Transformers ’21: Changing the Lens – Manager vs. Developer

As we wrap up our series on JFrog “transformers” in honor of International Programmers Day, we’d like you to meet Kavita Viswanath, General Manager, JFrog India, and Batel Zohar, JFrog Developer Advocate. Through their experiences, we’ll look at the two sides of DevOps — the behind the scenes purview of management and the impact of coding in real time. 

Both viewpoints give us a deeper understanding of how important DevOps is for a successfully run business. As a developer advocate, Batel feeds the feedback loop directly from the customer to product management. As a manager, Kavita helps enact the change requested by the developers and uses this information to improve product roadmaps, which in turn affect the development lifecycle. When the next iteration of the product is released, the feedback loop begins again. It is the definition of DevOps in practice.

Kavita, what does DevOps mean to you? 

DevOps isn’t just about technology, it’s about a culture: A culture of collaboration, transparency, and commitment to excellence so a company can deploy software updates faster, safer, and with higher levels of quality than ever before. The organizational aspects of DevOps are critical for achieving success. If you can get your LOB (line of business), developer, and IT operations teams aligned around the shared goal of practicing agile software development with a heavy focus on policy, self-service, testing, automation, and security — then you’ve achieved DevOps Nirvana. 

Batel, why did you decide to pursue a career in DevOps?

I have always loved to hack on computers since I was a kid. I have a passion to learn new things every day. I do not like being bored or complacent. What makes a good engineer is the desire to learn more skills, play with new tools, and work smarter and more efficiently. When I think about DevOps, I think about people, and I love people. I love to see how you can achieve the same result but have thousands of different ways to get there. My job as a DevOps developer is to help people streamline their process and workflows — to find a way to automate actions instead of doing manual repetitive tasks. This is DevOps. 

Why has DevOps become an industry standard, Kavita? 

There’s no question the pandemic accelerated DevOps as an industry practice for businesses — it was the digital transformation of the last year. Every company is now a software company, and the rapid pace of digital transformation makes releasing software increasingly painful for all companies. In the last year, we saw a greater shift towards the cloud, increased use of collaboration tools, and a growing number of devices being used remotely. All of this puts increased pressure to ensure software applications are always secure and up-to-date. Banks, healthcare providers, restaurants, even some car manufacturers — they’re moving their customer-facing processes to apps. In this type of environment, continuous integration paired with continuous delivery — DevOps and DevSecOps – become an imperative to ensure software development and delivery is easier to manage and more secure.

Batel, what advice would you give to someone considering a career as a programmer or DevOps engineer?

The best advice I can give any programmer is to learn more about security. Shifting left with code allows you to fix bugs and security issues early in software production. As JFrog says, “Release fast or die!” And we want to make sure that when we release, we are doing it the right way. When we think about securing our code from the beginning, we are protecting our OSS project or company from potential vulnerabilities that can really inflict damage. As DevOps engineers, we are combining development and operations. We want to create faster release cycles, and our speed can add vulnerabilities to the code if we aren’t looking out for discrepancies from the start. If we have the skills and knowledge, we can prevent attacks before they happen. This is taking DevOps to the next level — DevSecOps.

Kavita, what is DevSecOps and how important is it to the industry?

Much like the name implies, DevSecOps is all about guaranteeing security is prioritized and infused into every aspect of the DevOps delivery pipeline to ensure only the most ‘hardened’ code gets deployed. It’s like having Cheez-Its vs. crackers with cheese on top. In today’s age, increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks — both at home and from abroad – threaten both our personal data and critical infrastructure. That’s why making security a top priority is essential. Much like DevOps, DevSecOps also includes an important cultural aspect. You need to have the security and DevOps teams working together toward a common goal and in constant communication, since threat-levels change quickly. 

What do you think are the key trends to watch in DevOps, Kavita?

Cybersecurity is going to be the trend to watch. IoT, and cloud have a dramatic impact on DevOps and the tech industry as a whole, and we are going to continue to see those companies accelerate the way they do business. The increased use of collaboration tools with a growing number of devices being used remotely — all of this puts increased pressure to ensure software applications are always secure and up-to-date. I’d say we’ll continue to see new security software companies and processes emerge over the next year.

Want to learn more about the DevOps toolkit or hone your current skills? Visit JFrog Academy and browse our course catalog. If you’re ready to join these Frogs and many more in their mission to transform the way we work and live, visit the JFrog careers page.