What is DevOps?

What Is DevOps?

In this episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey talks about DevOps with Erica Brescia. Our guest is the managing director of Redpoint Ventures. It’s an insightful conversation on how DevOps started two decades ago, how it is defined today, and what the future looks like.

Covered In This Episode

DevOps may be a reasonably new concept to some entrepreneurs. If you’re one of them, today is your lucky day as Matt and Erica tackle the topic with enthusiasm and a lot of insights. 

The Startup Hustle pair talk about the definition of DevOps and its relevance to today’s tech scene. They also look back on its beginnings, 20 years ago, as a set of software development and IT operation practices. And what opportunities lie ahead for its further development. 

Get Started with Full Scale

What’s more? Matt and Erica also discuss AI, Github, and the current issue of developer shortage. It’s an episode full of DevOps wisdom and other things. So make sure to listen to their conversation today.

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Highlights

  • Erica Brescia looks back on her journey (02:07)
  • How to define DevOps (04:47)
  • Discussing the Amazon effect (08:15)
  • The evolution of Cloud and software throughout the years (08:41)
  • How DevOps started and its nitty-gritty (11:03)
  • What is the key to collaboration? (17:23)
  • Was Github the original DevOps? (19:23)
  • What Github did (20:40)
  • “Actions” on Github help build CI/CD pipelines (23:09)
  • The definition of CI/CD (25:38)
  • The future of AI when it comes to DevOps (26:16)
  • The attitude required for a software developer (30:28)
  • On the topic of the open-source platform: Python (33:02)
  • Continuous learning for software developers (35:46)
  • The DevOps operating system (41:44)
  • Talking about the shortage of developers (47:12)
  • Relevant resources every entrepreneur should know (48:20)

Key Quotes

What do you need to change about the way that you work to enable that? That’s how I think about DevOps. How can we automate all of the things that slow developers down, are not fun, and are not making the best use of developers’ talents? How do we eliminate manual work?

– Erica Brescia

DevOps is all about the unification and automation of processes. And DevOps engineers are instrumental in combining code application, maintenance, and application management.

– Matt DeCoursey

You know, developers have no new options. Things are flying at them all the time. And you need to give them something that’s worth their time to actually investigate, start to try, and use.

– Erica Brescia
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Rough Transcript

The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

Matt DeCoursey

And we’re back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. If you’re in the tech space and you build software. If you’ve ever built software, or you’re even familiar with the software, you may have heard the term DevOps. What does that actually mean? Does anybody actually know? Some people might not, but this is a very important part of modern technology companies. We’re going to talk all about that today. I’ve got an amazing guest with an amazing history. Before I give you an introduction to her, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by Wix. Yes, our friends over at Wix know a thing or two about turning the scrappy startup team into a global organization that serves millions of people. And they want to share what they’ve learned with Startup Hustle listeners. And their new micro podcast series called Ready for Takeoff by Wix. When you tune in to the Ready for Takeoff by Wix podcast, you get to hear from Wix founders and company leaders. They share super short lessons to help you build better programs and teams faster. Hey, that’s an idea I can get behind. So subscribe and follow Ready for Takeoff by Wix. There’s a link in the show notes. People, if you haven’t figured that out, there’s this thing called notes down at the bottom. You’ll also find information and links with today’s guests. With me today, I got Erica Brescia, who is a managing director at Redpoint Ventures. That is a venture capital firm in the Valley, people, San Francisco, California. That is one of the many, many amazing things that Erica has done. I’m gonna let her tell you more about it. So I guess we should say, Erica, welcome to Startup Hustle.

Erica Brescia

Thanks so much for having me, Matt. I look forward to chatting about all things software development and DevOps.

Matt DeCoursey

And trying to figure out if anyone knows the real definition of DevOps. But I don’t even want to go there yet. I’d like to hear a little bit more about your backstory.

Erica Brescia

Absolutely. So, as you mentioned, I’m a managing director at Redpoint. That means I invest in technology startups. I’m actually fairly new to the venture world. I joined Redpoint in January after years as a founder and operator. Most recently, I was the chief operating officer of Github. Hopefully, all folks are familiar with Github, but it’s really what we think of as the home of all developers. And where most of the world’s software development happens today. Prior to that, I spent 15 years as a founder of a company. The last company was called Bitnami. I like to say it was DevOps before DevOps was the thing. And then, prior to that, a company called Bitrock and Both; we’re really in the software packaging and deployment base. Trying to make it easier for people to consume software and open source, in particular.

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, I think with that and DevOps, and you talk about working as a team for those of you that aren’t familiar are kind of new to this space if you were building software fifteen years ago and you’re doing it on a team. It wouldn’t be a stretch to learn that you had been overwritten. By someone else uploading code to a server or making changes, and you know, fifteen years ago, and I think that’s probably an appropriate timeframe for when did GitHub come out just or like some of the other stuff. It was about fifteen years ago. Right now, I was so close. Wow.

Erica Brescia

Two yeah, 2008 2008 was when Github was founded. So yeah, you were, yeah, I know it makes me feel really old I could just take it. Yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, it shows you how old I am, so I know. I know. Hey, I just had a birthday. I just turned 47 and I’m 47 years experienced. After 45, it’s not that old. I’m 47 years experienced, um, but ah, the struggle was real.

Erica Brescia

Happy birthday.

