“The Cool Code” Is Not What Generates Business Value | #velocityconf


Dave Vellante and John Furrier talked with Jonathan Thorpe, DevOps Evangelist at Serena Software, during the Velocity Conference in Santa Clara, California, about DevOps, cloud, mobile and other trends in the business.

Jonathan Thorpe is Product Marketing Manager for all things DevOps and Continuous Delivery at Serena Software. He previously worked as a Systems Analyst at Electric Cloud, specializing in DevOps-related solutions.

In the past there’s been a split between the Dev and the Ops teams. Thorpe admits finding himself often falling through that gap, because of his mixed experience. But the trend is now for companies to tear down the silos, and to give the teams limited access to their share of workflow, in order to be more efficient. There are a couple of companies which apply these procedures, in a more collaborative way, but they are not even aware of the term DevOps. They just approached it as a practice.

  • DevOps, OpenStack & Mobile

One of the hottest topics in DevOps is OpenStack, and that’s due credit to the developers. Thorpe believes that the cloud part of Open Stack is basically providing the resources. DevOps is driven by more releases, which in turn requires more infrastructure. Cloud is just an enabler of the processes encompassed by DevOps.

One of the key interests for Thorpe at Velocity Conference is Mobile. There’s a lot of talks going on, one of them titled “How to get mobile high performing pages,” and it’s basically turning an art into a set of best practices. Thorpe was shocked to discover that the typical web page has now a 1,5 Mb download. People are increasingly impatient, and if a webpage does not load fast, they just assume it’s broken and leave.

The business value in code


Serena focuses on the enterprise customers. As far as enterprise goes, Vellante identified three trends:

1. business value (saving costs, driving revenue, improving quality, speeding development, etc),
2. passion (what is going to excite my people) and
3. the skills, knowledge and tools needed to deploy

A radical view of DevOps that Vellante shared is the fact that “if it’s not a project that drives value, that excites my people and uses the new methods and new tools, I’m going to outsource it; I’m not going to spend time with it because it’s not going to drive my organization forward.”

The statement resonated with Thorpe, as “it’s all about delivering business value faster.” Talking about Serena, Thorpe mentioned that the company’s core change and release management solutions empower IT organizations to embrace DevOps, providing a common process layer across all the different organizations.

Serena has a long history helping enterprises with release management and with modern release automation.

Cross-training people and eliminating Ops and Devs completely is overzealous, believes Thorpe. What has changed in the DevOps environment is the developers’ realization that the cool code is not what generates business value.