#52: It’s not uncommon to see software vendors bashing competitor’s products. Recently, Viktor had this happen to the product that he manages. This episode is about what happens next and how you should react if it ever happens to you.
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Viktor Farcic is a Product Manager at CloudBees, a member of the Google Developer Experts and Docker Captains groups, and published author.
His big passions are DevOps, Containers, Kubernetes, Microservices, Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment (CI/CD) and Test-Driven Development (TDD).
He often speaks at community gatherings and conferences (latest can be found here).
His random thoughts and tutorials can be found in his blog TechnologyConversations.com.
Darin Pope 0:00
This is episode number 52 of DevOps Paradox with Darin Pope and Viktor Farcic. I'm Darin.
Viktor Farcic 0:06
And I'm Viktor.
And he's Viktor.
Yeah, I'm whatever...
Yeah. In case you're listening to this, and you're like, what was that about? We're actually starting to do more live streams, or video recordings. This one isn't a live stream. We're just pre recording it. And today, Viktor had an idea we actually had. So I will say we had a plan for today. Yesterday, we had a plan. It the the plan failed miserably.
Yeah. Actually, there is a good outcome from that failure I think. You made a pull request. You're fixing the issue. So I think that's a good thing.
Yeah. We'll see if it gets looked at in a timely manner or not, to actually get us to the intended outcome for what we wanted to talk about today. But you had another idea since life went sideways. A little chaotic, if you will. So what? How can we calm the chaos today?
So what I thought to talk about is kind of companies trashing other products in a, in a very
impolite way. Yeah, I would. It's so hard not to find not to express without swearing Yes, in a very impolite way. That's a nice way to say it in a kind of a long, long time ago. I mean, still, you search for something like I don't know, like this versus that and stuff like that. And then you go to a page of a vendor that says, Okay, so that is horrible. This is better because it's mine. And that's been happening for for a long period of time, and I never understood people who actually use that sort of information to compare things you know, kind of vendor of one product, we'll compare that product with some other product. It's just silly. That would be like asking Mercedes why Toyota is whether Toyota is better or worse. You know the answer.
Well, even some automotive manufacturers do that in the US. Chevy. I think it's Chevy...Chevrolet has some commercials where they it's like, which one is this, that and the other and people name off the competitors, the Fords, the Toyotas ,the Dodges, and then all of a sudden it's like, oh, no, it's Chevrolet. And but, you know, I'm sure other people do it, but you don't see that type of comparison when you get to the higher levels. The Lexus, the Maserati. Right. The it's, it just seems like it's the lower end. lower end entry level. I don't I don't mean anything by the lower end. It's just the it's just the the the built for the common man if you will versus the luxury brands.
I mean to me that's a sign of of pettiness let's say kind of and also sign that you actually do think so the reason why it's not why must nobody like SEAT which is car company that nobody knows but happens to be close to my house will will know Mercedes will not do that comparison with SEAT because SEAT is below Mercedes kind of like it would be it would be silly. SEAT might do that, I guess Mercedes to show that oh there we are better whatever because they have nothing to lose. And to me that's that type of attitude that. So the reason why I'm starting with this is that I'm now seeing increased number of YouTube videos where somebody would show a product for one hour and say look how frustrating it is to install it and to use it and all those things and then the last 15 seconds. Oh, with our product, it's so much easier and faster and better. I mean, I'm probably exaggerating, but I get very annoyed with it. Because I work for a software vendor, you work for a software vendor, and we are doing our best to kind of compete in terms like I'm going to show you how this is great. And then, but like in the show that we are doing. Last time, I think somebody asked, can you compare Jenkins X with I don't know what. My answer was no, I'm not going to compare it because that could be subjective. Right? I don't want to trash other Yeah, because if we say that Jenkins X is better, I'm trashing other product and I don't want to do that. And the other way around would be silly as well.
Now is it is it safe to say though that a product may actually have different features? Is that okay?
Yeah, that's okay, and I don't literally mean Yeah. Okay, so you have this Kubernetes distribution, don't ever talk about any other Kubernetes distribution, it's just kind of doesn't make much sense. And then it even makes less sense for people to listen or hear with them because it's obviously silly. And you don't hear kind of like as much Google saying GKE is great, AKS is trash, because it doesn't make much sense.
