Top 100 Quotes from Cloud Foundry Summit Silicon Valley 2017

The community continues to thrive as more and more developers and end-users are adopting the industry-leading PaaS.

Cloud Foundry Summit 2017 saw significant growth from last year—with 51,000+ commits, 64 Foundation members, and 70,000+ people active in user organizations around the world. Similar to last year, conference speakers were very eager to share their experience with the community. Here’s the list of the most insightful quotations—in our opinion, of course.


Building tomorrow’s apps faster

  1. “The goal of any platform is to give developers the freedom to create, the freedom to take an idea and get it into production as quickly as possible.” —Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  2. “One of the things that I’m a fan of about Cloud Foundry is that I can do experiments, see what works with each platform, and figure out if it works before I set my team on it.” —Jessica Criscione, Ogilvy & Mather
  3. “It’s not about preserving what you have and not exposing it to any risk, it’s about agility, moving fast. This is about changing things quickly, testing it, validating it, and fixing and adapting until it works exactly the right way.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  4. “Agility is when you start ideation early on, time to market is of the essence, and where you then want to quickly innovate to come up a minimum viable product. We figured that Cloud Foundry is actually the ideal basis to realize that environment.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  5. “We’re releasing updates to the software we have on the cloud—functions, improvements—every two weeks on a global scale.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  6. “It used to take a year to two years to develop something. We generally turn stuff around in 3–4 months now.” —Olu Brown, MIT
  7. “It took us 15 months to build our old mobile app. We did the new one in 14 weeks. We learned to work in a new way.” —Mark Ardito, HCSC
  8. “We’re looking for efficiency in any way that we can, and Cloud Foundry is a key to that.” —Jessica Criscione, Ogilvy & Mather
  9. “We have to focus as developers and as platform builders that we enable the next generation of applications, so we can help our customers to innovate quickly.” —Johan den Haan, Mendix
  10. “We are not focused on building yesterday’s apps faster; we’re focused on building tomorrow’s apps faster.” —Johan den Haan, Mendix

cloud-foundry-summit-2017-johan-den-haan-mendix-v11Johan den Haan, Mendix


Digital transformation

  1. “Digitalization means every company becomes a software-driven company by intelligently connecting people, things, and businesses.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  2. “Digital economy is real. It’s happening. It’s changing the world.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  3. “Five years ago, if you told me I would be doing all my banking on my mobile phone, I would have laughed. Today, I do 100% of my banking on my phone.” —Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  4. “We knew we had to become a software company that sells insurance to survive in today’s competitive world.” —Mojgan Lefebvre, Liberty Mutual Insurance
  5. “Now we’re down to being a cloud company and delivering in quarterly release cycles.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  6. “In a world where we can’t predict the future and new competitors can come from many directions, we will win by being able to embrace change and reconfigure our priorities in real time.” —Mojgan Lefebvre, Liberty Mutual Insurance
  7. “Transformational change with the business isn’t just about what we’re building. It’s much more fundamental in terms of how your organization is leveraging technology to meet your needs.” —Beth Ann Bergsmark, Georgetown University
  8. “It used to take 3–4 months for us to deploy any new feature into production. With continuous integration, we started deploying in 15 days, sometimes even less.” —Uma Tumala, Comcast
  9. “We are able to build a product in the amount of time it used to take to estimate and decide.” —Opal Perry, Allstate
  10. “When I see developers deploying applications in a fraction of the time—getting started in minutes instead of days and taking months off delivery—it’s proof that transformation is taking place.” —Tomasz Kosturek, Swiss Re

cloud-foundry-summit-2017-Mojgan-Lefebvre-Liberty-Mutual-InsuranceMojgan Lefebvre, Liberty Mutual Insurance


