It has been 10 years since Marc Andreessen wrote that seminal article in WSJ, titled “Why Software is Eating the World.” His observations have proven to be uncannily astute and the software Juggernaut is still rolling, generating trillions of dollars in new wealth. “If software is eating the world, then how does one make software?”, you may ask. Let me explain.
The world of software engineering has been rapidly evolving, moving from an artisanal “hand-made” mode that was the norm 20 years ago, to a highly automated “continuous delivery” mode today. While traditional old-world companies still labor through quarterly software releases, the best-in-class players now release software every hour of every day. They operate with what the software industry calls as a “CI/CD Pipeline”. The CI stands for Continuous Integration, where the developers check-in new code any time of their day or night, and the source-code control system continuously absorbs this new code, performs a variety of validation steps and creates the machine-operable binaries. The CD stands for “Continuous Delivery”, where the binaries are deployed into the various testing environments to ensure software quality and finally to the production environment when the software is deemed ready for release.
The CI/CD pipeline is implemented using a variety of software tools and you may have heard of a few – such as Jira work management tool from Atlassian (Ticker: TEAM), Chef Configuration Management tool from Progress (Ticker:PRGS), or even IBM, which owns Redhat and its Ansible tool and MSFT, which owns Github. Plenty of options here, and I narrowed down a few of them: TEAM, IBM, PRGS, FROG, MSFT
Analyzing the Alternatives -Qualitative Factors:
If you look at at key quantitative factors, IBM, MSFT, and PRGS appear “old world”, and even pay a dividend. TEAM & FROG are the new players challenging the status-quo. While TEAM (Atlassian) products are used in the early stages of CI/CD pipeline, FROG (JFrog) tools seem to be more promising in their coverage of capabilities throughout the pipeline.
Verdict: FROG by a leap (of faith!)
ACTION: Dip your toe into the DevOps pond, and buy FROG
Portfolio as of March 31, 2021:
|TICKER||# OF SHARES||VALUE|
|PFE||27 @ 36.60||$988|
|EPD||30 @ 23||$690|
|FROG||25 @ $46||$1150|