Well, at that point is too granular. Now, and again, I don't know anybody at either, actually I do know somebody on the Microsoft side. But you're not going to do that comparison of GKE versus AKS, you're going to do the comparison of GCP against Azure. And here's the the extra features that we can do. But even then at that level, you're not comparing We're better than GCP if I was Microsoft.
And even that is one thing is comparison. We have this authentication you don't have that authentication but the one I'm actually I'm going to break my own rule and I'm going to say which one is frustrating me this week the most is that that's that's Harness and Harness is a great product let me start with say that and so they're competing product and I do truly believe that they're a great product so I'm not going to enter into that is better or worse, but it's a great product. But still kind of I'm seeing a guy and he's a really cool guy. He's getting frustrated for an hour or two hours with Tekton. He's really really frustrated and then kind of yes I work for Harness look at Harness. And then then the same thing for Argo CD, for Jenkins X, and all those kind of he's he's frustrated about absolutely everything that is not not his own product.
Well, I mean, but usually in the role of a, if it's a solution architect, I don't know who you're talking about. That's their role. They're following a very simple formula. Problem, agitate and solve. So they're listing out all the problems. They're making it worse by agitating it. And it's like, oh, here's, here's the solution. It makes all the magic all the pain go away.
You want to sell your product. I understand that. It's just the. Probably I'm exaggerating, but I got so frustrated with with those videos kind of. Actually, actually, I like them because it uncovered it. That's actually what what frustrated me is that they uncovered a lot of bad things about Tekton and a lot of negative things about Argo and negative things about Jenkins X, but they're kind of like last 15 minutes, last 15 seconds, it's kind of like a None of the problems exist in Harness. It's so beautiful and all those things
yeah. And again, I haven't played with Harness. I don't know the gentleman that did the videos. But realistically there's something that isn't perfect in Harness
right that's so when one of the things that that sort of bugs me is when somebody takes me through that problem, agitate, solve I did it backwards problem agitate solve. And then it's like, here's the magic. But it's it's it's almost a Superman. I'm wearing Spider Man today but almost a Superman reaction. It's like you won't need anything else. Your savior has arrived.
Yeah. And then savior, so kind of savior already has everything set up before the video while he was very frustrated with the setup of the other ones during the video, since go at least go pair up, come show me how you set up Harness kind of show me how you install it, at least, even though we know that you're going to fake it, but at least kind of do compare apples and apples, not apples and oranges kind of.
So, but again, if the gentleman is a solutions architect, it's his role to make it look simple and make everybody else's looks hard or to look hard.
Maybe it's me then. Kind of but I never went to a customer when I did go to customer say, you know X is better than than Y. If you ask me, but kind of go into the length. Let's wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I'm going to install Bamboo for you right now. In front of your eyes. I'm going to set up your whole data center so that you see how horrible it is.
I was taught that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Yeah, right. I mean, it doesn't mean that it isn't. But the I was getting ready to use an S word not that S word. Snake oil. Now I don't believe Harness is snake oil. Please, please don't, don't, don't don't don't read into that. But when it's like I've set up this much time providing other things to you know, saying, okay, here's all the pain, pain, pain, and then all of a sudden, bang with a snap of a finger. It's like Thanos right? Yeah, everybody else goes away and you know, half the people are left and it's like the snap. And that's just not come. If If you are if you as a consumer of that content are that gullible, I hope you don't have the buying power. That's the other joke. The other joke that I usually say along with that and that that was a joke, by the way, so if I offended you, I'm sorry. Usually that's Viktor's job is to offend not mine. But it's always the case of Okay, whoever took the buyer out to play the most rounds of golf usually wins the contract. Again, a little overblown, but it used to happen a lot. I'm assuming it still happens today. I don't play golf. That's why I'm here today. Because I can't play golf. And to all my SA friends, I'm sorry. I'm really trashing you today too. Okay, so we're so so your your frustration was with vendors trashing other vendors?
