In this week's episode, Bobby Dewrell, SVP of Delivery at Accelerance speaks with Guillermo Velez, COO at ClickIT Smart Technologies. ClickIT is an experienced Cloud and DevOps Nearshore Solution Provider for more than 10 years and they help startups and medium-sized companies to adopt the cloud and transform their applications with Cloud native development and DevOps.
As COO Guillermo is involved in all the operational areas of the company and has been involved in cloud migration projects since the founding of ClickIT. In this episode, Bobby and Guillermo discuss Devops predictions for 2020, adopting the Cloud and how ClickIT excels in DevOps & Cloud Migration.
The Software Outsourcing Show is the #1 source for information, lessons learned, and exclusive insights into outsourcing. The show is produced by Accelerance, the leading consulting firm dedicated to helping companies reduce risk with software outsourcing.
Bobby: You are listening to "The Software Outsourcing Show" brought to you by Accelerance, the global software outsourcing authority.
Hello and welcome to the show. My name is Bobby Dewrell, and I am your host here on "The Software Outsourcing Show," and I am happy to have you here with us and listening this week. We've got another great episode lined up for you. This week we're talking about DevOps and cloud migration and trends moving into 2020. Joining me in the studio today is a man by the name of Guillermo Velez. Guillermo is currently the Chief Operating Officer at ClickIT Smart Technologies. ClickIT is an experienced cloud and DevOps NearSource solution provider for more than 10 years. They help startups and medium-sized companies to adopt the cloud and transform their applications with cloud-native development and DevOps. As COO, Guillermo is involved in all operational areas of the company and has been involved in cloud migration projects since the founding of ClickIT. Guillermo, good morning. Welcome to the show. Thanks for joining me today. I appreciate it.
Guillermo: Good morning too, Bobby. Thank you for inviting me.
Bobby: Well, Guillermo, today we wanted to talk a little bit about DevOps and cloud migration. And one of the things that I always like to ask people when we start, especially around DevOps, it seems like that's really become a new buzzword and a new trend. Everybody likes to say DevOps. And it seems like everybody defines it a little different. So, I thought we'd take a couple of seconds. And let's talk about from your experience, from ClickIT experience, what do we mean when we say DevOps? What is that?
Guillermo: Well, pretty much as you define it. There's people that think that it's a role. There are people that think that it's some methodology. And I'm one of those people that think that the DevOps is the methodology that you need to follow. It's not a role. However, there are people that are self-claimed DevOps. Okay.
Bobby: So, you see it more as a broad methodology, not necessarily a specific DevOps engineer or DevOps person?
Guillermo: That's right. I see it more as a a methodology. And if I see that there's people implementing it to build a software, to build a company, well, we can call that team as full DevOps. So, for me, I would say that DevOps is a methodology that you need to follow, or that your team that you are following to bring a product to life or maintain a product.
Bobby: Right. It's a really kind of a new application life cycle management methodology, right? So, cradle to grave.
Guillermo: That's right. We had... Yeah, totally agree. We had these old-fashioned software development life cycles management that used to tell you that you first need to plan everything, and then you need to establish the time frames in which you are developing the application. Then you will get to the development of the system or application, and then you will get to the ops team to raise all the infrastructure and so on and so on. By right now with DevOps, this new application life cycle management is that you will need to plan, then execute everything, like, after the plan, you will need to code and build everything, test it out, release, deploy, operate, and monitor, and then repeat the loop. It brings you or it tells you, "Hey, get through action faster and get results faster so you can then modify, or test, keep implementing things to make your application better foor your customers, and that way you will have a better place in the market."
Bobby: Right. That's interesting that when we talk about, it's a life cycle and it's actually a very iterative life cycle and it's about speed and it's about getting out there as quick as possible, in a very controlled way. I like to say that, you know, sometimes I think people think that speed to market means no quality, right? But it's actually a rigorous application of quality, right? When we look at it, and DevOps, really for part of that speed, leverages a lot of automation. Fair enough?
