In this interview, Coveros CEO and founder Jeff Payne explains why DevOps is changing everything. He talks about how DevOps has to be incorporated as a complete culture change, as well as the differences between good and bad DevOps implementation.
Josiah Renaudin: Today, I'm joined by Jeff Payne, the CEO and founder of Coveros and a keynote speaker at our upcoming Better Software Conference, Agile Development Conference, & DevOps Conference West. Jeff, thank you very much for joining us.
Jeff Payne: Thank you for having me.
Josiah Renaudin: No problem at all. First, could you just tell us a bit about your experience in the industry?
Jeff Payne: Sure. Coveros has been implementing DevOps solutions for quite a while—in fact, before it even really was called DevOps. Mainly because as a company that focuses on agile development and helping people transition toward agile, the automation of your builds, your tests, your deployments, your deliveries of software into environments is so critical to working in a fast, agile manner that you're really driven to doing that kind of work. We've been helping organizations through our agile solutions, but also just directly helping people build out DevOps solutions for really eight years here at Coveros.
Josiah Renaudin: Now, before we learn why DevOps changes everything, which is kind of the main topic of your keynote, can you give us your definition of the term? We hear it thrown around all the time, but what's your personal meaning of DevOps?
Jeff Payne: Yes. There are a million different definitions, and, as usual, when I speak at conferences, people are really confused about what it is because everybody talks about it so differently. To me, DevOps is fundamentally a culture shift toward collaboration and communication between everyone involved in the software development, delivery, maintenance, and support lifecycle. It's getting everybody to communicate and collaborate effectively.
The goal really is to reduce downstream errors, find bugs and errors earlier in the process where they're cheaper to fix, and replace costly manual efforts associated with setting up environments, managing environments, monitoring environments, tearing down environments, et cetera, et cetera, with as much automation as you can. There's plenty of tools out there and processes and techniques that help make DevOps efficient, but fundamentally, it's about culture, collaboration, and getting everybody to work together.
Josiah Renaudin: Like you just said, a lot of people hear the word DevOps and they're just confused about what exactly it's about. Why are organizations failing to see the grand impact DevOps has on the software development lifecycle? Have you seen different groups just assuming this is another buzzword that will fizzle out over time?
Jeff Payne: I think today people do see it. A year or two ago, not so much, but I think people today are starting to get it. The results of doing DevOps properly are so compelling, and there is some great data out there about what kind of efficiencies it can bring to your processes. It's really hard to ignore at this point. Like a lot of new technologies and new ideas, people are a bit skeptical, right?
Josiah Renaudin: Mm-hmm.
Jeff Payne: They're used to buzzwords popping up in the industry and there being a lot of hype around it. When you go to a trade show, every booth now has the word DevOps on it—same message, same tools. Now, though, they're all DevOps tools. There is a lot of hype, but I think DevOps is here for the long haul. I think that the efficiencies it brings to the overall software development lifecycle are so enormous, if you do it right, that it really makes it unlikely that it's only a passing fad.