TechStrong TV: How to Build and Refine Your DevOps Skills with OpsCompass

Content By Devops .com

The role of DevOps is constantly evolving as new technologies and trends keep emerging and reshaping the business. It is critical for DevOps engineers to continuously learn about the latest tools, best practices and technology, and be able to adapt to change.

There are many ways for DevOps teams to refine their skills in order to become high performers. In this TechStrong TV interview, OpsCompass Co-Founder and CTO John Grange and Engineer Amy Wall join Mitch Ashley to discuss upskilling and how to build and maintain your software, development, cloud and technology skills in the fast-paced world of cloud. John provides a look into the future and where our skills need to move next, while Amy graciously shares her journey into software development and some valuable lessons learned along the way.

OpsCompass is a leader in Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) offering an enterprise SaaS product that provides security and compliance management in cloud platforms.

The video interview is immediately below, followed by the transcript of the conversation. Enjoy!


Mitch Ashley: I have the pleasure of being joined by two really interesting folks. We’re gonna have a great conversation, I’m looking forward to this today—Amy Wall, who is an engineer with OpsCompass, and then John Grange, CTO with OpsCompass. Welcome to you both. Good to be chatting today.

Amy Wall: Thanks. It’s great to be here.

John Grange: Yeah, thanks for having us, Mitch.

Ashley: Absolutely. You bet. Let’s do this—how about if we have you both introduce yourselves. Maybe, John, if you go first, introduce yourself—tell us a little bit about OpsCompass and what the company does, too, and then hand it over to Amy and you can tell a little bit of your background.

Grange: Excellent. Again, I’m John Grange, I’m co-founder and CTO of OpsCompass. OpsCompass is a really powerful SaaS product that does security and compliance management in the cloud. And what that really means is, you know, we’re really helping DevOps teams, CloudOps teams get the visibility, have the intelligence and the control they need to run a successful cloud operation.

You know, my background really plays a lot into what OpsCompass does and kind of the cloud security space. I’m a career entrepreneur. I’ve co-founded a number of companies, from top five global Microsoft ASP.NET hosting provider to a health and wellness SaaS product. So, I have a lot of experience, and our team has a lot of experience in kind of the infrastructure security compliance space. The cloud, obviously, was a big game changer, because a lot of the things that we used to deliver through a variety of different software products or hosted solutions inside data centers, we can now build software to easily do it in the cloud.

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Grange: So, that’s kinda how I got into the business through kind of that hosting and infrastructure space, and now here we have OpsCompass, which is leading the charge with helping customers with their security posture, their compliance—all these different aspects of running or having a well-run cloud.

Ashley: Sure is a fun and interesting space to be in and I think we’ll get into that, too. Amy, how about you? Just a little bit of introduction, and I think we’re gonna get into more of your story, too.

Wall: Sure, yeah. I’m Amy Wall, I’m a DevOps engineer at OpsCompass. I have the pleasure of working with John Grange, working under John Grange, and kind of forming this exciting new product, OpsCompass. And so, I’m kind of—where I’m at in my career and on my cloud journey is really in a space where I’ve kind of come to it from a software engineering perspective. I’ve been a software engineer for years now, and you know, been going through the steps and kind of getting the skills under my tool belt, upskilling on the cloud path so that I can become a full DevOps engineer for OpsCompass. So, really been learning with OpsCompass and growing with OpsCompass as they sort of kind of figure out and carve out their space in the cloud infrastructure.

Ashley: Mm-hmm. Isn’t that nice when you work with, you find a company that’s really compatible with what your goals are and what you wanna learn with where you are in your career? That’s awesome.

Wall: Huge. Absolutely.

Ashley: Well, that’s a little bit of what we’re gonna talk about, the upskilling is kind of a general, I guess, tag, label for it. We’re gonna explore a little bit, and you volunteered to share your story of how you got into software and how you’ve evolved into software in the cloud and DevOps, and then maybe take a look forward, you know? We’re here in December thinking about getting through the holidays and everything else going on and thinking about the new year. Maybe John can share with us some ideas on that, too, and we’ll explore some of those things about how do we prepare ourselves for the next things that are coming.

