Shipa's CEO and Founder on the Future of Kubernetes

Written by: Brian Dawson
4 min read

Before he founded Shipa – the popular new application management framework for cloud native platforms – Bruno Andrade spent a number of years at tech startups and wore a lot of hats, including jobs in engineering and marketing and regular runs to Costco for coffee and Red Bull. But as Shipa’s future CEO tells DevOps Radio Host Brian Dawson this week, he actually spent much of his time “doing sys-admin stuff – implementing systems, helping applications get deployed and helping them get maintained.”

In that role, Bruno saw a parade of technologies march through his doors -- from physical servers to VMs, and from on-premise to the cloud. Now the trend is to move to containers, microservices and cloud native, he says. “We go through technology cycles, and there are times when there are technologies that are rightfully the dominant hot thing, and they change the way we work, the way we develop, and the way we deliver,” he says. 

Ultimately, though, Bruno says the technology and tools you use don’t really matter. That’s because “at the end of the day, you are serving your customers. It’s all about getting your applications out there for your users.” He points to Linux as a simple example. “Who cares if we’re running CentOS or Ubuntu?” he says. “As a developer today, you don’t really care.”

The same goes for Kubernetes, the container-orchestration system for automating application deployment that is all the rage in development circles these days. “Kubernetes is the hot, empowering technology of the moment,” says Bruno. “But it won’t be the last.” 

According to Bruno, Kubernetes will slowly “fade away” as its complexity is harnessed, and the tool gradually becomes a commodity. “It doesn’t really matter where it’s coming from,” Bruno says. “I’m just consuming the services. The technology is just an underlying means to an end.”

Taming complexity

The opportunity to tame Kubernetes’ complexity and making it more scalable is what inspired Bruno to launch Shipa, his second startup, in 2019. The solution he devised eliminates the need to develop custom scripts or manage a lengthy migration. In effect, the solution allows developers to “disappear” the burden of managing their Kubernetes infrastructure.

The productivity boost means that developers and DevOps teams can ramp up faster and shift their focus to what matters: delivering apps to end users. Although Kubernetes will still be there behind the scenes – and “you can still turn the knobs” if you need to – the fact is that “nobody will really care about it anymore,” Bruno says. 

For Bruno, Kubernetes is just one of the many tools you can use to achieve what you need. The best approach, he says, is to focus on designing an effective workflow for your operation. DevOps groups should ask themselves: What do you need to deliver? What types of applications and what types of security and controls do you need to provide?

Smart organizations leverage the right tools and methodologies for the job, Shipa’s CEO explains. “That’s how you succeed, and that’s how I see the core relation between Kubernetes and DevOps today. How do you integrate Kubernetes into a workflow that helps you get to your end goal?”

Building the right team is key. Too many organizations focus on hiring people with expertise in the coolest technologies when they should be finding someone who can move the organization in the right direction and deliver quickly. Remember, technology is a rapidly evolving market, so there’s a good chance your current technologies won’t be relevant two or three years down the road – or you might change the direction of your product altogether.

In this rapidly shifting environment, building a broader, more versatile team could be the better bet, Bruno says. “You have to see the capacity of your team, what you need to deliver, the speed, and where you’re going from an organization and roadmap perspective.” 

So instead of focusing on, “I need someone who is an expert on Kubernetes,” Bruno suggests bringing in someone who is really good at distributed computing, or really good at microservices. “Then if you change from Kubernetes to something else – which more than likely in a few years – that person will be able to morph into that new role. Focusing on the capabilities rather than a specific technology makes a lot more sense.” 

Listen more to Bruno’s take on the future of Kubernetes by Episode 90 of DevOps Radio.

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