Sacha Labourey, Kohsuke Kawaguchi and Jez Humble - Special Jenkins World Edition

In this episode of DevOps Radio, we'll hear from Sacha Labourey, Kohsuke Kawaguchi and Jez Humble together in a Jenkins World special preview. They'll discuss the changes in the Jenkins community, recent advancements in the DevOps community and the role of CloudBees in the DevOps market.

Andre Pino: Welcome to today’s episode. We have a very special episode of DevOps radio today – today we are joined by Kohsuke Kawaguchi, the creator of Jenkins, the Jenkins community leader and the chief technology officer at Cloudbees.

Kohsuke Kawaguchi: Hello.

Andre: We are also joined by Jez Humble; Jez is affectionately known as the father of continuous delivery. He has authored and co-authored several books – The DevOps Handbook, Lean Enterprise and Continuous Delivery. Welcome, Jez. And we’re also joined today by Sacha Labourey. Sacha is the chief executive officer at Cloudbees. Welcome, Sacha.

Sacha Labourey: Thank you, Andre.

Andre: So I wanted to talk to all of you about some recent developments in the marketplace. Jenkins World is coming up at the end of August; specifically, it will run from the 28th of August through the 31st of August. And all of you, interestingly enough, are going to be keynoting at Jenkins World. So, Kohsuke, what are some of the more recent developments that have come out of the Jenkins community that you feel are important and that people should really know as they come into Jenkins World? Because there’s going to be a lot that’s going to be talked about at Jenkins World, we want to make sure that the folks coming into Jenkins World know about what’s happened over the last several months at the community?

Kohsuke: Right, what’s going on in the community over the past year is that there are a lot of people trying to do CI/CD at scale and then also automating more and more things. So it’s going from just a build and test toward the more deployment introducing that sort of things. So in reflection of that, there are a couple of key projects that we’ve taken on in the community. One is the Blue Ocean, it’d be easy for new users who are starting on CI/CD to do it more quickly and use it more pleasantly and productively. The other one that we’ve been doing is the pipelines so we’ve added the whole new phase of the pipeline. We called it Declarative Pipeline and what that allows you to do is to, again, help make the Jenkins Pipeline more accessible and easier. So between those two things combined, and they’re designed to work together, it makes I think sort of little changes to primary features surface in Jenkins.

Andre: And, KK, what have you seen in response to those recent developments in terms of downloads and so forth?

Kohsuke: So I think as always with any software development there’s two things. The one, I think we are seeing the great adoption, so we do track some statistics and then we see that the people using the Jenkins pipeline a whole lot – so I guess can you call it the hockey stick curve. But also as more and more people use Jenkins pipeline, they’re coming back with more feature requests, they’re finding more issues so that’s keeping all of us busy.

Andre: Excellent, and so at Jenkins World, what can people expect to hear from you and the community at the upcoming Jenkins World in August?

Kohsuke: So part of it I think is the people in the community getting together to see, to sort of show how Jenkins has changed. I think the thing with Jenkins is that a lot of people, once they set that it up they don’t really come back to do things. So oftentimes I come across people who are successfully using Jenkins but they are using Jenkins essentially from a few years ago. They are using it the way the older versions of Jenkins have behaved, but that’s what they know and what they’re comfortable with. So I think part of it is our trying to communicate that Jenkins has changed, that there are new and better ways to do things. So I think that’s one of the key messages that I’m hoping to deliver.

Andre: Excellent, excellent. And Jez, I know, everyone knows, that you play an active role in the DevOps community. What are some of the more recent things and advancements that you’re seeing?

Jez Humble: Well, I think what we’re seeing is that DevOps is now absolutely mainstream. Obviously the DevOps Handbook that I write with Jean Kim, and Patrick Debois, and John Willis just came out last year. And we’re seeing pretty much everyone wants a piece of it. So that’s huge and immensely gratifying I think, that everyone’s interested in it. But in terms of actual implementation, the picture is very very patchy – there’s some teams that are doing a really excellent job and some organizations that are doing a really excellent job. I think, to quote William Gibson, “The future’s here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

Andre: Great, and I know that you’re involved in a lot of research that goes on with respect to DevOps and continuous delivery. You have an organization, DORA, that focuses on that. Can you tell us anything about some of the new research initiatives you might have in place?