So, let’s start with your story. I’ll let you tell it however you’d like, but you know, maybe how did you get into software?

Wall: Sure, yeah. I always like to joke that if I told my 12-year-old or 14-year-old self that I was a software engineer or DevOps engineer, I would not believe it, at that age.

Ashley: [Laughter] 

Wall: But yeah, I really didn’t have a super traditional path. You know, I was a Humanities major in college. I left college and I became a content editor and then later a project manager in the marketing space. And I really enjoyed it, but kind of along the way, I got exposure to various technologies, I got a little exposure to programming, I got some exposure to IT, and over a few years, I realized that I just loved it, and that’s what I really wanted to do. And my favorite days at work were the days where I was able to kinda solve, you know, software problems or technology problems, whatever.

So, I did, like, a total career 180 about five years ago and took a U-turn, learned how to code, and my first job after that was at OpsCompass or a subsidiary of OpsCompass that OpsCompass then later purchased. And so, I’ve been working in software ever since as a software engineer. And it wasn’t until OpsCompass a couple of years ago, I think two or three years ago, when I was able to join that amazing team of engineers where I started to really ramp up my cloud journey. You know, I had become pretty strong in the fundamentals of software engineering, and you know, I’d become really used to kind of the experience of learning on the job. You know, that’s kinda the nature of software engineering itself, and it’s the nature of DevOps, and it’s really the nature, I think, of cloud, because there’s new technologies coming out all the time and everybody’s kind of learning a way to navigate the space a little bit better all the time.

And so, yeah, I just kind of figured out how to learn on the job and continued learning on the job, and now I’m surrounded by world class cloud engineers and John Grange, our CTO, who have excellent mastery in this space, and it’s been a blast to kind of learn together with them and figure out how this entire ecosystem works.

Ashley: Wow, very complimentary of the company. Be careful, John, she may have an ask.

Wall: [Laughter] 

Grange: Yeah, I know. This is—this is great. No, but in all seriousness, you know, just from our perspective, even, having somebody who’s a rock star at this point, like Amy, it’s hard to find cloud expertise. And you have to be able to find people that are interested in growing, willing to grow, have that interest—like, it sparks that fire, so that then you can enable that and you can grow a lot of your own expertise, and it’s a really powerful thing, but I think it’s something that a lot of companies, particularly like us, have to do today to stay around.

Ashley: Mm-hmm. You really do have to invest in people and give them the right, whatever ways that they learn, the right opportunities. You know, there’s also the person side of it, too. One of the best things I learned in college from a Computer Sci professor was, he said, “Everything you know now is gonna be obsolete in a year, so you need to keep learning. You have to have a thirst, just a hunt, a desire for learning just to keep—keep going.” 

And it seems like that’s consistent with what your journey’s been, Amy. Maybe talk about what the evolution from some of the technologies you started developing software in to getting into cloud—what kind of things are you doing today?

Wall: Sure, yeah. So, I started where I think a lot of new coders start is, I started on Ruby on Rails, and I used it for years, and I actually still use it a lot of the time. But yeah, I started there, and then I worked in the consulting space for a few years where I was able to kind of bring to life a lot of customers’ ideas, clients’ ideas, and I loved that, that was really exciting.

And so, from there, I kind of have just begun dipping my toe a little bit in all the cloud has to offer. I still have a ton to learn. But our infrastructure has a number of different resources in various clouds. You know, I get to work with AWS, I get to work with Azure, I get to work with Google Cloud Platform. So, you know, any given day, I could be working on any one of those technologies. I could be spinning up Lambda, I could be debugging something in Typescript or JavaScript, whatever it is.

But yeah, it was definitely a journey along the process, but we have a team, like I was kinda mentioning before, we have a team that we all, I think, feel that we’re in it together a little bit. And so, there’s a great energy where I think we kind of all learn together, even the master practitioners will continue to kind of get new certifications as they come out, will continue to offer advice, and will continue to learn.

And so, I’ve never really felt like I was the baby in the room, so to speak, [Laughter] or that I was less skilled than anybody else, per se. I kinda just felt like—okay, we’re all making ourselves better, sharpening our skills, getting better all the time, so.

