Automating yourself out of a job: planning

DISCLAIMER: This post appeared originally in SpiderOak’s Engineering Blog (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Whenever the word automation appears in conversation, I always remember this story of a build engineer that took the word “automation” to the next level.

There are times where you want to be really needed at your job; at the very least, it gives you a sensation of stability that has nothing to do with whatever your environment is.

This should be just a stage. Stability should come from the environment, and your goal should be to not be needed in as many things as possible, so that you can focus on new things.

Continue reading “Automating yourself out of a job: planning”

Questions every manager needs to ask

The best way to approach a situation, that I’ve learned, is making sure you ask the right questions. That’s it. As a manager, you don’t have to have the answers, some answers sure, but not all. That’s why you are a manager, you are the router on a network of really smart people.

You do quality of service, you filter out what content reaches the network from the outside, and you make sure packets (ideas, comments, etc) get properly from one node to the other, or if they are going to the wrong node, you make sure they are redirected. That’s it.

It’s not an easy job though, and you as a manager should be guarded by a wall of good questions to distill the right answer out of the right minds. Sometimes the right mind is yours, but the process is the same.

Continue reading “Questions every manager needs to ask”

DevOps: Going from fire fighting to fire prevention

There are many ways to run a DevOps team. Is there a recipe in this post to run the best ops team ever? Certainly not. This is just the starting point: the basic things you need to look for when everything is on fire and you can’t just double or triple the size of the team.

How the ops team at a startup might start

I wish I was able to start this section by saying “of the 74 ops teams I helped build over the last 20 years…”, I can’t. But I’ve seen a lot of examples of people starting products, some successful, most of them not at all.

Continue reading “DevOps: Going from fire fighting to fire prevention”