Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Meet the Bees: Félix Belzunce

Félix enjoying the sun in Namur.
At CloudBees, we have a lot of seriously talented developers. They work hard behind the scenes to keep the CloudBees Platform as a Service (PaaS) and our on-premise Jenkins solutions up-to-date with all the latest and greatest technologies, gizmos and overall stuff that makes it easy for you to develop amazing software.

Félix’s main role at CloudBees is to improve the user experience on the CloudBees platform. He is native of Cartagena, Spain, where he attended the Polytechnic University of Cartagena. While at University, he researched the synchronization problem for Wireless Sensor Network (WSN), which helped him to develop a WSN localization application.
After graduating, he worked as a Java developer coding some modules for a healthcare management software. He also taught technology in Andalucia for three years helping students to improve both their knowledge and their work methodologies. He educated his students about the benefits of living in a multicultural society, in which everybody can make positive contributions.

You can follow Félix on Twitter.

Who are you? What is your role at CloudBees?
Félix likes cinema. Here, he gets to watch original
version English films with French and Dutch subtitles
at the same time. 
I work for CloudBees as a developer advocate, helping users to be successful in leveraging the services we provide. If we help them, they should be happy and then we will see an increase in the number of active users on the platform.
In my opinion, one of the most interesting things about this position is that you really need to be able to understand how all the services work, which means I get to multi-task and not just do routine work. For that reason, the developer advocate team is usually in touch with most of the development teams on the platform, so we have an understanding about what is happening throughout the company.
I also like that most of us do not have a really fixed role at CloudBees, so we can spend some time in other roles we like. In my case, I use this time to take a look at some support tickets, design some funnel processes or to improve some of the services we provide. Specifically, I have been contributing to the runtime environment by updating some ClickStacks and creating new ClickStarts. Next step will be to develop a simple Jenkins plugin.
In my spare time, usually on the weekend, I am currently developing a small cloud Java application, which is helping me to improve my skills on CCD (Continuous Cloud Delivery).

What does a typical day look like for you? What are CloudBees customers like?
I get up really early in the morning to avoid the disgusting traffic jams in Brussels, so I usually arrive at the office when the building is closed and the cleaning lady is finishing her job at our office. Sometimes I take advantage of having a short conversation with her to improve my French language skills.
Being serious now, the first thing I usually do is take a look at StackOverflow and at the support platform to see the new customer questions, so they can receive an answer as soon as possible.
Also, I usually get some emails from customers who need help in achieving their goals, and this takes me some time, as most of the time I need to reproduce a specific Jenkins configuration or need to recreate a similar environment. Sometimes, it is just a frequently asked question which doesn’t take me a lot of time to answer.

As a member of the pre-sales team, I also help sales out with the technical questions they have or that they receive from their prospects. This is also a really good way to learn, since all the pre-sales engineers participate in the discussions, so at the end we create a forum where we discuss what is the best approach for user issues and questions.
What suggestions do you have for someone who is just starting to use CloudBees?
On runtime, one of the most common mistakes is to think that the file system is persistent on a multi-tenant environment, so users expect to be able to store files there.  Instead, if you really want to have your application ready for the cloud, you should use a persistent file-system like Amazon S3 in the same datacenter where you plan to deploy your web app.
Enjoying a Belgian brew. "Drinking a Leffe with summer clothes and
eating mussels in a terrace is priceless in this country."

