Every week here and in our newsletter, we feature a new developer/blogger from the DZone community to catch up and find out what he or she is working on now and what's coming next. This week we're talking to Andrew Phillips from XebiaLabs, where he is a member of the team building tools for scalable Continuous Delivery and Devops to help turn software delivery into a modern consumer experience. He's also a frequent contributor to our Cloud and DevOps zones. Some of his most recent posts on DZone include:
- Why Chef Delivery is a Big Step Forward, and What Comes Next
- Before You Go Over the Container Cliff with Docker, Mesos etc: Points to Consider
- How to Deploy a Docker Application Into Production on Amazon AWS
1. What have you been working on lately?
Too many PowerPoint presentations? ;-) More seriously, my development work of late has focused on keeping up with Apache jclouds, although I’d like to be doing more there, adding a bunch of puzzlers to the Scala Puzzlers site after ScalaDays, and contributing to a number of the community plugins for our tools (XL Release, XL Test and XL Deploy).
2. You seem to identify mostly as a developer for Cloud and DevOps. What are some of the most enjoyable and least enjoyable things about coding for Cloud? Where do you see DevOps going in 2015 and into the future?
I think the sheer diversity of technologies, and also people, I’ve been exposed to during my time contributing to jclouds has been a great experience. I’m also very much looking forward to the oncoming wave of “dynamic infrastructure” tech – containers, the frameworks around them, things like Mesos and AWS Lambda etc. – which I think have the potential to really change the way we build and deliver software.
As far as DevOps is concerned, I think we will continue to see a bit of a partition: the increasing growth of “DevOps-washed” marketing and messaging that tries to apply the label to pretty much everything, and an evolving “DevOps core” conversation that starts to go beyond improving understanding and collaboration within organizations by including the end-user as a participant. The challenge will be to try to prevent this “core conversation” from becoming increasingly hard to find in the big marketing flood.
3. Are there any particular developer tools or resources you couldn't live without?
The most valuable resource to me are the many good friends I’ve been lucky enough to make by working on open-source cloud projects. Not only are they great people, they serve as a very effective “salience filter”: for me, the biggest challenge at the moment is figuring out what of the flood of information out there to ignore. If one of them asks me to look at something, I’m pretty sure it’s worth it.
Other than that, I follow a number of mailing lists related to projects I’m interested in, and have a blog aggregator that allows me to glance over what’s happening in the space. And, of course, I check DZone ;-)
4. Do you have a favorite open source project (or projects) that you've contributed to recently?
That’s an easy one for me: Apache jclouds. No hint of bias there ;-)
5. Do you follow any blogs or Twitter feeds that you would recommend to developers?
I’ve always liked Ted Neward’s blog (blogs.tedneward.com), both for insightful analyses of what’s happening in the software development landscape and for thoughtful discussions of the larger “human issues” of being a software developer. For Java-specific content, I keep an eye out for what Heinz Kabutz is writing (javaspecialists.eu/archive/archive.jsp), and from a more process-oriented perspective I try to keep tabs on Dave Farley (davefarley.net) for Continuous Delivery and Patrick Debois (jedi.be) for Devops.
6. Did you have a coding first love -- a particular program, gadget, game, or language that set you on the path to life as a developer?
My involvement with computers started “one level down”, actually – building machines. Programming in higher-level languages came after that, and because I had just put together a DOS box, I bought a book on QBASIC that happened to be a great pick (amazon.com/Revolutionary-Guide-QBASIC-Compiler-Disk/product-reviews/1874416206) and moved on from there.
7. Is there anything else you'd like to mention?
If you’re excited about containers and “dynamic infrastructure” tech and are on the East Coast, have a look at dynamicinfradays.org/events/2015-boston/, which promises to be a really interesting event. Disclaimer: I’m helping!