Episode 55: CloudBees VP of Technology Strategy Anders Wallgren on Giving Software Development a Seat at the Table

devops radio logoHot on the heels of CloudBees’ acquisition of Electric Cloud, host Brian Dawson sits down with former CTO of Electric Cloud, and current VP of technology strategy at CloudBees, Anders Wallgren. In episode 55 of DevOps Radio, the conversation focuses on the importance of understanding technology to make better business decisions by discussing some of the continuous delivery processes central to Electric Cloud’s capabilities.

Before diving into application release automation (ARA), which is becoming known as adaptive release orchestration (ARO), Anders provides the history of Electric Cloud that allowed them to become leaders in this space, thus leading to the acquisition by CloudBees on April 18, 2019. The typical customer profile at Electric Cloud included large enterprises with thousands of applications and components that needed to be managed and scaled. Due to this, the company focused on providing a continuous delivery pipeline and empowering all application delivery teams all without disrupting the pipeline.

While most customers want speed and efficiency at scale and subscribe to the “move fast and break things” philosophy, Anders believes organizations have to be able to move fast without breaking things. To illustrate the problems that can arise when employing this method, he uses the example of Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory and compares it with the reactions QA teams face when engineers start moving faster. He says organizations cannot just hit the acceleration when it comes to automation and there are a lot of processes you have to go through. All of which, requires cultural and organizational changes, and increased alignment around products, not just projects. Ultimately this requires both technology and business both to have a seat at the table.

This all comes back to ARO since DevOps is an industry of three letter acronyms. Anders explains that ARO helps identify what value needs to be added to code before it goes out the door by looking at the value stream and identifying the manual tasks so they can be automated to the greatest degree possible.

Before wrapping up, Brian and Anders play an inaugural game of “trunk history,” an opportunity for guests to share something they’ve learned during their DevOps career. Anders shares a story involving one of his pet peeves, management by ship date. If you want the full story as well as Ander’s book recommendations, make sure to head to Apple Podcasts or Spotify to download the episode.

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