I also recommend to use some add-ons which will help you to know how much heap memory your application needs, or to alert you when your app is down for any reason. These kind of automations are really easy to set-up on a PaaS and will help you to get information about how everything is going.
For the development environment, the answer is pretty easy: just use Jenkins. Jenkins will allow you to get feedback every time your team pushes a change into the repository, so you can quickly fix the issues and deliver your software faster. But Jenkins is not only about delivering faster. It is also about improving some other aspects such as the quality of the code. With the great quantity of Jenkins plugins, you will for sure get an idea of the grade of customization you can get.
Do you have any advice for someone starting a career in the cloud space?
If you plan to work as an engineer for a cloud company, the best idea is to start contributing to open source projects related to the cloud: Jenkins plugins, cloud projects like jclouds, or even coding your own stack for the CloudBees Platform.
It is also a really good idea to have your own personal blog in which you can talk about topics related to the cloud.  Nowadays, on interviews, managers may start asking you for your GitHub/StackOverflow profile and also for any link where they can read something you wrote where they can have you answer questions about it.
What is your favorite form of social media and why?
I like Facebook as it is a simple way to be in touch with your friends, sharing what you are doing and what are your thoughts about a topic.  Obviously, I am talking about “real” Facebook friends and not the ones you have, but have never met in your life ;-)
It is true I use a fake name, with a fake location and a fake email address to guarantee my personal private information on Facebook. Also, I could in this way add the people I want without receiving so many friend requests. I was working as a teacher in the past, so maybe it explains why I didn't want to receive 300 student requests every time I was moved to a new school.
Vanilla or chocolate or some other flavor, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor and brand?
What is better than eating a waffle with chocolate
in Brussels after a great bike ride?
Definitely it is chocolate. I eat chocolate almost every day. Belgian chocolate is especially good, so it seems I am in the right place. I also like drinking hot chocolate and I have discovered that hot chocolate in Spain is much different than the one is served in the rest of the world. If you like chocolate and you come to Spain, you should taste it.

If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Difficult question. I don’t have a favorite food as it depends on the day, if it is summer, winter or if I ate too much the day before. What I can say is that it would probably be a Mediterranean meal.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Jenkins - The Man Behind The Curtain

While most of the cloud world was obsessed with price reductions coming from Google and Amazon last week, some of the more astute observers picked up on what is ultimately an even more important theme.

Right. Google seems to have understood very deeply that the key to upping the competitive game with Amazon and Microsoft in the public cloud is through developers. More than live migration and race-to-the-bottom pricing, they know that they can use their savvy as developers to differentiate the platform for developers. They use the phrase “meeting developers where they are,” and have committed big time to using Jenkins - as Google's Chris Smith put it - as the “man behind the curtain” to orchestrate continuous delivery from code to production.

1411 People Stared in Awe at the Mighty Power of the Jenkins Update Center During Google Cloud Platform Live

That phrase “meeting developers where they are” is kind of interesting, too, almost un-Google like. They’re not inventing a new Google-icious CI or build tool. They’re giving developers what they’re used to and are productive with - IntelliJ (aka Android Studio), Git, Jenkins, Maven and Gradle. They’re glueing those powerful tools together in a simple flow that fits seamlessly across their properties and Google Cloud Services, all leading toward deployment on Google Compute Engine and App Engine and Android devices.

That’s a pretty expansive vision, a fundamental change to the way developers build, test and deliver applications in the cloud world. A real platform play. It’s something we at CloudBees have been delivering on for a while now and that our customers have been depending on 24x7 to run their businesses. Here are a few of the important things we've learned in our journey to delivering the most advanced developer-centric Platform as a Service in the market:
  • Hybrid is reality, and will be for a long time. We love the cloud and run our business on it, but most businesses have existing investments (technical, capital and procedural) that are reality for them. Those businesses and the developers in them want to use the cloud, too. So, you need to live in both worlds and connect those worlds. For continuous delivery to be meaningful to the developers living in this hybrid world, you need to bridge them securely and painlessly, and that’s particularly true for people in the enterprise. That's why we've invested in things like RBAC, on-prem executors, VPN connectivity, and SAML support. Meeting developers where they are sometimes means you need to meet them in their own data center.
  • Continuous integration - and continuous delivery even more so - requires connections to all kinds of surrounding systems. This is one of the reasons Jenkins is so incredibly popular, because if you can’t do that using one of the 900 or so plugins in Jenkins today, you can build one yourself. Heck, that’s why Google is using it, too! Part of the “trick” of providing Jenkins as a hosted service is to do it in a way that exposes the flexibility and community-powered plugin set. The Update Center is the window into those plugins, so it's nice to see it being visible in Google's demo. Ultimately, all this relates to "running at scale" - supporting teams and the larger scale business processes that developers live within. Those developers will demand direct access and tweaks to the plugins and the ecosystems they unlock. Developing and deploying a web or mobile app is often just a part of a bigger chain of automation, which often spans reusable common libraries into post-deployment testing. Giving teams of developers the tools to collaborate and thrive within this kind of larger flow, continuously - that’s running at scale.
  • Community is key. The great thing about the Jenkins project is that Jenkins itself is built to encourage community, and it is operated to build community. Like any community, it has leaders and highly engaged participants. But, it also welcomes people who jump in and dabble, who do a quick project to solve a specific problem, or who extend the work of others. People participate because their investment pays back and often makes them feel good at the same time. So Google, my advice to you is to jump in. Don’t just keep the butler downstairs waiting for you to ring the bell for CI service. Come on down and have a beer with the rest of us. I guarantee you’ll be welcomed!

