Today we have the pleasure of interviewing one of Deveo’s enthusiastic users from Brazil, a computer engineer Arthur Casals, who is a Distributed AI PhD student at Universidade de São Paulo.
First things first, can you tell a bit more about yourself and your background, Arthur?
I’m a computer engineer with experience in different markets, such as oil and gas, financial, and education. I hold a BSc degree from Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica and an MBA from Insper, both in Brazil. Currently, as was pointed out, I am working at Universidade de São Paulo as a PhD student on Distributed AI, and developing projects with different partners (other universities/industry). On these courses an effective collaboration platform is a necessity.
How did you find out about Deveo?
I found about Deveo while looking for an alternative to GitHub and GitLab - and I must say I'm impressed. I've been in the IT industry for 20+ years, and it's really rare to find a product that matches both the industry and the developer's perspective - especially when the developer's perspective is usually bound to the open-source community.
What was the main reason you started looking for alternatives to GitHub and GitLab?
I've had a problem for some time now - managing multiple repositories bound to a single project. This is easily fixable from within a company, where you have the budget to buy what you need, but it becomes harder to solve when you are in a university, for example. I have both perspectives since I'm a researcher - and when I compare the academy with my time in the industry, it's easy to spot room for improvement when the subject is "management".
What made you choose Deveo?
First of all, Deveo solved my main problem. It's very common to have different students working on different modules of a project - when the project is modularized, of course. Having different repositories within a single project makes it easier to track progress and changes. Because not all tech teachers are tech-savvy, compartmentalizing is usually helpful. Since Deveo doesn’t limit the number or repositories inside a project, or the number of projects in their free plan, it was a no-brainer to start using it. In addition, the interface is great - I found it very intuitive - and the abundance of hooks surprised me.
Another common issue in academic projects is related to multi-areas or multi-laboratories cooperation. Project modules can be shared with a different group. For example, a student working in module A should be able to ask for help from, e.g., Lab1 from another university, or sharing the code with them, while a student working in module B can do the same with another lab or university.
In Deveo, it is really nice to be able to invite different people to different repositories, and the groups feature is extremely useful in this. A slight downside is having to create a new user for every new collaborator. You know - developers like using their Github account for everything else!
Do you have any suggestions on how to improve Deveo?
Even with the Jenkins hook, I still miss an integrated CI - like Travis for Github or GitLab CI - I don't know if it's a feature on the roadmap or not, but this is would be something really useful.
That’s a good suggestion. Currently, we are developing support for different repository types for storing also other software assets, such as Maven repositories, Docker images, and other artefacts. How does this sound to you?
That is actually good to know! There are not many integrated solutions ready to use (not requiring on-premises deployment) for that out there, and despite the Central repository being excellent we sometimes prefer using a private repository for tests or things that are really not meant to go public. I'm really glad to hear about that.
Thank you for the interview, Arthur! Do you have any closing comments, you’d like to give?
I’ve pretty much covered everything. Thanks for your hard work. The platform is really great!