Meet the Bees: Arnaud Héritier

In every Meet the Bees blog post, you’ll learn more about a different CloudBees Bee. This time we are in France, visiting Arnaud Héritier.

Who are you? What is your role at CloudBees?

My name is Arnaud Héritier and I’m a Support Delivery Manager in the Customer Engagement team at CloudBees.

I have used various open-source projects and contributed to them since the beginning of my career. My main contributions are to Apache Maven and Jenkins, thus it was obvious for me to join CloudBees when the opportunity came in May 2015.

Previously I had different roles (Developer, IT Architect, IT Consultant, Professional Services, Release Manager, Forge Manager, …) in various types of companies (software vendors, IT consulting, …). I also worked (in)directly for various companies in non-IT sectors like media, banking, insurance, …

In my spare time I’m contributing to Les cast Codeurs, a French podcast about IT and Java ecosystems, and I’m also leading the program team of the conference Devoxx France.

Developer support engineers are in front of our customers to help them in their daily tasks.

This is a really interesting position for various reasons:

  • We are in contact with many different people
    • Jenkins administrators and users on customers side,
    • Engineers, product management, professional services and many others departments internally at CloudBees,
    • The Jenkins community which is really different compared to many other open-source projects
  • Since Jenkins is used in many contexts we have the opportunity to work on many technical environments and to address many different use-cases from CI to CD.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Our support delivery team is based in 3 timezones (Europe, US east and Australia) to provide 24/7 support. Each team starts its day with a short meeting to synchronize on open/new cases and to request some help. This is a great opportunity to have an overview of what is in progress between 2 regions and to share our knowledge on the different kinds of cases we are managing.

While one of us is taking care to review all incoming cases all others are processing them. We have many different kind of activities:

  • Reply to usage questions and provide advice
  • Troubleshoot an issue with a customer in a screen sharing session
  • Reproduce an issue and propose a fix to the community or our engineering team
  • Contribute to our knowledge base, the product documentation or to documentations provided by the community
  • And much more!

What do you think the future holds for Jenkins?

A really bright future!! I have been a part of the Jenkins community for a very long time (I think I still had some hair when I talked for the first time with Kohsuke on the mailing list) and Jenkins is the only CI/CD tool with such a vibrant community. All of this is due to its extensibility which allowed to create a really large ecosystem, and Kohsuke’s kind leadership. Today, automation tools are evolving to cover more modern usages like continuous delivery/deployment and Jenkins is leading this direction. When you remember that 3 years ago, Pipeline didn’t exist and when you see what Jenkins users are achieving with it today, that’s really impressive! When you see how Blue Ocean is now providing a new user experience … that’s just awesome!

What are some of your best tips and tricks for using Jenkins?

  1. KISS!! Keep It Simple, Silly! Just because you have in your hands an ecosystem with more than 1,000 plugins that doesn’t mean you need to use all of them.
  2. Anticipate: Jenkins is the heart of your automation. You cannot rely on a deprecated tool. Keep it up-to-date, setup a test instance and try new features which may bring some value to you.
  3. Scale: CloudBees Jenkins Solutions are making it easier to scale horizontally. Enjoy it! You’ll use your resources more efficiently, you’ll simplify your platform and you’ll make it robust.

Do you have any advice for someone starting a career in the CI/CD/DevOps/Jenkins space?

Collaborate, communicate and automate!

This is the heart of DevOps and while Jenkins will help you to automate various processes to achieve your CI/CD objectives, the most important thing will be: you!

You find nowadays many resources to discover and learn about this: DevOps Express, DevOps Radio, …

What are some of the most common mistakes to avoid while using Jenkins?

To believe that Jenkins will do auto-magically everything for you. Jenkins is a framework, providing many services, but you are responsible for making it useful!

What is your favorite form of social media and why?

Twitter without a doubt. You have the opportunity to talk with so many different people. Some known, some unknown, but you can exchange on many subjects, technical or not, serious or not, … I really love this.

But let’s be honest nothing replaces meeting people IRL and that’s why I love to attend various conferences as an attendee but also as speaker to share my passion.

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