Guillermo: Yeah. It leverages a lot of automation in all the phases of the process, since the coding. So, there are other methodologies that are involved with DevOps that make it feel stronger, like test-driven development, for example. That if you execute test-driven development along with DevOps, your product will certainly be more solid than the competition. So, yeah, it'd be a lot of automation along the way for this cycle.
Bobby: And in some of those... What are some of those tools or some of those automations steps that we see along the way? I know we've talked...you just brought up test-driven development. So, you know, as we bring our code in and build, we're doing those automatic unit tests and those type things, what's some of the other automation pieces that we bring along with DevOps?
Guillermo: So there are a lot of tools that you can use, but mainly it is the testing. Whenever you're on the open code, you've got to make sure that your code is probably tested so it works the way they used...it needs to be for your users. So, you use a good system, for example, that runs another set of tools or tests while your software is being integrated together. Because when you're developing something, there are multiple integrators or multiple collaborators in the team, so you've gotta test it out on the cloud, whenever it is integrated altogether or you need to run tester. What else? You can also do manual testing. This is more functionality of the application. And then it becomes a part of the ops, where, if you need to release it, how are you going to release it? So, you got a set of tools that will allow you to create the infrastructure faster and you will need your ops team to do deploy it. So, infrastructure as code is another thing that helps you here and all the monitoring that comes with it.
Bobby: Right. And it's around that speed that we're looking at the focus on continuous integration, continuous delivery, right? We're looking at the automated testing, you know, trying to do as much automated testing as possible, right? I think one of the things that I've seen a lot that's coming is containerization and microservices, really getting away from the old monolithic apps and breaking everything down into smaller discrete services that are containerized. So, the infrastructure is not as huge of an impact anymore.
Guillermo: That's right. Yeah, containerization, it's a very known topic in this industry, that it... Well, the starting of...whenever you want to create an application, there are some methodology that you will need to follow. And there are created some rules, that it is called the twelve-factor methodology when creating an application, that it tells you what are the specific needs of an application in the modern world. It tells you isolate services, you need to have backup dependencies. You need to have infrastructure as code. You need to have a lot of things. There are 12 things that you need to have in order to have an application that is very high performance or DevOps, for example, ODS. It tells you one thing that it needs to have the services isolated. So, when you add containers or when you are using any containerized...you need to containerize your application, you gain some benefits that your competition doesn't have. And we have had different cases or different scenarios in our company that we have seen that containerized applications used to perform better than the client, even though they don't know about it, they are very, very satisfied with the product.
Bobby: Well, that's always the best thing to hear, right? I mean, I think the top two things of DevOps are speed, which we've talked about getting into the environments, getting into clients and customers' hands faster, reliability, which is, I think, really what we were just talking about there, right? How do you monitor and log? What's your continuous integration, your continuous delivery? How do you know that you're providing a really reliable product that will stand there, that meets those quality standards and meets what you're looking for?
Guillermo: Of course. And being in containers means that you can scale whenever you want. So, you have that reliability, scalability. And you will also have cost optimization in terms of what is our company looking for. They are looking to do more with less sometimes. So, when you containerize your application, you got the ability to scale up to as many containers you need to serve your customers. And those same containers will not run as a cluster of servers. So, you got the option to serve more with less again.
Bobby: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think, another thing that, honestly, with the way the world's going today and all of the stories that we hear about hacks and everything else, and break-ins and loss of data and attacks, really, and the DevOps methodology and that model and that speed, what it brings to you is actually more security, right? That you're able to move quickly and keep control, make sure you're still in compliance, but you can move forward, finding controls, you can adjust to threat vectors on a much quicker basis. Would you agree with that?
Guillermo: Totally agree. I think that's also you need to include. That's something that is related to DevSecOps, that you need to have security in all your DevOps pipeline. So, whenever you are testing, you're also testing for security, not only functionality. When you are integrating all your logs, those are not to just view the errors. You can also be view vulnerability to breaches or anything that can help you to understand what are supposedly threat for you or your company, your product. You can meet the goal faster if you have the proper pipeline setup.
