We see podcasts as a wonderful way to share the best ideas around GitOps, and cloud native. This year, we’ve interviewed guests who are industry experts, founders, and technology leaders from various organizations in the space. The ideas shared here are worth repeating as they are sure to inspire us as we look ahead at 2022.

1. Nicolas Chaillan from the DoD

The standout metric from this interview was the sheer massive size of the DoD. We’re talking well over a hundred thousand developers who work internally and externally with a single mission - national security. Operating at this scale forces the DoD to have to streamline processes, and modernize itself to adapt to the changing times. That’s precisely what Nicolas Chaillan, Chief Software Officer of the U.S. Air Force, and his team have been able to do at the DoD over the past few years.

The DoD has embraced the platform model to enable operators to deliver services and resources to developers. This platform is based on GitOps principles, combined with DevSecOps principles of zero-trust security. They are implemented in the form of multiple projects such as Platform One, Big Bang, and Party Bus. These platforms make secure, production-ready cloud resource templates available to any DoD developer in a matter of minutes.

GitOps is game changing for the industry. It is a replicable, automated, immutable construct where your change management, everything happens in Git. - Nicolas Chaillan, Chief Software Officer, DoD

2. Joe Beda & Michael Coté from VMware

Joe Beda is one of the creators of Kubernetes, and is currently Principal Engineer at VMware. Michael Coté is Staff Technologist at VMware working on their Tanzu platform. With such credentials, it's no surprise that they share some insightful thoughts on Kubernetes in the enterprise. They believe that enterprise adoption of Kubernetes is fueled by small teams within the organization, unlike at startups where it's more community-driven. They also chimed in on the relation between Kubernetes and GitOps. They see this as the way forward where GitOps allows flexible and nimble creation and management of infrastructure using Kubernetes. The podcast is full of interesting tidbits on the origins and development of Kubernetes, and is highly recommended for anyone working with Kubernetes today.

“If we look at Enterprise, one of the things that is just horrifying to me is that state of the art right now in many IT systems are these inventory systems where you can pay somebody and they’ll grovel around all of you machines trying to figure out what’s running on all of them so that you can inventory all the stuff that you are running. Now, with GitOps, with the declarative config we are turning that on its head. Instead of actually being inventory-driven – we react to what it’s running – we say, it shouldn’t be running unless it’s part of our declared config. This overtime will be fundamentally more secure. ” – Joe Beda, VMware

3. Mae Large from State Farm

Mae Large is the Architecture Manager at State Farm, one of the leading insurance service providers in the US. A succinct way she describes GitOps is that it is simply 'Delivery engineering.' Large and her team have been heading the rollout of GitOps in their organization, which has taken a couple of years now. They use a platform approach to deliver services and resources to developers in the form of Git repositories. What's fascinating about this podcast is that Large shares the phased approach her team took in rolling out GitOps across the entire organization. In fact, they still are in the process of driving adoption of GitOps across various teams. This can be encouraging if you're in the process of adopting GitOps and are making slow progress. Remember that it takes a change of culture, and this can take months or even years to really perfect.

Our goal is to give every product team the ability to deploy their changes to our modern strategic platforms in a simple, compliant and repeatable manner. - Mae Large, State Farm

4. Gene Kim, author of ‘The Phoenix Project’

Gene Kim is one of the pioneers of the DevOps movement. In his podcast with us earlier this year, he shed light on how Operations (rather than developers) is the key enabler of DevOps in large organizations. This is the focus of his book 'The Phoenix Project' where he talks about his three concepts of Flow (System Thinking), Feedback and Continual Experimentation and learning. Kim puts focus on how developer productivity and the developer experience is what will fulfill the 'hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the organization,' and that this developer experience is enabled by the Operations team. An insightful podcast on the implications of DevOps today, Gene Kim's interview is not to be missed.

5. OpenGitOps and the GitOpsWorkingGroup

One of the biggest developments in the GitOps space this year was the formation of the GitOpsWorkingGroup (GWG) as part of the CNCF, and the related OpenGitOps project. The project has brought together multiple vendors who are pioneering GitOps today to help define the 'ground rules' of GitOps. This podcast takes place very early in the formation of this group and sheds light on the various perspectives of different experts and organizations on how they practice GitOps in their respective organizations. The podcast is a reminder of how pervasive GitOps is, and is also reassuring in that it shows how different organizations can come together around a common goal and purpose and create something sustainable and open.

Since then, the OpenGitOps project has gone on to set the four basic GitOps principles - declarative,  versioned and immutable, pulled automatically, continuously reconciled. You can also track their progress in this recent panel discussion at KubeCon NA '21.

It's been an eventful year for GitOps and the cloud native space, and these podcasts show just how vibrant the ecosystem is. If you're looking for inspiration as you look ahead to 2022, these podcasts are a great place to start. In a matter of minutes, you'll be caught up on the best ideas in the space today.