston area, I thought a lot more students would be attending. This person was active, though, indicating that their “thing” included biking, walking, running, and swimming. And what’s next for them? Operators! We can relate :-)

The Engineers

We were delighted to see so many engineering professionals and talk to them about how they’re thinking about distributed deployments. Of the 80 engineering professionals who filled out our survey, we saw many different interests. I know you’re desperate to learn what these people typed in for the “Other” category. Their responses included: motorcycles, tennis, scuba diving, playing the drums, BJJ (I think that’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, btw), and surfing.  As you can see, these folks at Red Hat Summit really do consider coding their “thing”—32 of them selected it (40% of total engineering responses) with gaming close behind at 27 votes, or about 34%. We had 19 Engineer Executives, VPs, or Directors fill out the survey,  also with wide ranging interests. The top two were coding (26%) and reading (21%). The write-in responses included tennis, wushu, and volleyball.

Red Hat Summit 2019: Engineering Activities

None of our engineers were too worried about tackling legacy apps though. These folks were most interested in adopting DevOps (14 respondents, or about 18%), followed by containerizing and microservices. What was “Other” for these engineering professionals? Community and DevRel (developer relations) and AI (artificial intelligence). Here's how those votes broke down:

  • Adopting DevOps 14
  • Containerizing 12
  • Microservices 11
  • Moving to the Cloud 9
  • Container-Native 8
  • Digital Transformation 8
  • Operators 6
  • Security 6
  • Cloud Native 3
  • Other 2
  • Learning to Code 1

For the engineering execs, digital transformation took the lead once again. DevOpsSec was one of the write-ins for the next priority, and Software Defined Data Center was the other.

  • Digital Transformation 5
  • Adopting DevOps 3
  • Containerizing 2
  • Container-Native 2
  • Other 2
  • Cloud Native 1
  • Microservices 1
  • Moving to the Cloud 1
  • Operators 1
  • Security 1

Finance Teams

We only had four finance professionals complete the survey, and we’re pretty sure at least a few of them knew each other. Overwhelmingly, this group liked soccer (75%). The two other responses included “Drinking a lot without limits,” and “Drinking and shopping.” Perhaps they were also dancing and clubbing? We had just two Finance Executives, VPs, or Directors respond to our survey. They were two active people, however! We had one vote each for football, hiking, walking, dancing, cooking, reading, writing, and other. The other activities listed were zumba, yoga, and pilates (yes, a single person listed those three activities).

Red Hat Summit 2019: Finance Teams

Half of these finance professionals believe that the next big thing for their org is Digital Transformation. The priorities overall aligned with a digital transformation goal—it’s hard to transform without moving to the cloud using container-native technologies. Interestingly, for the finance execs the next big thing in their organizations was Microservices (1) and Operational Excellence—filled in to the Other category. It’s interesting that these responses are completely different from the finance professionals.

The IT Crowd

By far our largest group—meet our IT pros! We had 109 of them respond to our survey, and they were into lots of great things. We had at least one response for every option, and 18 people opted to share their “Other” interests. Nineteen IT Executives, VPs, or Directors responded to our survey at Red Hat Summit. Another diverse group of people, these execs were the first group that didn’t fill in anything for the “Other” category. Reading won with them at 26%, followed closely by swimming at 21%.

Red Hat Summit 2019: IT Professionals Activities

With this crew, gaming clearly led with about 23%, followed closely by walking 21%, biking 20%, reading 19%, and coding (18%). Those who selected "other" option filled in golf, programming (how’s that different from coding?), hockey, water polo, music, home brewing, drinking, InfoSec, skateboarding, cricket, cars, boating, weight training, R/C scale aircraft, and fishing.

Download the complete infographic (PDF).

The next big thing for these IT pros included a wide range of responses, but with a focus on containerizing (about 25%) and moving to the cloud (18%). That one “other” response is thinking about storage upgrade. Wonder if that’s a new initiative at their organization? So, what is the next big thing for the IT Execs? Containerizing and Operators are important for this group, followed closely by Digital Transformation and Adopting DevOps. That single “Other” indicated that TELCO is the next big thing at their organization.

Red Hat Summit 2019: IT Priorities

Meet the Operations Team

At Red Hat Summit, 27 Operations Professionals visited the NuoDB booth and filled out our survey. Another well-rounded group, they had someone in each activity except hiking. Cooking won the event with almost 30%, followed closely by reading (about 26%), then baking and coding (both at 22%). Just four Operations Executives, VPs, or Directors got a sock monkey for responding to our survey at Red Hat Summit. These Ops Execs had diverse focus, however. Each one selected a different priority for their organization in the year ahead: digital transformation, moving to the cloud, adopting DevOps, and a write-in—adopting Red Hat. Can’t think of a better show to attend for that!

