A new DevOps user group in Austin dedicated to Microsoft tooling

There a plenty of DevOps meetups in Austin (amongst them the Agile Austin DevOps SIG), but ever since I worked with other fellow TFS users in town in leading the local TFS Users Group, later renamed to Austin ALM User group, there was always the question on whether it should actually be a DevOps group.

The initial resistance came from the misconception that DevOps was just the end part where software meets production. All the way we talked about merging our efforts with the .NET user group.

So, after a hiatus Austin finally has had since September this year the Microsoft DevOps User Group (MDOUG), spearheaded by Jeff Palermo from Clear Measure, with my-self and others as co-organizers.

Here is the group mission:

This group is for software professionals working on the Microsoft platform who wish to explore, implement, and learn DevOps. This group embraces cloud and as such will bring in the best presenters for each topic while live streaming all content. Additionally, this meetup serves as the hub location, providing an example of other MDOUG live-stream locations in major cities around the U.S. This group recognizes the technical practices included in the DevOps Handbook by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Bebois, and John Willis. We encourage members to read this book. From a technology perspective, we seek to implement these practices on Visual Studio-based software, leveraging VSTS, and running on Azure or on Windows servers anywhere.

This is a worthy successor to the original Austin ALM/TFS User group, and I recommend all to become a member. Amongst other presenters we have had Brian Harry himself speak to the group, follow by Damian Brady, both from Microsoft. And now I am recommending that we have Arun Chandrasekhar on DevOps with Azure and OSS.

See you there!

Azure DevOps with OSS

As MVPs, we participate of meetings with Microsoft to provide feedback or to learn about some upcoming new product delivery. This is one of the finest opportunities of being an MVP: to be at the cutting edge of Microsoft technologies.

In October there was an internal MVP meeting with Microsoft on DevOps with Azure. Without going into the specifics, which are under NDA, I want to bring that this one caught me by surprise. When I got the invite, I only looked at the meeting title “Azure DevOps OSS + Q&A with Arun Chandrasekhar”, and took for granted it was about OSS VSTS integrations with Azure: nothing new for me as I have been doing this for while.

However I was blown away by Arun’s presentation: it was about how to do DevOps with OSS tooling, especially Jenkins and Terraform. At my previous job I had worked extensively with Jenkins, including being able to be one of the architects of a build infrastructure that ended up being used by a couple thousand developers.

What I was not aware though, and Arun’s presentation helped me correct that gap, was that there is an extensive set of existing integrations with Jenkins for Azure, including Azure VM Agents, and an Azure-ready VM for Jenkins among others:

To see a couple of those as demos, I recommend watching the two videos from Arun with Donovan Brown:

And the video from Jenkins World 2017 presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buQNF1sekq8

There is an entire world of possibilities to be explored, such as Azure DevOps Solution Architectures that are based on Jenkins and OSS:

Given my previous interest and work with Jenkins I will be learning a lot after delving into those references. In conclusion: it’s always good when something forces you to step out of your comfort zone, and meeting Arun has definitely been a great opportunity.

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