This last week was a big one for cloud. The message should be crystal clear for competitors to the Google Cloud Platform. If you want to leapfrog Amazon (or Amazon: if you want to avoid being leapfrogged), you need to connect with developers. Those developers have long ago gotten used to instant access to on-demand infrastructure. Yawn... has the price dropped again? They want to consume a service, not build it if it’s not core to the problem they’re solving for the business. What’s more interesting to these developers and the people who employ them - and whose businesses depend on them - is how to create, update and deliver better software faster, continuously. The man behind the curtain to make that happen, to put the power of community and connectivity to work, turns out to be Jenkins.

-- Steven G. Harris

Steven Harris is senior vice president of products at CloudBees. Follow Steve on Twitter.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Continuous Performance Testing in the Cloud (French)

Le Continuous Delivery est un des sujets brûlants de l’actualité. Pouvoir livrer une application en continu signifie que tous les processus de livraison ont été automatisés et que les développeurs et les opérationnels peuvent se concentrer sur des tâches à plus forte valeur ajoutée.

Venez découvrir comment mettre en place des tests de performances en continu et un pipeline de Continuous Delivery avec les technologies Open Source Jenkins et JMeter grâce à la plateforme CloudBees et aux services BlazeMeter et NewRelic.

Cette présentation utilisera comme fil conducteur l’application Spring PetClinic.

Date : Lundi 31 mars 2014 19:30
Durée : 1h30
Lieu : Soat - 104, bis rue de Reuilly (voir la carte)
Domaine : Java, Continuous Delivery, Cloud
Niveau : Intermédiaire
Speaker : Cyrille Le Clerc et Yohan Beschi
Evenement gratuit

Détails et inscription ici.

 A propos des speakers

Cyrille Le Clerc 
Architecte Solutions chez CloudBees après 14 années dans les services et le conseil, Cyrille Le Clerc est passionné par le Cloud, la culture DevOps et le Continuous Delivery.
La nuit, Cyrille est Committer sur le projet embedded-jmxtrans.

Yohan BeschiDéveloppeur passionné, Yohan Beschi ne fait quasiment que du Java depuis 2002. Il s’est récemment penché sur le développement Dart, qu’il évangélise depuis.
Il participe à la team d’expertise Soat dans le cadre de ses expériences dans le domaine du web et Java.
Pour suivre ses contributions, cliquez ici.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sacha Labourey on CloudBees Series C Funding

I’m proud to announce that CloudBees has just closed an $11.2 million Series C financing round. The round was led by Verizon Ventures, along with our current investors, Matrix Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners, as well as angel and private investors.

This news comes on the heels of CloudBees being positioned by Gartner in the “Visionaries” quadrant of the newly published Magic Quadrant for Enterprise aPaaS and our recent partnership announcement with Verizon Cloud. Needless to say this is a great time for CloudBees!

2013 has been a very important year for CloudBees. Continuous Delivery is radically re-shaping the way enterprises deliver value to the business by accelerating the way applications are built and deployed. CloudBees holds a strategic position at the core of this phenomenon and has been going through tremendous growth, both on-premise and in the public cloud, thanks to our innovative Jenkins CI and PaaS-based solutions.

