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25 IT Ops pros and experts to follow on Twitter

John P. Mello Jr. Freelance writer
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Want to get the lowdown on the real, in-the-trenches world of IT operations? Here are 25 operations experts and leaders—in alphabetic order—whose Twitter feeds can keep you in the know.

Marco Abis

Founder, HighOps

Over his career, Abis has established, grown, shaped, and reshaped IT companies, both big and small, that do business both locally and globally. He's held a variety of roles, including founder, CTO, CEO, and managing director. He founded HighOps, which blends operability-minded developers and ops pros who can provide professional and managed services for the full IT stack.

David Bartlett

CTO, GE Aviation

Bartlett tweets about the #IndustrialInternet and the #IoT, as well as about smart cities. He believes 2016 was a turning point for the Internet of Things, from its experimental phase to its production phase.

Ed Blankenship

Product manager, Microsoft

Blankenship is the product manager for Microsoft's DevOps family of products, including TFS, VS Team Services, Azure, HockeyApp, and Application Insights. He has been a developer, has worked in Ops, and has been a release manager, ALM consultant, engineering manager, and now product manager. Before joining Microsoft, Blankenship was honored as a Microsoft MVP for five years. He is the author of three books.

Pete Cheslock

Senior director of Ops and Support, Threat Stack

Cheslock likes improving companies' organizational structures and providing insight into building and growing autonomous, high-functioning, high-performing technical teams, and is excited about automation, monitoring, and metrics. He's also passionate about anything related to automation, SOA, infrastructure as code, and scaling distributed applications.

Ross Clanton

Director/fellow, technology transformation, Verizon

Clanton is currently leading the technology transformation strategy at Verizon by fostering a DevOps/engineering culture focused on building and connecting community across business units. He's passionate about engineering culture, mindset, and practices and has been an active leader in the engineering community to help influence industry-wide transformation of how technology is leveraged to drive competitive advantage.

Adrian Cockcroft

Vice president of cloud architecture strategy, Amazon Web Services

Cockcroft recently left Battery Ventures to join Amazon Web Services as vice president of cloud architecture strategy. Previously, he was cloud architect and director of web engineering at Netflix and a distinguished engineer at eBay and Sun Microsystems.

Cornelia Davis

Senior director of technology, Pivotal

Davis helps customers develop and execute on their cloud platform strategies. Responsible for guiding clients on the technical elements of broader transformation, she helps development teams, operations teams, and IT executives understand and adopt new systems, platforms, and processes. Davis helps enterprises shift from a mindset where IT is a necessary evil to being software-driven businesses with IT at the core.

Damon Edwards

Co-founder and chief product officer, Rundeck

Edwards says DevOps, IT operations, and improving how businesses operate are his thing. He co-founded Rundeck, which makes an IT automation platform designed to bring simplicity, agility, visibility, and control to enterprise business processes. Prior to that, he was a founder and managing partner at DTO Solutions, a consulting group that helps root out bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and unreliability across the application lifecycle.

Nicole Forsgren

CEO and chief Scientist, DevOps Research and Assessments

As an expert in using metrics to make software better, Forsgren says she likes to "rub science on things." She's been named a Top 10 Thought Leader in DevOps, a Top 100 Leader, and a Top 20 Most Influential Woman in DevOps. A self-styled IT impacts expert, she sees her role as someone who can show leaders and tech professionals how to unlock the potential of technology change. When she feels strongly about a subject, she doesn't pull her punches, and her tweets reflect that attitude.

J. Wolfgang Goerlich

Vice president of strategic programs, Creative Breakthroughs

Goerlich uses his background in systems engineering, software development, and information security to act as a cultural change agent, drive security initiatives, and raise security postures. His specialties include secure development lifecycle management, continuity planning, and disaster recovery.

Jez Humble

Founder and CTO, DevOps Research and Assessment

Humble is a co-author of the Jolt Award-winning Continuous Delivery, Lean Enterprise and the DevOps Handbook. He says he's spent his career tinkering with code, infrastructure, product development, and consulting in companies of varying sizes across three continents. Most recently, he worked for the US government at 18F and is currently researching how to build high-performing teams at his startup, DevOps Research and Assessment, as well as teaching at UC Berkeley.

Kaimar Karu

Head of product strategy and development, Axelos

Karu has a diverse background in IT. He's worked in operations, software development, project and program management, and service management. He has a passion for helping people learn and improve, and has worked as a teacher, trainer, and coach in schools, universities, and professional training organizations across Europe.