Ashley: Especially, it can be an advantage in a technology area that’s relatively new, because everybody’s learning it, right? Nobody’s been doing it for 20 years or whatever makes you an expert.

I’m curious, too, did you find mentoring, kind of learning from peers, things like that were helpful, since everybody’s learning at such an accelerated pace moving into the cloud, whether it’s on the UI side or on the software infrastructure side?

Wall: Hugely, absolutely, yeah. Our lead architect, Nick Allmaker, is an excellent mentor for us. You know, his knowledge never ceases to amaze me, and he’s really, really helpful. He’ll always—he’s always willing to take some time out of his day to spend a couple extra minutes on a pull request or help you figure something out.

But, you know, even earlier on in my software engineering education, I remember having a teacher who told me, “Always T.S., try it and see.” [Laughter] And I think I mentioned this in a blog recently, but that’s been hugely helpful to me as I’ve moved into this space, because you know, for me at least, in learning cloud and in understanding the ecosystem, tutorials online can really only take you so far. Sometimes, you just have to, you know, go in there and spin up a Lambda, you know, spin up an EC2, and figure out what’s going on, play with it, move it around a little bit.

And so, I definitely—that’s a big insight that I’ve learned is that just get in there, try it. A lot of the clouds, I think all of them, in fact, have a free trial where they give you a little bit of free canister to play with at the beginning. I used that for all of them, absolutely, and you just, you know, spin up resources. 

And I think in addition to that, having a third party like OpsCompass where you have kind of that visibility into every single resource that you have going on in every single cloud can be super helpful to someone. Obviously, helpful for experts and helpful for people who are in the cloud security posture management space, but also helpful for people like me who are learning and who don’t really understand or who are kind of putting the pieces together of what changes do what and what resources are like others, how similar is an Azure function to an AWS Lambda, and having that kind of visibility into all of your clouds and all of your resources can be hugely helpful.

So, you know, I kind of had that advantage at OpsCompass where, you know, I’ve definitely had a leg up, for sure, in being able to kinda learn this stuff.

Ashley: Mm-hmm. Opportunity is everything. Sometimes it’s self-created, and sometimes it’s the situational company, et cetera. I’m curious, John, what’s your perspective on, because you’ve, you know, you’re obviously probably in a little different place in your career, but as yourself and folks you’ve worked with, what are some of the mentoring and kinda helping others advance in their careers have you seen to be really successful—either for yourself or people you’ve worked with.

Grange: Sure. Well, you know, there’s a couple things that come to mind, and one of them Amy just mentioned, being able to go and mess with something, being able to go out into the cloud and play with the resource and have kind of both the curiosity, the time, the capability to be able to go do that is a really powerful thing. And in the cloud, when all of these services are changing and being—you know, there’s a couple hundred different ones on AWS—there’s literally something new every day.

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Grange: So, I think that that’s a big part of it. The other thing that I learned early on from mentors of mine that I also try and share with the team is that when there’s these big trends—you know, cloud is an example, but then also, you know, some of what you see with big data and AI, et cetera, there’s the sort of application top layer trend that’s all of the robust sort of user applications for those technologies. 

But for those to actually come to fruition and for that trend to really be powerful, there’s gotta be all this plumbing underneath that isn’t as—it’s not as glamorous and not everybody thinks about it, but as those spaces burgeon, it’s not just the mobile app that’s using AI to really change kind of directions in navigation, it’s the whole industry of sort of the infrastructure beneath that needs to serve those sorts of trends and applications. And those end up being great places to go and learn about. And there’s tons and tons of opportunities, sort of, in the wake of those big trends and the leading kind of applications and companies.

So, I always like to, even in our product, you see a little bit of that, but I even try and tell, you know, folks on our team that we need to be looking at things that way, as these trends are big. What kind of plumbing do the customers need? What are the dots that need to be connected? What’s the kinda unglamorous thing underneath that everybody’s gonna need that we can learn a lot about and solve the problems around?

Ashley: I’m curious, Amy, have you seen that? Has that been consistent with your experience, too?

