A new annual conference and website aim to help Idaho software developers and IT professionals work together more efficiently.
In Time Tec the Idaho Technology Council and Zions Bank sponsored Idaho’s first annual DevOps conference June 17.
Development operations, or DevOps, is a practice that emphasizes communication between software developers and IT personnel while automating software delivery and development processes. Successful collaboration helps businesses build, test and release software faster and more efficiently.
The June 17 conference, DevOps Boise, brought together 150 software developers and IT professionals, representing about 70 companies.
Paul Remeis, vice president of business development at In Time Tec and coordinator for DevOps Boise, said the object of the first conference was to create a community.
The event was based on similar conferences around the country after employees at In Time Tec noticed a lack of DevOps resources in Idaho.
“A lot of companies try to differentiate themselves based on their products,” Remeis said. “This process allows them to get their products out faster while also doing it better.”
Nine local professionals representing big companies like HP and small companies like AlertSense spoke about the challenges and benefits their companies saw while implementing DevOp processes. They also advised how they would approach making the culture shift if they had a large team to work with or if they had only a few employees.
“I tried to capture experts from each area of the development life cycle,” Remeis said.
“I don’t have a DevOps background, but my company sent me here to see if it could help us,” said Chris Lewis, QA analysist at Blue Nose Analytics – a California company for which Lewis works remotely from Boise. “We are currently going through a big pivot and are working with just four employees right now. I came here to see what this is worth because we don’t want to put too much time and effort into it without knowing more about DevOps.”
Lewis said he hadn’t heard of any other DevOps training in Idaho.
“I definitely want to learn more. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of this,” Lewis said.
Software developers and IT professionals can post questions and tips through the DevOps Boise website.
DevOps has been around for about 10 years, Remeis said. Idaho has a widely reported talent shortage that affects software developers. Hati Partovi, co-founder of the educational non-profit code.org, estimates that there are about 1,238 open computer science positions in the state. Idaho universities only graduate about 300 computer scientists.
DevOps can help companies manage that talent gap because it helps them to build products more quickly, Remeis said.
“Our goal is to continue to create an ecosystem where we can all help each other,” said Jeet Kumar, CEO of In Time Tec. “We want people to learn what DevOps is and to build a network of collaboration.”
Another group of industry professionals from Taos and HP is sponsoring an event in October called Boise DevOps Days. It will feature guest speakers from companies such as Google and HP.