Episode 56: Results from the Fifth Annual DevOps and Jenkins Community Survey

Host Brian Dawson is joined by Kohsuke Kawaguchi, chief scientist at CloudBees and creator of Jenkins, and Kristen Baskett, solution marketing manager at CloudBees in Episode 56 of DevOps Radio. The trio dig into results from the fifth annual DevOps and Jenkins community survey and share their insight on the industry’s trends. 

cloudbees devops radioKohsuke starts the episode by discussing how Jenkins has contributed to the evolution of DevOps and its continued impact on DevOps today. He notes best practices coming out of the community, which was brought to the forefront with the excitement around the launch of the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF) and what the CDF is doing for Jenkins and the community. 

The survey’s results reported an uptick in ‘DevOps washing’ where 67% of practitioners report using DevOps but only 43% say they are practicing continuous delivery (CD). Kristen believes to practice DevOps well you need to practice CD, but because DevOps is a buzzword, people often define the actual process differently. 

The survey report also revealed an emerging class of respondents dubbed high-velocity practitioners. These practitioners represented the top 25% of respondents who outperform others in areas such as deployment frequency, automation of the delivery process and more. This classification enables teams to identify the gaps in their DevOps implementation strategy and understand how they can replicate the success of their high performing counterparts. These high-velocity practitioners are similar to the elite performer segment found in the annual State of DevOps Report from DORA

Highlights from the survey

Massive traction for CI but CD is still lagging
Like the past several years, the survey highlighted that organizations are more comfortable automating their upstream development or build and test activities than automating their downstream operations. Indeed, 95% of respondents automated build activities.

Increased impetus on downstream automation

An important finding of the survey is that high-velocity practitioners are now automating activities across a wide range of the value creation cycle. Also, they are automating at a much higher rate than some of the average groups. 

High-velocity practitioners automate governance at 30% vs. an average of 18% and security at 38% vs. an average of 23%

 

Kristen said earlier, people automated until the point that they needed to deploy. But now we see it shift from, “I’m automating very CI-specific things,” to “I’m automating more of the life cycle, I’m automating outside of like the traditional developer bubble and moving towards the business.” 

Sharing his take on the results, Kohuske said it made perfect sense high-velocity practitioners are automating more of their work. He agreed that breaking conventional silos between the operations and development teams while sharing the onus of things like security and governance can bring significant benefits. 

Collaboration takes the driver’s seat
The survey also highlighted that high-velocity practitioners see significant value in collaboration. 

99% of high-velocity practitioners as compared to 74% of the average groups collaborate to plan future work 

 

The panelists discussed that while finding the right tool with a perfect blend of technology can help support collaborations, when organizations mature with their DevOps implementations, moving beyond the tools becomes imperative. The need to develop culture and processes takes priority. Fostering high levels of cross-functional collaboration is key to the success of DevOps. Kristen summarized that “the big takeaway there is collaborate, collaborate, collaborate.”

Metrics rule continuous improvement

The survey also highlighted the need to implement systems and processes which allow organizations to measure the effectiveness of their DevOps efforts over a period. Measuring and assessing the impact of their changes is essential for continuous improvement. 

84% of high-velocity practitioners capture software delivery process metrics while 50% of high-velocity practitioners use Jenkins to automate their metrics reporting, representing 35% above average

“We saw that of those high-velocity practitioners, those who are tracking four or more metrics are actually experiencing less unplanned work. So that’s bringing their unplanned work down by eight percent,” Kristen added. 

“This is like using data to drive the software development process,” said Kohsuke. “That’s something I’m lately very interested in and I’ve been giving conference talks on that topic. So it’s exciting to see this number going up.”

Other key findings:

  • Cloud adoption has grown significantly with 78% hosting Jenkins on some form of cloud. Last year, only 62% indicated the use of cloud for hosting Jenkins.
  • 67% stated they actively work at an organization that practices DevOps, an increase from last year’s 47%.
  • 65% use container technology, with Kubernetes usage growing 235% versus the 2017 survey results.

Finally, the episode closes out with some thoughts including the importance of release automation, noting the CloudBees’ recent acquisition of Electric Cloud. 

To learn more about the world of DevOps and Jenkins next month, register for DevOps World | Jenkins World in San Francisco and use discount code JENKINS30 for a 30% off the conference pass. 

Addtional resources