Coaches Corner – Josh Mahowald, DevJam DevOps Engineer

Krista Trapani News

Josh is a DevOps engineer and technical coach at DevJam. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the software industry, in various roles on software product teams. Josh has been a coach at DevJam for about a year.

We sat down with Josh recently to geek out over some of the work he has been doing of late.

Q: Everyone is talking “DevOps” these days, but how do you see the model delivering value for our clients?

A: Typically, they are looking to increase both velocity and stability at the same time. There are many aspects of DevOps, but one of the foundational tenants is to have increased collaboration between all teams in the value chain of delivering software.

One of the primary means of achieving this is moving into more of an Infrastructure as Code model, which allows for very well defined, versioned artifacts for laying out the system and operating architecture. When coupled with a “pull request” method of collaboration, it becomes much easier to share knowledge, propose changes, and know what is happening in the organization.

We’ve helped numerous other organizations who are increasingly investing in the DevOps model for delivering value through software to their end users. Many have seen DevOps as the natural extension of the agile model. DevJam’s excellent reputation for increased, successful collaboration through agile makes it a natural partner for those who want to greatly increase velocity and stability within their organization.

Q: What gets you excited about what you get to do and teach?

A: I’ve been drawn to automation and configuration management for much of my career. I’ve invested heavily in my own skills, learning everything from doing Infrastructure as Code to the organizational dynamics involved in a DevOps transformation.

Q: What does success look like in your work?

A: The first time a team is able to deploy the entirety of the stack, with access management, network, database, virtual machines, and Docker containers with code that’s versioned and never requires SSH access is a huge success. It might take a couple of months to get ready to do it into the staging environment, but then you are able to create the entirety of the production environment with the same settings in hours the next day. This shows everyone that the investment we made is paying off.