I'd like to take this opportunity to share my pride for the amazing work that has been achieved by our team and congratulate them all: working in an environment where the overall good of the company comes before individual egos and performance is very powerful. And humbling.

In 2014, we obviously aim to drive continued sales growth and product expansion, but we will also be announcing more partnerships aimed at bringing the power of Continuous Delivery to more developers, more solutions and more businesses around the globe.


Sacha Labourey

Sacha Labourey is the former CTO of JBoss, Inc. He was also co-general manager of middleware after the acquisition of JBoss by Red Hat. He ultimately left Red Hat in April 2009 and founded CloudBees in April 2010. 

Follow Sacha on Twitter.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Meet the Bees: This Week, Meet Vivek Pandey

Vivek, enjoying the serenity of his home garden.
At CloudBees, we have a lot of seriously talented developers. They work hard behind the scenes to keep the CloudBees Platform as a Service (PaaS) and our on-premise Jenkins solutions up-to-date with all the latest and greatest technologies, gizmos and overall stuff that makes it easy for you to develop amazing software.

Vivek Pandey has fifteen years of experience working with key web technologies. Prior to CloudBees, he spent ten years at Sun Microsystems as the dynamic language lead for Glassfish, ensuring enterprise-grade deployment and scalability of languages and frameworks such as Ruby/Rails, Groovy/Grails, Python/Django, Scala or Lift on Glassfish.

Vivek was a lead engineer in Sun's GlassFish team. At Sun he worked at various middleware projects related to web services technologies. Being an OSS fanatic, he was lead developer and committer on various open source projects. Vivek lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife, two daughters and a dog. Vivek is based in the CloudBees Los Altos office.

You can follow Vivek on Twitter.

Vivek, what is your role at CloudBees?

At the top of Mission Peak, in California.
I am an engineer and architect at CloudBees. I work on various platform pieces - GrandCentral, the services platform, security services, integration systems and services. I also lead partner engineering, which involves on-boarding partner services as integrated CloudBees services. I also get to work on Jenkins and DEV@cloud engineering and hack RUN@cloud whenever I get the chance.

In my spare time, I like photography, hiking, movies, reading books and, of course, hacking - in reverse order. I am not much into workouts or outdoor activities except occasional hikes to Mission Peak or a trip to the movie theater. :)

What are some of your best tips for developing or testing apps?

Everyone's favorite butler!
I start my development projects by first doing a high level spec to define various abstractions and their relationships. Then I continue further, breaking down each component. Most of the breaking down happens while writing code for high level abstractions. It lets me think in terms of how each software component interacts with other components. Often this cycle gets repeated to optimize my design. The thing is, once abstractions are defined well, the rest of the pieces fall into place easily. Also writing good and comprehensive tests is very important to avoid expensive regressions, but it's a challenge to balance delivering code with good code coverage and delivery timelines.

Above all, continuous integration and continuous delivery are the key. Simply put - use Jenkins!

What has been the best thing you have worked on since joining CloudBees?

Recently I worked on new ways to represent collaborative distributed REST resources. We have named this work Cloud Resources. At CloudBees almost everything is defined as a REST resource or some kind of HTTP service accessible via API. These resources have the potential to integrate, interact and collaborate with each other in a secure way. Cloud Resource defines such contract where each of these resources expose themselves as publicly accessible HTTP URLs, define their capabilities, their types in a consistent and secured way. There is a central registry for all Cloud Resource providers, making them discoverable. We envision all of our APIs will be Cloud Resources and we are making them so they collaborate with other Cloud Resources running anywhere on the Internet.

What is your favorite form of social media and why?

None in particular. I am more a passive user of Twitter and some Facebook.

