S2 [EP29] Why Joining Professional Associations is important to the Humans of DevOps

Humans of DevOps, Upskilling

S2 [EP1] Why Joining Professional Associations is important to the Humans of DevOps

In the first episode of the new 2021 season, Jayne Groll and Jason Baum, DevOps Institute’s new Director of Membership, discuss why the Humans of DevOps should join professional associations.

The lightly edited transcript can be found below.

Speaker 1:

You’re listening to the Humans of DevOps Podcast, a podcast focused on advancing the Humans of DevOps through skills, knowledge, ideas, and learning, or the SKIL Framework.

Jayne Groll:

Hey everyone. It’s Jayne Groll, CEO of the DevOps Institute. Happy new year and welcome to the first of the 2021 podcast episodes of the Humans of DevOps. I’m so excited today to introduce our community to Jason Baum, DevOps Institute’s new Director of Membership. Hey Jason.

Jason Baum:

Hey Jane, how are you?

Jayne Groll:

I’m good. Why don’t you tell our audience a little bit about yourself?

Jason Baum:

Sure. Well, first I’m really excited to be part of the DevOps Institute and part of the DevOps Community. I have been involved with associations, both professional, trade, you name it, for the past 15 years. And I’m excited to bring my knowledge of the association world over to the DevOps Institute because I know that you guys are doing so many great things for the past few years, the past… As you were saying to me earlier six years, which I’m sure seems like six months. And I know that we’re going in a little bit of different direction, that’s what this podcast is, but yeah… So I have a lot of experience with community building basically, community building and professional development.

Jayne Groll:

So, you’re right. We’re going into our sixth year, which is crazy because it feels like about six minutes. And the DevOps market, the DevOps industry has certainly grown since I got involved in it in 2012 and now fast forward into 2021, so I got to know where that time went to, but as DevOps has shifted and reshaped itself and the enterprise is starting to move away from what is DevOps to how do we do it? I think the need for professional associations, like DevOps Institute has become more urgent. That there are different communities, and certainly there are lots of social media channels that individuals can participate in, but a professional association really has a distinctiveness about it. So Jason, tell us a little bit about professional associations, why they’re important. And then we can talk about why it’s particularly important to the DevOps space.

Jason Baum:

Sure. So associations, unless you’re involved in one, you don’t know what they are and you might not have even heard what they are. I still, after 15 years, I’m explaining to my friends what it is that I do. But associations are very important. I mean, you’ve heard about… Everybody knows about lobbying, everybody knows the impact that certain associations for example, the NRA, the AICPA, the AARP, there’s all different types of associations, whether they’re consumer-based or whether they’re professional based. But the one thing that they all have in common, is they make significant contributions to American life and international life. They’re very important in our economy. They create jobs and the economic benefits can be felt by just almost 2 million people who are involved in working for associations themselves. It’s a payroll for example, of over like $55 billion just involved in association work.

Jason Baum:

So it’s relatively large industry associations and the impact can be felt internationally. They are essential to the growth of an industry. So like you were saying I mean, DevOps for all intensive purposes is a relatively young industry. There have been industries that have been around forever. And a lot of them formed unions. Unions are an association, societies, that’s an association. And the one thing that they all do is they rally the industry to grow it. John F. Kennedy had the saying, A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats. And that’s really the model of an association is to get everybody involved, so that you can make more money for yourself, and make more money for the industry, and thereby the industry grows.

Jayne Groll:

So some of the associations that you pointed out, 25 may feel like those are old models of associations, right? And as you said, some are consumer based, some are professional associations. And from your description, really means that, as a professional, whether I’m a young professional, whether I’m a seasoned professional, being able to network to being a part of something to growing your own path, as well as supporting the goals of your organization are pretty significant in the sense of, I’m a professional regardless of where I am in my journey, right?

Jayne Groll:

I may be a student. I may be somebody that’s fairly new in my career. I may be somebody that’s on a trajectory towards management, or I may be somebody that’s in the management role. So talk a little bit more about from a professional association in terms of, what are the benefits? And of course, when we look at DevOps Institute, we’re about to introduce some really cool benefits to this community. So let’s talk about the benefits of a professional association, and then let’s talk a little bit more about… And give everybody a wink wink, in terms what’s coming for DevOps Institute.

Jason Baum:

Yeah. So I think professional associations, there’s like three basic questions sometimes that we ask ourselves. Am I looking to grow my network? Do I need a mentor? And am I looking for professional development? And if you answered yes to any of those, then an association is for you. And you said something about the associations that I listed as, if you’re younger sometimes associations may sound like they’re archaic. And in some ways, some trade associations for example are archaic.

Jason Baum:

But I would say that others, that might be even older than some of those associations that I mentioned, like the Screen Actors Guild or the Academy of Arts and Sciences, or the Writers Guild. Those are extremely old, and very thriving, and very young actually, and they have their senior members too. But as long as it serves a purpose as in relevant for growth of your career, I don’t think it matters how old it is. I think it comes back down to, do you need it for what you’re trying to do with your career? So if you said yes to those three things that I mentioned, then an association is vital to your career.