Yes. I mean, it's not the only frustration but to me, it's a sign of kind of like that. So it's a clear sign that you're not, not above those that because if you would be above those that you're trashing, then actually, you wouldn't do that. Like Apple for example. Apple never trashes. I don't know, like HCL or Samsung. Because they position themselves as being above those products right? We are the rulers in this area. So we don't we will pick we just look at it below us and then we don't do nothing. Right now when you are below like some and even notice that Samsung is also doing that less because now they're they're very high on the list but when they were kind of starting, they were looking at Apple and saying, This is horrible. You're doing this silly, you're doing that silly. Oh, I don't know you. You removed headphone jack Oh, how stupid it is, and so on and so forth. But that's because Samsung was looking at them like this right? at Apple. And I'm, I'm not fond of Apple, but that was the situation. That's a position marketing wise and all those things. And that's what what those comparisons also tell me they're kind of. Yeah. So if you actually got the rank late to say, yeah, you guys think you're horrible then yes that's where you are. That's where those guys are whomever they are.
Well, it's the other analogy to this. And it's a sports analogy. So forgive me if you fall asleep. But it's the armchair quarterback. You're setting up in the stands. You're sitting at home in your comfy couch while somebody is actually playing the game. And you're picking and prodding, but I was like, Oh, no, I, I don't know exactly what they're going through, but that's not my problem. They should be doing it this way.
That's, again, this is this is nothing new. This is nothing specific to our industry. However, it does get frustrating. It's like, can't we all just get along?
It's not even that, get along. But because my first reaction first natural reaction was okay, I'm going to actually do something similar and the opposite and then kind of like show them how X is how X is better than Y while they showed that Y so much better than X? And then it kind of like then I got the cup of coffee, I calmed down and kind of like, No, no, I'm not gonna do that kind of
that going down to that level. Again, not not speaking specifically to the scenario. It's like, but then you're coming down to whatever that level is. And sort of that pick a fight. Like when I was a kid, I was short and round. I would always get picked on. I was that kid. Really bad haircut. Really bad suits. It was the 60s and 70s. But then eventually, I was like, I started growing and, or the people that used to pick on me finally it's like, you know what, he's not fighting back. That's no fun. So they move on to somebody else. Sometimes just trying to be invisible, but yet still getting the job done solved my problem.
Yeah, I heard that Bill Gates was being picked a lot in school.
All of us were that point I guess but so all right so let's let's let's pick on Bill Gates for a second. or pick on Microsoft. So I'm, I'm company let's let's go back in history. This is like a real thing. The IBM and Microsoft debacle. I can't remember the whole story. But Bill came up with what was then MS DOS and then all of a sudden IBM Of course, there's been the whole lawsuits and all that other stuff. But all that happened. But then this thing in Xerox PARC came out called a mouse, even though it wasn't called the mouse back then. Now you can say good or bad whether or not that revolution revolutionized but there were probably a lot of people's like, why would you need that? That's a toy. How many people use a mouse or a trackpad today because of what happened at PARC years ago?
So when people fight about things that's don't get don't get pulled into a fight. I think that's probably the biggest thing.
Actually, I don't mind a fight. So kind of like, basically what I do mind is me hitting you right now and you're being tied and big and you cannot hit back. So that's kind of unilateral. Right?
It's mafia tactics. It's not a fair fight.
Yeah, I don't even mind I wouldn't actually, I wouldn't look forward to it and I probably wouldn't expect accept it but I don't mind if I didn't know. Like, you call me and you you work with Spinnaker and I work with something else. And then we kind of like compete in a way right? Again that's that's quite different than then saying, okay, Spinnaker is horrible. Spinnaker is terrible. Spinnaker is bad and I just muted this guy. He's not really responding. That's not a fight.
Right? Yeah, if you can have I'm not gonna call it a fair fight because there's no way a fight can be fair. There's always advantages. But if at least you know that, hey, at four o'clock, meet me out on the play yard. And I've got and that's three hours away. Okay, that means I've got three hours to come up with a plan. That plan may be to run and not show up. The plan may be to show up and get the snot beat out of me. Or the plan is, I'm tired of this. This was the last time and now we fight.
And that's okay. You just have to figure out the strategy. But when you're like, oh drive by bang You're horrible. See you, bye. What?
It's it's petty I think is the word. But that might be and again, I didn't go through the situation you did. I'm trying to be as as third party on this as I can be. But it's that kind of stuff. It's it's somebody picking on somebody else and that that never is a good thing.