Matt DeCoursey

And I remember going through this with the very none software thing I tried to build, and we would override each other or like, I don’t know, it was just a mess, and so the world of DevOps was kind of born now here we are fifteen years later, and it’s really complex. There’s one different product you have: Github Kubernetes docker. It just goes on and on and on. So I think let’s start with the good old internet definition of DevOps, and maybe we can see if we agree or not according to the internet. That’s where I’m citing this. This is how scientific we are here on Startup Hustle. DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at a high velocity. What does that mean? It makes it easy for you to share the work that you’ve done, not be the bull in the China shop. And you know, really kind of improved products at a faster pace, and some people actually refer to this as like CICD and some other things too. So yeah, I mean but are we far off on that definition, or how would you define it?

Erica Brescia

Yeah, oh my God, I mean, it’s really clunky. It’s super clunky. Yeah, I mean, I think the key word to me is velocity, like when I think of DevOps.

Matt DeCoursey

Because that didn’t mean a whole lot to me, like I feel like my definition of like it helps you not overwrite helps you not destroy what someone else did is a better version.

Erica Brescia

There are two things like two attributes. I think velocity and automation are the two things that really come to mind, and underpinning that is the cultural change that it takes if you think about it, and this is when sometimes I wish podcasts were on video because I like to talk with my hands.

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

We can make that happen if you want. We are actually recording the video. We can publish it if you want people waving her hands. Can I attest to that? Yeah yeah.

Erica Brescia

You know it’s really like going. Ah.

Erica Brescia

I don’t. I’m very hand-wavy. That’s what they say about VCs, right? Um, no, but I think it really is about going from like way back in the day if you go back? For fifteen years, people have been doing Waterfall style development processes, right? Just took forever to ship a new piece of software or ship. A new release. Yeah, and DevOps is all about how many like tight circles. Can you have how often you can deploy code and how quickly you can iterate and improve your product?

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, that has helped.

Matt DeCoursey

Project. What.

Erica Brescia

What do you need to change about the way that you work to enable that? That’s how I think about DevOps. How can we automate all of the things that slow developers down, are not fun, and are not making the best use of developers’ talents? How do we eliminate manual work?

Matt DeCoursey

Right? That was probably how you like how the product sits.

Matt DeCoursey

Ask how as.

Erica Brescia

How do we bring in a lot of automated testing with the right kind of collaboration interface? You talked about working as a team. I think that’s an important part and then take that software from it being written to it being deployed into production.

Matt DeCoursey

And well, I think I think I found a better one. I think I found a better one. So this is actually from Red Hat, and thanks, Red hat, because you have been a sponsor of Startup Hustles.

Erica Brescia

Which doesn’t fit as neatly on a little card as that definition that you read. But I think it’s more practical. Oh.

Matt DeCoursey

Appreciate that? DevOps is all about the unification and automation of processes. And DevOps engineers are instrumental in combining code application, maintenance, and application management. I like that definition a lot more? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, so.

Erica Brescia

Yeah, it’s definitely better. It’s definitely better. I Still don’t love it, Although I do love the Red hat.

Matt DeCoursey

But one of the things that I think about when it comes to DevOps. It’s important to remember as here we are all these years later in the life cycle of software being developed, and it’s so layered, and there’s, you know, the software now compared to twenty years ago there’s so much code. There are so many different things. And I think that the Amazon effect of the instant gratification that people also want probably had something to do with the push for the growth of the DevOps industry because people want to fix it now, and as a founder, if anything was ever broken, didn’t you want it fixed quickly or maybe not broken at all.

Erica Brescia

Ah, of course. Yeah, yeah, I mean expectations. Consumer expectations, in general, have just changed across the board. I think one of the interesting things about the kind of Cloud and how software has evolved is obviously like much of the world is.

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, yeah I.

Erica Brescia

Powered by software than ever before, and that trend will continue as people have built more applications and brought more services online, and we see more SaaS services and things like that.

Matt DeCoursey

And None l built.

Erica Brescia

Like the way that we need to build and deploy and manage software is changing, right? And if you really zoom out you. You used to install software on a physical server on-premise, right? And then. You would deploy a virtual machine. VMware made it easy to build a VM, and then you could run multiple VMS on one machine, and then you have a cloud which gave you those VMS kind of that you didn’t have to manage any physical hardware to support.

Matt DeCoursey

Like open again. Ultimately yeah.

Erica Brescia

And then you had um like the dockerization of the world and then Kubernetes to manage all of your containers and with Kubernetes and containers that really forced you to automate more than ever before like you literally cannot. Manually maintain microservices in a Kubernetes environment, right? There are just too many pieces. You could never hire the people power to support that, and so I think these new architectures have really forced the adoption of DevOps, you know, and in some places. Better than others, but like you just don’t really have a choice but to start automating your software like testing deployment management because there’s just no other option, and I think that’s kind of like what’s forced. A lot of the cultural change and how we think about the role of a software developer. You know, a DevOps engineer, as you mentioned before, the podcast is like this kind of new role that means a lot of different things to a lot of people that’s become necessary just to keep the kind of the pipelines that you have for your software. Ah, functional.

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, so let’s go back in time to Bitnami, and you know you mentioned that you felt as you know at maybe at this point a grandmother or grandfather of DevOps industry. In the very infancy of what is now a very big deal, like a very big industry like DevOps, it is a specific type of developer deployer. All of it. It’s a very important part of stuff. But what was the original like? What was the OG problem that you had to solve at Bitnami to even get it started, and what attracted you to want to create that solution? Yeah.

