Experts abound in the shiny new world of DevOps. Here are some leaders driving the movement.
It may seem like DevOps has been around for a long time, but the truth is that the term is only seven years old. In 2009, Patrick Debois organized the first DevOpsDays event, and the name stuck.
In the years since, the DevOps movement has mushroomed, and it's increasingly becoming the go-to approach for enterprise development and IT operations. According to the Puppet 2016 State of DevOps Report, 22% of enterprises now have a DevOps department called. Meanwhile, Gartner has predicted that by 2016, DevOps will evolve "from a niche strategy employed by large cloud providers to a mainstream strategy employed by 25% of Global 2000 organizations."
Born out of the Agile software development movement -- and closely related to Lean development -- the DevOps approach emphasizes close cooperation between development and operations teams. The industry hasn't settled on a standard definition of DevOps. However, most definitions acknowledge that it is a cultural movement that incorporates continuous integration, continuous delivery, integrated testing, collaboration, automation, and short development cycles.
With no standard for DevOps, many enterprises are looking for experts who can help guide them through this cultural shift. Literally hundreds of consultants, developers, technologists, and pundits blog or tweet about DevOps. Who should you follow? We've got some suggestions.
This slideshow highlights 10 experts who are passionate advocates for DevOps on Twitter and in their personal blogs, where they provide opinions, advice, and guidance. Our selection includes some of the earliest and most prominent leaders from the movement as well as interesting but less-well known voices who are contributing to the spread of DevOps.
If you're looking for DevOps experts to follow, what better place to start than with the person who coined the term "DevOps"? Patrick Debois organized the first DevOps Days event in 2009, leading to the rapid growth in popularity of DevOps. He later admitted that he never expected the name to become as big as it has, noting, "I picked 'DevOpsDays' as Dev and Ops working together because 'Agile System Administration' was too long. There never was a grand plan for DevOps as a word."
Debois works as an independent IT consultant in Belgium. Jedi is the name of this Star Wars' fan's company.
He currently has 15,000 Twitter followers and describes himself as "bridging the gap between creativity and technology with a #devops mindset."
One of the most prominent people in the DevOps movement, Gene Kim has a particularly impressive resume. He is one of the co-authors of "The Phoenix Project," an incredibly popular novel that helps explain the fundamental concepts of DevOps. He also co-wrote "Visible Ops, Visible Ops Security and The DevOps Handbook." In addition, he was a co-founder and the chief technology officer for security firm Tripwire, and has won numerous industry awards.
In addition to his personal website and blog, Kim contributes to the IT Revolution blog. Nearly 24,000 people follow his Twitter postings under @RealGeneKim, where he describes himself as a "DevOps enthusiast, The Phoenix Project co-author, Tripwire founder, Visible Ops co-author, IT Ops/Security Researcher, Theory of Constraints Jonah, rabid UX fan."
With more than 32,000 followers, Sean Hull has one of the most popular DevOps feeds. He is the founder and senior consultant at the Heavyweight Internet Group, where he helps advise startups on how to improve website performance and scale their businesses faster. His services include data management at scale, DevOps automation at scale, AWS solutions architecture, disaster recovery, high availability and migrations. In addition to his own blog, he also writes for websites like DevOps Zone and Database Journal.
Jez Humble wrote the book on continuous delivery – literally. He has an award-winning book called "Continuous Delivery," and he also co-wrote "The DevOps Handbook." Currently, he lectures at UC Berkeley, is helping build a cloud computing platform for the federal government, and serves as chief technology officer for a company called DevOps Research and Assessment. In the past, he was a vice president at Chef and served as an Agile consultant for ThoughtWorks. He blogs sporadically at ContinousDelivery.com.
An advocate of behavior-driven development, Liz Keogh frequently speaks about Lean, Agile and DevOps. She describes herself as a "Lean/Agile consultant, hard-core BDDer, speaker, blogger, poet, fantasy author, pattern hunter, complexity thinker, Londoner and unrepentant Goth." Her posts tend be philosophical and thought-provoking, and she's very interested in the human and cultural elements involved in development methodologies.
Andrew Clay Shafer
One of the key early voices in the DevOps movement, Andrew Clay Shafer is currently the senior director of technology at Pivotal, where he says he's "working to build the future at the confluence of agile, data and cloud computing." Shafer is probably best-known as one of the co-founders of Puppet Labs, and he has also worked at Rackspace and Cloudscaling, as well as several startups. He's been one of the organizers of DevOps Days and other events and speaks at many industry conferences.
(Image: Pivotal and Altoros)
By day, Matthias Marschall is the chief technology officer for a fashion aggregation website called Stylight. By night, he's the author of "Lean Bites: How to create flow in your organization and the Chef Infrastructure Automation Cookbook" Along with Dan Ackerson, he also co-edits a website on Agile Web Development & Operations.
If you want to learn more about Lean, Kanban and/or DevOps, Dominica DeGrandis is a great person to follow. She currently serves as the director of learning and development for LeanKit and has many years of experience as a trainer and coach. In addition, she frequently speaks at Agile and DevOps events all around the world.
Damon Edwards currently manages two different companies that he founded: SimplifyOps, Inc., which provides support and services for the Rundeck open source workflow automation server, and DTO Solutions, a consulting firm which "provides DevOps and automation solutions for large-scale and mission critical IT operations." One of his many contributions to the DevOps movement is a great YouTube video on The History of DevOps.On his Twitter page, Edwards writes, "DevOps and improving how businesses operate is my thing."
The last of the DevOps experts in our selection may not be to everyone's taste. But if you like your DevOps commentary with a heaping helping of sarcasm and plenty of swear words thrown in for flavor, check out Alison Gianotto's Twitter feed or blog. She describes herself as " just your average hacker/dev/infosec-nerd/scuba diver/blacksmith/sword-fighter/crime fighter/ENTP/warcrafter/speaker/author/activist."
With more than 28,000 followers, she cautions that many of her tweets are NSFW (not safe for work) and not all of them are related to the tech industry.