January 4, 2018

Perforce Engineering Leader to Speak at CodeMash Conference

Developer Collaboration

The annual CodeMash conference is known for spurring thought-provoking conversations among the developer community about current trends and best practices, and this year is no exception.

At this year’s conference, Gunnar Ostergren, Director of Client Engineering at Perforce Software, will be contributing to the conversation when he gives a presentation about the benefits of code hosting platforms. Gunnar has been an entrepreneur and technology leader since well before the internet became a part of our daily lives. Moving from Sweden to Silicon Valley in 1997, he had a front row seat to, and learned a lot from, the boom and bust of the dot-com era.  Having worked in many different industries and cultures, he has experience in most alternative approaches to software design, development and operations, and enjoys helping teams find their path through the maze of options available today.

A week before the CodeMash conference, Perforce caught up with Gunnar to learn more about his speaking engagement.

Perforce:What will you be speaking to conference attendees about?

GO: The session is going to be about developer best practices and how code hosting and collaboration fits into developer workflows.  These are really important topics for small and large teams.

Sometimes developers don’t think they need features like version control, continuous integration and code reviews, especially when they are just three guys sitting in a room together working on a project.

But when you wake up a year later and there are 15 of you, my experience has been you might regret not making some basic process decisions right from the start.

Perforce:Why are you excited to share your knowledge about code hosting solutions to CodeMash attendees?

GO: Having worked with a large variety of software projects across Europe and the U.S., I have seen most of the challenges developers run into. I really enjoy helping teams avoid the standard challenge of not thinking ahead enough and running into problems when they scale their teams, or planning too far out and running out of money and/or time. Code hosting tools can solve these central pain points by enabling scale while simultaneously managing complexity.

Perforce:Why are code hosting solutions essential for today’s developers? 

GO: The pace of change, remote contributors, and the complexity of modern development stacks and deployment platforms make it hard to collaborate well and manage risk. The tools and processes you choose have a big impact on both the product and the happiness of your team.

Perforce: The conference will be held in Sandusky, Ohio – far away from Silicon Valley. What does this say about the state of the tech industry?

GO: Silicon Valley is still very important, but developers today can participate from anywhere in the world using tools like Helix TeamHub, Slack/Screenhero, Google Docs/Hangouts, among others. The amount of services and products catering to off-collaboration from anywhere with an internet connection is staggering.

Thus, you have the ability to choose where you want to live while still having the opportunity to work on interesting things.  Many companies start out in the literal middle of nowhere and then get acquired by larger entities without any forced relocation of staff. Some even choose to stay small while still having a big impact within their field of expertise.

Perforce:How do code hosting platforms facilitate DevOps principles such as continuous integration and continuous delivery?

GO: Code hosting platforms promote visibility, integrations, scalability, and manageability — all key to achieving DevOps. Visibility is crucial because you don’t have time to track down all details in log files; myriad integrations because your platform and toolchain might be very complex; and scalability because when you run large teams and have large sets of automated tests, they need to finish in a reasonable amount of time. Lastly, manageability includes not only ease of use but also flexibility to adapt to the team’s workflow and preferences.

Perforce:CodeMash has a strong focus on getting young children interested in coding and the tech industry. How do code hosting platforms accommodate the needs of novice developers? 

GO: Code hosting platforms include many features that help senior developers educate and train junior programmers.

For instance, Helix TeamHub has a Git-powered markdown wiki that is project-based, which is a great resource to share best practices and information with young developers. The UI/UX is also very simple to navigate and includes informational messages during critical stages in development.

While new developers will still need to learn a programming language, once they have done that, they’ll have no problem understanding how to use Helix TeamHub.

Perforce:What are some of the innovations on the horizon for code hosting solutions such as Helix TeamHub?

GO: Technologies such as microservices, containers, and serverless computing are hot topic and you’ll find sessions at CodeMash on these technologies.  Many are using code hosting services to build systems that use all three of these technologies, but in the near future, you’ll see more explicit support for them in Helix TeamHub.

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