Bobby: And then one thing more than I'd like to talk about in DevOps. So, you know, we talked about scale, we talked about reliability, we talked about speed, we talked about security. Those are all really quantifiable, technical, measurable things. Let's talk a little bit about the human factor, bringing the teams together. When you look at DevOps as a cultural model or a philosophical methodology, what does that do for the human factor, for collaboration, for the way teams work and those things? Can you talk a little bit about that?
Guillermo: For sure. Well, when you enable DevOps in an organization, or when you are following this methodology, you gain some other benefits in terms of now your team can develop the things faster, can update code more frequently, and make more releases to your client. That's one thing. You will also have...your development team will have visibility on what is the process and what's happening in the environment. So, it wouldn't matter who you ask on your team. They will always know because it is a DevOps team. Obviously, you will have your leader, obviously, you will have different types of roles in the DevOps team, but everybody would gain that visibility that in the old models you wouldn't have. Everything would be a split, right?
Bobby: Right, right. And then you have formal hand-offs and documentation of hand-off, and instead of you just got the team working together from the beginning, right? And the operators are looking at it like operators and go and, "Why are you going to do that? It's gonna make it harder to operate." Right?
Guillermo: Yeah, that's right. And here, since everything is in code, you will have everything to do and everybody could have the ability to release a patch for any vulnerability that's there. They will have more security to do things quickly, that will allow them to regain the control of the system if anything happens, or collaborate more closely with the Dev and Ops and QA team, to develop the application faster. So, it is gaining a lot of benefits by implementing DevOps, that will help business. It will help also to reduce the amount of time that it takes you to maintain an application. So, we can say that your cost for operation also reduces, and you have more feedback. You have more feedback in your team, you have more feedback from your product, then you can take action on and start making more changes or whatever you want to do.
Bobby: Sure. Awesome. Let's go a little forward focus real quick and talk about a couple of trends. And I want to have fun. I want to take two buzzwords and put them together and I want to talk about DevOps and AI. What do we see happening there? It seems like those two are meant for each other with everything happening with machine learning and artificial intelligence, the ability to read through the large bodies of log reports, and come up with some informed guesses about needing, is that working together? How's that coming about? Can you talk about that a little bit as a trend?
Guillermo: Yeah, I think that by the next year or two years, we will have some good improvements in this job. DevOps and AI will be marched together, and they will be able to do something that for DevOps, right now, it's very common. Continuous guessing of, "What do we need on our product that will allow us to improve our pipeline, improve our security, improve code changes?" So, these AI technologies that will help us to implement with DevOps will gather...I think they will gather logs from our applications, logs from our environments, what is happening inside there. They will be able to tell us, "Hey, this event is happening, so, I'm going to address it doing this action." And our systems will be more intelligent. Our applications will become kind of automated in which we want to need to make a lot of changes. We will just need to update our AI patterns or train our AIs to become better at administrating our systems.
Bobby: Awesome. So, what becomes mainstream for self-driving cars or self-writing code?
Guillermo: I would say self-driving cars are already ahead, but DevOps certainly can reach it.
Bobby: Okay. Let's talk a little bit about DevOps with 5G. 5G is coming and driving the Internet of Things. We're gonna see so much more connectivity. How is 5G and the Internet of Things and DevOps, what is that going to do for us? What do you see happening there?
Guillermo: Well, I think, with the 5G release, this new network [inaudible 00:19:32] allows us to have more, well, first of all, more internet speed, and we know involved with that low latency, which means anybody in France could be making surgery for somebody here in Mexico...some specialist in France or somebody here in Mexico via a remote controlled robot. But that means that with DevOps and the 5G methodology involved with IoT, we will have more space in the IoT sector that will allow us to collect data faster than anybody else. So, if somebody is already doing something with IoT devices, they will be able to gather data faster, they will be able to also improve their services because this 5G will be definitely a trend. Yeah, I think that's it. And the network will be better, will be faster, and their services would be... Yes, Bobby?