Jez: Yeah, absolutely. So for the last five years, Puppet Labs has produced the State of DevOps Report. I’ve been working on that for the last four years with Gene Kim and Dr. Nicole Forsgren, who is the CEO of DevOps Research and Assessment. We’ve been doing science on what works and what doesn’t in terms of practices that impact IT performance and how to measure IT performance and the impact of IT performance on organizational outcomes. Lots of interesting results there, the 2017 State of DevOps Report came out just a couple of weeks ago so that’s brand new. You can go to and get that. So we’ve showed that continuous integration has a huge impact on IT performance, continuous integration, working in small batches, doing trunk-based development. All these practices have a measurable impact on IT performance, measured in terms of throughput and cycle time and also stability – time to restore service, change-fail rate. Continuous integration has a significant positive effect on those outcomes which in turn have an impact on organizational performance measured in terms of profitability, market share and productivity. So we can show by doing our research that these practices really matter. They have an enormous positive impact so it’s really worthwhile investing in continuous integration and the practices and tools around it in order to improve your performance. So we’ve been doing this research for years now, we know that it’s true, we’ve been running it on all different kinds of domains from financial services – highly regulated domains – through to more common digital companies. We’ve run it on all different sizes of companies. We have over 25,000 data points now from hundreds of companies worldwide so we know that these practices are universally applicable.

Andre: And so this will be your first time speaking in front of the Jenkins community, is that correct? What do you think about that?

Jez: Yeah, that’s great, I’m very excited about it. Obviously the Jenkins community, probably the biggest community in terms of the reach of Jenkins – you find it everywhere obviously and it is a huge community. So I’m very excited to be a part of that and to help advance that community and find out what everyone’s been up to.

Andre: Will you be talking about some of the research that you were referencing earlier?

Jez: Yeah, absolutely. My keynote is gonna be about the DevOps transformation, the huge impact that DevOps practices can have on both IT and digital performance and on organizational performance. And so absolutely, I’ll be talking about some of the research and just some of the experiences that I’ve had by working for companies and consulting and advising over the last few years.

Andre: That’s great. Sacha, what are you seeing and CloudBees seeing in the DevOps market recently?

Sacha: So it’s interesting because as a company, obviously we’re at the forefront of a number of those implementations and I think what has been pretty visible in the – especially this year but it started last year, is really, it’s understood now that enterprises need to go to DevOps and continuous delivery and so on. So that part I think is becoming clear. The question becomes more how do you deploy that skill, right? It’s not for one team, not for two team or three teams, so it’s well beyond the POC. But it becomes a problem in itself on how you’re gonna actually manage and deploy this at scale for potentially thousands of engineers in an organization while maintaining a correct cost. That’s really a big thing we’re seeing.

Andre: Great, and you’ve been involved in every Jenkins World conference for the last five years. What are you looking forward to in this year’s conference?

Sacha: First, I always love the energy and this willingness to share and learn that I see at Jenkins World. That has probably something to do with DevOps, where it’s not like there is a magical thing we can just apply to your company and that’s it, you’re DevOps, right? As Jez was saying, he’s learned a lot through experiences so every case tends to be a bit different and so on. So what’s always amazing at Jenkins World is how much people go there obviously to learn about new things, what’s coming up in terms of Jenkins and products and so on. But it’s also very much about sharing their own experiences and learning about what other people have done. And personally what I’m gonna be interested I think is also to see what tricks and processes people might use to accelerate adoption of DevOps in organizations. It again goes back to this problem of mass adoption, but for many centralized DevOps teams in those organizations the problem becomes really how can I accelerate the drumbeat of adoption and make sure more and more projects are onboarding on those strategies. So that is a challenge, and there is a lot to learn there.

Andre: And what can people expect to hear from you during your keynote?

Sacha: We’re going to be talking about this big DevOps transformation and how enterprises transform and do that commitment, that enterprise-wide commitment. So we’re gonna be talking about that, and obviously we’re going to be talking about new features and new services we’re going to be offering. And as you can imagine, it’s going to play right into this alley of how to help this adoption, how you can also I think start showing the results of this adoption. A lot of our companies are now spending a pretty decent amount of money with a lot of companies to make that transition happen, to go faster, to become faster at producing software. But at some point there is a question of, okay, let’s pause and what’s the ROI? How much did we really get out of that and so on? So that’s very important as well for the enterprise we’re talking about.

Andre: Well, great, thanks. Well, it certainly sounds like Jenkins World this year is shaping up to be a phenomenal event for DevOps leaders, DevOps practitioners and especially Jenkins practitioners. For those of you listening that would like to attend, we have a very special offer for you today. If you use the discount code JWDEVOPSRAD – R-A-D – JWDEVOPSRAD, you’ll receive a 20 percent discount off of all the sessions that you sign up for – that’d be the conference or any of the workshops. So that’s a really great offer and I hope many of you will take advantage of it. Kohsuke, Jez, Sacha, thank you so much for your time. It was great speaking with you and we’re really looking forward to Jenkins World.

Jez: Thanks for having me, great to talk.

Sacha: Thank you, Andre. See you at Jenkins World.

Andre Pino

Your host: Andre Pino, CloudBees (also sometimes seen incognito, as everyone’s favorite butler at Jenkins World!). André brings more than 20 years of experience in high technology marketing and communications to his role as vice president of marketing. He has experience in several enterprise software markets including application development tools, middleware, manufacturing and supply chain, enterprise search and software quality and testing tools.