DevOps, the burgeoning practice of development and operations collaborating to speed software deployments, improve software quality, and fix problems faster, continues to be red-hot at companies large and small. But DevOps can be complicated—and sometimes controversial—so it’s a good idea to pay attention to the people who speak confidently and knowledgeably about the subject.
To help you find some of the best, we’ve put together a list of 18 DevOps leaders—in alphabetical order, by first name—whose opinions and insights we thought were worth following, along with samples of their DevOps-related tweets. We made our selections based on DevOps influence and expertise as well as how often they made us smile, nod in agreement, or exclaim, “Oh, that’s good to know.”
By necessity, we left out plenty of interesting DevOps folks, such as @garethr, @botchagalupe, and @UberGeekGirl, because we didn’t want to overwhelm anyone, and because we didn’t want to point only to the Usual Suspects. We made an effort to include worthy voices that may not be as widely known, but if you know of other DevOps leaders you think everyone should follow, please share on Twitter: #DevOps2Follow.
1. Charity Majors
@mipsytipsy is a startup co-founder in the infrastructure space, a database enthusiast, and “ops lady.” Her Twitter feed shows her experience designing and implementing full stack architecture “and automating the pain away: She’s got attitude as well as tech chops. (And you can hear her on the latest episode of The New Stack @ Scale Podcast: Velocity Meets Monitoring in Software, sponsored by New Relic.)
— Charity Majors (@mipsytipsy) June 23, 2016
i’m p sure this module had 0 file names w curse words at 10pm. step back y’all, professional debugger at work pic.twitter.com/OZC43UP9sq
— Charity Majors (@mipsytipsy) June 19, 2016
2. Damon Edwards
Some people clutter your Twitter feeds with off-topic posts alongside business tweets. (Though really, how can anyone object to a cat video?) @damonedwards doesn’t post all that often, but when he does, people listen (or at least “favorite” what he says). A frequent conference speaker and contributor to the dev2ops.org blog, he focuses on DevOps and operational process topics for SaaS, e-commerce, and cloud businesses.
Serious question for enterprise software vendors: Why hide your docs from public view? Would love to hear the thinking about pros/cons.
— Damon Edwards (@damonedwards) May 18, 2016
— Damon Edwards (@damonedwards) February 26, 2016
3. Donnie Berkholz
@dberkholz is 451 Research’s director for development, DevOps, and IT operations. He’s often on the road, posting from tech conferences you wish you could attend, and sometimes complaining about being stuck in the middle seat on the flight home.
All the technology in the world won’t save you from a broken process.
— Donnie Berkholz (@dberkholz) June 3, 2016
— Donnie Berkholz (@dberkholz) May 6, 2016
4. Gene Kim
@RealGeneKim is co-author of The Phoenix Project and The Visible Ops Handbook, and is something of a connector in the DevOps community. For example, he runs online DevOps chats, which attract a wide range of people whom you want to know. We’ve also covered many of his DevOps insights in the New Relic blog.
— Gene Kim (@RealGeneKim) June 13, 2016
— Gene Kim (@RealGeneKim) June 9, 2016
5. Goat User Stories
We’re tempted to categorize the @GoatUserStories Twitter feed as humor, except it’s so on point that the daily tweets serve as a reminder to serve the user. You’ll laugh, particularly on a Friday afternoon after a long week, and you’ll appreciate the photos in your Twitter feed, but it’ll also make you think. It’s not all DevOps all the time, but user stories matter, too.
As a goat I want an open office plan so that you can interrupt me in the spirit of collaboration and ineffectiveness pic.twitter.com/t5i4o0kGTX
— Goat User Stories (@GoatUserStories) May 24, 2016
As a goat I want a purr programmer who can help me out so that the work gets done with multiple perspectives. pic.twitter.com/qAM0xPI9Rj
— Goat User Stories (@GoatUserStories) April 7, 2016
6. James Turnbull
@kartar is CTO at Kickstarter, and previously was VP of services at Docker, VP of engineering at Venmo, and VP of tech operations at Puppet. So you’d rightfully expect he has a lot of street cred on DevOps topics, and he knows cool folks whom he retweets. But you might not expect such a great sense of humor.
I may be sitting in my dark apartment throwing popcorn at my laptop yelling “failed test” every time an “F” pops on the screen.
— James Turnbull (@kartar) June 1, 2016
I’m proud that folks use my code & I feel bad when I can’t make time to make that code more awesome. Suspect that’s true of every FOSS folk.
— James Turnbull (@kartar) May 11, 2016
7. Jeff Sussna
@jeffsussna is a consultant, author, and workshop organizer whose attention is on “creating digital service teams and organizations that deliver on the promise of continuous value.” His Twitter feed offers continuous value to the DevOps community.
1. DevOps involves abstracting our relationship to systems.
2. Serverless won’t need DevOps.
— Jeff Sussna (@jeffsussna) June 3, 2016
elegant conceptual rabbit holes as a service https://t.co/MeMrlmG9Ww
— Jeff Sussna (@jeffsussna) June 2, 2016
8. Jez Humble
@jezhumble is another DevOps icon. Jez is co-author of Continuous Delivery and Lean Enterprise, a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley, deputy director of delivery architecture and infrastructure services at 18F, and a former VP at Chef and Opscode. He also runs the Continuous Delivery site and has been featured in the New Relic blog: 10 Deep DevOps Thoughts From Chef’s Jez Humble.
— Jez Humble (@jezhumble) May 13, 2016
— Jez Humble (@jezhumble) April 29, 2016
9. John Arundel
@bitfield is an expert in Puppet (he’s the author of several books on the subject) and a web operations consultant with more than two decades of system administrator experience. In addition to providing plenty of his own DevOps wisdom, he also retweets stuff you wanted to discover (but didn’t know existed yet).
