Below is an interview I conducted with Sebastian Velez Ruiz, a frequent contributor of Agile/DevOps/Container content. Sebastian is a  Director of Engineering at PSL Corp., and we discuss his background, DevOps and more.

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1. Share with us a little about your background, where you grew up and went to school, college?

I’m from Medellin, Colombia. I studied Computer Science at EAFIT University. My first job was at PSL, the company I currently work at. However, I quit and started a few companies before coming again as Director of Engineering of the company.

 

2. What do you like to do when you're not working?

I love reading a lot. Most of the time I am not working I am with my family, doing some exercise and reading a lot, not only about technology but also about leadership, psychology, economy, among others.

 

3. Explain to us what your role as Director of Engineering at PSL involves?

My goal is to ensure that PSL is able to help more people, in a better way, through technology. Specifically, I work to ensure that we use state-of-the-art technologies. I also work to ensure that the whole software development process is done properly, and I oversee training and research processes at PSL.

 

4. You're based in Bogota, Colombia. What is the state of the hi-tech eco-system there?

I am actually based in two cities: Medellin and Bogota. Colombia is probably one of the biggest players in technology in Latin America. There is a lot of opportunities and talent, and the community is great. Companies like ours are able to find really good talent that have proved to be ready to deliver high-quality software for complex projects.

 

5. You write about Agile and Devops. Where do you feel we are in the adoption cycle of this both as a technology and from a human factor standpoint?

Although both terms are already spread out and are well known in the software world, I feel there is a risk with these kind of “buzz words”, and is that many people only look at the surface of what these concept means. Agile and DevOps require a strong cultural and technical change, that is only possible through hard work and constant learning. However, many companies, either by ignorance or lazyness, don’t get the real point of the benefits of Agile and DevOps. We currently have many people out there who feel they do DevOps just because they installed Jenkins, or they do Agile just because they do sprints. In many reports you see Agile and DevOps as trends and well-adopted concepts, but reality shows that there is a lot of work ahead in order to have a true, deep adoption.

 

6. With Continuous Integration and  Delivery where do you think the balance lies between wanting change and stability?

That’s a really good question. The main focus of a mature CI/CD process is to get as much velocity as you can, while ensuring quality. That, of course, is hard to get and reality is usually not perfect. A modern business requires to innovate faster every day, and Continuous Delivery is a key technique in order to do so. Through rigorous test and infrastructure automation techniques, you can improve the stability of your software and the confidence of what you are deploying, but usually not with a 100% confidence rate. At the end, you should aim to have the biggest velocity while keeping stability on a level that is acceptable by your business, but not less, since it will reduce the ability of your business to try new hiphotesis and get ahead in a market.

 

7. Is there any thing I should have asked you and didn't?

No, I feel that's it