AutoRABIT Makes Andrew Davis Chief Product Officer
AutoRABIT, a leading Salesforce devops platform vendor based in Pleasanton, California, announced today that industry thought leader Andrew Davis was named AutoRABIT Chief Product Officer. “Andrew is considered by many to be the world’s leading authority on devops for Salesforce, so it is a tremendous compliment to AutoRABIT’s continuous improvement and growth that such a sought-after authority has chosen AutoRABIT,” said Meredith Bell, AutoRABIT’s CEO.
Davis is best known as the author of the book Mastering Salesforce DevOps and was previously at Copado and Appirio (Wipro). His jump to AutoRABIT is certain to raise eyebrows in this part of the Salesforce ecosystem.
I enjoyed the time I’ve spent with Davis over the last few years as we analyzed the evolution of Salesforce devops. As you may know already, Davis trained extensively in Buddhist meditation, and those teachings permeate his thinking.
In an exclusive interview with SalesforceDevops.net, Davis explained his motivation for the change and his vision for transforming the Salesforce devops space.
The Disillusioned Devops Expert
Davis first confided that he had grown disillusioned with the way Salesforce devops had unfolded. “The Salesforce devops industry has been growing dramatically, with capital and attention flowing in to address the challenges faced by development teams. It’s great that this has gotten attention, but much of that attention is just hype without the level of care required to realize the benefits.
“Vendors slip into the attitude that they don’t need to deeply understand or care about the challenges of development teams, they just need to convince prospects to buy tools. Investors don’t care as long as there is revenue growth. And a lot of individuals just rebrand what they were previously doing as ‘devops’ without significantly changing the way they approach their work.
“Everyone’s feeling pressure, but that gets translated as fear rather than curiosity. That fear inhibits our ability to learn and care. When that’s happening, vendors aren’t really focused on their customers or users, and workers are missing an opportunity to serve the long-term needs of their companies, customers, and team.”
“Selling tools is not enough.” According to Davis, “most companies are still operating based on antiquated industrial-era principles that restrict natural intelligence and human potential.”
He admitted he was close to quitting the industry altogether before AutoRABIT approached him. “I was going to quit the whole field. I was enabling the hype without enabling much real benefit,” Davis revealed.
The AutoRABIT Difference
However, Davis says AutoRABIT stood out for their systematic focus on Lean principles which aim to push problem solving and intelligence to every level of the organization. Over the past two years, AutoRABIT has apparently rebuilt their entire company operations around concepts like removing waste, optimizing flow, empowering people, and delivering value to customers.
“It is clear to me that AutoRABIT is wiring a winning organization,” Davis commented. “I’m honored to have a chance to guide AutoRABIT’s product team to address the long-term needs of Salesforce developers.”
Caring About Developers
A key part of Davis’ disillusionment stems from the fact that many devops tools today are not designed thoughtfully and end up causing excessive errors and waste. “I think 90% of most developers’ time is wasted. Development is already hard. Existing tools aren’t helping that much, and they often introduce more complexity, leading to errors and delay,” Davis asserted. “If you have a vendor that really cares, they can help solve problems for the whole industry.”
Davis believes the industry needs to shift to be more focused on understanding and solving problems from the bottom up. Product companies that truly care about their customers will invest more in enabling development to be safe and effective.
Guiding the Industry
As CPO at AutoRABIT, Davis now sees an opportunity to guide the Salesforce devops space in a new direction. He hopes to inspire more focus on culture change, problem solving, and principles – rather than just exploiting the market or rebranding old practices.
“The rising tide of Salesforce is part of a much bigger migration onto low code platforms,” Davis commented. “The challenge is coordinating such large-scale development by non-professional developers.”
Davis believes that as the challenges of Salesforce development teams become more advanced, toolmakers must match that sophistication. This requires organizations built from the ground up on continuous improvement and respect for people.
The AutoRABIT Way
AutoRABIT was founded in 2015 as one of the first movers in the Salesforce release management space. Over 400 customers globally use AutoRABIT to increase deployment velocity and deliver value faster.
The company has dedicated itself to Lean thinking by structuring workflows to remove waste and put customers first. AutoRABIT also embraces key Lean principles like humility, transparency, experimentation, and respect for people.
Clearly this philosophical alignment was a key factor in attracting someone of Davis’ caliber and reputation. The hire signals that AutoRABIT intends to double down on its Lean approach even as hype around AI and automation runs high. With Davis as CPO, they now have a visionary leader who can evolve products while preserving the human-centric ethos.
Implications for the Industry
Davis’ move is the strongest indication yet of an ongoing identity crisis within the Salesforce industry. His searing indictment of overly commercial motivations rings true for an industry governed by financial metrics rather than solving the problems that persist in the platform and ecosystem.
However, the fact that a thought leader of Davis’ stature has joined AutoRABIT lends credibility to the argument that principles matter more than profits. This could spur a recalibration across the category, with more companies examining their motivations and making sure they walk the talk.
Ultimately, if tools are designed more thoughtfully with users’ interests in mind, everyone stands to benefit. Davis’ passion could catalyze a movement that reshapes the entire Salesforce ecosystem. As AI generates hype and disruption, AutoRABIT’s new CPO offers a steady hand rooted in timeless wisdom – wisdom that may now influence the rest of the Salesforce world.