Developers first

  1. “Today, developers for a whole variety of reasons have been empowered in ways we’ve never seen before.” —Stephen O’Grady, Redmonk
  2. “Developers are the heroes of the story. Each and everyone of you that are leading the change in your organization.” —Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  3. “Our developers are starting to shift their mindset to not just coding the spec but the overall customer experience.” —Beth Ann Bergsmark, Georgetown University
  4. “Cloud Foundry is about making sure we move from an infrastructure-centric world to an application-centric world.” —Johan den Haan, Mendix
  5. “Cloud Foundry is our abstraction layer to allow developers to focus on where they deliver value, and that’s writing code.” —Brian Gregory, Express Scripts
  6. “Cloud Foundry is all about abstraction and automation.” —Johan den Haan, Mendix
  7. “Cloud Foundry is a platform where DevOps was considered right from the start, which allows you to get away from classical IT implementation cycles, and you can choose where to run the solution.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  8. “Low-code is all about abstracting from lower-level programming and making sure that you can use visual models to build your applications.” —Johan den Haan, Mendix
  9. “My personal mission is to transform how the world operates software.” —Andrew Clay Shafer, Pivotal
  10. “Cloud Foundry is a solution built from the ground up with microservices in mind, so you can make changes without bringing the whole system down.” —Björn Goerke, SAP

cloud-foundry-summit-2017-beth-ann-bergsmark-georgetown-university-v11Beth Ann Bergsmark, Georgetown University



  1. “Diverse minds lead the way for real innovation. Diversity means a lot to me, the Foundation, and the community.” —Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  2. “When you’re designing things, you have to think of everyone who will use it, not just the usual use case.” —Dr. Kyla McMullen, University of Florida
  3. “If you lower the barrier of how you build applications, you’re democratizing application development.” —Johan den Haan, Mendix
  4. “When creating software for a variety of people, make sure you involve a variety of people in the design and implementation phases.” —Dr. Kyla McMullen, University of Florida
  5. “Inclusive design. We need to design that think about everybody.” —Dr. Kyla McMullen, University of Florida
  6. “Inclusion for one group does not mean exclusion for another…(There is still) a lack of baby changing stations in the men’s restroom.” —Dr. Kyla McMullen, University of Florida
  7. “Imagine interaction from the perspective of someone much different than you.” —Dr. Kyla McMullen, University of Florida
  8. “Avoid bias in algorithms…Diversify the data you train apps on, so it’s inclusive of everyone. Be sure you’re training on a wide spectrum of data points.” —Dr. Kyla McMullen, University of Florida
  9. “Get rid of any interaction techniques that make generalized assumptions about the user (gender, size, experience, etc.).” —Dr. Kyla McMullen, University of Florida
  10. “Grow this community. Each and everyone of you are immensely important to me and I would love to make sure that everyone has a seat at the table.” —Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry Foundation

cloud-foundry-summit-2017-panelists-olu-brown-jonathan-foucheaux-beth-ann-bergsmark-johan-den-haan-v11Michael Vizard (IT Business Edge), Beth Ann Bergsmark (Georgetown University),
Jonathan Foucheaux (Solomon Group), Olu Brown (MIT), and Johan den Haan (Mendix)



  1. “Help champion adoption in your organizations and let’s really lean in to make Cloud Foundry the best platform possible.” —Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  2. “Development teams that normally wouldn’t talk to each other are now all collaborating on a real-time basis.” —Greg Otto, Comcast
  3. “It’s about people—user experience, collaboration, mobile, and customer experience.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  4. “The level of interaction that we have now in using these local environments allows everyone to participate. We’re much more in touch with our clients.” —Olu Brown, MIT
  5. “This whole transformational technology industry is a chance for a do over with your relationships and the dialogues that you’re having with your business stakeholders.” —Beth Ann Bergsmark, Georgetown University
  6. “It’s the insight from the end-user that allows the creativeness inside the development teams to actually result to the kind of things we’ve been able to achieve.” —John Roese, Dell EMC
  7. “What we found in the low-code environment was the ability for reuse and repeatability.” —Beth Ann Bergsmark, Georgetown University
  8. “The reason why we’re really happy with Cloud Foundry is the standardization of our deployment.” —Johan den Haan, Mendix
  9. “The advantage of standardizing on Cloud Foundry is not just about technology or abstracting away the infrastructure, it’s the expertise of the team.” —Eric Johnson, Google
  10. “We gave our people the freedom to disrupt.” —Opal Perry, Allstate

cloud-foundry-summit-2017-dr-nic-williams-stark-wayneDr. Nic Williams, Stark & Wayne


