Roadie’s Blog

Backstage Users Unconference: a wrap-up

By Jorge LainfiestaJune 26th, 2023
Choosing topics for the Unconference

Last week we had a blast hosting the 4th Backstage Users Unconference! Over 95 people showed up to share how they’re using Backstage and brainstorm solutions to common problems. The vibe on this edition was more intimate, as we were able to go deeper into the discussions around documentation beyond markdown, contributions to the portal by other teams, and creating infrastructure through the Scaffolder.

Chosen topics

The people make the Unconference

We had over 95 attendees from around the globe, with people connecting from cities in the US such as San Diego, Chicago, Omaha, and Orlando. We also had the presence of peeps from Buenos Aires, Madrid, Paris, London, and Cambridge, and jumped to India and Singapore after passing by Kazakhstan and Israel. Group of people during a session in the Unconference

Most of the people who attended are on a growing internal adoption stage in their Backstage journey (40%), followed by a large group of teams getting started with their PoCs (34%). The Unconference also go input from people who have achieved weekly active usage of their Portal across the board (6%) and folks who have optimized usage for a subset of their users (7%).

Making Documentation easier

Two out of the eight topics chosen by the community revolved around TechDocs. The first discussion was more higher-level and focused on sharing how teams are using Backstage to bring their varied sources of documentation under the same roof. The second topic had a more technical perspective on how to provide tooling to developers writing TechDocs so it’s easier for them to get their docs into Backstage.

Infrastructure and contributions

Using the Scaffolder to spin up infrastructure is a common use case, which got some interesting takes regarding how to manage the templates and the possible race conditions as you manage Terraform files and various PRs. Another topic of discussion was opening up the Portal to receive plugins from other teams and how to define the boundaries for integrations and outline a governance approach.


Due to the nature of the unstructured conversations that occur in the Unconference, not all sessions resulted in a recording that could be too interesting to re-watch. We’re working to take pieces from at least two of the sessions to make videos that might be helpful to drive the Backstage discussion further. Stay tuned, we’ll be uploading them to our YouTube channel soon!

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