Jayne Groll:

Yeah. And it’s interesting too because you also talked about trade associations, right? And advocacy. And it’s interesting because DevOps Institute, our mission is perhaps unique in the space in the sense that, our advocacy is for the human elements of DevOps. So while there’s a lot of focus on automation and that’s important, and there’s a lot of focus on technology, that’s important, we know that human transformation is critical, probably the single most important factor to digital transformation. And so our mission, our advocacy is for the human elements, our career growth that we’re looking to be able to achieve for the individual and the organization, is for that human who’s looking to network to have peer-to-peer, to be mentoring, or to be a mentor, right?

Jayne Groll:

I need a mentor or I want to be a mentor and creating that sense of belonging, whether you’re here in the US, whether you’re international or beyond that. So Jason, tell us a little bit about what DevOps Institute is doing and our new professional membership program, to be able to support, and advocate, and advance the human elements of DevOps.

Jason Baum:

So I mean, it really depends on where you are in your career to your point, your reason for belonging to an association, and there are many. And what DevOps Institute is doing right now, and if you’re not familiar with it, please go on to devopsinstitute.com, thought leadership and content is crucial right now in a content age, when all you have is content available, you need a reliable source, and DevOps Institute is a thought leader. We are putting out original content. Our skill books, our up-skilling report, which is wonderful information, and I know it doesn’t matter where you are in your career, it’s data that is important to you. And what we’re basically taking is our content, and we do a lot that is available at the moment, that is complimentary.

Jason Baum:

So you can go on and dabble in some of that content, like I mentioned, the UPSKILLING Report will be out in March. There are [inaudible 00:09:42] events that if you have not taken part in those are complimentary right now, and they have amazing content. So no matter where you are in your career again, it’s content that might be valuable to you. And then we’re going to basically take that end and up skill ourselves I guess, in some respect to a premium content model. And that’s really what an association is. So it’s not just the content itself, but it’s also a level of involvement.

Jason Baum:

So by being a premium member that opens yourself up to being able to be involved from a volunteer perspective, it opens it up to premium events that we’re looking into, a little more one-on-one time maybe with speakers, one-on-one time with each other, that networking component which oftentimes is the number one reason why people join associations. Content is king, but at the end of the day, networking really is maybe the driving force for getting involved. And then being able to assess your DevOps team, we’re putting out a great tool for that in the next week or so I believe. Yeah next week, we’re coming out with a DevOps capability assessment tool that is going to just raise the bar of what we’re able to do and what you’re able to do for your team.

Jayne Groll:

Yeah. And it’s funny because again, premium membership means premium experience. And so the goal is for DevOps Institute to be able to invest in premium experiences for our members, right? We want our members to have a safe environment. We want them to have an interactive environment, the capability assessment that we’ve built allows you to measure your perspective of your team, and then get a pretty healthy report in terms of what’s associated with it. Our certification scheme, which is available to anyone, our premium members will have access to it at a discounted rate.

Jayne Groll:

So there’s a lot of benefits that it will launch with the premium experience, but also as we move forward, we’ll be able continue to add to that, that experience. It is very similar to sitting at the airport gate or going to the airport [crosstalk 00:12:02], right? Being able to really have that access that will give you more insight into how to be a better DevOps Human and also perhaps a better DevOps leader and support your organizational goal. We’re professionals for professionals, right? We’re humans for humans. And I think from the very early days why we started DevOps Institute in the first place, was because we knew that as DevOps started to cross into the enterprise community, there’s a lot of content out there, but in terms of trusted sources for that content, we want to be that trusted source for that. So how do people become members of DevOps Institute?

Jason Baum:

I’m going to answer that question in one second. Well, you can become a member by going to devopsinstitute.com/membership and click on join. And we’re going to be improving that join process. One of the things that… The first thing I did actually when I came over, as I said, “I want to make this process as simple as possible for our end customer, our members, because it should be easy to join, it should be easy to get involved.” Those are two things that I really believe in, but I also want to go back to what you’re saying as being that trusted source. The thing that separates an association from a company for example, that provides a tool. We provide the community, we enhance the community. Our goal is very simple. We want to provide the tools of success to the companies that make up this industry, because it is all for one, and one for all.

Jason Baum:

And that’s what separates us from just a company that’s… And there’s nothing wrong. We’re in a capitalist society, hey, making money. But there is something to be said about… And why I am so passionate about associations and why I’ve spent the better part of my career working for associations it’s because of that mantra. It’s because of that bringing together, that Rising Tide Lifts All Boats, that’s something that I truly believe in because it is something that we all benefit from working together, and that is the mission of an association. So the fact that we are able to provide these tools, the certification programs, we’re going to work on enhancing, continuing education, a career center, that’s going to be very robust, and with tips and tricks for not only job seekers, but also companies that are… Hey, things changed a lot in the past year.

