An interview with the VP of alliances reveals all about the world of DevOps

As the VP for alliances at GitLab, the web-based DevOps Lifecycle tool, Brandon Jung knows a thing or two about creating partnerships and building relationships with firms. As part of his role at Gitlab, he has helped the organisation to develop dealings with some of the world’s biggest cloud organisations and consulting agencies. Talking to DevOpsOnline exclusively at the GitLab Commit conference in London last week, Jung spoke of his work with the Linux foundation and his experience so far with DevOps.

What can you tell us about product integration and alliances with vendor companies?

The majority of the work, probably the most work we do is with the large cloud vendors, and with anyone that has a platform. We serve functionally as a Dev tool and a security tool to put applications onto their platform.

How do vendor companies and open source technologies intertwine with one another?

If you have multiple open source companies, everyone varies on a business model. So [for example] we work closely with the big open source company known as Red Hat. And so GitLab deploys workloads into open shift, or on to REL for Red Hat Enterprise or Linux. So, we work closely with them and helping customers get onto those platforms. Think of us as a ramp.

There’re other open source communities that we work closely with and it varies a whole lot, depending on what the communities need. And a lot of it is very much about relationships, and communication and what each company needs. If It’s a company, or if it’s a community, and again, they vary.

In terms of partnerships what do you feel has been your biggest achievement?

We’ve done a lot of really interesting work with VMware. And I think this is a really interesting space, because it’s a company that isn’t traditionally an open source company. But it’s now doing a lot more stuff with open source. This partnership is really interesting because it’s helping VMware and their customers move forward in development. In area where VMware doesn’t do development and doesn’t do anything in the DevOps space, but they now have platforms. I’m pretty excited about this, because it’s helping companies where this has historically been a more challenging space for them to engage. And we’re able to help bridge that culture.

Tell us about your work with the Linux foundation

We’ve been a member of the Linux Foundation for three, four years. We were voted by our peers that said, “we love what you guys do in open source, please represent us on behalf of those companies.” So that’s something we’re pretty proud of because every time we’ve run, it turns out we’ve been a good steward of open source and we’ve been a good collaborator. And that’s something we take very seriously and so is an area that we’re going to keep investing in.

It must be a good feeling to get specifically selected for something like that?

You know, that’s probably the biggest compliment that says, we’re doing our job well! It kind of differentiates us, because I don’t think there’s another open source company that other open source companies look at and be like, “hey, love what you’re doing. Thank you for what you’re doing, we’d love you to represent us with big companies”

What is the most powerful thing happening in DevOps right now?

I think people are finally thinking of it holistically in several little pieces. It also comes down to the notion of things like cycle time compression and we’re finally starting to measure the results. But I think that’s exciting to us, because that’s what the rest of the world’s going to experience. I’m excited that we’re starting to think of this as a think of it holistically. And traditionally, that hasn’t been it’s been, 15 different steps using 15 different companies, all of them saying, “Well, hey, my little piece does well.” And that’s great. But your piece might be the world’s best piece. It doesn’t, it’s got to get to the end of the production line. It’s like having the fastest conveyor belt. Well, if it doesn’t come out the other end, Yay, you had a really fast piece in it. But that isn’t really what we’re solving. We’re not trying to solve for the fastest piece we’re trying to solve for the overall puzzle. And, and that’s been something that we’ve been talking about a good lap for years, it’s kind of been our point of view. And it’s been exciting that the rest of the rest of the industry is now starting to say, yes, that’s actually what matters. Results are what matters. So, I’m glad that we’re finally there.

What do you think is the most powerful impact of DevOps in general?

I think the most powerful part is ideas and the speed ideas can be delivered. So, the barrier to from an idea to it being reality. Across the board in every area is getting smaller and smaller and smaller. And that goes across a confluence of I think DevOps has been a big piece, combined with the cloud. If you go back, 10 years back, Every time you come on idea, there’s like, there’s this, Here’s the  list of things you got to be able to deliver before that idea can become a reality. And generally, it’s huge hardware, big capital expenditure, And all that’s come down to like, it’s a small team can make an impact on the world, for good.

I think that’s pretty the exciting part is some of those ideas can come out much from much smaller team from anywhere in the world. And that idea can propagate much faster. But, you can also make a mess of things also faster than you could.

What do you think the biggest problem with DevOps is?

We can build faster stuff and that’s great. But we’re just going to have to start grappling with the things we create faster.

You have a carbon footprint, I think we’re creating a huge software footprint. And that’s the downside.

What do you think the future in general holds for sort of DevOps?

We continue to get connected better at the security of our code, at the provenance of our code, at the reuse. I think that’s kind of the next step is we’ve got a whole bunch of good open source that’s out there. How does it get combined? And Is that something that we can do and do well and deliver securely? That’s a place that we’re really that’s we’re heavily focused on that. And we think that’s kind of the next piece that needs to be done. Not just write good code, but make sure that it’s secure and do it seamlessly.