Recruiters, quit telling me about “amazing opportunities” (and by the way, everyone has snacks and table tennis). https://t.co/V2lzGomcL7
— John Arundel (@bitfield) June 4, 2016
It’s weird that if you want space-age Docker tech, you’ve got to go back to the stone age of config management (****ing shell scripts).
— John Arundel (@bitfield) June 2, 2016
10. Kelsey Hightower
As a staff developer advocate at Google, @kelseyhightower tweets about containers, Kubernetes, and Golang, among other things—he’s the author of Kubernetes: Up and Running—but doesn’t neglect DevOps. (He was also a guest on The New Stack @ Scale Podcast: Google’s Kelsey Hightower on APIs, SLAs, Silos, and Platform Management at Scale.)
If you think NoOps is a real thing, then bootstrapping and managing a Kubernetes cluster might not be the way to go, that requires Ops.
— Kelsey Hightower (@kelseyhightower) June 10, 2016
DevOps is like group therapy -Kelsey Hightower #containersecuritysummit
— Zulfikar Ramzan (@Zulfikar_Ramzan) April 19, 2016
11. Kris Buytaert
Kris Buytaert is a longtime Linux and open source consultant, and (at least self-described) one of the instigators of the DevOps movement. @KrisBuytaert posts sporadically, but you’ll find his commentary and links instructive.
Linux Troubleshooting 101 , 2016 Edition https://t.co/yczCxZFUut
— Kris Buytaert (@KrisBuytaert) June 1, 2016
Docker and volumes hell https://t.co/AFD92rY6BD
— Kris Buytaert (@KrisBuytaert) May 28, 2016
12. Leslie Carr
@lesliegeek is on the Board of Directors for SFMIX, a data center nerd, and passionate open source advocate who has centered her attention on building robust infrastructures to improve scalability, manageability, and uptime. She also tweets about cats, so you know she’s cool.
— Leslie (@lesliegeek) May 23, 2016
I’m about to explore LaTeX for the first time – wish me luck!
— Leslie (@lesliegeek) May 15, 2016
13. Mandy Walls
@lnxchk is technical practice manager for Chef and senior technical evangelist for Opscode, with specialties in web application operations and large scale web issues, such as DevOps workflow. Her Twitter feed is a delightful mixture of tech, wry process observations, and geeky content curation (that’s a fancy way of saying, “She finds fun stuff”).
— DevOps Auror (@lnxchk) May 20, 2016
OH: “it’s not plan b, it’s plan f”
— DevOps Auror (@lnxchk) June 3, 2016
The @nixcraft blog regularly shares Linux tips, hacks, and tutorials. Its Twitter feed is a fun and useful mixture of “news you need to know” and things to entertain you. And since “fun and useful” is always an ideal combination, this is a winner.
— nixCraft (@nixcraft) June 4, 2016
*Compiles custom app for the first time
“ 0 errors? Binary file ready to use. What went wrong?”
*My mind always prepared for errors lol
— nixCraft (@nixcraft) June 1, 2016
15. Patrick Debois
Another IT consultant, @patrickdebois describes himself as “bridging the gap between projects and operations.” His Twitter feed mentions plenty of open-source flavored tools and technologies, especially about serverless computing, with a welcome dollop of self-deprecating humor.
— patrickdebois (@patrickdebois) April 24, 2016
I wonder when “Amazon down” will be covered by insurance as an “act of god”
— patrickdebois (@patrickdebois) June 5, 2016
16. reddit’s /r/sysadmin
Little-known fact: Many subreddits have a Twitter feed that acts like a latter-day RSS feed, such as this one at @rsysadmi or @reddit_DevOps. So you can be distracted in one browser window instead of having to go to another one for your shininess. These aren’t conversational Twitter accounts; if you want to participate, you need to follow the link to reddit.
— r/sysadmi- feed (@rsysadmi) June 4, 2016
— r/sysadmi- feed (@rsysadmi) June 4, 2016
17. Sad Operator
Nearly 10,000 people follow @sadoperator, and if you have any sense of humor (or you feel the need to indulge in ennui), you’ll do so, too. It’s just plain funny, even though your non-geek friends will have no idea what you’re giggling about.
— Sad Operator (@sadoperator) June 6, 2016
Could this app have been constructed by drunken toddlers? Could those toddlers cause Ops sadness?
Ancient astronaut theorists say — yes
— Sad Operator (@sadoperator) June 1, 2016
“He died doing what he loved, responding to alerts caused by developers who couldn’t be bothered to test their code”
— Sad Operator (@sadoperator) June 1, 2016
18. Tom Limoncelli
It’s astonishing that fewer than 5,000 people follow @yesthattom. Maybe everyone else keeps in touch with him via old-school email lists, but sheesh, any self-respecting DevOps practitioner ought to pay attention to Tom’s comments on cloud technologies in the sysadmin universe. He also runs everythingsysadmin.com.
OH: [coworker1] SSL certificates are a goddamn cartel. [coworker2]: No, cartels have good customer support.
— Thomas A. Limoncelli (@yesthattom) May 20, 2016
New blog post: Future directions for Blackbox: I maintain an open source project called Blackbox which makes … https://t.co/BuPv2I4ECZ
— Thomas A. Limoncelli (@yesthattom) May 10, 2016
Finally, of course, you should be following New Relic’s own Sean Kane @spkane (co-author of Docker Up and Running), and Alice Goldfuss @alicegoldfuss (check out her excellent list of women in the ops space to follow). And don’t forget @NewRelic itself, which is a good way to keep learning about cool DevOps posts like this one.