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Developer Evangelism, Pair Programming, and Open Source Enterprise Support

16 Jun 2016 12:21pm, by

Why would any organization opt to pay for software when there are so many open source options available today? For larger enterprises, it all comes down to support, according to Michael Coté, Pivotal software director of technical marketing.

In this episode of The New Stack Makers embedded below, The New Stack founder Alex Williams along with co-hosts Lee Calcote and Kyle MacDonald spoke with Coté regarding the changing role of developer evangelists, why companies choose enterprise-supported open source software, and how Pivotal has positioned its support offerings to help its customers succeed by way of pair programming.

Coté starts off by explaining what his role at Pivotal as evangelist, which is at its core about connecting with both developers and customers about how to get the most out of Pivotal. Coté noted that this has paid off via word-of-mouth exponentially.

The role of the developer evangelist isn’t all about pushing a brand or product, he explained. Evangelists not only know the ins and outs of their organization, but they are also involved in customer facing interactions, connecting the community with the latest technology, and seeking feedback from the companies currently using their services.

“Over the past nine months, there’s a lot more general awareness of Cloud Foundry. We’ve noticed that customers talk a lot more. They’re more willing to talk about what is going on, and as a result, there’s tons more regular companies talking about Pivotal and Cloud Foundry,” he said.

Coté recounted a discussion he’d had with Express Scripts senior director of information technology Brian Gregory. The two had tried to determine if there was an industry that didn’t have a need for custom software. For those companies that do, particularly in larger organizations — Updating one’s technology stack has been something that is avoided like the plague.

“These huge organizations have been running software forever, but they haven’t refreshed their software layer over the last ten years. They need to. They’re running on creaky old stacks all the way from the infrastructure layer, up to the application and delivery layer. Ten years ago, it was expensive to get a fully integrated experience. Now, we have things like Cloud Foundry and other alternatives, so they can cobble that stuff together and build a new stack.”

Support and maintenance are something that enterprises trying to stand up a platform or create a new stack typically need. Whether an enterprise needs one-time support or wishes to bring in Pivotal team members to pair program with them, Coté noted that having a paid support option allows for enterprises to access levels of support which may not always be available with open source projects.

“We pair across programming, design, product management, and operations. Think of it as the idea being that you bring in Pivotal people, and they pair with you. They’ll observe, coach, and eventually, you know how to do it all on your own.”

Cloud Foundry is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Feature image via Pixabay.


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