Electric Cloud CEO: We automate agile development

An explosion of tools and platforms is making app dev much more complex. Mike Maciag, CEO of Electric Cloud, offers cross-platform workflow and automation to rationalize it all

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Maciag: That's another great example of other products we work with. Puppet and Chef do a great job of creating the environment on which to run the software and automating that side of it. We are the deployment of the software itself. So -- how do I get that Jar packaged up and deployed on one of those machines and then roll back if need be?

Knorr: Got it. Who do you consider to be you main direct competition right now?

Maciag: Our biggest competition is momentum and people rolling things themselves -- although most of the time people recognize the need for a packaged app and a new way to do things. On the commercial side, we'll occasionally run into IBM. IBM's got a good suite of tools out of the Rational product line.

Knorr: This also seems to be a sort of fertile area for startups as well.

Maciag: Yeah, correct.

Knorr: The breakaway type of activity that I'm seeing now around OpenStack and some of the other private cloud stuff going on right now is just incredible. Ultimately, I think a lot of this cloud stuff puts ops under even more and more pressure. It seems like developers are the big winners in all of this, in being able to do things with faster cycles, giving them more time to deal with the business stakeholders. What's your observation on what's happening in the market as a whole from that perspective?

Maciag: I think you're right. I think truthfully, if this is done right, everyone should win. What's happening, you know, is that the ops side is being asked to be more responsive to the needs of development -- and development is very resource hungry. The thing that has changed is, as you mentioned with some of the PaaS vendors and with cloud computing, is that development is sometimes end-running the ops or the IT side of the world, which is forcing them to keep up.

Knorr: In the diversity of new development languages, from Node.js to whatever, there's so much new stuff going on. I mean, how do you keep up with that and accommodate that in your processes -- or is that just part of being an open platform?

Maciag: We architected the product from the very beginning to be language agnostic, and on top of that we built a robust API "plug in" language. It's very fast for us to be able to work with partners to build integrations to any of the new things that pop up. We have over 100 of them that are available today for the platform.

Knorr: What are the plans for the development of Electric Commander or any ancillary products around it?

Maciag: What you'll see from Electric Cloud as time goes on are more and more integrations proven in that direction. You'll see, I think, more from us and from partners building specific applications on top of the platforms -- whether for doing specific deployments or working in specific development environments -- and being more prescriptive in terms of best practices around that.

Knorr: Thanks. I think we've covered quite a bit of ground here. In general, I don't think I've ever seen so much change in such a short period of time. That must make your job fun.

Maciag: How could it not be a great job?

This article, "Electric Cloud CEO: We automate agile development," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.

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