Erica Brescia

Yeah, so Bitnami was really driven by the growth in open-source software. So if you go back? This goes all the way back to 2005. Actually, there was this none wave of commercial open source companies that were being created, and there were companies that a lot of people listening might not have even heard of before, but there was MySQL. Hopefully, some folks know about that. But you know there was also Xenos and sugar CRM and jazz. One soft groundwork and all these companies that were getting built Penta-ho was another one, and they were building business applications and open source, but the people that they were selling to didn’t really know how to get the application setup because it had all these different dependencies right? So. I’ll take sugar CRM, which is like a customer relationship management application. It was built on what was called the lamp stack, right? Linux Apache MySQL PHP, and if you were a business buyer and you wanted to try sugar CRM. You couldn’t actually get it. Install because you had to install a full web server and everything to run it, and so the opportunity that we saw was to take an open-source piece of software and all of its dependencies. And package it in a way that made it very easy for people who were not systems administrators to get it deployed and running, so that was kind of the genesis and what we saw was that we could increase distribution tremendously because we made it easier for people to get this software up and running and we also. Really cut down sometimes by 70% or more the installation-related support requests that these companies would get, and so we started there, and then you know I talked about this like on-prem VM cloud containers Kubernetes. Um. When the Cloud started, Amazon started to grow. We started building Amis for Amazon that was like these kinds of prebaked images where all of the different pieces in them had been tested and known to work together because this was another. The problem in the early days of open source, in particular before we got good at packaging all this stuff you call dependency hell, right? Like you try to spin up None thing, but you’d have the wrong version of some library in Linux or the wrong, you know.

Matt DeCoursey

And price. But what are they?

Erica Brescia

Or whatever some configuration issue and you couldn’t get it to work and it could take you weeks just to get something installed, so you know we would kind of like do all the integration testing and configuration and then just hand you something where you could go click click click boom you know it goes to that instant gratification that you were talking about and then. As Bitnami and Cloud and containers evolved, we built an automated system that would track every upstream open source project that a piece of software would depend on and download any new releases and run a bunch of integration tests and then publish new images. So the benefit you got from Bitnami was whenever you took a Bitnami image. You would know it was up to date, and everything would work out of the box. Um, so that’s how Bitnami came about.

Matt DeCoursey

What you’re talking about on the most basic kind of blue-collar level is often referred to as framing and plumbing, and you know if you want to talk about building a house and this is that this is the not exciting part of building a home. You know there’s like.

Erica Brescia

Yeah, not sexy at all. Yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

And it’s big forever too, and the thing is without good structural elements. It’s a mess, but the reason I bring it up is that a lot of times when we get you to know earlier stage clients at Full Scale, and you want to learn more about what I do, go to FullScale.io. We hope you build software teams. But. Um, you know I tell a lot. I advise you, and I admit that at our core, we are non-technical founders. Although very capable of talking about very technical stuff. But if you haven’t experienced that, you can get like weeks.

Erica Brescia

So yep, yep.

Matt DeCoursey

A month or more ended this like the framing and plumbing side of things, and it really can be frustrating, and in some cases, you know, lead to those that don’t have experience being like, are we even doing this right. Making any progress. It’s, I mean, it’s a frustrating process and then back to like you mentioned, the expertise. So when you’re talking when Erica is talking about quote images, these aren’t jpegs of this kind.

Erica Brescia

Yeah, yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

Images of a server and so so much of that is if you think about what’s going on inside of an Amazon web server or something or any kind of programming framework or even something that’s something like WordPress. All of these updates come out, and their patches are improvements and changes, and most people don’t know how to deploy them. And the problem is that these become vulnerabilities, weak spots, and often broken stuff later, so you know I think that that’s ah you know that was it and I that was a little newer of an explanation to me, and it made a lot more sense. So if you do so, if you don’t, have someone take care of that stuff for you or to set it up for you. You need to either go find that person you’re hoping they do well and who’s going to maintain it, thus the need for the automation, and I mean that if you really want to spend time updating patches and little things. But that’s ah is that.

Erica Brescia

Um, ah.

Matt DeCoursey

Is that really kind of the core genesis of giving developers their time back to actually develop?

Erica Brescia

Exactly I mean, the Ceo in me is all about efficiency, right? One of my biggest pet peeves is wasted time on anything, and you just it doesn’t add value to do this like the work needs to be done, but you don’t need to be human-like.

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, yes.

Matt DeCoursey

Every student felt like they needed this problem.

Erica Brescia

To duplicate this process in all these companies when it’s a common issue and again on the collaboration front. One thing. What’s really key is that your developers have a standardized development environment. So when they’re writing code and then you take it from their development environment. Maybe somebody else is working on it from staging to production like you need to have the same setup or else stuff starts breaking, and then again, you lose all this time going to fix things that are not actually delivering the core value. It’s not writing software like that. What developers want to be doing is not like debugging some random configuration issue because of inconsistency across different platforms. So and you know it.

Matt DeCoursey

Man, this stuff’s complicated. I might just, you know, go. I might go back to manual labor or something. Oh, wait. That’s still manual labor to go in and fix all this stuff, and you mentioned the CEO, and you and I want to talk about that. But I want to remind everyone that our friends are over at Wix. Yes, the website and business-building platform know a thing or two about turning a scrappy startup team into a global organization serving millions. They want to share what they’ve learned with you in a new micro podcast series called Ready for Takeoff by Wix. The company’s founders and leaders share super short lessons. Hey, Wix, that is not easy to say, share super short lessons, but you should go listen to them. It’s designed to help you build better products and teams faster, so subscribe and follow the Ready for Takeoff by Wix Podcast right now on Apple Spotify. Everywhere you find podcasts. There’s a link in the show notes, and also there is a link in the show notes to Redpoint Ventures, and we’ll talk about that later. But you mentioned a COO, so you were the Ceo of GitHub. Now that’s a big deal. It is, and Github was acquired by Microsoft for seven point five billion, and roughly, is that sound about right? So GitHub is, and I asked before.