Exactly. It's not really a problem just
I'm venting kind of I'm venting myself in the show instead of in other places. Whether that's a good thing or not, that's that's a different issue, I guess.
I guess. I guess we'll see. The Alright, so let's let's wrap this into the pull request I put in yesterday.
this is a variation of that theme. Now Viktor has been working on the chaos course for a while.
And this while during this while Istio was 1.4. Well, in the time that we've, we've he has been working on other things, Istio 1.5 came out. In 1.4, they had marked a bunch of stuff to be deprecated and 1.5 it was removed.
and it broke a crap ton of stuff in the course,
not only in the course, everywhere.
Everywhere Yeah, if you're using Istio and you were doing it, that could have been a lot of really bad things. Now the question and this is the question I posed to Viktor was, well, can we just pin it, pin the course to 1.4 and just get it done and his response was
no, But actually,
it's the right response
Wait, wait, wait. Before that, I actually came to you and said something like, oh, man, let's just drop this. Let's pause for a month kind of like, I cannot do this anymore. Just like that. You pulled me back. Okay, let's fix the problem instead.
It's always I mean, it's normally I'm the one that has to be pulled in off the ledge. Normally, I'm the one that's going from cynic to pessimist really fast. And to play the different role this time was like, oh, okay, well, maybe there maybe there is some hope for me yet. But the pull request wasn't a big deal and looked at it and got it in and waiting for somebody to approve it, please. Hopefully it's approved by the time you're watching this on the 22nd of April. But the it just goes to show. Now let's come back to what we were talking about. Vendor X has this one hour Oh, see how bad this is? See how bad this is. And here's our magic. Go buy our magic. But what they don't know because that video was cut last week is that today, we released X version X of whatever it is that solves 99% of his whining.
Right now, we're not saying that we're not doing that today, please, that's not an announcement. But that's what I'm saying. You play that out, all of a sudden, he didn't know what the backlog was and what was being worked on, to make it a better product. Now, here's the problem with what's happened. People are still going to find that gentleman's videos. They're still going to listen to them, even though they are completely and utterly out of date right now. And they're still going to believe it. This is this is also also In the case of hey, well, I found a blog post from 2015. It must be true because it's on the internet. Right? It's the same problem. So if you as a consumer are taking in content and taking it to be gospel, to be infallible, you better have half a brain cell to validate it. Because at that point in time, the answer may have been true. Today, it may not have been true. It may have been resolved. So this is a mindset issue. This is a don't just believe everything you read on the internet. Don't believe everything you listen to in podcasts as you're listening to this podcast. But I am saying that you should think. You've got a brain. Use it. Wow. Where did that come from?
What's happening to you?
Well, okay, so what's different and if you're watching the video, we've done a couple videos before, I've actually set up a quote unquote studio. So I'm standing right now. So my energy level is a lot higher. Plus I didn't sleep last night so I'm a little frustrated or a little agitated I guess is the better because our call time this morning was 645 my time it was like I haven't during this whole coronavirus thing I've been sleeping in until about 6 but to have to get up at 6 was like, oh, but anyway, that doesn't matter. But I mean, that's that's me. That's what we're talking about. Right? You have to think and adapt to your circumstances. The Harness gentlemen may be completely true on all the points today or two weeks ago, but today it may not be true. So you as a consumer of that content have to validate the content given to you. If you have a complete and implicit trust in everything you hear, especially right now from the internet, rethink some priorities. I have lots of I have, let's put this way I'll put it political for a second. I'm gonna go political. I have lots of friends that are extremely, extremely conservative and extremely liberal. We've talked about this before, I lean more conservative. But I also have a half a brain cell. And I listen, because I can guarantee you I can find more things in common with somebody I disagree with on big things, than probably that we don't agree on. But that takes intentionality and it takes thought and it takes time. When you get sold Built when you get sold a product, they're selling you a product. I'm not trying to sell you a product. I'm trying to sell you right now on mindset. I'm trying to sell you to listen to our podcasts more and more so I can try to ramble like this more. That's Viktor's job again, he's the one to ramble. How did we switch today? I don't understand this because of your haircut today, Viktor in case you're listening, Viktor got a haircut at the time we're recording this, which is probably why it was none of us are gonna be getting haircuts for the next eight weeks.