Openness and interoperability

  1. “The best thing about Cloud Foundry is open source.” —Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  2. “Open source provides the necessary speed and innovation that’s driving the platform and your capabilities.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  3. “Open source is the opportunity to bring together diverse minds to do real innovation. Bringing diverse people together to solve hard problems.” —Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  4. “We don’t want a single enterprise solution. We want replaceable components.” —Greg Otto, Comcast
  5. “Cloud Foundry is IaaS-neutral, so you can choose where to run the solution.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  6. “The Open Service Broker API project to me represents all that is amazing about open source.” —Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  7. “Open Service Broker API allows Microsoft, Google, and Fujitsu to describe their cloud services in a way that can be consumed by other platforms whether that’s Cloud Foundry, Kubernetes, or any other platform.” —Chip Childers, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  8. “We took the Cloud Foundry Open Service Broker API and allowed other platforms to take advantage of that amazing technology to allow them to participate to continue to drive innovation on that technology making it the best possible way to connect services to a platform, any platform.” —Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  9. “The Open Service Broker API initiative was designed to open up and free the services, so that we could have a much more fluid service marketplace.” —Chip Childers, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  10. “Open source has won in the enterprise, but consumption is not enough to contribute influence.” —Bernd Krannich, SAP

CF Summit Silicon Valley 2017 Olu BrownOlu Brown, MIT


Cloud-native and multi-cloud

  1. “Multi-cloud is about customer choice.” —Eric Johnson, Google
  2. “The best thing you can do to take advantage of multi-cloud is to use something like Cloud Foundry.” —Eric Johnson, Google
  3. “Cloud Foundry is a great way to abstract a lot of the differences from cloud providers.” —Eric Johnson, Google
  4. “BOSH is the multi-cloud story for Cloud Foundry.” —Chip Childers, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  5. “What deploys your platform? It turns out BOSH is the correct answer for that.” —Chip Childers, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  6. “Multi-cloud means different things to different people. Cloud Foundry is a wonderful mechanism to make that happen.” —KY Srinivasan, Microsoft
  7. “We believe in clouds, not cloud.” —Bryn Worgan, JPMorgan Chase
  8. “We want our developers to have a choice of where they want to run.” —Bryn Worgan, JPMorgan Chase
  9. “Cloud Foundry—by and large—is probably the most adopted and used in real-world scenarios cloud-native architecture in the world.” —John Roese, Dell EMC
  10. “Cloud Foundry is a leading cloud-native architecture. We’re doing real things that have real meaning.” —John Roese, Dell EMC

cloud-foundry-summit-2017-Bryn-Worgan-JPMorgan-ChaseBryn Worgan, JPMorgan Chase


Ongoing challenges

  1. “Recognize that this project—just like any other—is going to expand. There are going to be new demands and architectures.” —John Roese, Dell EMC
  2. “People are still using microservices with a monolith mindset.” —Jim Shingler, Cardinal Health
  3. “The biggest lie you can tell yourself is that public cloud is a cost reduction.” —Chip Childers, Cloud Foundry Foundation
  4. “We live in an age of choice. We live in a world where you have a huge array of options that you can make for every project that you implement.” —Stephen O’Grady, Redmonk
  5. “The choices that you have are not only wide, but they are accelerating wider and faster.” —Stephen O’Grady, Redmonk
  6. “Now, you have all kinds of choices. New software is arriving everyday from every corner…(However) choice does not come without a cost.” —Stephen O’Grady, Redmonk
  7. “It’s not necessarily technology, but people who make it different and difficult to change.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  8. “Computers are hard, people are harder.” —Bridget Kromhout, Pivotal
  9. “It’s not just about writing a one time check, it’s ongoing support and walking the talk.” —Opal Perry, Allstate
  10. ‘Enterprise-ready’ requires security, integrated services, scalability, and a great developer experience.” —Chip Childers, Cloud Foundry Foundation