Erica Brescia

Correct. Yep.

Matt DeCoursey

Lack of experience or ignorance or not knowing I asked before we recorded, I was like it was Github, the original DevOps, I think for a lot of people. It might have been an introduction to some of this, you know, and in that regard. But for me, Github was just a. Layman’s terms. It was like, hey, we need to use this, so we don’t overwrite people, and I was like, dude can we sign up now because I was experiencing a lot of frustrations. But you know, for a lot of developers. This is nuts. So I’ve had 2500 people apply for developer jobs in the last three months. You would be surprised how many of them have.

Erica Brescia

Process this.

Matt DeCoursey

No idea how to use these people with like ten years of experience, and at this point, we’re like, where have you been? Were you in hibernation or whatever, but far where were you when it comes to GitHub like obviously, you know, c-suite role there, but that grew pretty quickly?

Erica Brescia

Yikes yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

What was that experience like?

Erica Brescia

Yeah, I mean, I think Github is a remarkable kind of cultural as well as technology Phenomenon, and you know the company was founded by some brilliant folks long before I got there? Um, but. You know to your first point about was it like the start of DevOps, I think in a way, I think you know what Github really did was make software development more collaborative, and you mentioned not overwriting people’s stuff, and that’s an important part of it, but it was also like.

Matt DeCoursey

And you know what and did what.

Matt DeCoursey

How we.

Erica Brescia

How do you enable a team to build software more effectively together, right? That’s all about what GitHub is about, and then or that’s how it started, and then it really became like how do we build the home for all software developers. How do we build a place where you can go not only to write your own code but to discover other projects.

Matt DeCoursey

Like how do we get that?

Erica Brescia

To get involved in other projects to share the work that you’re doing with others to get feedback, and that’s really like a core underpinning of how software is developed today and how the open-source world works, and you know for those of you who aren’t. Deep and open source. You know it powers virtually every aspect of our daily lives, whether you know it or not, from your phones to your cars to your pacemakers to the planes that we fly in like you name it, um over ninety percent of. Software written today ends up having some aspects of open source involved in it, and so you know, Github has really become kind of the home for that. Um. And you mentioned you know the growth, so I joined shortly following the Microsoft acquisition that closed in 2018. I joined in 2019 and really got up at the time trying to remember we had none of the developers on the platform. We had over none. I said thousands of pieces of cheese. I need more coffee from the developers on the platform. We had over 70000000 when I left, so you know most of the world’s developers have a GitHub account and are building software there, and I think you know Github has gone from like code hosting and collaboration too.

Matt DeCoursey

Block offering every couple things from.

Erica Brescia

Offers a lot of other very cool things from code spaces which lets you spin up a dev environment instantly in the Cloud, to co-pilot, which is like an automated pair programmer, and I think that’s a really interesting topic for us to cover is like how to how will ai and machine learning like kind of usher in the next. Generation of software development is an area I’m super passionate about as an investor, but you know Github is another core DevOps product that GitHub introduces called actions which basically lets you build. Ah, CICD pipelines that are super powerful and that were wildly successful and just basically took over GitHub like most projects on GitHub are using actions now, which is pretty cool, so it was a really, really neat company to be a part of that I think um. It serves a really important function for the world’s developers and in bringing new developers throughout the world into open source and into the global software development community, which I think is really exciting, especially when you look at places like Africa and Latin America and Asia where you have liked. These countries are just getting more connectivity. The internet is full of unbelievably talented people that now, because of the open-source GitHub, can kind of become a part of that world and create new financial opportunities for themselves that they would have never had before.

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, and Github’s often just referred to as a Repo or a repository. It’s where you can store and share code now when Erica’s talking about open source stuff. Let’s just say I wanted to build an online calculator. I might find someone that has. Built a bunch of code or ah several there, and probably I would be willing to bet if I looked. There are probably about 20 different options, and there might be None in python, one in Php, one in c sharp, who knows.

Erica Brescia

Yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

And people put this stuff out there because much like it was Jack Johnson and curious George ah reduce reuse recycle. Well, these are things that people are willing to share. They’re like, hey, look at this cool thing I built, or you might find this to be useful. And there’s no real reason to rebuild stuff that’s already been built, like if we went back to framing and plumbing. I mean, you can actually go buy pre-framed stuff; I mean, we don’t chop down the tree and shave it down and.

Erica Brescia

Um, okay.

Matt DeCoursey

You know all that stuff anymore. So some of these things are prepackaged, and then you know I love the growth of the different tools. Let’s talk about the ai and DevOps because, you know, there are so many different things you talk about ai and what it solves and going in and finding little bugs and ah okay, why are software companies so valuable because the software comes to work every day it’ll show 365 done right? It’ll work without complaint. And you know it’s not always that straightforward, but it shows up every day, and when you talk about maintaining uptime, you say you know another thing too because I don’t want to forget? Yeah, I like to define acronyms CICD continuous integration continuous deployment, and you know, but there are there’s automation and this kind of stuff. I think the worst thing is finding out later that you’ve had a problem for a very long time that you never even figured out you had.

Erica Brescia

Further.

Matt DeCoursey

And you know, so I don’t know if Ai is going to help solve that. Maybe it’s going to fix errors in code. I mean, what? What’s the future of Ai when it comes to DevOps.

