Stackstorm is a new company focused on automation, operations and DevOps. It’s co-founder and CEO Evan Powell has been keeping a running journal as the company made ready to emerge from stealth. This is the 2nd in the series of posts from Powell’s thoughts and experiences as a new DevOps company comes to market.f
In yesterday’s hello DevOps.com – and “hello world”- post we put the 10-100x boost in productivity of the top DevOps operators in historical context. It’s like software is catching up with Moore’s Law’s relentless beat of exponential progress all at once. The shift is changing the world, has changed the world.
However, there are barriers. Like many technology life cycles, a fundamental limitation is us – the people involved in this transition.
And that’s where driver #2 for us starting StackStorm comes in:
There are not enough DevOps unicorns in the world – and there never will be.
The ideal DevOps engineer is a full stack engineer who can code at least in python and is really good at cross-functional collaboration. We are a magnet for this type of unicorn – we have hired a few and have a handful in our utterly kick-ass advisory board.
a) Being a full stack engineer is really, really hard; in my time leading Nexenta, we were happy to find someone who knew something about virtualization and could go deep on storage and while that is rare even that is not a full stack perspective.
b) To add to the job spec of being truly full stack to also know how to code well enough that your scripts work reliably and are trusted is extremely rare.
c) To then combine that with the personality types that seem to thrive in the “anti-siloed” world of DevOps is really, really rare.
Folks that have attributes 1, 2 and 3 – and can lead teams to deliver cohesively – are worth their weight in gold. Software needs to step in here – to help extend and automate these full stack unicorn automators.
As an aside, I may be biased because I have had the pleasure of leveraging DTRACE in Nexenta products over the years, but this has got to be the most awesome Unicorn image going:
Automating all things is great. Automating the automators is even better.
And that’s where we are headed. That’s where the massive operators already are. Amazon, Facebook, Google, PayPal and others have built systems and applied some level of machine learning to the operations systems to enable them to operate at scale and to capture improvements. They’ve entered into a virtuous cycle. Not surprisingly, the IP behind these operations systems is not freely shared with the outside world. Components developed at Amazon and elsewhere may be shared, but the operations automation platforms and intelligence are rarely shared.
That’s where we and the broader community come in. Which leads to the next driver: the community. I’ll discuss how OpenStack and the success of related communities led us to found StackStorm tomorrow.
If you are interested in being invited to StackStorm’s private beta of our operations automation software – please register here: www.stackstorm.com/beta