Speaker Interview: Dmitri Zimine

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: Believe it or not, I started my career as a rocket scientist, back in Russia. But it has been long forgotten. For the last 15 years I have been doing DataCenter and Cloud automation.


In 2013, I got fascinated with OpenStack, Cloud, and the DevOps movement, saw a better way of building software, and I left my big job at VMware and founded StackStorm - an open-source platform for devops automation. We helped create Mistral - the OpenStack workflow service. It’s been a great experience to be a part of the community, and to create a community around an open-source project. I feel fortunate to be part of a revolution that is transforming IT, and excited by both tech and social sides of it. My passion for technology is currently around devops tools, workflow systems, network automation, Docker/Swarm/K8s (yeah, a commonplace),  User Experience (on a quest on “why Enterprise UX sucks”), and, recently, Serverless.


Q: You're giving a talk on StackStorm- If-This-Then-That for DevOps automation. Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: The title already tips the hand :)

It’s about DevOps beyond “deployment” - the thing called “operations”. We now monitor everything, apply big data and ML, and root-cause problems. But then what? Page an admin? Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Netflix all have found a better way. Now you have it, too.


Oh, and, did you hear about ChatOps? I’ll be sure to show it in action and cover “the rights and the wrongs”.


Q: Is this your first visit to SCALE? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?


A: I spoke at SCALE in 2013, “OpenStack vs VMware”, comparing and contrasting “traditional vendor” and “new-generation opensource” approach to building software, and cracking what it means for a software to to be build for devops.


The conference had a unique atmosphere of technically deep and relaxing. It takes some geeks to trade a nice spring weekend on a warm beach for a conference hall, talking their passion to technology.


I greatly enjoyed excellent speakers, exciting topic, a training session, and hanging out with like-minded folks. Since then, the conference grew but rumors have it the spirit is still the same. Looking forward to it.

Q: StackStorm has been with Brocade for almost a year. Does it mean StackStorm has now become a network automation product?


A: No. We understand the value of opensource. StackStorm remains pristine, generic platform and not tilted by any use case. Yes, Brocade is building devops-style network automation on top of StackStorm. It’s well received by Networking community, and, thanks to the upcoming integration with Napalm, our network automation approach is vendor agnostic.

At the same time, our customers and community are using StackStorm platform to power a wide variety of use cases. From typical devops applications like auto-remediation, complex custom continuous deployment, to exciting ones like genomic computations, to IoT fun like home automation or using Chat to control your Tesla car.


I see our mission, as StackStorm platform team, to support and promote community contributions, and help our users build their solution for the greatest variety of the use cases.


Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Check out StackStorm on GitHub, try it out (hint: use st2vagrant), and give us a “star” :)