If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Some hot and spicy dosa, waiting to be devoured by Vivek

I love South Indian food, the most flavorful and spicy food you can find on the planet. :)  To be specific, if I had to pick one thing, it would be dosa.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CloudBees Buzzes on Verizon Cloud

We value the relationship
We announced today the plan to make the CloudBees PaaS available on Verizon Cloud.  We’ve had a longstanding respect for the Verizon and Terremark businesses, back from the CloudSwitch and Terremark businesses when they were independent, and the strength of this Verizon Cloud offering.  We believe Verizon appreciated our relationship with the enterprise developer and brand, as well as our focus on accelerating the full application delivery lifecycle.  Continuous Delivery is a very current topic of discussion and CloudBees helps deliver that on a Verizon Cloud.

Helping customers help themselves
Large enterprises are service providers themselves to their departmental and divisional constituents or customers.  These business customers of Verizon Cloud will be able to rapidly build applications that their employees and own end customers need.  Mobile, web, social apps, the new applications that an enterprise needs - e.g., a sales applications for their field force that depend on existing back-end infrastructure, e-commerce applications that drive revenue, support applications that cut costs and help with customer care - all can get to market more quickly with the help of the CloudBees PaaS on Verizon.

More choice
Our customers will benefit from a great service through a new partner.  Verizon Cloud has a great sales and support team and enterprise customer relationships that both overlap with and are incremental to our own.  Success with this joint effort is in making more customers happy with enterprise PaaS in the public cloud. 

Accelerating application delivery
The CloudBees PaaS speeds development and improves quality as there is a consistent experience across products from coding to building to testing to staging to production.  Enterprises also want a solutions benefit and a better way of doing things, like continuous delivery, not to be sold unstitched patches of disparate tools from various vendors.  While the CloudBees PaaS and Verizon Cloud are key anchor elements to this, we also rely on other technology partners to complete the cycle.  Still, offering that in an integrated and cohesive experience is important to our developer users and customers.

More to come
There’s still more work to do as the the Verizon Cloud is currently in beta.  We expect to offer CloudBees on Verizon Cloud in a reasonable timeframe after general availability.  CloudBees itself has been a generally available service since Jan 2011.  So, get to know us and then get to know us on Verizon Cloud.

Andrew Lee is vice president, business development, at CloudBees

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Meet the Bees - Now Buzzing to the Northeastern US and Jesse Glick

Jesse Glick - before having to dig out from
underneath all of the recent snow in Boston
At CloudBees, we have a lot of seriously talented developers. They work hard behind the scenes to keep the CloudBees Platform as a Service (PaaS) and our on-premise Jenkins solutions up-to-date with all the latest and greatest technologies, gizmos and overall stuff that makes it easy for you to develop amazing software.

In our last Meet the Bees blog, we met Kohsuke Kawaguchi, CTO at CloudBees and founder of the Jenkins CI project. This week, we head to Boston to visit Jesse Glick, developer extraordinaire. Stand by while we help Jesse dig out from underneath all the recent snow…winter is in full force, but this Bee doesn't hibernate!

NetBeans: The Definitive Guide,
co-authored by Jesse
A Massachusetts native, Jesse left the wild frontier of web marketing in 1998 (think Kraft Interactive Kitchen!) for Prague. In Prague, he soon began work at a tiny company called NetBeans, run by Roman Staněk. NetBeans offered a Java IDE. At NetBeans, Jesse weathered acquisitions by both Sun Microsystems and Oracle. Jesse worked on the IDE's core module system and its plugin tooling, the project system including its Ant and (later) Maven integrations and various other components. He also contributed to the project's own extensive build system and the migrations from StarTeam to (open source) CVS to Mercurial. Along the way he became an Ant committer and contributed to other key software including Maven and Mercurial and, of course...Jenkins CI, for which he was an early committer, developing the IDE integration. He co-authored an O'Reilly book, NetBeans: The Definitive Guide, about (of course) the NetBeans IDE, and has spoken on related topics. He now lives, once again, in the Boston area. Jesse came to CloudBees in 2012 as an elite developer and architect.