This is what happens when you when you have a nine year old cutting your hair because there is nothing more interesting to do when you cannot go out of your home.
Okay, so I'm gonna stop. I'm gonna stop ranting right now. Oh, wait, go back. Go back, turn back. I got to see the back again. Stop. She did a good job. I like it. Okay. So if you're listening to this on the podcast, you're going to have to go to YouTube, and I'll put the link in the show notes down to YouTube. And I'll try to get you right to the point of Viktor's haircut. It's around. I don't know between 27 and 28 minutes just so when I'm editing I can find it. You got to see this haircut, she did a great job. And now we've devolved into talking about haircuts. haircuts are true, right? Cat Cat videos, dog videos and haircut videos. I think the haircut videos are going to become interesting over the next few like everybody needs bangs, right? No, nobody needs bangs.
So due to the lockdowns in most of the world and Corona so people are either going we're either going to adopt long hair as being standard, or more people will be like me soon.
that's probably it. Okay, so do you feel like you've you've vented enough because I think
Is there a solution to this?
There is. I mean those things will always exist, it'll always exist. And I mean, from my perspective, and now I'm not talking anymore as a person, but as a person who works for a software vendor is just kind of ignore it kind of, I will of course, tell you that feature X is, is great and so on and so forth. But I will continue applying my policy that you can ask me anything I will explain and give you always honest opinion about everything just never ask me about CICD tools.
Yep. Because we're, we're too biased. And it's just, and I think also, we don't want to slam that because we have a lot of friends and all those other companies too.
Right. And it's just like it's, I think, Okay, so, so let's find the common let's find the common item that all of us want. We want to eliminate all the humans from that part of the pipeline.
My problem. I'm not competing with Harness. My problem is that I want to get rid of humans. That's it that will solve the problem because if there are no humans to watch those videos then the problem is solved.
Well, since I'm on video, and I don't have it all memorized, I got to look at the screen still. I have too many screens now. But um yeah, it's it's a it's uh alright, I'm actually gonna add one more thing though then I'll do the close. Even when we have people tell us you suck. You suck. You suck. Don't believe the you suck. But listen and determine. Is there any grain of truth in this or are they just attacking Because even if there is a grain of truth that might be something to consider to resolve. Doesn't mean that you do. But it's like, oh, okay, sort of like this. Your frustration with the gentleman was slam slam slam slam, here's the magic. Bye.
The frustration was the very last few minutes. Here's the magic. Why? Because actually, most of the video of the many videos he did is one of the product I happen to work with. And actually I used that I went back to the team and say, Look, there is a lot of actually valid points there. There are there are a lot of things that we should improve and actually we're there are quite a few action items that we are having right now in the backlog based on that video. So I'm very grateful for it. I just didn't like the last two minutes, kind of like kind of I already have everything set up and working so it's magic but it was good. It uncovered a few problems. Few of them were false. Few of them were valid. That's great. It will be better next time. Make make the gentlemen I'm not gonna name make it again in three months.
Right, because that's what you have to do. You look at people that are again, we're getting into the streaming thing a little bit more. It's like you go back and look at how to build a YouTube studio for 2016 versus how to build a YouTube studio for 2020. It's going to be very different, because the technology is changed for a lot of things.
so just but but you but you reinforce my point. He did. There was a grain of truth.