Wall: Absolutely, yeah. I think—yeah, per what John was saying, I do really think that there is kind of an ecosystem to cloud and we’re trying to always stay on top of it, in front of it, you know, figure out what’s going on with it and view it from kind of like that 30,000 foot view, so we can really understand it as a whole picture.

So, yeah, I think there’s a great knowledge share, for sure, and I think that’s hugely important to figure out where is this going, what is going to be happening in 5 years, in 10 years? Where do we need to start working now so that we’ll still be relevant, we’ll still be making sense at that time? And it’s not always easy to guess, but definitely, there’s a lot out there in the industry that you can kind of get a feel for that.

Ashley: I think we’re in violent agreement. [Laughter] The best developers I’ve worked with really knew it from the operating system, the whole software stack, the network—you know, not an expert in every piece of it, but knew how it all fit together and how to make it all work and kinda hum and get to the performance that you need or make the right decisions on how you want to, the architecture you want to use and what parts you do and don’t want to use.

You know, another thought—you may have mentioned this in your article, too, Amy, and I’ll put a link to the article in the description—open source is another fantastic resource. You talked about getting free time on cloud services and using sampling software—it’s a great place to watch how software’s built, in a little bit different way, in an open way, open community, but using that as well can be super fantastic. And by the way, everybody’s using open source in their products and their IT systems, their applications. And so, the more you know about it, the more you can leverage it, right?

Wall: Absolutely, yeah. I love—I just, I love the idea of open source. You know, I think it’s—I love the ideology of it. I think it’s fantastic, and certainly, we do use it. And I think open source is the place where a lot of people kind of go to exchange ideas in the cloud space right now. You know, we have a lot of—Twitter, for example, Tech Cloud Twitter is always really exciting and people…yeah, I think people are making some really interesting things right now with open source, and it’s an exciting place to be.

Ashley: So, let’s kinda turn the lens from, you were talking a little bit about your background, John sharing a little bit of his as well—turn the lens to kinda thinking forward, right? Things have changed. It’s a different world in the last nine months, for sure, and a lot of organizations have accelerated digital transformation projects. We’ve got data in my analyst firm to back this up very strongly. 

The move to the cloud is accelerated, and you know, not stopping. It’s gonna continue to move even quicker. And I know you think about a lot where you’re going as a CTO with your company and your product and your technology, John. What thoughts do you have as you think over the next 6, 12, 24 months kinda into the where we’re going and how that might influence what people might learn or maybe how they learn?

Grange: Mm-hmm. I actually—that’s a great question, and I’d actually go back to the comment I made before about some of the different trends. And, you know, just like we’ve had the DevOps trend over the last handful of years, there’s a whole number of kind of portmanteaus, right, the CloudOps and DataOps and AIOps.

And I think that as some of these, you know, Fortune 1000, Fortune 2000s start to become more cloud mature, you’re gonna start to see more of the need for, okay, not just general DevOps where you really understand the cloud platform and orchestrating and automating workloads and things of that nature, but you understand the details of AIOps, for instance, which is a much different challenge, it has lots of other issues with data issues and labeling and things of that nature. Similar issues with sort of DataOps engineering—lots of new problems, really important business solutions to be built there for organizations that are already pivoting their organizations to prioritize these things, particularly after the pandemic. 

DevOps is all about efficiency, and now what companies are saying is, “Hey, you know, coming out of the pandemic, we’re gonna prioritize our most innovative projects higher and we’ve got to push to be more efficient. We can’t have the cloud spending overages, we can’t have these big breaches that are costly reputationally and financially. We’ve gotta get more efficient.

So, I think that those are the big things that, coming out of the pandemic, I’d be thinking about. If I were kind of a DevOps practitioner out in the field but also what I’m thinking about at OpsCompass is we’re, you know, looking out, we’re looking into how can we provide more value to our users for some of these really specific use cases that are driving very significant value for companies that are implementing them.

Ashley: Mm-hmm. I’m curious, too, then, without getting into customer details, but as you’ve worked with your customers through the pandemic, through economic challenges, recovery, that kind of thing—what changes are you seeing in the market with the customers that you’re working with? Are they emphasizing different things, stepping back and taking new directions or trying to get better at just the core things? What’s happening?

