Alan ShimelI first met Alan in New York City at the 2014 CloudExpo just after starting my new role at VictorOps. Known as “Shimmy” to most in the DevOps community, Alan launched DevOps.com as a resource for DevOps education and community building. Shimmy and I reconnected again in Houston where I gave a talk on ChatOps at Camp DevOps.

A self-described serial entrepreneur and business executive, Alan has founded or helped launch numerous startups. With over 25+ years in the IT business world, Alan also writes and speaks on many IT subjects. He most recently launched DevOps.com as well as DevOps Connect – which started in 2011 as “Camp DevOps”, a grassroots conference designed to bring together practitioners of DevOps to educate themselves on process and tools to make their jobs easier – and has now evolved into a much larger project of DevOps Connect.

Always happy to help those in the DevOps space, Shimmy was an obvious choice to be a part of my 2015 DevOps blog series.

J: Are there any projects or events that you’re really excited about this coming year?
A: I am really excited about our DevOps Connect: SecDevOps event in partnership with RSA Conference at the Moscone Center this April. Gene Kim and Josh Corman are program committee chairs. Locally we will be also be partnering with GlueCon for a DevOps Connect event as well in May.

J: Compared to this time last year, where do you feel DevOps (the big picture) is now.?
A: We launched DevOps.com last March and we really felt that DevOps was at a point where it had to start to “cross the chasm” from early adopters to the mainstream.  I think now it is obvious that DevOps is moving to the mainstream in a big way.

J: What are your thoughts on the biggest impacts or benefits teams can gain from adopting DevOps practices?
A: In my mind there is only one metric that matters. Getting closer to customers to deliver better products and services more profitably.

J: Any tools/services that you think are totally awesome and feel more people need to know about?
A: I love Jenkins (Continuos Integration Server). However there are many great DevOps tools out there that we cover all of the time on DevOps.com

J: How or where do you consume the latest ideas and topics regarding DevOps and/or Agile?
A: That is easy, DevOps.com

J: Last question: Do you have any good books or resources that folks just starting to explore DevOps should check out?
A: Again DevOps.com is a great resource with the most original DevOps content in one place. Also Gene Kim’s book The Phoenix Project is a must read.  You should also read Goldratt’s The Goal which Gene’s book is based on.

Be sure to visit DevOps.com and sign up for their mailing list. It’s full of great articles and links to additional resources for all who are interested in learning more about DevOps. I look forward to working on future projects with Shimmy and thank him for taking part in my DevOps Interview Series.