3 Takeaways from the DevOps State of the Union

Written by Rajat Bhargava on March 7, 2014

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We hosted an awesome DevOps state of the union event last night in Boston for some key press and analyst folks in the Boston area. The goal of the event was to bring a number of different constituencies together to discuss the state of DevOps, where it’s been, and where it is headed. Our friends at DevOps.comDyn, Firemon, and Rackspace sponsored the event with us. On the media and analyst side, we had analysts and writers from Computer WorldForresterGigaOmInformation WeekNetwork WorldO’ReillyTechTarget, and a number of others.

DevOps State of the Union Agenda

The agenda was simple – we wanted to dive into the depths of DevOps for an evening. For most of the folks in the room, DevOps has been a hot topic as of late. For the companies in the room, we all have customers asking us how they can further leverage DevOps. And for the media folks, their readers are clamoring for more content. There’s a tremendous thirst for knowledge around DevOps.

I kicked off the night with an introduction to DevOps and then handed the floor over to Alan Shimel who talked about where it’s been and the opportunity. Our friends at Rackspace moderated the next part of the discussion where we talked about whether DevOps is a culture, tool, or expertise. Cory Von Wallenstein from Dyn then led the group through the difficulties of implementing DevOps. Firemon asked the question of whether security had a seat at the DevOps table. There were a number of different points of view on that topic! And, then, I wrapped up the evening talking about Why DevOps – what are the drivers and pulls for getting people to adopt DevOps. It was a fantastic discussion – non-stop, intense, funny at times, and definitely insightful.

Three DevOps Insights

I’ll follow-up with a post on each session as I think each topic deserves its own in-depth discussion. But, I wanted to highlight three key takeaways that I had from the night.

  1. DevOps is transformational – I started the evening out saying that my hypothesis is that this is a transformational methodology that will transcend IT. It was poignant for Alan to end the night saying that the after 3+ hours of discussion it was hard to make a case that DevOps wouldn’t be massively transformational to not only IT but also companies in general.
  2. Every company in the room was practitioner as well as a provider – every company in the room practiced DevOps internally in addition to providing solutions in the space. I thought this was incredibly powerful. We didn’t just talk the talk; we all were walking the walk too. At JumpCloud®, we are leveraging DevOps to deliver our Directory-as-a-Service® platform. There were so many lessons shared from each sponsor. I thought that the aspect of practicing the religion made for a better, more knowledgeable provider.
  3. 99% / 1% exists in DevOps too – there is no doubt that there are vastly varying levels of understanding of DevOps out in the community. The media folks in the room were right in pointing out that as practitioners and innovators we are leading this effort, but that not everybody is there yet. There needs to be more education, discussion, and dialogue. Events such as the one we hosted last night are going to be critical in advancing the discussion. Also, there needs to be a place where DevOps folks go to learn…more on that in a week!

Beyond DevOps State of the Union

We’re thankful to have such great, smart people in the DevOps community – from the media and analysts covering the space and asking insightful questions to the thought leaders advancing the conversation. There’s no doubt in my mind that DevOps is going to play a very significant role in the IT community over the years to come, and we are excited to be a catalyst for that conversation. JumpCloud was proud to host and sponsor the event. It’s a meaningful way for us to learn about how we can improve our Identity-as-a-Service platform and more quickly bring those identity management capabilities to market.

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