Grange: Yeah. You know what? It’s interesting. From my perspective, it’s very much almost no new phenomenon. It’s almost all just an acceleration of things that we were already seeing.

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Grange: So, in other words, a lot of our kinda strategic plans that we thought were maybe a year out all of a sudden became, you know, “We need them, like, yesterday.” So, I think that a lot of those trends around remote work were already in place. I think a lot of—you know, many of the projects that we’re seeing companies, you know, prioritize, put a higher priority on, those projects already existed. Now, they’ve just become more important.

Unfortunately, a lot of these IT teams and cloud teams shrunk during the pandemic. So, they now have the requirement that they’re more efficient and everything else, but they have, in many situations, fewer resources to work with.

Ashley: Mm-hmm. Well, though that’s hard, it’s almost always that growth comes through investing again, so at some point, that starts to rebuild on that efficiency.

Grange: It’s the story of IT, right? The story of IT—being understaffed and overly important.

Ashley: Yeah, I don’t think I’ve met an IT team that said, “You know, we just have too many people. I’m not sure what we do with all these folks.” [Laughter] 

Grange: Yeah.

Ashley: You know, it’s interesting—I agree with you about, it’s very much accelerating. Another trend I would share—let me see if you concur with this—is, you know, you have the fortunate, if you wanna think of it that way, situation of being in a company where your software is your product, right? So, you can connect the dots between work that Amy’s doing or someone’s doing a test or someone’s doing customer service or architecture or what you’re doing in your role, John. You can connect that to the business and why you want to invest in AI and machine learning or whatever the next thing is.

That can be really hard to do when you’re in a bank or an insurance company or something else where there’s a lot of distance between what I’m doing in my job—especially in a Fortune 1000 company or above. With that acceleration, though, and I think because of DevOps and AsteriskOps being adopted across different functions, a lot of that is about driving that connect the dots to why we’re going and where we’re going there, and how to accelerate, right? So, the efficiency can be for financial purposes, but recovery can also require agility, very fast response. You know, markets change, our supply chain is gone. We gotta rebuild that in a totally different way—so, guess what? Software is critical. It’s not just a back office thing. Thoughts?

Grange: Hey, I think that’s exactly right. And, you know, using the financials as an example, you know, many of these financial companies were spending an extraordinary amount of money on reducing their risk, their technology risk, their physical security data centers, really expensive software to secure it all. And you’re exactly right, one of the accelerating trends is that efficiency. That’s not efficient at all. Capital One now has moved—they’ve shut down, now, all of their data centers around the world. They’re completely in the cloud.

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Grange: That’s kind of an outlier example now, they’re like, the only one. But they’re all—I can tell you, just on experience with our own customer base, the mid-market is moving very quickly that way, too. Because they just realized that—hey, we don’t have to, we now don’t have to build data centers, we don’t have to have these huge capital budgets. We can be more efficient, we can be more operational. We can—to your point, the agility that’s required with how quickly this technology’s changing, you almost don’t have a hope unless you’re in the cloud. You know, you can stand up your own container stack in your data center and set up a rack and buy hardware and do all that, or you can go turn on, you know, Amazon’s Elastic Container Service and go with it. I mean, it’s just, it’s a whole different ballgame. And, yeah, I think that that’s a good example, Mitch.

Ashley: Excellent. I’m curious, Amy, your perspective on it, too. Will you—in your role when, kinda, you think about your career and where you’re moving as well as the company, how is the current situation influencing how you’re thinking about what you do next, what you learn, and how you can maybe help others accelerate their learning?

Wall: Hmm. Yeah, I agree with both of you, that I think the pandemic has had a real—there’s a renewed sense of urgency because of it. And so, I think a lot of us have had a moment to kind of take a step back and think a little bit from a broader perspective about what our company is, what our company is doing, what we are doing, where our careers are going—all those kinds of things. 

And yeah, I think people are having an opportunity to figure out—like John was kind of saying, John mentioned the infrastructure for working remotely was largely in place before the pandemic, but that wasn’t always true, and that wasn’t true for every company. And so, I think there’s a lot of catching up that’s happening right now, and yeah, there’s definitely this added urgency behind all of it because of the state that the world is in right now.

