The Future of DevOps

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The Future of DevOps

DevOps standards, mainstream acceptance, improved tooling, and demand for instance gratification are all just over the horizon.

· DevOps Zone ·
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To gather insights for DZone's Continuous Delivery Research Guide, scheduled for release on January 26, 2016, we spoke to 24 executives who are implementing continuous delivery in their own company or helping clients do so.

Specifically we spoke to:

Casey Kindiger, CEO, Avik Partners | Ez Natarajan, Vice President Cloud, Beyondsoft | Tom Cabanski, Director of Software Development, Blinds.com | Kurt Collins, Director of Technology Evangleism and Partnerships, Built.io | Chris Madsen, CEO, Circonus | Steven Anderson, CEO, Clutch | Yaniv Yehuda, Co-Founder and CTO, DBmaestro | Andreas Grabner, Technology Strategist, Dynatrace | Elaina Shekhter, CMO, EPAM Systems | Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect, Isomorphic Software| Baruch Sadogursky, Developer Advocate, JFrog | Topher Marie, CTO, JumpCloud | Edith Harbaugh, CEO and Co-Founder, Launch Darkly | Jessica Rusin, Senior Director of Development, MobileDay | Stevan Arychuk, Strategic Marketing, New Relic | Arvind Mehrotra, President and Global Business Head, NIIT Technologies | Zeev Avidan, Vice President Product Management, OpenLegacy | Richard Dominguez, DevOps Engineer, Prep Sportswear | Prashanth Chandrasekar, General Manager of DevOps and Head of Operations, Rackspace | Steven Hazel, CTO, Sauce Labs | Bob Brodie, CTO, Sumo Heavy | Dr. Chenxi Wang, Chief Strategy Officer, Twistlock | Scott Ferguson, Vice President of Engineering, Vokal Interactive | Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations, xMatters

We asked these executives, "What’s the future for DevOps from your point of view — where do the greatest opportunities lie?" Here's what they had to say:

  • The past year we’ve seen more containerization. Docker has become a bit bloated. More evolution in containerization, less in virtualization.

  • Soon, DevOps will be in IoT companies — with wearables and chips in people. DevOps engineers will have access to my body. More access and control of the end user than any other person in the company. Code doesn’t get pushed without going through DevOps engineers. As such, the DevOps engineer must be trusted — they’ll have a significant amount of power.

  • I expect to see container technology from Microsoft and other big players. These players are tying disparate parts together into a cohesive whole. The value proposition is simple, but the productization of the offering is necessary for the clients to realize the full value.

  • DevOps and Continuous Delivery will change the software development economy as there are infinite releases that all work. Developers will not need to be in house, they can just put their code in the container and let people add to the production code.

  • More automation and integration. Chef has new tools like Test Kitchen and Chef Script that enables users to test locally so they don’t have to wait for servers to spin up. Integration is better with different cloud services. This makes it easier, faster, and reduces costs.

  • Build automation written with fixed rules and tightly tuned processes. Machine learning will enable us to focus on the business and the customer more than the underlying technical detail. You will be able to build more intelligent capabilities.

  • Able to use unsophisticated tools to adopt DevOps faster — the more we use the more we want to see. Look into the future and see what the next thing should be.

  • Give up on infrastructure and focus on the process. Cloud is the first step. AWS invented the individual, serverless infrastructure. This gives even more power to development teams driving directly to production. Pure infrastructure will drive code velocity even higher.

  • It’s still early in the adoption phase. The way companies build software will use data to have people collaborate and shorten the feedback loop.

  • Continuous delivery empowers anyone to release new features when they’re ready. Things will have been built and architected so it’s a push button release that no one can screw up.

  • There will be a demand in organizations and among users for immediate gratification. The sooner we can convert an idea to a user, the better. Amazon was doing this every seven seconds three years ago.

  • Move from a diversified ecosystem to a unified standard of service. DevOps standards will exist. Our current tech domain provides a second world standard of living. DevOps will move us to first world but it’s five to 10 years away. We also need to figure out how to exchange data without being hacked.

  • No ops — this is how Netflix is structured. This does not mean operations is dead but it does mean developers can access and use what traditionally has been operations' domain, including libraries in development code. Everything is more available and accessible.

  • IT departments and CIOs created too many silos. Did not create the opportunity to move people from one environment to the other and people became specialists. They will bring back the integrated organization. You can run complex programs and implement change quickly by busting silos and promoting collaboration.

  • Innovations. Containers are very lightweight and have the capability to scale massively and dynamically. Understand the technology and concept cues from what’s been done before. Preempt by using analytics, scale up really have the capability that wasn’t there before. Just scale up when needed to keep costs down.

  • DevOps and continuous delivery are critical and here to stay. Companies understand the need to change. The more traditional companies will realize they have no choice if they want to evolve. Tools and options will proliferate. Everyone developing these tools will have a different angle. Mainstreaming the notion of DevOps will take 5 to 10 years.

  • “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” Companies on the cutting edge have made a tremendous investment in automation that allows them to conduct multiple levels of testing upstream. Good practices around automated rollouts and deploys.

  • The tools will become easier to use and more affordable. There will more structure and become easier to learn and embrace DevOps.

  • Larger organizations that are scaling (i.e. Netflix) stems from culture. It will be easier to change the culture in a small company. Will it take time to scale in larger firms like Agile?

  • There is a huge amount of room for improvement in tools that support DevOps. Every time we go to add a new capability to our DevOps infrastructure, we go looking for off-the-shelf tools, and so far we continue to find them too rudimentary and inflexible. An example is systems for running test suites. When a test fails, it's important to enable various kinds of application- and framework-specific information to be captured and stored for later analysis. This is invaluable, as it can make it crystal clear what needs to be fixed, without even needing to replicate the failure. This is especially important for intermittent failures. So, test suite tools need an interface that allows developers to extend the information capture feature. Currently, none of the test suite tools we've looked at have strong capabilities in this area; instead, the ability to capture a screenshot is considered a showcase feature. So there's plenty of room to improve here and in many other areas.

  • I wonder where else we could expand this concept of shared responsibility for product. QA’s responsibility doesn’t necessarily end when the software moves to production. Product discovery and product management are already looped in via Agile methodologies, but how can we extend the responsibilities and repercussions of product decisions to product managers? How does the DevOps paradigm bridge across the barrier between technical and non-technical employees? How do we leverage the same concepts to make other decision makers aware of the results of their choices in regards to the production issues and customer experience? However, nobody wants to say QuaDevProdManOps.

  • A lot of projects fail due to size. Need a requirements list and an environment open to change to realize the benefits of efficiency, productivity and less risk.

What's the futures of DevOps from your perspective?

Where do the greatest opportunities lie?

continuous delivery, continuous integration, devops

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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