Welcome to our new blog series My Week! In this series we want to showcase one of our expert’s work week – the highs and the challenges they are facing, and what the role actually consists of.
Today, we are diving into the world of DevOps. There’s like a thousand opinions on what the DevOps work actually is – from development, consulting, infra-architecture into a whole methodology-way-of-thinking. However you approach it, it’s definitely a hot potato! In this post, we are looking what the work week and the DevOps potato looks like from the eyes of Jukka Koskelin, a DevOps Engineer at Zure.
What’s your customer work like?
I’m currently working full-time for a Danish Customer, in a Cloud Center of Excellence team, with one colleague from Zure Finland, and one from Zure Denmark. I’m really happy we have a close team from Zure so that we get to work side-by-side. The DevOps role can feel sometimes a bit outsider of the core development team, where you just kick off the pipelines for the project. So in this project is has been real fun working as two DevOps guys together as a core team.
In this project we build a whole Azure environment: networks, identities, logs, governance. We are also creating the infra and templates for teams and applications to build on. It’s both consultative and technical, and quite an interesting challenge every day to be designing the future ways of working.
Some weekly hours usually go to helping others with their customer cases. Yesterday there was a support need from our Continuous and Improvement Services team about Azure storage account back-up. It’s quite perfect example of my work: had never used recovery service vault, but I just did my googling and after a few minutes the problem was solved. Google and Microsoft documentations are definitely DevOps Engineer’s best friends.
What has been most challenging?
At the very moment I’ve been thinking about how the architecture of a modular infra should be organized and distributed to different stakeholders. So thinking about the tech but also how the ways of working for new app creation processes should be done for a large company’s needs. How much could they do on their own? How much can be automated without consulting help?
Also we had a challenge where the entire network solution needed to be re-organized and implemented quite quickly. The security considerations in this work have been very tight this spring due to the current situation in Europe.
What internal stuff do you have?
This week has been kind of an exception, as there have been quite a bit of extra-shenanigans on top of customer work.
I am hosting our DevOps Guild with Virpi and Pasi every month. We are also responsible for the company trainings on that area. So on Tuesday we had a meeting about what was going to be on the menu at Thursday’s Guild meetup. We summed up the training wishes we have been gathering from members, and ended up with the following agenda:
- Test-driven development training kick off
- Azure pipelines trainings planning
- Self-hosted agents
- Centralized repo for stuff that is not added to Zure template
On Friday we also had a company meeting called Zureday. In my previous jobs I was never really into the company presentations. In here I’m actually interested in hearing about our projects, recruitments and financial situation that we go through once a month.
What’s best at your work?
In my previous life I was restricted on using building environments on top of infra provided by other people. Now I get to provision the infra myself, which is rather liberating and educating experience. It’s also nice to notice that the knowledge from previous life is transferable; Azure is just an abstraction layer on top of infra running in someone else’s datacenter, so there are enough similarities to be able to know your way around, but still every day brings something new to learn.
The best part is that I get to use Azure services from so many angles. Like for example, on Monday I was in a meeting with a Data Engineer. We just put up Azure Data Factory and I made my first data pipelines on the go, without any previous hands-on experience on doing it.
What is DevOps Engineer’s role?
For me being a DevOps Engineer at Zure is like being an Azure Cloud Architect, but having half less meetings and generic handwaving 😛
Frankly, from my perspective, a DevOps Engineer can be anything from development to architecture and consulting. So there’s no one model to rule them all. Quite surely you get to work with deployment pipelines and CI/CD. If you have experience from data centers, servers, networks, certificates – you are probably going to benefit from it.
In philosophical terms, DevOps role should be at the same time making yourself useless but also continuously leading the development team towards product mindset, continuous improvement and quality. It’s a paradox – but it’s fun trying to solve it together with a group of like-minded team mates.
Are you interested in a DevOps role at Zure? Check out our job opportunities and come work with Jukka!