Nigel Kersten

Chief technical strategist, Puppet

Kersten came to Puppet from Google, where he was responsible for the design and implementation of one of the largest Puppet deployments in the world. At Puppet, he's had a variety of roles, including head of product, CTO, CIO, and now chief technology strategist. He has been deeply involved in Puppet’s DevOps initiatives, and regularly speaks around the world about the adoption of DevOps in the enterprise and the transformation of IT organizations. He likes to pepper his Twitter feed with whimsy such as, "Scanning blank pages of passports feels like it should be a metaphor for something."

Jonah Kowall

VP for market development and insights, AppDynamics

Kowall has a long history in computing that extends back to the 1990s, when he co-founded one of the first content filtering companies. He spent 15 years as a practitioner and manager focusing on infrastructure and operations in both startups and large enterprises and was at Gartner before joining AppDynamics, where he looks to innovate, design, and implement secure and best-of-breed systems and architectures.

Jochen Lillich

Founder and managing director, freistil IT

Lillich describes himself as an IT operations black belt and tech geek. He founded freistil IT, which hosts high-performance websites on WordPress and Drupal. He has extensive experience managing big IT infrastructures and business-critical applications. He's a former IT manager at the German Internet portal and 1&1, one of the world's biggest web hosting providers.

Charity Majors

Engineer and CEO, Honeycomb

Majors likes whiskey, rainbows, and systems engineering—a combination that makes for a lively Twitter feed. She also loves building products that developers are passionate about and that can materially improve people's lives, as well as building strong teams and the kind of vibrant culture that makes people happy to come to work.

Ross Mauri

General manager, z Systems, IBM

In his more than 30 years with IBM, Mauri has held technical and management roles in a variety of areas, including design development, quality assurance, and marketing. He has extensive experience in IBM's mainframe business, as well as its server and storage platforms. His tweets reflect his varied experience and interests.

Heather Mickman

Vice president, Enterprise Services + Platform, United Health Group

Building high-performance teams and driving a culture of innovation are among Mickman's passions. During her career, she's consulted to Fortune 50 companies on supply chain issues, implementing warehouse automation technologies, and running large Ops and support organizations. After working at Target for more than 10 years, she recently became a vice president for enterprise services at the UnitedHealth Group in Minneapolis. 

Matt Oswalt

Software engineer and blogger

Oswalt says he realized that a technology-oriented field was in his destiny when he wrote his first Windows batch script as a kid. He enjoys learning about and operating all types of networks, but lately his focus has been on the data center. He's usually at his happiest sitting in a room with a virtualization guy and a traditional networking guy and mediating a technical conversation to get stuff done.

Mayank Prakash

Chief digital and information officer, UK Department for Work and Pensions

Before entering government service, Prakash had extensive experience in the private sector at HP, Avaya, and Morgan Stanley. He's credited with turning around one of the government's largest IT operations and transforming it into a lean digital delivery machine. Computer Weekly named him the fifth most influential person in UK IT in 2015.

Harper Reed


Reed likes to build paradigm-shifting tech and leads others to do the same. He loves using the enormity of the Internet to bring people together, whether as CTO of Obama for America, CTO at, or on his own projects. With his team, he created Dashboard, a site that connects volunteer teams and acts as an online component of the field office.

Jonathan Reichental

CIO, City of Palo Alto, California

Named one of the 20 most influential CIOs in the United States in 2016, Reichental describes himself as a technophile focused on urban innovation and improving how cities function.

Andy Rhodes

VP and general manager of IoT Commercial Solutions, Dell

Rhodes tweets about what the Internet of Things means to business operations now and in the future. The IoT isn't just another buzzword, he says, but the future of doing business. Any business that wants to be successful in the new world of IoT has to bridge the gap between existing information technology and operations technology platforms. The first 20 years of the Internet were about people and applications interacting in cyberspace, he notes, and the next 20 years is going to be about things interacting with the Internet.

Randy Shoup

VP of engineering, Stitch Fix

Shoup describes himself as a "serial expert." Over the years, he's moved from databases and analytics platforms to security software, to e-commerce and search, and more recently to cloud infrastructure. A common thread throughout those moves has been his interest in working on highly scalable, highly available, multi-tenant distributed systems serving hundreds of millions of users.

Omer Trajman

CEO, Rocana

Trajman has spent the past 15 years on the front lines, responsible for some of today's largest modern database management system deployments and working at the intersection of big data and IT operations.

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