Erica Brescia

Yeah, I think there’s a lot. So actually, I left out something else that Github launched. It’s relevant, and I’ll explain why in a minute. Um, but it’s called GitHub advanced security. So while at Github, we acquired a company called semmel that we believe in. Best static analysis product on the market, and the idea was that they had 45 oxford PhDs that were experts saying code analysis that were writing tooling to basically help you find vulnerabilities in your code and like security issues and eventually just find. Better ways to write code to make it more efficient, more secure, etc. And I think that’s a really powerful technology, and kind of when you think about combining that with something like, you know, machine learning and eventually what it will do is help developers write. Much better, more secure software more efficiently, right? and you know the amount of software that we depend on globally is just going to continue to explode, right? Like no company will ever be created again that doesn’t rely on software. It’s core in some way, like to operate the business. No big company at least um, and so when you think about that, you know there’s just like a dearth of skilled software developers in the world, and so I think our job as technology developers is to think about. How can we build tooling and platforms to bring in a new generation of software developers and kind of ease or lower than on-ramp into software development? I think that’s one of the next big frontiers in um. Technology platforms are looking at how we bring. Um, you know, Ai that has been trained on the massive codebase, and this is what co-pilot did right like co-pilot um was a partnership with open AI that uses the G P T three model and applied it to. A codebase that lives on Github, which again is most of the world’s code, and then when you’re writing code as a developer. It will actually be kind of autocomplete, like if you know how your Gmail or word now will auto-complete what you’re typing or make suggestions. It does that for code. And I think that’s really powerful because, you know, today, the real software development workflow, if you’re actually writing code which people don’t always talk about, is like you’re trying to solve a problem, and you go to stack overflow or something like you basically Google to try to figure out how to do whatever it is right? and

Matt DeCoursey

Mouth, please.

Erica Brescia

And you might copy and paste snippets a code that might not work with the rest of your codebase, and you kind of like pouring it over um and then integrate it into your own codebase and co-pilot, and there’s a bunch of other really interesting companies that are being built in this base that are early stage right now. What I Am trying to do is kind of give Ai more context on your specific software project to make that autocomplete better to make it easier again and faster to write code as a developer, and I think you know that the same technology can be applied to help. Make sure that the code that you’re writing is as secure as possible, which, um, you know those of us who spend any time in the software world know is a major issue these days. Um, a lot of folks, even not in software, probably saw like solar winds, and then they saw like log 4 shell or log four j. And some of these more recent security issues, and I do believe that um ai is going to help us over time, right? Better and more secure software.

Matt DeCoursey

So there. There’s someone listening right now that’s like, wait. She’s just talking about auto comp. They did that a long time ago. The speeds one thing. The accuracy is another matter. As someone who employs a ton of developers, I’m literally in the business of identifying talent. So first off, the dirt uses the term dearth of software developers meaning there’s scarcity. There are a few of them. So that means that the ones we have, we have to focus on using them effectively and time management. But people ask me all the time they’re like, well, do you do? Are you a developer? Do you want to learn? I’m like, I don’t have the right personality type like what do you mean? I said because literally a missing semicolon on line sixteen thousand and Eight might break something.

Erica Brescia

So yep.

Matt DeCoursey

When you’re sitting there, and you don’t know that the accuracy part of things and the reason I wouldn’t be good at that is I would just smash a computer every day if I did because I like that patience in that detail-oriented nature. But the struggle is real, and you’ll hear it, really. Ah, Senior developers complain about non-senior ones they like; they’re just copying and pasting code. It’s messing everything up, but that’s what’s happening. They’re googling it, finding it, and putting it in now. We started this episode talking about the compatibility of images and just all that stuff. Well. I Don’t know. Have you ever copied and pasted something out of a word document and an email, and then you looked at you like, wait, that isn’t what it looks like Well, that’s a lack on the most basic level. That’s the lack of compatibility that we’re talking about on some level, so you know the whole purpose of DevOps in.

Erica Brescia

Um, yeah, yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

Is that consistency in bringing that forward. So that’s pretty cool. Actually, you know, as I said, it’s not something I use myself much. But yeah, and now in my business, one thing that’ll piss off a client faster and louder than anyone else is. Little goofy issues and errors and anything that fixes that, once again, is a great thing. Um, now I liked the comment where you talk about the expansion of open source going places with that. The adoption of the best practices that software developers use is an important thing too. That’s it. That’s like a non-starter for us at Full Scale, like if you have because if you don’t have that, right? You’re just going to either build something that ends up needing to be rebuilt, or you’re going to really really frustrate the other people that know what they’re doing on the team, and you know this is and. You know, back to the open-source thing. I love open source, and yeah, so all of our employees are in the Philippines, which is really that’s why there’s so many PHP developers there because that was one of the original kinds of open source platforms. Why does that matter if you’re in a small fishing village?

Erica Brescia

Okay.

Matt DeCoursey

The Philippines, and you’ve finally saved up enough money to buy a laptop. You didn’t have the money for a Microsoft license to be a net developer, so you could take these open-source things and get to work right away.

Erica Brescia

No.

Matt DeCoursey

Um, and that’s really made a big difference, and you know python is another open-source platform that, according to Github, is the fastest growing language on the internet.

Erica Brescia

Yeah, yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

And why? Because it’s simply because it’s easy, and people are finding other ways like data scientists. What does that even mean? I’m an analyst. It doesn’t always have to be a developer, but a lot of you know, ah, for me, a data scientist needs to be a developer in my world but not always and they.

