DevOps is one of those terms you hear a LOT about lately but I am not sure it is really well understood. However, if you are going to be successful at Agile ALM it would seem natural you would want to bring the operations side of IT closer into the development process. Puppet is one example of an open source project that is implementing some of the DevOps concepts.
When we put together the program committee for Agile ALM Connect we specifically wanted an expert from the DevOps community to make sure the program had a healthy devops slant. Therefore, I was thrilled to have Luke Kanies, the founder of Puppet and CEO of PuppetLabs, agree to be on the program committee and also speak at Agile ALM Connect on ‘what is devops’ and introduce Puppet. We will also have Kenn Hussey talk about Geppetto, an Eclipse-based Puppet IDE.
In my Q&A series with Agile ALM Connect speakers, Luke answered three questions about DevOps.
1. ‘DevOps’ is a term that is used quite a bit lately. How do you describe the term DevOps and why should developers care?
Kaines: DevOps is in to operations what Agile is to development. Operations needs to be a competitive advantage, adopting new technology quickly and with minimal business interruption, but in many cases the business goals have been lost and the new focus on policy and compliance has allowed IT to become a cost center. DevOps is about operations teams working closely with everyone involved in product delivery to make sure that business needs come first. This often involves a lot of automation, but the main thing is about making sure the customer comes first, just like in agile development.
Developers should care because organizations following devops practices will do a better job of supporting them, getting their software deployed faster and more easily.
2. You are the founder of the Puppet open source project. Why did you start Puppet?
Kaines: When I started Puppet, the tools and practices in IT had barely changed in ten years. I was afraid that it would still not have changed in ten more years, and I saw an opportunity to build a better tool and help make the lives of sysadmins better. Based on how passionate our user base, we seem to have struck a chord.
3. What advice do you have for people that want to learn how to use Puppet?
Kaines: First, start small, and fix the most painful things first. Trying to boil the ocean by automating your whole infrastructure will just frustrate you and have little reward, but if you start by automating the small, menial work in your infrastructure you’ll have quick rewards and, even better, more time available in your day to work on the hard and important stuff.