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Interview: James Turnbull

James Turnbull will give a talk about "DevOps - More than Marketing" at FOSDEM 2011.

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I'm a long-time Operations and Security guy and an author who has written five technical books. My focus is on automation (especially Puppet), Ruby, metrics and I am passionate about food, wine, books, photo-journalism and cats.

What will your talk be about, exactly?

Why DevOps is more than hype and how it can change the way you do Operations, the way your teams interact and the way you interact with the business.

What do you hope to accomplish by giving this talk? What do you expect?

I hope to expand the pool of people who've heard of DevOps and hopefully persuade some (more) people that we have some good ideas that'll not only make their lives easier but get them to the pub quicker.

Although the DevOps approach seems to be about proven practices that good operations people have been doing for a long time already, DevOps has suddenly become popular in the last two years. Do you have an explanation for this sudden surge in popularity?

Actually - only SOME Operations people use these "proven practices" - and from my experience a pretty small percentage of them. A lot of Operations people have no idea about the benefits of automation, collaboration, adoption of some development practices, etc. My goal is to get more people to do Ops better. To do this I'm currently using the DevOps meme. If that doesn't work or something that works better comes along then I'll use that (too).

DevOps seems to be more popular in Europe than in the US. Is this coincidence?

I'm not sure this is true anymore. DevOps started in Europe and we owe Patrick Debois a huge vote of thanks for coining the term and spreading the message (and many beers - go on buy Patrick a beer). But there have been big turnouts at DevOps events all across the US in recent times. I'm just thrilled to see the message spread.

How do you expect the DevOps movement and supporting tools like Puppet will evolve in the next few years?

Orchestration. The next big thing in DevOps and automation will be end-to-end service orchestration and management, which you can start to see with tools like mcollective and Rundeck. Then managing nodes becomes routine and managing services and full application stacks becomes the new domain.

Have you enjoyed previous FOSDEM editions?

This is my first FOSDEM. I've heard a lot about it so I am really excited to be here and I look forward to drinking some good beer and exchanging some ideas!

Creative Commons License
This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Belgium License.