An Introduction To DevOps From Its Godfather

February 23, 2015
Icon Scrolling Bar


by Peter High, published on Forbes


Gene Kim was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug early. In 1992, while still a student at Purdue, Kim co-authored an open source tool called Tripwire, which would become a free software security and data integrity tool useful for monitoring and alerting on specific file changes on a range of systems.  Kim would become the Chief Technology officer of Tripwire, a role he would have until mid-2010.

In 1999, while still at Tripwire, Kim began to formally study IT organizations, noting the methods used by high performing organizations.  One observation was that these organizations often had IT operations, security, audit, management, and governance working together to solve common business objectives. This research would eventually lead to a number of books that Kim would co-author. Visible Ops Security was released in 2004, and The Visible Ops Handbook was released in 2009.  When Kim left Tripwire, it was to dedicate himself to this research, to speaking, and to consulting with companies around the world.

In 2013, Kim (together with Kevin Behr and George Spafford) authored The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your business Win.  As the title suggests, the book is told as a novel.  The hero of the story is Bill, the IT manager of a company called Parts Unlimited. The company is pursuing a critical IT initiative that is over budget and late. The CEO tells Bill that he has 90 days to fix the mess, or IT will be outsourced.  The notion of DevOps is born, referring to a development method that pushes communication, collaboration, integration, automation and measurement of cooperation between software developers and other IT team members. DevOps also highlights the interdependence of software development and IT operations. It aims to help an organization rapidly produce software products and services and to improve operations performance.

As Kim notes from his study of over 14,000 IT professionals worldwide, high-performing organizations are two and a half times more likely than their peers to exceed profitability, market share, and productivity goals.

(To listen to an unabridged podcast version of this interview, please visit this link.  This is the ninth interview in the IT Influencers series. To read the past eight interviews with leaders such as President Vicente Fox of Mexico, Walt Mossberg, Salman Khan, Jim Goodnight, and Yves Behar, please visit this link.  To read future interviews in the series, please click the “Follow” link above.)

Peter High: Gene, what is driving demand for DevOps?


Interested in working together?

We’d love to hear from you.
contact us

Contact Us


    Thank you for your submission

    We will get back to you as soon as possible. Back to site
    IT Support by SADOSSecure, Fast Hosting for WordPress