Last year I was inspired to write down all the cool shit that happened in the community over the year. This year it feels like so much has happened it’s only right to document it. So here is the 2022 MLOps review for you.
2022 MLOps Highlights
I must have told 100 people that my two main focuses for the past year were to grow the in-person meetups and grow the podcast listener base.
A bunch of people asked why I would want to grow the in-person meetups cause they wouldn’t scale, or it wasn’t worthwhile, or some other nonsense. I knew all that was true. I am adamant about the MLOps Community being more than a slack workspace. There already is one stack overflow, and plus we just spent the last two years indoors.
I still can’t believe it. We have had local meetups in more than 30 cities around the world in the last year. In 2021 we had one IRL meetup.
Last year in the review I said this about the one event we had done. The idea has only strengthened in my mind since.
“There was an energy about and it really felt like some insightful conversations were happening. The future of the MLOps field was being forged right there in some random brewery.”
From Melbourne to Tel Aviv, Berlin, NYC, Buenos Aires, Bangalore, Lagos, we are officially in every continent (minus Antarctica, but maybe next year). You can see all our meetups on our shiny new webpage.
Huge shout out to each and every local champion who has been organizing events in their city. You all are amazing!
This year the podcast reached new heights. Not only in listenership (see growth below) but also in quality, the caliber of guests, and behind-the-scenes process optimization.
A huge addition to the podcast team has been our producer and occasional cohost Abi. Her commitment to high content quality means that we now edit out the boring stuff and bring more “takeaways” per minute.
We also had many new cohosts grace the podcast. there were the OG’s of course, Vishnu and David, but I also got to spend more time with Mihail, Skylar, Ryan, George, Adam, Abi, Krishnaram, Jake, Josh, and Mike. Every one of them brings a new view to the table and makes the conversation really special.
This year we successfully completed two amazing engineering labs (aka hackathons). The first one was using flyte and the second was around vector search using Redis and Saturn cloud.
The engineering labs are special cause it allows teams to get their hands dirty with new tech and tools they might not get the chance to try in their day job.
Best of Slack
In February this year, I asked for feedback on how to make the community better. To my surprise, we got over 300 responses on our feedback form.
One of the recurring themes was that the slack workspace was amazing but there was sooooo much that happened every day sometimes felt overwhelming.
I wrote a whole blog about my takeaways from the feedback. One of the coolest initiatives that came from it was the best of slack newsletter. Every two weeks you get the best threads delivered directly to your inbox. Sign up here if you haven’t already. Huge shoutout to Stephen for taking the lead!
So many people have come to me when looking for a job. I love being able to connect them with companies I know are doing cool stuff and could use good talent.
There are a few public stories of people that found jobs through the community and some that must be kept private. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, seeing someone get a job because of this community is one of the coolest feelings ever!
We started an MLOps Community jobs board and I’m happy to say we now have over 200 companies that get notified if you put your profile on there.
Can’t win em all
For some reason, we couldn’t get this one off the ground when our main champ Andre transitioned out of this position. I have high hopes that next year Korri Jones will be able to revive this initiative.
Something I have wanted to do for a while is gather a few of the community members interested in specific topics together to have informal roundtable conversations. Maybe next year.
I have thought long and hard about getting all the great minds in the community to create courses so we could all learn something from one another. The idea is not completely out of my mind. I still think it would be nice to do but I know that if I turn my energy toward that I will need to be all in.
If someone out there wants to help make this happen contact me. I think it would be soooo cool but need help creating it.
MLOps Community Growth
2022 brought growth on so many levels.
- Youtube subs went from 4.5k to 10.2k
- Podcasts grew from 52k total downloads to 110k
- Blog readership went from 200 average page views to 1.3k
- Virtual meetups grew from an average of 20 registrants to 90 per event
- Email subscribers went from 2.5k subs to 5k
- Over 35k members in Local communities around the globe
- Slack 7k to 14k members
Last year I gave shoutouts to all the great stuff that community members created outside the community. This year I dedicated a whole new section to that called the MLOps Community Awards. Check out that post to see all the awards in their glory.
This year I want to call out the great stuff that people did within the community.
ML on K8s Team
Thank you Shri for carrying this bi-weekly initiative where members could meet and talk about some of the hardships of using k8s for ML. So much wisdom was exchanged here and many of our members rated this as their favorite piece of the community this year.
The same goes for Skylar carrying this monthly meeting where members could talk freely about what stacks they were using and what tradeoffs they had to keep in mind when making the design decisions. The real talk, no bullshit unfiltered, unrecorded vibe was special.
Sir Ben Epstein really drove this initiative this year and we were able to find a distinction between the meetups and the podcasts. The meetups are now either talks or workshop formats and it has been great seeing hands of demos of how to use Argo Workflows or ZenML pipelines.
Neal Lathia has been quietly improving the OSS modelstore and I am just going to claim it as the community’s very own OSS project. I hear he is looking for collaborators so reach out if you want to get involved!
We have some really incredible supporters and I want to give them all a huge thank you!
I would encourage everyone to check out Pentuum, Tecton, Superwise, Arize AI, Fiddler, Run AI, Redis, Union, Galileo, Snorkel and Neptune cause they have put their money where their mouth is and decided this community is worth having around.
Basically, every MLOps company around today is getting value from the conversations that are happening here. These sponsors decided they didn’t want to take without giving something back in return. If you are in the market for any of these products, I would hope you show them some love!
You can check out this page to see what cool stuff they have been up to.
Can’t stop, won’t stop
We have some pretty cool things brewing already. I don’t want to say too much but I will hint at a potential in-person conference in Bangalore and Berlin. I will also start organizing a virtual conference with all our favorite community members from around the globe.
If you haven’t noticed, I really enjoy interviewing VCs. So much so I think I will create a new podcast where I dive deep into different theses’ VCs, founders, and enterprise buyers have.
Last but not least you can expect us to continue to go hard with in-person events! The local meetups will expand to hackathons, workshops, and dinner parties!
No vendor survey whose conclusion is you should buy their tool. I want to know what a real snapshot of the industry looks like. We already have a github page and are actively working on the survey questions. Submit a PR and join us to create something really cool!
Who knows what the new year will bring and what kind of projects will get off the ground? All I can guarantee is that we will continue to iterate and create value for the great MLOps community.
It’s been another amazing year with all of you and I can’t thank you enough for being part of this journey. I always want to make the community better so if you have any thoughts on things we can do to add more value let me know!
On a personal note..
At this time each year, I sit in disbelief. This whole community started when I lost my job at the beginning of the pandemic. And look at how it’s grown.
Without each and every one of you, it would just be me screaming into the void. Thanks for teaching me so much about MLOps and hopefully learning something with me along the way.Tags: MLOps Community Growth, MLOps Yearly Review