Jason Baum:

It’s competitive beyond competitive right now. What are the tricks for companies that are seeking employees? You have the whole world right now that could come work for you. It’s a very different environment than where it was, let’s say two to three years ago even. So, being able to provide those tools to get ahead, because at the end of the day, we’re all looking for that leg up, right? It’s a very competitive landscape, associations help to not necessarily even the playing field, but to help everybody to get to that same point where it’s a little less competitive, but also we’re helping each other so that we can all survive and thrive.

Jayne Groll:

And it’s interesting, you mentioned about the connections. One of the things that I’m also very proud of is the fact that we’ve been able to create a community where practitioners, and vendors, and consultants, and recognized thought leaders come together. And if you look at our ambassador community, our ambassador community is really a healthy mix of all of that, all of those experiences, and all of that practical knowledge. And so in creating a safe environment where you can ask the questions, you can reach out to other members of the community, there is a sense of belonging. And one of the things I think is so fascinating about DevOps Institute is how global we are. We have partners, education partners in just about every corner of the world. We have ambassadors literally from so many different countries, so many different languages, that the ability to create a global community is very realistic, and I think is something compelling. So I’m going to go back to my question. How do you become a member of DevOps Institute and what’s coming, and when?

Jason Baum:

You join online devopsinstitute.com/membership, or just devops.com and you could click on membership there, there’s a signup button. We’re going to be sending an email to our database, but also to the folks listening at home, we’re going to be launching that DevOps capability assessment tool like we talked about before, there will be a membership up form on there, because as a member of DevOps Institute, you get DevOps capability assessment tool for free. So it’s included with the membership. So that’s an amazing deal because honestly that’s worth the price of membership right there. Membership is $199 for the premium membership, we’ll have an enterprise membership that we’re launching as well. So if you are an enterprise company, if you work for an enterprise company, look, Mitt Romney said it himself. He said it really well. Corporations have people too, because we all work for companies at the end of the day and we are all people. I would like to think that we’re all people, maybe some of us more than others I don’t know.

Jason Baum:

Response for the enterprise, you can sign up your whole team, just think about the tools that you will have at your fingertips, just for a small price to be able to take advantage of being part of the community. So again, devopsinstitute.com and then also we’ll have that DevOps capability assessment link live next week, and you can sign up there, and you can also email me because I love to hear from people. So maybe this is dangerous, but I’m going to give out my email is jason@devopsinstitute.com. And if all those other ways of becoming a member are too much, just shoot me an email and I will personally sign you up. I do believe in the personal side of things, and there’s a human being working behind all of this and that a human being, you could put a face to it. It’s going to be me, but really it’s the whole DevOps Institute Team.

Jayne Groll:

Yes. Thank you for that. And I’m really proud of you for putting up your email, I think that’s awesome. I always say, next to my family, my greatest blessing is the DevOps Institute Team. Very, very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. So if you’re listening, become a member, right? Become a part of something bigger than yourself, grow your career, help the community, help your organization, help other DevOps Humans, right? We have to bond together as human beings in a technical environment where every organization today, regardless of their vertical market is a tech company.

Jayne Groll:

And so being able to disseminate information, being able to have trusted resources, that’s our mission for you, right? Our mission for your commitment to you is to be able to advance the Human Elements of DevOps. Jason, I’m so excited that you’ve agreed to join DevOps Institute. It’s so important that we are able to establish what we think is going to serve this important community that has given us over the last six years, so many blessings. So I’m really, really excited that you’re joining us. And I know that those of you listening are going to get to know Jason and his team very, very well.

Jason Baum:

Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And the fun thing about associations is, and one of the reasons why I jumped at this opportunity is the youngest association that I had been lucky to be part of was 65 years old. That was the youngest one that I have ever worked for. So when you said six years and that we’re growing this from scratch, I mean I had stories told to me about back room meetings that were 10 people over a dinner that became a 5,000 company membership or more over time. And that was always… You hear these stories, you just can’t dream of being part of that initially. And that’s what’s so exciting about this and what’s should be so exciting to everyone listening right now is like you said, this is our chance to do this for this industry. There are 65,000 trade and professional associations in the United States alone. Let’s add one more and be truly representative of the industry and have a seat at the table.

Jayne Groll:

Awesome. Ours began over a sushi dinner, but that’s a story [crosstalk 00:21:12]

Jason Baum:

I can’t wait to hear it.

Jayne Groll:

I know for a different day. Anyhow, thanks again, and for those of you listening, this has been an episode of the Humans of DevOps talking about the importance of professional association and encouraging you to become a premium member of DevOps Institute. As we go into 2021, I wish you all safety. I wish you good health. I wish you good prosperity and stay tuned. We’re going to have a lot more Humans of DevOps Podcast coming to you very, very shortly. Be well.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Humans of DevOps Podcast. Don’t forget to join our global community to get access to even more great resources like this until next time, remember you are a part of something bigger than yourself you belong.

 

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