Erica Brescia

Um, yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

It’s user-friendly. It’s a lot easier. There’s less code. There’s a lot. So a lot of stuff to deal with, and you can go get it for free. That’s good. That’s a good thing, but I’m really not kidding about the open-source thing, and if you talk about I mean the.

Erica Brescia

It.

Matt DeCoursey

What might seem like a small purchase is it might be a lot more impactful for someone in ah and a developing country.

Erica Brescia

Yeah, and I mean free is great. Um, and that’s important for accessibility. Yeah, but I think what’s magical about open source to me is the opportunity to become part of a community and to learn, right? and

Matt DeCoursey

It’s not always better because it’s free. But yeah, yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

True.

Erica Brescia

I think you know the most successful open-source projects typically have really good documentation and good kinds of user groups and ways to get involved and to learn from others to share knowledge and share projects to contribute. You know, to help improve it. You know, maybe you’re. Trying to build something new in python, and you find that it’s missing a feature like if you want to and if you can write code that’s going to be accepted by the project. You can actually contribute, and I think that’s a lot of the power in open source. It’s not. It’s not just that it’s free. It’s that. There is an opportunity to engage around it and to learn from and with others that I think is really powerful, and you know you mentioned this before, but it’s like why to rewrite something when it’s already there, right and like somebody else has already battle-tested it like you’re much better off taking that and. You know, maybe contributing to it rather than trying to rewrite the wheel, but I have a question for you, so you build software development teams, and I talked a little bit about like Ai and the power that I see and kind of the autocomplete that actually works um that that’s contextually aware. But how do you think about using those types of tools and the teams that you build? Like, are you using anything that incorporates Ai um or ml which I see as like you know, ah not as.

Matt DeCoursey

Um.

Erica Brescia

Like autonomous and not ah, not ah as constantly learning as ai like ah ml is on the path to Ai to me I know different people have different definitions. But what do you think about it? So.

Matt DeCoursey

Well, the answer to your question is maybe, and you said, well, why don’t you know this? So the whole thing with Full Scale is, and so we use the acronym rare. We specialize in recruiting, assessing, retaining, and employing. So we create an intellectual property safe environment with employees that are ours that are highly vetted, and you know all of that now with what we’re trying to match is that our average developer has seven years of experience, and we’re trying to put them on teams. So we mentioned this dearth of ah this scarcity of developers anywhere and the there are None open ah tech jobs, and I don’t mean sales jobs like true like. Practitioners of the art jobs that are open in the United States and zero-sum game, so you hire None person just open a job somewhere else and so with that part of what we do is our team adopts the practices and uses the tools. All of it from the client team, now that’s what I said, maybe. Because we don’t get so far down in the weeds that we do that now. Um, we do have clients and people that do all kinds of sophisticated stuff. I mean, the one thing we don’t do is sit around and build WordPress landing pages all day, like the harder it is, the better off. Happier. We are about it. We want complex stuff. So but you talk, but one hundred percent of our people are using, you know, various CICD tools and for this one of the things that I think is important is we’ve actually created a whole lot of training and ah so we could we. For younger developers that we’re hiring so and our main office in the Philippines is in Sabu City in the Philippines, and no one’s ever heard of it. It’s the one biggest city in the Philippines, but there is one computer science kid there, and we made it our goal to hire the top 3%, ah, but with that, they have to learn best practices, so we’re trying to introduce them to the tools and all these things, and you know I’m coming out of this show, and I’m like wow we need to look at some of this a little more. If. We’re not using it in some cases like I love the co-pilot thing. I hadn’t even really considered that because, as I said, for us, we want to deliver things quickly and accurately and have them work, and you hear sustainable code meaning code that can be reused. It doesn’t have to be redone.

Erica Brescia

Um, yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

Not accumulating technical debt. So I mean, some of these things are, yeah, you Okay, it’s not expensive to have a GitHub account, and if you look at the opportunity costs that you create by the shit that you wreck.

Erica Brescia

Um, no, ah.

Matt DeCoursey

Or the frustration that you cause or the opportunity costs associated with something not working because you had sloppy deployment. I mean, there are even free GitHub accounts.

Erica Brescia

Um, yeah, yep.

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, so yeah, so yeah, when it comes to that, I mean we’re always looking for stuff, and then my business partner at Full Scale actually was also the founder of https://stackify.com, which was acquired last year, um, and there’s a whole other thing. We didn’t get into application performance monitoring and management, and these are like, so we use some of these tools and recommend that. But yeah, there’s a lot of stuff out there and the reason we have. We can’t really adopt just one because, as I said, ah, we want to.

Erica Brescia

Yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

We don’t. I think that one of the better selling points about using Full Scale is that you don’t have to change anything you do to do business with us, and I think that’s important. So yeah, um, now. Yeah, as we come. To a near conclusion on where we’re at, I want to once again let you know that today’s so Startup Hustle was brought to you by Wix and if you’re an entrepreneur or founder trying to figure out how to successfully navigate the rocketship that is hypergrowth. Do you want and you want to take control of your company’s online presence internally and externally. Our friends at Wix Enterprise can help Wix Enterprise a platform that provides businesses with an all-in-one solution for all types of growth and business needs. You can create high-performing websites for your business. All of which are backed by enterprise-grade security as well as expert support to help you manage and scale online. Head over to https://wix.com for more information. There’s a link to that in the show notes, and there’s a link to https://redpoint.com. Ah, two things, one I’d like to talk about a little. Just briefly about the VC space, and then we have to do the founders Freestyle, which is the way I end my episodes. I’m gonna give you an opportunity to say anything you want to say on the way. I’ve had people sing rap and recite poetry. Yeah, or you can just talk about what stood out from the episode, which is my default.

