“You’ve got to break a few clusters to make a cluster admin”
Imagine a scenario, where the whole OpenShift cluster is down because of some newbie that made some changes. Yep, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in that situation. It all started with me finishing the Business, IT & Management bachelor, followed by a pre-master. I was stuck between the choice of getting a Master’s degree or going into the workforce. Thanks to a good friend and colleague I ended up here. A decision I don’t regret one bit.
My current role within Devoteam
I’m a Devops Consultant that started the DevOps traineeship a year and a half ago. On my current project I work together with two talented individuals to manage the infrastructure of an OpenStack and OpenShift cluster.
My first months at Devoteam – what was your experience?
It’s not the computer that’s wrong, you are.
The traineeship offers many challenging yet rewarding phases: Getting Microsoft certified, deploying my application on a Virtual Machine, and automating my work with CI/CD. This phase is creatively named ‘DevOps challenges’. One of the strenuous lessons that I had to learn was that I couldn’t just try the first solution that a quick Google search gave me. Thoughtfully reading the manual and logs before trying a solution is a learning experience that I still practice a year later.
What are you doing now at Devoteam?
In my off-time when I’m not actively trying to create a P1 incident, I’m actively improving the current infrastructure. I’m still working at the same client I was assigned to when I finished my traineeship. But compared to my first few weeks, I am extremely proud of my growth. Back then I picked up the low-hanging assignments, which I could do without much of a challenge. That obviously got tedious, but as soon as I started to seek more of a challenge that changed, and so did my skills. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
What is the achievement at Devoteam that you are most proud of?
How to break a Cluster
Contrary to popular belief, or whatever angry administrators will tell you, breaking a cluster is a great learning experience. I wouldn’t say it’s in my “achievements I am proud of” list, but you have to experience it at least a few times to really become an admin. To further my point, who would you trust with your infrastructure: an admin that has never experienced a cluster being down or someone who has experienced first hand how to fix it? I rest my case.
What are the most important skills you need for your position?
Patience. But that’s a soft-skill. We offer many services to our users, so it’s needed to have experience with them on an infrastructure level. These services include: Kubernetes/ OpenShift, Ansible, Grafana, KeyCloak, Harbor, Grafana, Prometheus, and Nexus.
When you’re not busy with work, what are you doing in your free time?
I’ve been kickboxing for a year now, and it really helps with the stress a day at work can give. Especially on those days when every attempt results in an error, it’s a great remedy. I’ve got a unique trait that I totally don’t share with the rest of the human population. I love to eat so cooking is a hobby I really enjoy, mostly the eating part. Then to wind down I love a good story, so I turn on a Netflix series or read a good book (such original hobbies, I know).
My journey from IT rookie to “Destroyer of Clusters” was an arduous one. But it was well worth it. Looking back, I could’ve done things faster or taken a few shortcuts, but those probably wouldn’t have teached me the lessons I needed to learn. I’ve still got a long road to go and a few clusters to break before I could become a full-fledged cluster administrator. But I’m happy with the pace I’m currently growing at Devoteam, and thankful for this opportunity.