DevOps in a Microsoft World With Jessica DeVita and Jeffrey Snover

Posted on Thursday, Feb 12, 2015
Is DevOps just for the open source world? Can you do DevOps in a Microsoft shop? What are some of the tools and capabilities available for Windows, Azure, and .NET professionals who want to approach work in a DevOps model? Microsoft DevOps Evangelist Jessica DeVita and Jeffrey Snover, a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft and the Lead Architect for the Windows Server and System Center Division, talk with the ADO crew about how Microsoft approaches DevOps.

Show Notes

What are some of the challenges traditional Microsoft IT Pro’s deal with moving to a more automated DevOps pattern?

  • Jessica:
    • Hard to tell which tools are really going to make their lives easier.
    • Are the cultures of the companies benefiting the human side of the IT Pro?
  • Jeffrey:
    • Because Microsoft has great GUI tools, they become the biggest strength and weakness of the DevOps/IT-Pro
    • The process of using a GUI is much harder to replicate in documentation. Because most of the community uses powershell commands, Microsoft IT-Pros really need to get on board.
    • IT-Pros are never done with learning. If you don’t want to learn anything new, get into the lumber business.

Microsoft has been making more open source integration moves, and changing philosophies to accept the Open Source community. “What up with that?”

  • Jeffrey: “The body follows the head”
  • It helps when you have a leader with a fresh approach who focuses on customer service and helping users within the community
  • Jessica: It is really exciting to get behind a leader that is welcoming to the communities.
  • It is refreshing to see Microsoft becoming a software company, not a “Windows software company”
  • Microsoft wants you to be successful. Tools such as RESTful APIs are becoming available across all OSs.

What is the acceptance level of the OpenSource movement within Microsoft?

  • Jessica: Whatever you’re running, we can host it for you

Traditional Configuration Management in Microsoft has been difficult. What are the plans?

  • Steve Morowski ( has good info for those interested in DevOpsing with Windows.
  • Current Microsoft tools are really good for enterprise, client management. Not so good for data center management.
  • We need something different, that is simple, and usable.
  • The problem is, everyone wants to do configuration their way. They want to be the CTO of their servers.
  • Jeffrey describes the creation, and idea conception of a Microsoft Configuration Management platform that takes into account the deep differences between Linux, Unix, Windows. Describing different tools currently available, their faults, and how they might be able to connect them for modern, DevOps oriented, Configuration Management.
  • The ability of chef and puppet, etc. are beneficial because of the ability of devs to pick it up, version it, and insert small parts of just what they need into the configuration.
  • Jessica: We are getting to the point where Microsoft DevOps engineers are adapting the powershell. Until the powershell is adopted by IT-pros, modern DevOps tools will be a difficult push.
  • You should already love powershell.

How can people get more comfortable with powershell?

  • Matt: It is not a scripting language. It is the way you interact with a system. Don’t write scripts in bash, write commands in bash that emulate the scripts.
  • Jeffrey: Don Jones: Powershell in a Month of Lunches ( Step by step people get it, or they don’t. Managers really need to promote and reward the people giving you the IT that you want.
  • Poweshell makes your environment repeatable, automatable, stable, etc. It is the future of the IT pro, and people must adopt it.

Are we automating ourselves out of jobs?

  • Jeff: The cloud is a great, cheap place to offer undifferentiated IT, however, if you can provide differentiated IT you are practically printing money vs. the cloud.
  • Jessica: We do need a healthy fear. Not of automation though. Be scared of more interesting things. You need to learn automation.

How do we work with Microsoft when its just not the best for DevOps-ing?

  • As more people us Microsoft, the more Microsoft changes. Jeff discusses the many ways in which Microsoft is using flexible R&D to make a push for DevOps tooling, as well as some tools coming down the pipeline.
  • Jessica: When choosing a tool, the longevity of the tool and the community around it is critical.

Why can’t I copy a file to a server using WinRM?

  • Jeff: Come talk to me at ‘Build and Ignite’.




  • The SoCal Linux Expo - Scale13 - a DevOps day Feb 20th - she has a discount code
  • The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error (Dekker)
  • Lean Enterprise book (Jez Humble)



  • FCC Ruling on broadband
  • Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 2



Jeffrey Snover

Jeffrey Snover

Jeffrey Snover is a Distinguished Engineer Microsoft and the Lead Architect for the Windows Server and System Center Division. Snover is the inventor of Windows PowerShell, an object-based distributed automation engine, scripting language, and command line shell. Snover joined Microsoft in 1999 as divisional architect for the Management and Services Division, providing technical direction across Microsoft’s management technologies and products. Snover has over 30 years of industry experience with a focus on management technologies and solutions. He was an architect in the office of the CTO at Tivoli and a development manager at NetView. He has worked also as a consulting engineer and development manager at DEC, where he led various network and systems management projects. Snover held 8 patents prior to joining Microsoft, and has registered over 30 patents since. He is a frequent speaker at industry and research conferences on a variety of management and language topics.

Jessica DeVita

Jessica DeVita

Jessica DeVita is a recovering sysadmin who has been doing IT operations for about 17 years, 7 years in corporate IT and almost 10 in private consulting. Now as a technical evangelist at Microsoft, she’s helping operations people uplevel their technical and soft skills for devops and cloud computing. Jessica is a fan of building communities, meetups and supporting nonprofits that teach tech to women, girls and underserved communities and is a frequent speaker at conferences on topics such collaboration/workflow systems, CRM and DevOps culture and systems thinking.


Matt Stratton

Matt Stratton

Matt Stratton is a Staff Developer Advocate at Pulumi and the global chair of the DevOpsDays set of conferences.

Matt has over 20 years of experience in IT operations and is a sought-after speaker internationally, presenting at Agile, DevOps, and cloud engineering focused events worldwide. Demonstrating his keen insight into the changing landscape of technology, he recently changed his license plate from DEVOPS to KUBECTL.

He lives in Chicago and has three awesome kids, whom he loves just a little bit more than he loves Diet Coke. Matt is the keeper of the Thought Leaderboard for the DevOps Party Games online game show and you can find him on Twitter at @mattstratton.

Trevor Hess

Trevor Hess

Trevor Hess is a Senior Product Manager at Progress Software working on Chef Software. He currently works on the Chef Application Delivery, Compliance and Infrastructure offerings.

Coming from a background in .NET Software Development and consulting, he has worked with several large multinational organizations to help kick start their journey to the cloud and the world of DevOps practices and principals. He is excited to engage in new experiences, and learning opportunities.

Trevor enjoys having hearty discussions about DevOps as well organizational change and transformation.