IT Revolution Wins at Virtual Conferences with Gaiwan

IT Revolution Wins at Virtual Conferences with Gaiwan
Live Slack widget increases engagement at in-person conferences.


Gaiwan enabled IT Revolution, an American IT leadership education company, to confidently move their in-person conferences online as well as create educational resources. Starting out in a fractional CTO role, we supported IT Revolution by building a portfolio of software platforms and products and consulting on user experience and product direction.


When the Covid-19 pandemic started in 2020, IT Revolution decided to move their twice yearly in-person conference, the DevOps Enterprise Summit, on-line. IT Revolution wanted a first-class live digital experience that replicated the excitement of being at a conference in person. Although IT Revolution had transitioned to virtual conferences prior to working with Gaiwan, when Gaiwan came on board to take over the project, the online conferencing became much more robust, fine-tuned, and stable.


The team at Gawain was able to transition IT Revolution’s entire event operations, including talk schedules, video presentations, and audience feedback, to a cloud-native solution. In addition, we built a robust video editor in the cloud enabling their in-house team to take over editing over 100 videos per conference from outsourced video editing services.

We built:

  • a live-streaming platform with five streams, on which up to 3000 simultaneous users can easily switch conference tracks
  • a live Slack widget where users can share their learnings in real-time like at a party
  • a Slack log to archive the Slack chat above 10,000 messages
  • a browser-based video editor with
    • non-linear timelines to make the trimming and clipping process extremely intuitive
    • a graphical interface to sync the speaker and slide footage
    • scalable rendering machines to start high-quaity video renders for last-minute, ad hoc changes
    • More technical details and architecture in our blog post here.
Custom video editor with two videos side-by-side.
  • an automated conference talk transcription service, integrated with an AI service
  • a video library with custom playlists, enterprise admin dashboard, and progress metrics
Video Library Enterprise Admin Overview

Technologies Used

Clojure, ClojureScript, Datomic, FFMPEG, Redis, Ansible


Gaiwan enabled IT Revolution to host their multi-stream conferences online to maintain their revenue stream but at a lower cost than in-person events. IT Revolution’s Brand Director, Alex Broderick-Forster, says, “Virtual conferencing became much more secure and reliable when Gaiwan came on. We did our own streaming setup, because the other setups have major issues streaming. With Gaiwan, we deliver reliable streaming to our customers.”

We also increased the efficiency and speed of the video editing process with the bespoke video editor, customized so that splicing and syncing a video of slides and another video of the speaker into one video is intuitive. By in-sourcing the video production, IT Revolution also acquired the flexiblity to implement last-minute changes to their videos.

Alex Broderick-Forster
Director Alex Broderick-Forster

“The video editor has saved us tens of thousands of dollars as well as time. Instead of waiting one month for videos, editing has shrunk down to days or at most one week,” says Brand Director Alex Broderick-Forster.

The Slack widget, which shows the Slack messages next to the conference videos, enabled IT Revolution to increase audience engagement during virtual conferences. The audience liked so much typing reactions and questions and comments during a presentation that IT Revolution now also projects the Slack widget at in-person conferences to increase audience engagement.

Furthermore, the conference content, stored in a Video Library as part of a learning management system, lives on to inspire and teach people long after the conferences. We have also migrated IT Revolution’s courses off their legacy platform and into the Video Library we built, resulting in time saved for their staff and a better user experience for their customers by decreasing the number of logins required to access their products.

About ITRev

Founded by multiple award-winning CTO, researcher, and bestselling author Gene Kim, IT Revolution is in the business of transformation—-reshaping organizations, revolutionizing technology leadership, and redefining performance. Since The Phoenix Project was released in 2013, IT Revolution has been publishing books, such as Team Topologies and Accelerate, for the modern IT leader—covering how to optimize software delivery through DevOps and Agile practices, organizational culture and typologies, and leadership strategies. Since 2014, IT Revolution has hosted 19 conferences, including 1,200 incredible presentations delivered by over 1,800 leaders across almost every industry vertical for technology leaders.