Jenkins interview

CloudBees CEO Sacha Labourey on DevOps, CI and the latest in Jenkins

Coman Hamilton
Butler image via Shutterstock

“A massive IT transformation is currently taking place,” says the CloudBees founder – DevOps is radically changing how we deliver software. And Jenkins is right in the middle of it.

JAXenter: Sacha, what’s new at CloudBees?

Sacha Labourey: A lot! We are seeing a lot of interest for Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD), not only from developers but from management as well, who are starting to recognise the advantages of being able to push software value faster, more frequently, with less bugs.

We see a lot of engineers and companies looking at CI/CD and also how they can align this with some of the other investments they are doing, particularly around cloud infrastructure and lightweight containers à la Docker. Consequently, from a business standpoint, we are growing very fast. In turn, this means a lot of recruitment, both in the USA and in Europe.

Hear Sacha Labourey speak at the Jenkins User Conference World Tour 

In Europe specifically, where open source contributions have always been very strong, we’ve been able to hire a lot of high quality engineers to work on Jenkins and on our products. From a technical standpoint, we are about to release a major new version of our software, this will get announced at the Jenkins User Conference that we are organising in Washington and London. So stay tuned!

Earlier this year you acquired the CD specialist ClinkerHQ – has this already had any outcome on Jenkins?

Since we are growing very fast, recruiting becomes strategically important, so having such a talented team join our ranks has been extremely positive. The ClinkerHQ team is highly talented, technically opinionated and business-minded – all of the things we love at CloudBees!

Last year CloudBees dropped its PaaS approach to focus on Jenkins. Looking back, what was the result of that change? Do you ever miss [email protected]?

When you spend so much time on a product, and it’s a great product, those are always hard choices to make, but we certainly don’t regret anything. We’ve always been very focused on helping businesses produce software value faster and Jenkins and Continuous Delivery have always been core to our offering and vision. By dropping our PaaS, we’ve essentially extended the scope of use-cases we can support. With [email protected], our company was strongly perceived as only caring about i) the cloud and ii) deploying to our own PaaS.

By dropping our PaaS, we have made it clear to the market that we are about CI and CD, whatever your target deployment is (PaaS, application server, docker image, etc.) and wherever it is being hosted (public cloud, private cloud, virtualised servers, traditional hardware, etc.) That has greatly expanded the number of use cases we can support.

Where do your enterprise customers come from, and are they mostly existing Jenkins users?

Most are Jenkins users, but not all of them: a lot of companies are working on a CD strategy from scratch, with no existing tools in-house. As for where they come from, this is very interesting. As we are entering a “software economy”, all companies, whatever their sector of activity, whatever their size or region are impacted by software and must become expert at producing business differentiation through software, faster, more frequently, with a high level of quality. This means our customers really come from all industry sectors. of activities.

What advice would you give to a developer moving from CI to CD?

Grow from what you have, in baby steps, and start from the foundation you have. For this, you need to have an idea of your destination, of the full process, but start from the base you have, don’t rock the boat.

SEE ALSO: Implementing Continuous Delivery

A journey to CD is a lot about learning about how your company operates, about its DNA. Trying to force any radical change isn’t going to work.

Now that your focus is entirely on Jenkins, what new developments can we expect from CloudBees?

First, you should attend the Jenkins User Conference and the Continuous Delivery Summit that will be taking place next week in Washington and the week after in London! We are working on tons of great features for very different players.

We care about helping large organizations run Jenkins efficiently at very large scale; we care about helping small teams operate Jenkins in a simplified fashion; we care about Jenkins Workflow as it is become the defacto pipeline engine; we care about Docker, we have a lot on our plate!

We are also actively working with a number of strategic cloud partners on making our offering available natively in their offering. I hope you are now teased enough to come to the Jenkins User Conference!

DevOps seems to be gathering speed. From your perspective who and what should we be watching?

A massive IT transformation is currently taking place, it will radically change how we deliver value through software. At the core this change, you can find a relatively small number of companies that are delivering a lot of the innovation initiating that transformation. Docker plays an important role with containers, JFrog with binary repositories, DC orchestration runtimes à la Kubernetes and Mesos and obviously, at the centre of the Continuous Delivery universe, orchestrating all of those pieces, CloudBees with Jenkins.

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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