cloud-foundry-summit-2017-Bridget-Kromhout-PivotalBridget Kromhout, Pivotal


Funny and casual

  1. “Business people don’t distinguish between developer and IT. They pretty much hate you both.” —Michael Vizard, IT Business Edge
  2. “If Tetris has taught me anything, it’s that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.” —Andrew Clay Shafer, Pivotal
  3. “Looking at current times, where we are, and what’s happening around the globe of national small mindedness, I think it’s time that we need more Trekkies.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  4. “Kubernetes manages containers, BOSH manages VMs…It’s turtles all the way down.” —Sarah Novotny, Google
  5. “We made a cognitive dress for a Met Gala last year. Ironically, Mobile World Congress had horrible Wi-Fi.” —Jessica Criscione, Ogilvy & Mather
  6. “(Cubicle farms) are like mushrooms. They keep us in the dark and feed us a lot of crap.” —Opal Perry, Allstate
  7. “The problem isn’t technical. The problem isn’t people. The problem is socio-technical.” —Andrew Clay Shafer, Pivotal
  8. “Everyone assumes there are backups until disaster stikes. ‘Daily backups’ is code for ’23 hours of data loss’.” —Dr. Nic Williams, Stark & Wayne
  9. “We’re in the Cambrian explosion of software…Too much choice becomes a burden.” —Stephen O’Grady, Redmonk
  10. “Lure them in with promises of faster deployments, then hammer them with 12 Factor.” —Josh Stone, Verizon

cloud-foundry-summit-2017-opal-perry-AllstateOpal Perry, Allstate


Tips and wisdom

  1. “If all you have is a collection of people building the technology and you don’t have an ecosystem of people using it, then you probably will fail.” —John Roese, Dell EMC
  2. “You can’t just sit and wait until you get wiped out. You need to get going. You need to do something.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  3. “No piece of technology that you’re going to use is going to solve all your problems. You have to think about what you’re trying to accomplish and how much of that can be accommodated by the piece of software that you’re using.” —Stephen O’Grady, Redmonk
  4. “Your competitive advantage is your talent and how you enable it, not in ones and zeros.” —Anthony McCulley, The Home Depot
  5. “I don’t think you can solve IoT without a cloud-native paradigm.” —John Roese, Dell EMC
  6. “Security needs to be a product delivery organization.” —Nathan Gibson, Allstate
  7. “Stay in the front end of the curve in terms of development methodologies, because the amount of productivity that these relatively small cross-company development teams are able to achieve is staggering.” —John Roese, Dell EMC
  8. “You can’t be intelligent if there is no real-time data in your platform, if there is no real-time analytics, and it takes you two weeks to answer a question.” —Björn Goerke, SAP
  9. “Think about the value of the individual choices that you make, because organizations, in many cases, are making decisions without any tension to the long-term value.” —Stephen O’Grady, Redmonk
  10. “Do more as an overall ecosystem to encourage services, professional, and infrastructure companies to step up and make it easier for consumers to consume the technology.” —John Rose, Dell EMC

cloud-foundry-summit-2017-Nathan-Gibson-allstateNathan Gibson, Allstate

At the conclusion of the conference, we saw 126 sessions, 6 certified platforms, and 1,650+ registered attendees. Since last year, there have also been more than 3,246 pull requests and the activity spanned 423 discrete modular projects.

The technology and the community are growing, but there is still so much to do. We’re looking forward to hearing more Cloud Foundry success stories—based on collaboration, openness, agility, and diversity. Meet you later this year at CF Summit Europe in Switzerland!


More from the summit:

The post was prepared by Alex Khizhniak, Carlo Gutierrez, and Sophie Turol.
Photos are courtesy of Altoros (shot by Vlad Leetvenchouk).