Ashley: Yeah, it’s interesting. I was running IT for a while at a prior job, and we were at this beginning of—stopped thinking about it as we were working remotely or working remote and think of it as work anywhere. 

And it seems like that’s totally apropos now, that’s—you know, if you think about forward, it’s not like we’re all gonna show up back in the office after we vet the vaccine or whatever, even if things are in good shape, you know, public health wise, there’s a lot of things that, you know, we’ve been doing this for a year, two years or whatever the time’s gonna be. People are gonna build on it and leverage that, at least I think. I don’t know if you all agree, but I think this is the work anywhere that we’re in now.

Grange: Well, CFOs got a little taste of really, really small travel and entertainment budgets, and I think that, as those start to come up, I don’t think that the tolerance levels will be quite where they were before the pandemic.

Ashley: Yeah, we’ve proven, right, what we can do.

Grange: Yeah.

Ashley: Also interesting, you know, folks have talked about, we’ve made decisions a lot faster, too, in some cases. You know, we were debating—do we use Team or Slack or whatever, you know, for a year and suddenly in a week, two days, we decided it. Like, why can’t we do that all the time? Well, maybe not always you do that, but we’ve shown we can accelerate a lot of things.

Grange: Well, I think that another thing that happened is, I think that American companies in particular, I can’t comment as much internationally, but American companies, I think, got very good in this, in the 21st Century at buying software—maybe even before that. 

But I don’t think that companies are very good at actually adopting and using software, and I think one of the things that the pandemic did is, like, everybody bought teams and bought all this stuff from these, you know, the big tech companies, and nobody really fully adopted it, fully implemented it. It was always just kind of another thing on the shelf, and I think that that’s another thing that’s happening right now.

Ashley: Mm-hmm. Getting greater adoption. 

Grange: Lots of the collaboration technology, lots of the things that we all kinda use are now becoming highly mission critical business processes that we care about. So, we’re, like, fully adopting them.

Ashley: Just the essential tools in the toolkit versus, “Yeah, I’ll use it if I have to talk to that team” or something, [Laughter] that group. As you’re thinking about the technology stack, Amy, you know, John was talking about adopting software. I remember a time in my career where folks felt like they had to write all of it, right? I mean, yeah, they used a database system, or—you like to build software, so build as much of it as you can.

Today—yeah, you write software, but you want to, is there a better container management system than Kubernetes? Well, let me go check it out. You know, I don’t necessarily want to write my own. Maybe I do wanna do it as an open source, but you’re really a software integrator, software builder as part of the whole process, not just a software developer. Is that how you view things?

Wall: Absolutely, yeah. Yeah, I’m a big proponent—totally, yeah. I always say, “If you can avoid it, don’t reinvent the wheel.” And everyone says that, but not everyone always takes that to heart.

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Wall: And I think a lot of the times, especially when you’re in a software team, you’re in a development team and you’ve kind of got your head down and you’re really working hard on code, I think it’s really easy to kind of lose sight of the broader picture.

And, you know, just last week for example, we had this problem we were trying to solve where some customers weren’t—you know, there was a miscommunication between our software and some customers. And, you know, I kind of just was able to take a step back and—

Wall: – you know, customers weren’t, you know, there was miscommunication between our software and some customers, and you know, I kind of just was able to take a step back and say, “You know, if we just think about this and maybe document it, write about it, you know, find some documentation online, you know, find a good article, perhaps, that we could recommend, I think we could solve this problem without writing any code at all.” And we did. And I think those kinds of solutions are happening a lot, for sure.

I mean, and you mentioned open source earlier as well, and I think that plays into it to a huge degree as well.

Grange: That’s what I was about to say Amy, is that that goes right back to what you were saying, Mitch, with the open source. And I think that’s why open source sort of is kind of supreme right now. Go find a library, go find a package that already does this, go find a service that we can just integrate APIs with, you know—let’s not reinvent the wheel.

Ashley: I remember being on some panels of, you know, “Should you use open source?” and my answer was, “I can guarantee you your competitors are.” Talk about a source of innovation that you can get for little or no cost—I mean, yeah, there’s a cost with it, but you better leverage it, you know, [Laughter] in the right way for your company as well.

