The following is a guest post from Matt Chesler, DevOps Architect for TheLadders, the premier mobile network for career driven professionals. We sat down with Matt to learn about what he thinks lies ahead for DevOps in 2015. 

Q: How do you think adoption of DevOps practices (Agile, etc.) will change in 2015?

A: DevOps practices aren’t going to change, they will continue to grow. If you look at current DevOps job listings and listen to what recruiters are looking for, DevOp engineers, etc. are becoming far more prevalent than they used to be. There’s recognition in the industry that this is the direction things are going. Companies get more productivity out of DevOps engineers than traditional system administrators because they are more versatile.

At TheLadders, we’re constantly on the look out for people who are not only strong system administrators, but also have a larger understanding of the ecosystem in which they’re working. DevOps practices will continue to evolve as the fundamental principles are sound. It’s just a matter of the community at large finding better ways to execute and leverage newer technologies.

Q: What challenges do you see arising for DevOps in 2015? 

A: The biggest challenge right now is filtering out the noise and learning how to pay attention to technologies that are worthwhile. We’re reaching the point where most companies recognize the value of DevOps. A few years ago, however, there was a challenge to convince an employer to invest in DevOps culture. Now it’s driven the other way. Companies are telling their people this is what they want because this is the trend. It’s not an uphill battle anymore.

Q: With Docker and virtual containers showing significant interest in 2014, do you see this trend continuing in 2015? 

A: I don’t see the Docker and virtual container trends going away. I see them gaining more of a spotlight. These are not new trends. It’s a theme that’s been around for quite a while. In the past, we had large machines running many different applications. As hardware got more advanced and prices came down, we moved from running a bunch of services on a single host to running a single service on each host. The problem was that when a host died, the service died as well. That’s when we moved to virtualization.

We went from running one service per machine to running many virtual machines per physical machine, and still keeping a single service on each virtual machine. Uptimes were improved and the number of times a DevOps employee had to wake up in the middle of the night was reduced. Virtual containers is really an evolution of the same idea. We’ve gone from virtualizing at the operating system level to virtualizing at a slightly lower level where you can have contained applications coexisting within an operating system instead of a single machine.

Q: How do you see enterprise (or even small/medium businesses) embracing the cloud affect development and DevOps in 2015?

A: It makes the case for DevOps more and more compelling. It used to be when a company wanted to build out a new service, they did everything by hand.That became impractical though. As services grow to handle more business, it’s important to not think about machines individually, but as cows in a herd, things that need to be managed programmatically. It’s not practical to use an army of system administrators to manage a large number of systems. By embracing DevOps and the cloud, enterprises can tackle the same problem in a more abstract yet efficient way.

Q: Do you have any personal expectations you think will have a profound effect on developers in 2015?

A: I believe the trend over the next year and beyond is to make these new technologies as they emerge better documented, more acceptable / stable, and bring them closer to the mainstream. A lot of things people are talking about right now, Docker for example, are leading edge technologies, but they’re not necessarily very well documented or understood and there are random pitfalls people run into. As the community matures, the support for these technologies matures as well.

Q: Feel free to add anything additional you think might be relevant to developers in the near or far future?

A: For the near and far future, I generally advise engineers to focus more on concept and less on specific implementations. The concepts stay the same over time, but the specifics tend to change. Just like virtualization, Docker and virtual containers — the concepts are not new, but the technologies we use to implement them are different from anything we’ve seen before.


Author bio: Matt Chesler is the DevOps Architect for TheLadders, where he is responsible for bridging the gap between production operations and the company’s software platforms. Prior to joining TheLadders, Matt was a Senior Engineer at Zipmark. His skill set ranges from systems to networking and even development. Matt is known among business leaders and his peers as having an innate ability to solve technical problems and build solutions. His varied experience in the tech world has included everything from network storage and missile defense to finance, and quite a bit in between.

To learn more about Matt and TheLadders visit TheLadders.com.