Interview with Mark Pundsack, Head of Product at GitLab

What’s coming in 2018: “We’ll see an increased dominance of Kubernetes”

Gabriela Motroc
Mark Pundsack

What does the future of DevOps look like? We asked Mark Pundsack, Head of Product at GitLab about his predictions for 2018. Expect to hear lots about DevSecOps, Kubernetes, containers, and more.

JAXenter: 2017 has paved the way for the massive adoption of DevOps principles. What are your predictions for next year?

Mark Pundsack: There will be a backlash against the sequential DevOps toolchain, made up of dozens of separate products (whether from the same vendor or not). More companies will demand deeper integration between tools/vendors and a seamless DevSecOps experience. In addition, we’ll see an increased dominance of Kubernetes.

SEE ALSO: What’s coming in 2018: Digital privacy and security predictions

JAXenter: Is 2018 the year of DevSecOps? Is this trend going mainstream next year?

Mark Pundsack: DevSecOps will be top-of-mind in 2018, with enterprises baking security into their DevOps life cycles rather than being an afterthought. Vendors will either offer this solution voluntarily or be asked to do so by customer request.

DevSecOps will be top-of-mind in 2018, with enterprises baking security into their DevOps life cycles rather than being an afterthought.

JAXenter: Who will be dictating the trends next year?

Mark Pundsack: The developer experience, itself, will be a main driver of trends. However, with Developers, Security, QA, and Operations (not to mention Project Managers, Product Managers, Designers, etc.) all needing to work together, more and more CIOs and broader-scoped leaders will need to be involved to truly propel their organizations forward.

JAXenter: The DevOps toolchain is constantly changing — what should we stay away from next year?

Mark Pundsack: In 2018, developers and enterprises should steer away from having multiple products for the same feature. It is great to experiment with various vendors, with different teams using different products, to understand the positive and negative effects each produces, but by consolidating the variety of products, teams can streamline the development process.

JAXenter: Do you think we’ll see more developers running containers in production on Kubernetes? 

Mark Pundsack: Containers are a core pillar of DevOps, but in 2018 they will hit a tipping point where we’ll see more developers running containers in production on Kubernetes than not.

JAXenter: Speaking of a DevOps context, what will the role of the cloud be? Are cloud computing architectural principles essential to DevOps success?

Mark Pundsack: I think that cloud computing poses a huge benefit to the success of DevOps. While it’s possible to do DevOps without cloud computing architectures, cloud-native is the basis for many successful DevOps transformations. Developers can schedule and orchestrate elastically and be more responsive and efficient by working with cloud architectures (whether in the public cloud or a cloud in your own datacenter).

For example, developing locally with Docker makes the transition to running in production much easier. And having an elastic cloud platform available during development allows developers to easily spin up ephemeral applications for testing as-needed rather than having to manage scarce shared resources.

SEE ALSO: 4 experts predict what’s coming in 2018: DevOps, AI, and more

JAXenter: Can containers enhance a company’s DevOps transformation? Is containerization part of the future of DevOps?

Mark Pundsack: It is hard to imagine a DevOps transformation that doesn’t involve containers. Containerization allows developers to move faster, optimize usage of resources and decouple code at the right granularity. Containers are a base-level part of DevOps and allow developers to ensure that their software will run, no matter where it is deployed. In 2017, it became clear that more developers and enterprises are using Kubernetes in production to assist with container management. In 2018, this trend will continue to prosper.

JAXenter: What are the most popular anti-patterns of DevOps?

Mark Pundsack: Enterprises are either focusing too heavily on implementing DevOps within the Development org, or implementing DevOps within the Ops org, while failing to make the two practices work cross-functionally. For example, when an Operations team adopts an agile approach to infrastructure, it is often thought that they have achieved DevOps, yet they’re still having Dev “throw it over the wall” to them. Complete DevOps is only achieved within an organization when Dev and Ops collaborate together, working concurrently.

Thank you!


Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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