Let’s talk a little bit about OpsCompass. I’d love to hear, maybe, some of the future directions you’re heading. You’re not announcing anything here today, but what are the kind of things you’re thinking about since we’ve talked about this evolution of where the cloud and technology and skills need to go? What’s happening at OpsCompass as you evolve and change and play a leadership role in the industry?

Grange: Sure. Well, for us, the way we like to think about the product and the product strategy is, what’s going on in the cloud space, what are customers doing, and then how can we provide kind of visibility and intelligence across those different dimensions?

So, I talked a little bit about kind of some different AI products and services that we were starting to see companies use more containers. We obviously—that’s kind of a number one use case for our customers today. So, we’re fairly strong there, but we’re gonna get much, much stronger.

But another big part of it for us is the DevOps pipeline. We provide visibility into what the pipelines are doing today, but it’s becoming so much more critical to the full cloud processing companies. They’re becoming more DevOps mature that we are going to, you know, kind of completely blow out that kind of set of functionality in our product over the next year. So, we’re excited about that. And you know, our customers are really looking—you know, you can parse through a lot of the technical explanations for problems, but what they’re really trying to do is get control, and the definition of control is a little bit different than it was in the data center. And there’s some more subtleties and things to it, it’s got a little bit more texture, I like to say.

And so, it requires a different approach and when we can combine, you know, the deep visibility into what they have with the intelligence and context around, you know, what’s happening and the state of things, that’s kinda how you end up getting control. And there’s processes and people involved and everything else, but kind of everything we do—and we kind of, you know, eat, breathe, and sleep that kind of mantra, and we’re constantly poking and prodding at the clouds, working with the clouds. We work with all three at the corporate partnership level. So, we’re just really—we’re having a lot of fun, and it’s sort of the key problem of the age right now is just the different teams, all these different people, different resources, different services. It’s just sort of the impact of this sort of scale and kinda chaos a little bit. So, there’s just so many great problems to solve around making sense of it all.

Ashley: Mm-hmm. Excellent. Amy, anything from your perspective you would like to add or talk about?

Wall: Yeah, I think John is just spot on. And I also think, from an internal company perspective, you know, what’s happening within OpsCompass is being mirrored by companies across the globe right now, which is that we are really kind of getting a feel for how to operate as a totally distributed team, like you were mentioning earlier. We have employees now all across the United States and internationally. We also work with customers and _____ abroad.

So, we have this—I think we’re kind of learning along with our customers how to kind of interact with a more global ecosystem than we had before and how to kind of bring all of these, all of the water cooler conversations or all of the idea sessions or brainstorming sessions and whatever onto Slack, onto Teams online so that we can all engage.

So, that’s definitely a change that I’m seeing internally and that I’m not, I don’t see going away when the pandemic is over, and I see it becoming something that goes on to the future.

Ashley: Yeah, that’s very wise. I think it’s very sticky kinds of behavior changes and work patterns that will be with us for a long time to come.

Well, I’ve really enjoyed, this has been a fun conversation talking with you both and it’s just—it’s so much fun to share real experiences that we’re having in our jobs and our careers and also doing it in a way that hopefully this conversation can benefit some other folks, you know, along the way who may have similar or maybe different experiences that they might pick up from what we’ve talked about.

So, before we wrap up, to check out things at OpsCompass, John—, is that correct?

Grange: Yep, you can go to, check out more about us. We have a free trial, really encourage people to go jump in, check out the product. Again, it’s built by a bunch of DevOps engineer cloud nerds for our sort of brethren, if you will. So, love getting feedback and let us know if there’s any, if there’s anything that we can help you with.

Ashley: Built by DevOps people, for DevOps people, right? [Laughter] 

Wall: Exactly.

Ashley: Exactly. Well, Amy Wall, it’s been fantastic talking with you. Thanks for sharing your story and your insights. 

Wall: My pleasure.

Ashley: And John Grange—similarly, your insights as well as kinda where we’re headed and a fun conversation with you. Both the best, have a great holiday, and we’ll see you into the new year.

Wall: Thanks a lot, Mitch.

Grange: Thank you, Mitch. Be safe.

Ashley: You, too.

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