Continuous Delivery Foundation looks to build in Microsoft, further projects

The Continuous Delivery Foundation is looking to draw in more members and projects as it heads towards its first birthday, with Microsoft top of the organisation’s hit list.

The CDF formed back in March 2019, aiming to evangelize CI/CD as methodologies, and define/document best practices in and out of the cloud. Founder members included CloudBees and Google – it is home to the original Jenkins project, and Jenkins X, the Kubernetes-focused CI/CD platform, as well as the Google spawned Tekton.

But Tracy Miranda, CloudBees’ director of open source and a member of the CDF’s board, said the organisation had, and needed, a long list of organisations and projects it still wanted to attract, including those in direct competition to CloudBees and Google.

Speaking to us at the vendor’s Lisbon developer event, she said that its membership already included a wide range of companies including user organisations – such as Netflix – and other companies in the CI/CD space such as CircleCI. The latter is arguably ironic given that CircleCI spent a good chunk of last year taking pot shots at Jenkins and targeting what it called “Jenkins refugees”.


But Miranda said the foundation wanted to cast its net even wider, and acknowledged that every successful foundation or project had to break free of its founders. Kubernetes – also originally spawned at Google – was a prime example of how to do this, she said.

A question of scale

So, while Google was a founding member of the CDF, she said, “We want all the other hyperscalers to join.”

Microsoft is a particular target. As well as being ahead of Google in the cloud business with Azure, it is also steadily building out its claim in the CI/CD and DevOps spaces with GitHub as well as its Azure DevOps products.

At the same time, Miranda said, “Kay Williams from the [Azure] CTO’s office is leading the [CDF’s] security SIG, because you don’t need to be a member to participate in initiatives. So she is driving security saying Microsoft cares about this. So it’s really interesting.”

“We’re having ongoing conversations and we want them to join…So it is this interesting case of well, they’re not members, they are involved. And it’s all kind of complicated.”

As for other tech companies, HashiCorp is high on the list of “cool companies” Miranda has her eye on. The organisation was in talks with Docker, before its contacts seemed to just disappear a couple of months ago: “And we’re like, what’s going on? And now it’s clearer.”

When it comes to other projects, Miranda said, “ I’d like to see more variety… I’d love to see things like testing. I’d like to see something in the security space.”

She’d also like projects that are not just cloud-based come on board. “We looked at the [iOS an Android focused] Fastlane project. At one point we were trying to say, you know, this is CI/CD, specifically for mobile, let’s make sure people understand we’re not just about cloud, we’re about CD in every form.”

More users are on Miranda’s wishlist, not least for the feedback they can give. “I’d love for tonnes of Universities to join. So we can get that next generation of folks learning the best practices from collaborating direct with industry.”

Community minded

There’s always the danger that companies like CloudBees, which has staked its future on open source with its support for Jenkins and Jenkins X, being blindsided by the likes of Amazon – or indeed Microsoft and Google – scooping up a project’s Community Edition, and launching its own paid service. It was this sort of move that prompted MongoDB to launch its own service side public license, a move that angered many in the open source community.

But it was important for Microsoft and AWS – and Google – to be good open source citizens, Miranda said, and she was confident predatory moves would result in push back from the broader open source community – including the key people behind projects.

“AWS can offer it, but it’s still AWS. You look at Microsoft, and they’ve got some amazing stuff coming out of GitHub, GitHub actions. But then we’re starting to see people starting to push back going, ‘Oh, hang on. Now, it’s Microsoft, and they’ve got all my data and they’ve got all my stuff.’”

And while DevOps and open source is supposed to be getting beyond the idea of Rock Star developers, Jenkins prime mover Kohsuke Kawaguchi and Jenkins X leads James Strachan and James Rawlings are on the CloudBees’ payroll and very much in evidence at events like the Lisbon get together.

“That’s a differentiator,” says Miranda. “So AWS could pick up Jenkins X, but they still have to kind of have the James Strachans of the world, who can drive that direction.”

People driving a project need direct contact, she said, and the autonomy to feel like they’re driving the project where they need to. “Where maybe you go join a big company and you’re a bit lost compared to everybody else.”


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