Joshua Goldman - Help I'm a "DevOps Engineer" Now!!!!

Joshua Goldman - Help I'm a "DevOps Engineer" Now!!!!

Did someone hand your VP of Software Engineering a copy of Google’s SRE or The Phoenix Project/Devops Handbook? They loved it so much and decided now is a good time to refactor your organization?

Well that happened to us; it happened to me. I was an “Application Support Engineer”, a fancy title for restarting applications till they magically work again. Now I lead an SRE team. Half of my team came from an operations role and the other came from development world. There are so many new things to learn. What can I do to keep up? What if I get fired?

Topics *Addressing Change Resistance *Skills development plan *Getting Developers to be on call *Getting Operations folks to do code reviews *Managing stress and preventing burnout *New career expectations *What about compensation?

Many companies are treading towards DevOps culture. They may not necessarily know what that means or may not execute it correctly. If I’ve learned anything over the past few years is that no one has it 100% right but we can all share and help each other out.


DevOpsDays KC 2017

September 21, 2017


  1. HELP I'M A "DEVOPS" ENGINEER NOW!!! Some are born great,

    some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. William Shakespeare
  2. • Suddenly thrust into a new role? • Feeling scared,

    sad, angry, lonely, or all of the above? • Find yourself asking the question. "What do I do now?" • Well you are in the right place. • Probably.
  3. SEVERAL MONTHS AGO.... • Let's go DevOps • New Team

    Model! • Operations teams being disbanded and divvied up amongst the new teams. • Now what???? (Whatever that means)
  4. A BRIEF HISTORY • Started out as a software consumer

    • Complained about said software.....a lot. • Became an application support engineer. Probably to get a dose of my own medicine • Performed d2d, KTLO, oncall support, rfcs, etc • Became a Reliability Manager
  5. HINDSIGHT IS 20/20 • Affecting Change In Your Organization DoD-ATL

    2016. • Dimly Lit Side of DevOps App Support Nightmares DoD - Detroit 2016
  6. DEVELOPER BECOMES OPERATIONAL • You want to call my phone

    incase something breaks? • Like even at 4am? • I need to SSH(or RDP) into what now? • What do you mean the disk is full?
  7. OPERATIONS MEETS DEVELOPMENT • Source Control? Code Reviews? Git? You

    want me to pull what in the where now? • "I'm not a coder!" or conversely "I know bash, how hard is java" • What is a jira?
  8. HELPPPPPP!!!!!!!! • Stop and relax, you aren't going to be

    DevOps (Wizard|Guru|Legend) overnight • Do what you can right now with the skills you got and tack on new things as you move along • Organizations should have a sort of transition period for you to take on new responsibilities • Suggest an readiness checklist for key responsibilities that everyone on the team should learn (Test Automation, Release Management, Change Management, Deployment, Troubleshoot & Support)
  9. AS AN OPS • Develop your scripting skills as it

    will help you start to understand the basics of code. • Try to understand the software development lifecycle, different organizations have different cycles or flow paths, learn yours first then take a look at other methodologies. • Put yourself in the shoes of a developer by imagining being on the other side of a bug report. Start out with a small bug and work the problem. • Sit with a developer and setup a mock development environment to write some code. Doing Dev Stuff
  10. AS A DEVELOPER • Imagine everything is on fire, all

    day, every day. • Pretend that hitting the enter key can cost the company millions of dollars. • Build your network, make friends with Database Administrators Systems Administrators, Network Engineers, Security Folks, etc. • Start pulling small trouble tickets, disk space issues, out of memory exceptions, high cpu utilization. • Shadow an operating system patch night. Doing Ops Stuff
  11. COMMON CONCERNS • I don't want to automate myself out

    of a job. (You won't) • I don't have the skills or the time to learn the skills • I never signed up for this • I don't wanna (code|be oncall|qa) • You wouldn't be here if any
 of the above was true
  12. BECOMING USEFUL QUICKLY • Take what you already know and

    continue working on it. • Help your teammates learn your skills • Continually improve yourself by not only receiving feedback but by giving feedback to others • Show your colleagues your world so they understand it a little better • Don't be afraid to experience life on the other side of the wall now that the wall is gone
  13. ONE TEAM ONE DREAM • DevOps is defined many different

    ways but the common theme is that Devs and Ops move in together and work to build a better software life cycle
  14. TEAM COHESIVENESS • Adopting the software lifecycle into one team

    requires a team to work together like a well oiled machine • Those cogs need to join nicely if they want to get something from start to finish • Share your strengths and don't be afraid to share your weaknesses • Your weakness can be another
 teammates strength and you may
 complement each other.
  15. BECOMING A MANAGER • I know how Alice felt when

    falling through the rabbit hole. • Find a mentor, fast, and make sure they are a good one. • Imagine the manager you've always wanted to have. • Learn from other teams or sister teams, and adapt what you think would work best for your team. • Get feedback from your squad, crew, and or gang. • It is as much about leading people as it is managing workload. Careful what you wish for Especially of Software Engineering Manager Then throw that thought out the window
  16. MY PERSPECTIVE AS A MANAGER • Becoming a manager isn't

    any easier • Getting folks excited about their new role and remove the fear of taking on new responsibilities • Making sure people don't burn out by adjusting the learning curve • Assigning projects that compliment my engineers skill sets while challenging them to learn more about their new role • If I get headcount, what should I hire for?
  17. SEVERAL MONTHS FROM NOW... • Work out put seems to

    be getting better? • Getting better at coding? • Not afraid of that 4am phone call? • Great, don't stop there. Remember it's about continuous improvement and feedback loops!

    depends • Companies that hire specifically for DevOps may pay more for the skills required. • Does that mean you should leave your organization once you become that guru? • World of DevOps is only getting bigger and it's certainly a hot commodity. • This is something you have to ask yourself. • Just remember not to bite the hand that feeds you.
  19. THING TO TAKEAWAY • You've already made the first step

    of becoming introducing DevOps into your life by being here. • The journey isn't always easy but it wouldn't be fun if it was. • Going to conferences like DevOpsDays really does help. It helped me, as I'm sure it'll help you. • Visit other DevOpsDays around the country. We're everywhere now! Drop by DevOpsDays Chicago next year! Shameless plug

    Reliability Engineering Manager at SecureWorks • Twitter @ JGoldSRE • Find my slides on Speaker Deck