Jesse, what is your role at CloudBees?
I have been writing Java code since the late 90s, most of that time working on the NetBeans IDE and thinking about how to make the life of other developers a little smoother. So when in 2012 I decided to work on something new, CloudBees was a natural choice: a big part of our business is ensuring that programmers can focus on programs, without all the overhead that application delivery usually entails.

With a few exceptions, I am working on or with Jenkins most of the day: the core of the continuous integration server, various of its community plugins, the Jenkins Enterprise extensions; and sometimes our hosted DEV@cloud service, including the VPN support.

I also occasionally help support the marketing team, by being one of the technical experts at the CloudBees booth at conferences like JavaOne, for example. But more on that shortly...

What’s a typical day look like for you? What are CloudBees customers like?
Like many Bees, I work from home (just outside Boston), so the inbox comes up as soon as I am sufficiently awake. Usually the morning is focused on new customer support tickets, especially Jenkins Enterprise customers. Tickets run the gamut from simple questions about how to use some feature, to alarms about serious outages, to suggestions for enhancements, to requests for diagnosis of possibly significant error messages. Several of our customers are quite sophisticated Jenkins users—and even contributors to the Jenkins project—but still rely on our expertise to make sense of puzzling problems or recent developments. While maybe half of the tickets can be handled with a quick reply based on my own experience/ knowledge, the other half require real investigation and sometimes fresh development to solve and are true challenges.

With the timely items out of the way, perhaps by lunchtime, I often work on Jenkins core or plugins. There are an astonishing number of people actively contributing features and fixes of all kinds to the Jenkins open source code motivated by their own observations and needs, but often what our customers really need are less visible changes: more powerful APIs that allow optional features to be farmed out to plugins where they can be more readily managed; better scalability to hundreds of jobs and slaves, or thousands of builds; tighter security; more robust handling of errors; more thorough logging and diagnostics; and prioritization of bugs that keep on coming up.

Or I may be working on our Jenkins Enterprise extensions, which are crucial to our biggest customers, especially. For example, recently I spent a lot of time on the Templates feature, cleaning it up internally and making it better suited to organizations with several teams. As Jenkins Operations Center gets deployed more widely, I expect to see a lot of interesting ideas come back to us from customers who already run several systems and have a longstanding wish list of ways they should interact. Something fun to work on in the late afternoon hours, probably at the standing desk by this point so I do not fall asleep.

What’s your PaaS prediction for 2014 and beyond?
My standing prediction for the past decade or more is that the massively complex tower of languages, frameworks, application code, network protocols, UI frameworks, virtualization and clustering that we seem to rely on more every year, will just become irretrievably stuck in its bloat. There may have been very good reasons to replace RMI with web services, or RAD builders with HTML 5, but the result is far more awkward to write and easier to get wrong. (NoSQL databases may be the only exception.) Perhaps people on the front lines will be forced to abandon much of it in favor of something with a radically different structure: implicit concurrency, distributed data, mobile code, access control based on cryptography not location, UIs that emerge from an ongoing task rather than a static design.

In the meantime, none of that seems ready to happen, so we are here to help you at least deal with the mess and get things out the door!

What is your favorite form of social media and why?
I would have to say GitHub more than anything else. I could hardly care less about other people’s personal lives unless I am in the same room with them, but during the workday I definitely want to know what they are working on and what they think about what I am working on. Pull requests are obviously a good way to focus a bunch of people on one problem, but the simple @mention feature is a really handy way of keeping someone informed of a change you think they would be interested in.

If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

It is hard to imagine ever getting sick of any of the great vegetarian offerings at my favorite Indian restaurant, Guru the Caterer, in Somerville, MA. That would be my choice!

Now, about that marketing support...

As you can see, it takes a lot of technical knowledge (along with a good Bee costume and a pot o' honey) to really create buzz at a developer conference! Here I am with my fellow Bee, Steven Christou (on the right), in the CloudBees booth at JavaOne last September.

Of course, there always has to be an alpha Bee, so here Steven and I are engaged in some antennae-butting to stake out our turf. Nicolas De Loof is only too happy to officiate!