Red Hat Summit 2019: Product Activities

Interestingly, this group was not concerned about security or cloud-native, and had no fill-in priorities for the “Other” selection.

Red Hat Summit 2019: Operations Priorities

What Drives the Product Team in 2019?

Eight product pros visited us and filled out our survey. These folks loved soccer and reading the most, which seems like a pretty great balance. A few product leaders shared their interests and priorities for the next year. These individuals took it seriously when came to picking their “thing”—running, reading, and tennis (write-in) each got a single vote, one from each Operations Executive, VP, or Director.

Red Hat Summit 2019: Product Team Activities

Eking out a win for the focus for the next year, the product team was fairly split, with two indicating cloud-native as their priority going ahead. They also indicated their interest in digital transformation, security, containerizing, operators, adopting devops, and learning to code with one vote each. The product leaders were also split on their focus in the year ahead: security, microservices, and cloud-native each got a single vote.

Red Hat Summit 2019: Product Team Priorities

Making the Sale

Our sales professionals are on the move! Of the fourteen respondents, six picked running as their “thing,” followed closely by five walkers. Two great write-ins from our sales people—one liked traveling, while another enjoyed horse riding. The sales execs who visited us at Red Hat Summit also had wide ranging interests, with soccer and reading slightly edging out other contenders with two votes each. These executives also had two write-in votes—horseback riding and tennis were their “thing.” Here’s how the sales folks like to spend their time:

Red Hat Summit 2019-: Sales Activities

For sales professionals, the focus going forward to the next year was concentrated in digital transformation. Digital transformation was also critical for the sales executive group, taking half the votes.

Red Hat Summit 2019: Sales Activities

Meet the Owners

The final defined group to answer our survey were the owners. Three people selected this role in their organization and shared their interests, which were pretty varied. We saw one vote each for biking, coding, dancing, gaming, reading, and soccer. One thing we know for sure about the owners—two of them are very focused on adopting DevOps in the year ahead, while the third is looking at security as a serious concern. Put together, I wonder if we could say all three are dedicated to DevSecOps? Hard to say, but all important to consider as we move forward.

Who Are the Others?

This is the last group who answered the survey, and I wish we knew more about them. A total of 27 responses, about 8% of our total, just didn’t fit into any of the categories we laid out in our survey. They had a lot of different interests and added quite a few options we hadn’t included.

  • Reading 8
  • Walking 8
  • Cooking 7
  • Other 6
  • Biking 5
  • Dancing 5
  • Writing 5
  • Coding 3
  • Running 3
  • Soccer 3
  • Baking 2
  • Cleaning 2
  • Football 2
  • Gaming 2
  • Hiking 2
  • Camping 1
  • Rock Climbing 1
  • Swimming 1

For this group walking and reading topped the list, but they also added some fun new responses, including: singing, photography, family, watching Game of Thrones, flying to new countries, and movies! Now that Game of Thrones is over, will there be a new show people are addicted to next year?

These folks were also fairly united on the next big thing in their org—digital transformation won with 37% of responses.

  • Digital Transformation 10
  • Security 5
  • Containerizing 3
  • Other 3
  • Container-Native 2
  • Adopting DevOps 1
  • Cloud-Native 1
  • Learning to Code 1
  • Moving to the Cloud 1

So, what do the “Other” responses look like for the “Other” people? “All of the above… I’m a Red Hatter” might be the answer that made me smile the most, but “New product” is also pretty cool—and as the person giving away the sock monkeys, I laughed out loud at the last response—“Swag.” Hope we helped at least a little bit with that priority for the year ahead!

Download the complete infographic (PDF).

Where Are We Headed?

Now that Red Hat Summit and our survey is behind us, what does it mean as we look ahead? For one thing, there are definitely a lot of interesting, unique, active, and impassioned individuals at Red Hat Summit. This isn’t surprising, given the open source community and all the people who work together collaboratively to build transformative technical solutions, but it was great to get to know these people just a little bit better. There are a lot of exciting projects ahead, and many of you made new connections and learned about solutions to help you as you move forward. Whether you call it containerization or digital transformation, adopting DevOps or moving to the cloud, or something else entirely, our world is increasingly driven by software, and we’re all moving forward together. We hope you enjoy all of your swag, but especially our sock monkey. Thank you for visiting us and sharing your interests and priorities.

Check out the interactive infographic!