Bobby: Yeah. So, that's it, kind of the...with the infrastructure improving, it helps improve that speed, right, ad that reliability. So, the quicker you can get information back, the quicker you can make a change, the quicker you can push the change how to address it. So, absolutely, I agree with you there. I think that's going to be very intriguing. I also see a move to low code, and that's kind of happening everywhere, right? As we want things to move faster, we start getting into more of the "If this, then that" kind of platform connecting and things like that. Do you see that taking hold in DevOps as well?
Guillermo: Yes, I think that's already here. There are different tools that everybody is doing that. DevOps certainly need to have some coding skills, however, is not that necessary. Because now, kind of all the languages that allows you to automate infrastructure or to automate different pieces of your environment are written in JML, so YAML, and this language is similar to human language.
So, you can say that a low code is already here. You don't need to know a lot of code to be a DevOps. Certainly, you need, but not a lot. So, obviously, the cloud providers are doing the best they can so that you don't need to do a lot of things for yourself. They already provide you a lot of different tools that you can use to leverage the problems or the issues to the,m and you only worry about your application. And, yeah, I think there are two parts, that cloud providers are doing us to move less code and the tools that are allowing us to do more, coding less.
Bobby: Awesome. Awesome. So, Guillermo, we're just about out of time today, but before we go, I would like to talk a little bit about ClickIT, and why did we...I mean, I know why we had Guillermo here, but let's talk a little bit about ClickIT and your...what your company's doing. I believe you've been a cloud and DevOps solution provider for nearly 10 years now. Is that correct?
Guillermo: Yes. Nearly 10 years now. We have been involved in the cloud, cloud migrations, cloud integrations for different companies. Mostly we... Right now are focused on financial services, health care companies, e-commerce, big data, and analytics companies. And what we do for them is DevOps at best. We help them to automate older processes, automate their cloud infrastructure creation for all the stuff they want to create and improve on the way.
Bobby: Awesome. And I believe you are AWS and G, Google, Google Cloud platforms certified partner?
Guillermo: Yeah, that's right. We are certified partners of Google Cloud platform and AWS. And we have provided a lot of... We have performed a lot of projects in the U.S market for different companies. We have very interesting applications, and I could say that our company is service-oriented. We like the customer to feel that we are with them. We gather their culture and we mix it with ours, so we can do them a good match with their developers or their teams that are developing a cool application for the market. And we show them what is the box.
Bobby: Awesome. Awesome. So, I know you said a lot about DevOps agile. What size companies do you work with? Any startups, small business enterprise, all of them?
Guillermo: We do very much anything. But the most that we handle are startups and mid to large enterprises. We help them a lot to...whenever they want to develop a new product, that's why we help a lot of startups. And when meeting large businesses who want to migrate to the cloud, we also help them.
Guillermo: So, this sector are the ones that want to use the cloud to bring benefits for their applications and their customers.
Bobby: Awesome. Awesome. Guillermo, really, I want to thank you for joining me today and taking this time out of what I know is a busy schedule to talk with me about DevOps and cloud migration. I certainly appreciate it, and hope to have you back soon.
Guillermo: Thank you very much, Bobby.
Bobby: I want to thank you for listening to us today on "The Software Outsourcing Show" and remind you that you can find a link to the article that we discussed here and show notes, and that you can always find the latest podcast episodes and show notes on iTunes and Spotify or at softwareoutsourcingshow.com. Thank you for listening to "The Software Outsourcing Show" brought to you by Accelerance, the global software outsourcing authority. Do you have a topic you'd like covered in a future show? Then send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Show notes, links and materials discussed on today's show may be found on our website at softwareoutsourcingshow.com. That's softwareoutsourcingshow.com.