Jul 17, 2019 - Valerie Silverthorne    

Making the case for "concurrent DevOps"

DevOps goes by a lot of different names, but we’ve settled on concurrent DevOps for now at least.

What’s in a name? Quite a lot, apparently, when it comes to the software development space. Over the last few years companies have come up with a number of different names to describe their DevOps efforts – BizDevOps, DevSecOps, and even “modern software development.” But here at GitLab we prefer the term “concurrent DevOps.”

To explain the thought process behind our choice of concurrent DevOps and what it all might mean moving forward, GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij sat down with chief marketing officer Todd Barr and corporate marketing senior director Melissa Smolensky. It’s safe to say a healthy discussion ensued.

Why “concurrent”?

“In GitLab you’re not passing (code) along multiple stages,” explains Sid. “You don’t wait until something is ready and then send it off to some security testing. People can work in parallel. We call it concurrent because it can be parallel but it doesn't have to be."

And concurrent DevOps stands out from what Sid calls “sequential DevOps.” Because no one is waiting for a handoff, or permission, everything goes faster, Sid offers. “I think concurrent DevOps could be a rallying cry,” he says. “If we can spread that idea, make it bigger than GitLab, it’s going to be easier for people to demand something like that and trust (us) with other solutions.”

Start with a mission (statement)

But Todd needs convincing that concurrent DevOps is the right term. “Concurrent DevOps isn’t really a category, it’s a benefit statement,” he says. He suggests a different approach, using our mission statement “everyone can contribute” as a starting point. “I think that has a lot of legs if we actually put more thought into what that means and what category that would mean if we’re creating a platform where everyone can contribute.”

Concurrent DevOps could be a rallying cry if we can spread that idea – make it bigger than GitLab

Sid agrees, in theory, that GitLab is creating a broader platform but doesn’t think the time is right, yet, to make that our main marketing message. “Yes, our visions are bigger. But if you’re too far ahead of where people think you are, you might fall flat on your face. If we can own DevOps I’d settle for that for the next few years.” Melissa agrees, pointing to the fact that enterprises still have a long way to go to integrate DevOps into their development lifecycles.

Size matters

And there’s no question the DevOps market is sufficiently large to support GitLab’s growth, Sid says, referring to a report from Grand View Research that forecasts the market will be worth nearly $13 billion in 2025. So the market opportunity is there, Todd agrees, and offers that both he and Melissa have been in the DevOps space so long they’ve sort of taken it for granted, which is why he suggested different terminology. “DevOps has become a term that's almost synonymous with future software lifecycle development,” he says. “But there's a people element that we've got to help people understand. [With concurrent DevOps] we're trying to be more inclusive in the process, or that's at least one benefit.”

We need to make the case that concurrent DevOps is better, Sid stresses, even if we eventually change the name later on. “Our big benefit is a single application for the entire DevOps lifecycle.”

Watch the entire video:

Photo by YIFEI CHEN on Unsplash

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