Jan 19, 2021
When working in tech you must keep pace with all the latest trends. However, even though DevOps has been a buzzword for a while now, the reaction of us tech muggles when we hear someone talking about it is priceless for the know-it-all experts. Our eyes glaze over and our jaw drops slightly. Even the name sounds complicated.
However, the truth is that DevOps is essential for any serious software company. When we talk about it, Blaž from our DevOps Team painted us a picture about what really counts in his line of work. His team’s mantra is “Stop starting, start finishing!” and when it comes to becoming good at your job, it all depends on how eager you are to learn new things.
We also talked about his typical day and the most surprising thing about him. Read on.
Tell us about yourself, your work at Adacta and your team.
I am the Tech Lead of the Digital Services Department. My job is to investigate potentially useful new technologies and ideas for the development process, software release procedures, and deployment strategies. Adacta understands having good software is simply not enough and we also need to be able to get it to customers as quickly and smoothly as possible. This means our focus is on implementing things that make sense to us and our team is crucial in making these things happen.
Can you “paint us a picture” of your normal workday?
My usual workday starts with a daily team meeting about the things everyone in the team needs to be updated on. We discuss the changes that were made and go through any challenges that people might have. Afterwards, everyone starts working on their own tasks and I try to be available in case they hit a wall and are stuck on a problem. Mainly, I am involved in things concerning other teams. Team leads usually meet during the week to discuss various topics and try to align our visions on where we see potential for improvement.
What we work on depends on where in the release cycle of our product we are. At the beginning of a cycle there is more of a focus on planning as we try to understand how we can improve the release and delivery process. Towards the end, we work hard on implementing what we have learned.
»Adacta is a place with a lot of interesting people, different personalities and a lot of experience and knowledge. If it were a person, Adacta would probably be that guy, who knows everything and gives pieces of advice from time to time. It’s up to you if you listen to him or not.«
What is your favourite part of your job?
As the Tech Lead, I have a chance to investigate new innovations and decide what bleeding edge technologies we can use. I also get to work with many people. While working with so many different individuals can be difficult, it is also a wonderful asset when you need different views and skills to deal with everyday matters. Being part of such an interesting team makes me love my job even more.
Beyond just working inside my team I love helping other teams to achieve their goals. That is truly satisfying. I will stop here because there are so many good parts about my job, I could talk about this all day long.
What are the soft skills someone in your field should have?
I see different people with completely different soft skills still being good at what they do. If you want to work in our field, concentrating on just one skill is not enough. It would be like saying which ingredient makes a good risotto. You need all of them.
However, when it comes to specific skills, the main one is probably the desire to improve processes that can be improved and automated. Some of the other skills I would recommend are a positive attitude with openness to feedback, fair play based on work ethics, and empathy for understanding that others have different knowledge, needs, and expectations.
What are your key responsibilities?
In simplified terms I combine what developers create with a plan of how a customer will install it and almost exactly around 919 things in between. For example, thing 645 would be making sure our delivery strategy is working properly. This means that when we want to release our software, we need to make sure our delivery process creates everything that’s needed. We need to provide new versions to customers as soon as the application is ready. This may sound trivial, but if you get this step wrong, we might release a non-working application in some way without even having a problem with code. Everything needs to fit together like a puzzle.
How do you motivate yourself and your team? What would you say your greatest strength is?
We try to not specialize in one area and don’t have team members who are solely responsible for one part. Probably the main requirement to being good at what our team does is being eager to learn new things.
My greatest strength would be being modest, although this is probably something one should never say about themselves. Let’s go with me being pragmatic then. I like to find possible solutions and try not to overcomplicate stuff or be too idealistic.
What is something you find challenging about your work?
“Stop starting, start finishing!” is a phrase that comes up often in our office. Our work tends to have many distractions by its nature and it is sometimes hard to keep people focused on the task at hand and being able to finish.
Finally, share something about you we would never guess.
The easiest way to do this is for me to list stuff about me and at one point you go: „I would never guess that!“ Let's try with „I used to photograph weddings.“ Now you decide whether this is something you would never guess about me.