Erica Brescia

Ah, oh geez.

Erica Brescia

Ah, I.

Matt DeCoursey

Um, yeah, so I don’t like to date our episodes. But right now in and in the world. There’s a lot of media attention that is related to it. Venture Capital and maybe the lack of investment that’s going into certain things. I Personally think that venture Capital will always be flowing into a lot of different things. I guess what I wanted to ask is, you know it in the field of DevOps and companies that provide these solutions is that hotter and not right now.

Erica Brescia

I mean, I’m hugely biased because I focus on infrastructure, DevOps security, and open source. Yeah, I just like to give the group some context. Um, I mean, this is my core focus. So I am an absolute believer. Um.

Matt DeCoursey

Well, that’s okay, you’re allowed to have your opinion. Yeah yeah.

Erica Brescia

Yeah, I think you know. Obviously, the venture market has changed a bit, valuations have come way down, which I think is healthier and more sustainable for the long run. But you know this year I’ve invested in 3 companies that are in varying parts of the DevOps space, right? 1 is.

Matt DeCoursey

I agree with Apple.

Erica Brescia

The dagger is building. We call it the DevOps operating system. It is super cool. Open-source project from the founders of Docker that gives you a kind of composable building blocks to build your CICD pipelines and make them completely portable and scalable. Ah, for deploying to any Cloud platform. So Obviously super excited about that other one called Railway which I think the founder would kill me for describing this way, but I like to, yeah, Toy Trains. Um.

Matt DeCoursey

It’s a boy who trains people with toy trains. Yep.

Erica Brescia

Ah, I like to call it Heroku, kind of 4.0 for the modern era. It’s really like if you were going to rebuild Heroku and make it reliable and scalable, and modern, you would get a railway. It’s a really amazing platform that lets you kind of drag and drops your infrastructure, so you talk about it. DevOps like this makes DevOps developers’ or engineers’ lives a lot easier because you can now say, hey, I need these backend pieces, and you draw some lines, take them together, and then the platform handles. Um, all of the scalings make it globally available, and then the none one is called data which is a kind of airtable with a real data layer. It’s a serverless database that lets you build super-fast web applications. Um, again, like making DevOps lives. Easier, so I am very bullish on DevOps and infrastructure. Um, I do think you know my advice to founders is just to think big. Um, you know, at Redpoint, we invest in. Kind of usual seed and mostly series A companies, and so we’re coming in very early. Um, and we’re looking for companies that can produce huge outcomes. You know some of our investments are like snowflakes and Heroku, which literally changed the way that you build. Ah, software, right? And what you can do with it, and I think you know, I see a lot of founders who are building things that are like these incremental improvements, and that’s great. Um, but it doesn’t necessarily create a VC-fundable business that can. You know, become a $5000000000 company which is what venture capitalists are typically looking for. So I think you know my advice to founders is there’s still plenty of opportunities, and I think you know I’m all super interesting. I think I develop and like the software security supply chain and tools for helping you. You know, build and maintain more security. Software is very top of mind. There are a lot of interesting things being developed in the data privacy space as well because you know now. Developers need to be aware of so many different things, from things like GDPR and data privacy laws to security vulnerabilities and exploits to building software. That’s like near infinitely scalable, right? It’s a really increasingly hard and complex job.

Matt DeCoursey

Um.

Erica Brescia

And there are opportunities to create products that make developers’ lives better and make their work more efficient, but you really need to think about things like are you building something that’s one x better. Like that’s what you need to be going for as an entrepreneur, and I think sometimes folks lose sight of that, and you see something where it’s just like this little improvement, and you’re like that’s great, but that’s not going to be a huge business, and it’s going to be really hard to differentiate exactly like it has to be.

Matt DeCoursey

Then it’s definitely not going to get people to jump from one platform to another. Yeah now.

Erica Brescia

You know developers have no new options, and things are flying at them all the time, and you need to give them something that’s worth their time to actually investigate and start to try and use. So that’s my words of wisdom.

Matt DeCoursey

You asked earlier about our at Full Scale of our use of particular DevOps tools by the developers, and you know there’s obviously that that was a watered-down answer for the reason that I gave. one of the things you talk about being bullish. We’re currently investing a lot in creating more qualified and certified DevOps-related people, and yeah, so we get a lot of folks that a lot of developers have like a little dash of this, a little dash of that, you know, and then. Ah, but we just recently had a guy that was at his core a python developer, and we had a very well-known client that you would recognize as a Google cloud architect. And I was able to see this guy was close, and I was able to put him through it. Yeah, I use Pluralsight. That’s all it took Pluralsight, a software training platform, and ah, you know we use that at Full Scale. No vested interest in you knowing that, but it walked him through and prepared him to become Google-certified boom-ready.

Erica Brescia

Um, nice. Yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

Happy client, a happy employee with a new certification and training and happy business owner because those other two are happy and um’s if you’re I think it from ah a bullishness standpoint if you’re and if you’re a developer or you’re end all that stuff I think yeah I’ve been reading articles that. Cloud architects and this is the fact it’s ah, there’s a huge shortage, and it’s attainable. It’s attainable. You don’t. If you have, if you’re good at that kind of stuff, you don’t you might not necessarily need ten years of experience too.

Erica Brescia

Yep.

Matt DeCoursey

Maybe be impactful or do something different, and there’s a huge shortage of it now. There’s a huge shortage of developers, so that doesn’t surprise me, but this is a big thing, and you know we were joking before we hit records like DevOps, or can you define that as saying, hey I need software. Ah.

