Breaking into DevOps: Can’t stop learning


Many friends ask me what it’s like in the startup world since joining here in May. I tell them it’s like a kid excited about a new Nintendo game release.

Overwhelming in a positive way. It’s like the time when your significant other buys you a 100-piece chocolate box for Valentine’s Day and you don’t know which piece to eat first. So you end up trying to eat them all at once. Similar to that, there’s something addicting about an infinite number of things to learn and accomplish, which is why I enjoy the nature of my work in business development.

My colleague Cesar recently asked, “Can engineers learn anything from sales?” I mirror his understanding in that learning happens nonstop in our world. Beyond the boundaries of a startup, it’s the broader impact that engineers, DevOps, IT operations engineers have with their groundbreaking work. It’s changing the world in more ways than we know. Behind the scenes, these companies we talk to fuel the applications for our phones, games, movies, and much more.

Challenges to building applications

At this point, I find myself exposed to various tools that engineers, DevOps, and IT Operations use on a day to day basis. I always enjoy speaking to a potential customer and learning about their role as it gives me insight into how they built something cool and the challenges that come with it. Sometimes they are companies I’ve never heard of, and others are companies who create the applications I use every day.

I’ve also begun to learn Rails as it helps me better understand the challenges that developers, DevOps, and IT operations face to some degree. As applications become complex, I realize that a framework like Rails is only a piece of the pie. Sure I could use WEBrick for my Rails application and keep it simple, but what would I gain by leveraging other pieces like Nginx? My curiosity grows with every learning minute.

Configuration tools tackle many of these challenges by handling the pieces in a faster, safer, and automated fashion. Part of the challenge is also about leveraging existing tools, bridging them with newer tools, and managing dependencies.

Containers are hot

In some ways, I feel privileged to be on the front-lines of learning groundbreaking technologies like containers. I speak to potential customers about how they can use ElasticBox to benefit their container investments further. Some of the questions we hear from customers are:

  • How can IT operations and DevOps see and control container contents?
  • How to control versioning and levels of access?
  • How can teams configure containers and container bindings at scale?
  • How can IT Ops create policies that automate container deployments?

At ElasticBox, we tackle these container challenges with traceability, manageability, and deployments.

Last but not least, you may wonder why there’s a video of a biz dev guy dancing in the ElasticBox office. Well, it’s simple. ElasticBox is a bit like breakdancing. When you learn one move, why not reuse it on all dance floors? Stretching the breakdancing analogy further,  when you find one great tool in development why not deploy it in all environments?

Prior to ElasticBox, I comfortably consumed technology becoming decently knowledgeable in HTML and CSS. But since my time here, my learning has rocketed. Day by day, I have more questions for my team. All in all, I can confidently say I’m off to a great start on a rocket ship.


Categories: Careers, ElasticBox, Nerd Culture
Tags: , , ,