The potential of the DevOps fourth wave

by Jeremy

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A fourth wave of DevOps is expected to tie together earlier tools into a platform that covers every phase of the DevOps life cycle, according to Sid Sijbrandij, the co-founder and CEO of GitLab.

Sibrandij, delivering the keynote address at the GitLab Commit Virtual conference, said the platform will bring together development, operations, and security while allowing groups to plan, build, secure, and deploy important software.

From 2011, when GitLab was first being created, until today, the culture around DevOps has changed, he said. “At GitLab we see four phases in the adoption of DevOps tools over time,” he began. Sijbrandij defined these phases as: 

Silo DevOps, where each team would select their own tools. The problem with this was when the teams tried to collaborate, they were not familiar with the tools of the other team.

Fragmented DevOps, where organizations employed the same specific set of tools across each stage of the DevOps lifecycle. This granted teams the ability to collaborate but because the tools were not connected it proved difficult to move through the lifecycle.

DIY DevOps, where organizations manually integrated their DevOps point solutions. The problem here was that these tools were not designed to use the same concepts, and so they never fit quite right resulting in an enormous effort to uphold.

and finally the DevOps Platform Era.

Sijbrandij discussed the future of DevOps and the three things he believes to be the most important integrations into the platform. “I believe that a platform solution that integrates security is the future,” Sijbrandij said. He went on to discuss how security built into a platform results in optimal protection without sacrificing any speed. 

The second important integration, he said, is machine learning. “I believe that machine learning will be critical in making the DevOps workflow faster,” he said. He explained that GitLab is focused on implementing machine learning in order to reduce friction in the development process. Thirdly, he spoke about DevOps Platform adoption and the way he sees it accelerating in the future. “By 2023, 40% of organizations will have switched from multiple point solutions to a platform in order to streamline application delivery,” he concluded. 

In his keynote, Sijbrandij reflected on the last year and the way GitLab has aided health care workers as they navigated their way through the COVID-19 pandemic. “When global COVID testing capabilities were limited, the Illumina Consulting Group used GitLab to develop an app to predict the likelihood that a person had COVID,” he explained. Sijbrandij also discussed how a GitLab team member created a website with the capability to track localized COVID cases in order to determine whether or not in person schooling would be possible in certain areas. 

Sijbrandij summed it up: “There’s an old expression, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone and if you want to go far, go together.’ At GitLab, I’m proud of how far and fast we’ve been able to go together.” 

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