Erica Brescia

System.

Matt DeCoursey

There are so many different pieces to it, but that also tells you that there are a lot of opportunities. So I agree. I think that the architecture and the things that make other things go, and as my business partner and co-host often say, he’s like, I Love boring businesses.

Erica Brescia

Ah.

Matt DeCoursey

Like the things that grind the gears and hold the building up and all of that because without it. It’s not a real safe structure. So um, you know we did. We threatened to do the founders’ Freestyle. So I want to on our way out here I Want to give you you know a minute to I mean. Out of all the stuff we talk about you. It’s your Freestyle. You do it. You do it the way you do it.

Erica Brescia

Actually, I’m going to take us in a little bit of a different direction just because I want to, um, I want to share some resources. So um, I am. I’m also on the board of the Linux Foundation. I’ve been serving on the board there for the last nine years. Um, which is the. Kind of an overall nonprofit body where a lot of, um, open-source projects live from an IP perspective in a governance perspective, and the reason that I bring that up is that the Linux Foundation also provides a lot of fantastic free and some paid training resources with lots of things like scholarships and stuff. Available for things like Kubernetes you mentioned like the dearth of like cloud architects and things like that, and companies like Pluralsight have some great offerings, but there are also some great free resources available from the Linux Foundation, and I think not enough people know that those are there so go check out the Linux foundations.

Matt DeCoursey

Um.

Erica Brescia

Offerings. Um, if you’re looking to learn some new stuff, and then I think, um, you know, if I were to leave listeners who are founders speaking directly to the founders with like one observation. Ah, the folks that are really standing out. Um. At the early stage are founders that have extreme clarity around what they want to build and their point of view on the world, and I think it’s interesting. How. Uncommon that is in the founder world. You get a lot of founders coming in, and it might be clear to them what they want to build that they can’t articulate. It. Well, if you want to stand out as a founder, have a crystal clear vision of what you’re building and why and what the one piece is. Be able to explain to a Vc how it can become a huge independent business. Um, folks, don’t talk about that enough as well, and it’s one of the primary questions that a lot of VCs will have, whether they ask it or not when they talk to you as a founder they’re thinking. Does this person know exactly what they want to build? Is there a real need for that in the market, and how big is that market, and if you want to raise funding in particular in this environment, you need to really nail those three things. So I think I’ll leave the group with that.

Matt DeCoursey

Ah, okay, so now all Freestyle for one. If you want free training, are you looking to learn new stuff? Easiest place. Go Google it, people. It is a world of free information, yeah. I really didn’t share this earlier. You know I’ve dropped out of five colleges I got a degree from. I know it’s a lot. I mean, one of them was a top 10 business school in my own defense, and I had started a new business. But

Erica Brescia

Five.

Matt DeCoursey

You know that said, I mean I trained myself on entrepreneurship and so many different things with Google, so you know to use it as a resource you pretty much find all of it in regards to. So many of you want to start a tech company, and if you are really okay, we did a 52-part series last year on how to start a tech company. You can find that in the feed. By the way, there are links in the notes that will take you to a length that has all the episodes in it. But if you’re struggling with building a team and you’re struggling with building a software product, and you’re struggling to maintain consistency and quality, that is probably on many days related to DevOps-related stuff, and I think that it’s your job as a founder whether your experience or not to insist on these kinds of best practices and. It’s easy to not understand what they are or what they do to make it your business to figure it out because it’s going to save you a lot of headaches. It’s going to save you a lot of money, and it might even save you quite a few employees along the way because when you’re building things early. They break a lot. It just happens. They’re not solid. They’re rickety. But. When you’re breaking stuff, and you’re burning through your capital. It creates a tense environment, and it’s really frustrating. I’ve been there. I’ve done it, and I’m really just trying to help you all have some peace of mind with that because I think that no one wants to be frustrated. You know the tools are out there to fix it. The training is out there to fix it. There’s free stuff, or that’s really affordable. It is not expensive and, in many cases, free to have ah, you know, memberships to this. So if you’re out there trying to hire developers or a developer team. Ask this stuff. What can you tell me? Tell me about what you can listen to in this episode, and then you can ask them to define DevOps and maybe still have the right definition, right? Erica, we kind of got it, right? Ah, but ask people to explain their best practices and use an understanding of it, and I think in the end, if they can, they feel really comfortable with it and seem knowledgeable about it. That’s a good thing, and if that is absent. It’s not the right person to move on. It’s not the right person for you, really, quite honestly, at any stage. I don’t think I mean, as I said, that’s a non-starter for us. I’m not trying to train you and your tenure now. I will work like a kid that’s a top student. That’s junior or senior in college.

Erica Brescia

Yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

They’re still learning stuff. But if you’re looking for experienced people, they’re exactly that. Their experience and, I think, the reason that people want to hire senior engineers when you can find them is to avoid problems. So you’d like to think that a lot of people with ten years of experience know how to do this stuff a lot of times. Remember, back in the day, working ten years at the same place was like a huge plus when you’re hiring someone. That’s not always the greatest thing when it comes to technology because a lot of people are institutionalized. And they haven’t learned how to use all these different tools.

Erica Brescia

Yeah.

Matt DeCoursey

Anyway, I just think when it comes to DevOps, I think it’s an important thing to remember and maybe embrace. If you have issues or frustrations, go look at it, take it back to square one, and figure some of this stuff out because sloppy work equals a sloppy product, Erica. Thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it. This was fun.

Erica Brescia

Um, yeah, thanks. Right? Thanks for having me. Great time. Take care.

Matt DeCoursey

See you next time.

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