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Topic Facets: Why Security Matters in Release Automation

March 29, 2018 - Influencer marketing, Practitioner Marketing - ,
By: Turner Sblendorio, Chris Riley, Yolanda Fintschenko

When we ask our customers the greatest challenge they face in their content marketing, they consistently come back to us with the same answer: developing topics for their blogs and longer-form marketing assets. While it is certainly possible to create your own topic strategy, normally, part of our partnership with our customers involves helping them generate a topic for each piece of practitioner-written content we deliver to them. We write this series to help our customers and marketing managers look under the hood to discover how we develop topics. Examined here is Release Automation conversation, and the outsized impact of security as a topic within that conversation, and the attributes of the practitioner you need to cover these topics.

Our last conversation analysis covered log analytics. Today’s topic facet is yet another part of the DevOps continuum—release automation.  Release automation is the technical tool that actualizes the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) principle that underpins the DevOps movement. Release automation refers to the packaging and deploying of code from development, across various environments, to production.

Our approach to determining topics within this conversation begins and ends with a share of voice (SoV) calculation, which ultimately gives us an idea of a vendor’s share of this conversation (SoC). Our share of voice methodology is described in some detail in a variety of places, but here is a quick summary:

Share of Conversation (or Conversation Share of Voice) is the percentage of any specific conversation you own. Conversation Share of Voice is more precise because it looks at specific conversations within a market versus focusing only on global SoV compared to competitors. While it’s interesting to know how your brand or product is doing in the world of all products, you can make the greatest impact by going local with specific topic areas.

The Re:each Share of Conversation Calculation for Continuous Integration

Fixate’s Re:each platform has algorithms which derive conversation share of voice across traditional and social media. The phases of calculation are data collection, normalization, and interpretation. We can’t give you the secret sauce, but we can give you an idea of how we do it.

Core Calculations

  1. Identify your place: Identify specific keywords and concepts associated with your brand and product based on those concepts that appear the most in all conversations you participate in.
  2. Determine your conversations: From there, the concepts are applied across a body of sources in order to identify the three conversations which are most relevant to you. For each vendor, there are three types of conversations identified:
  • Market
  • Demand Gen
  • Mindshare/Thought Leadership
  1. Find your competition: Competition is derived by identifying the top 4-9 vendors in each conversation based on their SoV in those conversations.
  2. Determining relevant topics: Topic suggestions are derived from entity/concept extraction of content that was most prevalent in each conversation selected over the set period of time. Those concepts that had the greatest reach in that conversation are weighted and end up as the core elements of a suggestion.

Data is collected from traditional social media sources as well as trusted media sources for each broad market. Weight is put on content based on the source it came from using a proprietary algorithm. Currently, calculations are done at the end of each month for the entire month’s worth of data.

Domain Expertise

The machine learning used in SoV is human-supervised (Human-In-The-Loop). SoV calculations can be fully automated; however, topic suggestions are subject to language challenges, and domain expertise based on raw data collection. Domain experts validate SoV calculations, and reformulate raw entity extraction on top-performing content in each conversation to build coherent topic suggestions.

Results that Influenced Topic Selection for CI/CD (Feb 2018)

Highest-Impact Industry News

Here are the headlines that are defining the topics gaining the largest share of conversation in release automation:

On the traditional media side, one of the biggest splashes for the month of February 2018 came from an acquisition (CloudBees, the organization that is run by the creators of Jenkins, purchased another major player, CodeShip). In addition, an exposure in the Jenkins servers was revealed. It was reported earlier in the month that roughly three million in the cryptocurrency Monero was stolen via the Jenkins servers.


Due to the fact that two of the biggest CI tools (Jenkins and Travis) are open source and free, the top social (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) posts are tutorials discussing best practices.

Microsoft Developer Facebook Group – 2 million followers

AMazon Web Services Cloud Twitter Account

Visual Studio Twitter Account

Practitioner Profile

This particular conversation combines multiple disciplines, which means that the practitioner who can write about it needs to have a modern and holistic point of view of application development practices. This will likely be found in a DevOps engineer, or Site Reliability Engineer who supports modern applications. While they are unlikely to address the specific news above, they will talk about how security flaws in release automation can impact an organization’s ability to deliver applications and protect their assets.

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