2nd DevOps State of the Union – Santa Clara

Written by Rajat Bhargava on July 3, 2014

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We were proud to host our 2nd DevOps State of the Union event June 24th. We held it in Santa Clara during Velocity. Wow! What an amazing group and discussion. The goal for the evening was to bring together some of the top thought leaders in DevOps, with the media and analyst community. We wanted to spark a great discussion around DevOps and hope that our friends in the media and analyst community learned a great deal and will spread some of that knowledge.

We co-hosted the event with Dyn. Our advisory board member Gene Kim was the MC for the discussion. Some of the thoughts leaders joining us included: Jez HumbleNicole Forsgren VelasquezAriel TseitlinJ. Paul Reed, and Damon Edwards among others. On the media and analyst side, folks from InfoWorldGartnerDr. Dobbs451 Group, and others joined us. We also had some great companies there for the discussion including representatives from LinkedIn, Netflix, Authentic8, and Illumio.

The Evening

Overall, it was a passionate discussion. There were some heated moments, but also some humorous ones. Our agenda for the evening was:

  • Cocktail Reception
  • Opening remarks: Rajat Bhargava (JumpCloud) & Cory von Wallenstein (Dyn)
  • Introductions
  • DevOps State of the Union Discussion (Gene Kim: moderator)
    • The Why and What of DevOps?
      • What is DevOps?
      • Who is DevOps for? Startup, Enterprise, Unicorn
      • Business drivers?
    • What will the impact of DevOps be 10 years from now?
      • ROI and business value
      • How will DevOps cross the chasm?
      • What job functions go away? What methodologies / tools go away?
      • DevOps as a title?
      • Investment landscape?
    • How do we get there?
      • Mind shifts?
      • Objections?  What are the top objections, and how to overcome them?  (i.e. push back from senior management?)
      • Vendor landscape?  Technologies needed?
      • Infrastructure? Cloud?  Iaas? PaaS?  Next?
      • Security?
  • Closing Remarks and Final Thoughts (Rajat)

Takeaways on DevOps

Many folks showed up early to chat and stayed well into the night. There were definitely some very interesting takeaways from the discussion (which we’ll also discuss further in separate posts):

  • Defining DevOps is controversial even with the leaders in the space! – There was no shortage of opinions and vocal, outspoken folks at our dinner table that night. One of our goals for the evening was to see if we could get to a common definition for DevOps – we couldn’t get there. We definitely agreed on some core pieces, but it was really difficult to figure out one common definition.
  • There will be religion on DevOps implementation. – Implementing DevOps is going to take different forms. It’s going to be based on what is important to each company. There will be religion around it and it is going to be interesting to see how that plays out. The religion is going to make a difference on what type of people are hired, what tools are selected, and how the processes play out. And, what’s fascinating is that two opposite approaches could be equally successful at their respective organizations.
  • Is executing on DevOps synonymous with great management? – As we dug deeper into how to execute on the promise of DevOps, the group seemed to keep coming back to the idea that great management is a fundamental requirement. Not necessarily shocking, but it was a very interesting observation. It was less about culture, processes, and tools, but more about great management is going to help set the table for the organization to be able to execute on DevOps.

Closer to home, it was also wonderful for us to chat with the group about the areas of security, user management, and cloud-based directory services. We’ll dig deeper and share more of the conversation in subsequent blog posts. But in the meantime, we wanted to thank everybody who attended and hoped that it was as useful a discussion for them as it was for us! Head to our blog for a recap of the 1st State of the Union event and see how the conversation has evolved.

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