Episode 66: George Swan of Autodesk - Using CI/CD to Become a Cloud Company

Written by: Brian Dawson
2 min read

DevOps Radio host Brian Dawson is back, broadcasting live with Director of Engineering at Autodesk, George Swan. George has been leading the CI/CD effort within the Autodesk for the last few years. At the time George was hired, the company had been undergoing a digital transformation in which CI/CD played a crucial role. George made the pitch to begin working at the helm of the CI/CD project and has been leading it ever since.

George kicks off by talking about Autodesk’s increased focus on the cloud. Autodesk is committed to being a cloud platform company, which means taking all the cloud services, all the data services, a lot of the core functionality that’s in Autodesk for rendering or for modeling, and making it all available through a cloud platform. He notes two reasons behind this model: one, the world is moving to the cloud, and everybody wants their data on their device where they are in the world; and two, having that functionality available lets Autodesk build product faster and go after new markets. George explains that this is better for their customers as well because it allows Autodesk to provide integrated workflows.

George goes on to explain the role CI/CD plays in Autodesk’s objective to become a cloud company. He says that from the beginning, they knew that in order to be a cloud company, they needed to be doing DevOps, so they began to adopt and implement DevOps practices. Over time, this has helped Autodesk standardize their tools, automate their CI/CD, and come up with a whole new deployment infrastructure based on containers. George notes that his teams have seen the benefit of this practice, and a lot of it!

George closes the podcast by sharing that his DevOps superheroes are Jez Humble and Dr. Nicole Forsgren (DORA), because of the data science that they’ve applied to the DevOps problem. He says that doing the statistical analysis with surveys to understand the relationships between DevOps best practices and how they feed up to financial and productivity gains for an enterprise has been extremely beneficial for the industry.

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