that made you think. It's like, and you said, Okay, this one's valid. Where's my hand? This one's valid. This one's not valid. That's okay. That's good. It makes it it makes everybody better. And guess what? The boats keep rising everybody. Exactly. ends up getting better, and we could eliminate the humans faster. All right. All right. So if you're listening via Apple podcast you really missed a great video show on YouTube which link will be below if you're listening on Apple podcast please go ahead subscribe, leave a rating and review. Also, if you're if you're watching this on YouTube, go ahead and leave some comments give us some thumbs up please always give us thumbs up don't ever give us thumbs down because thumbs down makes us sad. Thumbs up good as I'm going into focus but all of our information including Twitter and LinkedIn can be found at https://www.devpsparadox.com/contact. And finally, if you'd like to be well, there's more than that, but a link the links to the Slack workspace if you want to see more conversations like this or be told when you are going to see a real live stream. Go to the Slack workspace. Join the general and podcast channels. And we'll post anytime we're doing a live stream. Now our pattern at the moment has been roughly pattern meaning one, so therefore it's a pattern. But we have one coming up at least by the time you're hearing this it's already happened on Fridays around 2pm Eastern. Now that's Eastern based on Eastern Daylight Time which is now the real time not the summertime or whatever it is. You've changed in fact you changed last week from the time we're recording this we're recording this on April 2. But hey, we're still locked in the house so what does it matter. You can get out so that's what I'm gonna do is like because we're recording this early in the morning for me so we finish up I'm going to save everything and go for my walk. It feel it almost feels like prison. I've never been in prison thankfully. But like we get our hour a day to go outside and walk because we have stay at home orders now.
Yeah, but you're allowed to go to walk. I'm we're not allowed. The only way I can go to walk is actually if I go to supermarket so. So whenever I need to stretch, I end up with the with few cases of beer. I'm not sure whether whether whether exercising.
you're gonna have great quads because that means you're carrying those boxes back like this. It's gonna be, so just what you have to do is you buy the you buy the two, what do you buy? 12 packs 24 packs? I don't know,
buy whatever there is.
Yeah. So you put them on your shoulder and then you can do walking lunges back and you can, you know, get your exercise in that way. But it's it's still a very surreal time. So if you're going in fact, I saw today that there was a gentleman I don't remember his name, but he was the Java posse podcast person I don't remember passed away from COVID. And if you're going through this, I have not been directly affected by it. My sister lives in Manhattan, and they're way beyond lockdown right now. So it's in New York and it's just I, I can't fathom. I live out in the country, so it's not a big deal. But we still have people that's like, Oh, well, I'll just go down to my friend's house and hang out. No, don't do that. Unless you've been isolated for 14 days and you haven't gone anywhere. Nobody that came into your house has been anywhere right? It's just it all it takes is one. I have to keep telling my mom this is like, Oh, yeah, I'll just run out to the store. I went mom, no. It's don't do it. And I can't even leave either because my wife is immunocompromised so I can't be exposed to anything potentially to bring it home. So I'm really locked in. Thankfully, I love my wife. A lot. 30 years that counts or something, huh? All right. You have anything else? Boy, I went off today. What's up with me?
Yeah, it's usually me speaking much more than you. You're going wild. That's good. That's good. I
hope hopefully, next week's episode will be sort of the plan that we had for this week's episode. But if not well, we'll keep going. But that's that's what we're hoping. Yeah. Right. Is that good enough? Are we done?
We're done baby
By the way, this was the 52nd episode. It doesn't mean anything. I think our first episode dropped in May, but we skipped one week. I don't even know when we really started. I have to look it up. But we've got over 50 episodes right now. That's pretty good. Yeah. Here's to another 52. At least another 52. Don't you bail on me.
The direction you're going, you're speaking more and more, so you will kick me out soon. So
if you've got any comments about this episode, go join up in the Slack workspace. Go to the podcast channel and tell us if we're right or if we're wrong. Because vendors can be a pain in the butt, we understand that.
No, I know we're right. We're always right.
We're always right. Unless until until we're not. Is that true?
No, that happens but then I deny that I said it
hopefully you can see we're poking fun even at ourselves. We don't even take ourselves too seriously. We like our job by the way anybody that's watching and listening we do like our job but it's sometimes it's the vendor game gets a little How should we say?
Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, I know. Can you can you? Can you ask me that again.
Sometimes the vendor game gets a little
sometimes the vendor game gets little [expletive] Oh, there I said it.
No, I can beep it. That's fine. Okay, here we go. You ready?
Sometimes. Sometimes, sometimes the vendor game gets a little
No, no, you know you I can censor myself I can. I can say, you, idiot. You are piece of. I can get back to being myself.
Yeah, but what you were saying there is you're a wonderful idiot. You're a piece of lovely human being. Okay.
If it makes you feel better, that's exactly what I'm saying. Yes.
And with that, let's go ahead and wrap it up because if you're still listening, I am so sorry. But we're still experimenting too. Thanks for listening to episode number 52 of DevOps Paradox.