Aboutcode trafficker. software nihilist. ops insurgent. infrastructure colonialist. burnout. sticking around for the money. doesn’t take any of this seriously anymore. imagine if diogenes worked as a sysadmin. right. this isn’t that. it’s worse.
Skillspython, go, a bit of ruby
Joined devRant on 11/15/2021
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Me: “Hey boss, you assigned these things to me that I’m not qualified for and have no experience in. We should really hire someone with the specialized skills in this”
Boss “I agree. It’s a role I desperately think we should have hired for a long time ago”
Me “Ok so about these tickets the-“
Boss “I need you to write up a justification for this role, what kind of work the person would be doing and what budget implications we will incur”
Me “You’re asking me to write a job description for a class of work I’ve already admitted I have no experience or qualifications doing MYSELF?”
Me “and I’m still responsible in the meantime for getting these other tickets done still aren’t I?”
Me “Very well. I’ll email you a recap of this discussion then so we can come back to it later when we start hiring for the role”
(and so my ass is sufficiently covered when I inevitably bring down prod and people start asking why I broke prod)5
Tech startups, an analogy:
After 18 years going from help desk teams to NOC teams, telecom engineering and all manner of startups in between I have concluded the following:
Imagine wanting to start an aerospace company because you know how to fold a paper airplane, but not how to actually design and engineer an actual craft that will pass basic air worthiness checks.
That’s 99% of “tech” companies.
Discuss. I’ll make drinks.9
DoorDash wants its non-driver staff to dogfood the product.
returning from 2 weeks of PTO, the haiku
what was I doing?
*Looks through tickets in jira*
gives up. plays halo.
Best: Getting fired from a shitty company that regularly lied to middle-management after standing up for my team.
Worst: Losing a team of fantastic direct-reports that went to bat for each other, helped each other out, and help me be a better engineer.
(Spoiler alert: same job)
I think I’ve applied to 5 jobs that show up as “remote” now only to get halfway through a screening call and find out “oh, we’re looking for people in Albuquerque”.
Are my expectations out of whack? If you’re looking for someone in your city, you’re not looking for someone remote. You’re looking for a local worker who just has an office that’s not on your balance sheet.
Is it semantics?
Am *I* the bastard?5
*sighs heavily, utters a few profanities, starts updating resume*
This one is on me. I thought I had vetted this place well and asked the right probing questions during the interview, the core product is very cool but the company is too functionally immature.
it feels like Im in a relationship with someone who is really nice, very attractive and clearly very book-smart but has absolutely zero emotional intelligence and even less of a clue in general about what they actually want and need from the relationship. And to that I say:
Because DevOps in a lot of organizations is really “help desk for clueless developers”, conversations like this happen a lot:
Dev “hey the thing seems to be not working right”
Me “what does that even mean? I need you to be a good deal more specific. What thing. What isn’t working?”
Dev “I dunno”
Me “Are there error messages?”
Me “….would you like to share them with me?”
Dev *sends error*
Me “ok did you actually read this error message?”
Me “…so you’re good then? It says you’re trying to use a variable that hasn’t been declared yet. You should fix that. “
Me “good luck”14
I think my next remote job is going to be at least 500 miles or a minimum of four states away to make it harder for someone to spring a “everyone local to the office has to come in for this day of corporate training and indoctrination” on me at the last minute.
“Oh sure I can come in. I’ll be on the lookout for my flight tickets and itinerary”.
Usually makes them scurry off.2
I’m getting fucking tired of having this conversation:
Company “we need x”
Me “ok. In order to deliver x I need y”
Company “we can’t do that”
Me “ok. Then can I have y”
Company “nah ah”
Me “what about Q?”
Me “okay. Well until you decide to provide me with the resourcing needed, this is getting deprioritized”
Company “wait this needs to be top of mind”
Me “okay. Provide me with y, and I’ll deprioritize other work”
Company “wait we also need that other work”
Me “you’re only getting one. Pick which one you want first”
Company “we’ll get back to you”
Me (muttering) “no you won’t”
Jesus christ I need my VP and CIO to get their hands out of Azure and GCP and just let me work.
Yes, governance and security and IAM are big deals. That's why you have infraops people like me to deal with that.
I'm literally working with one hand tied behind my back because just about every button press or CLI command I need to do my damn job as a professional cloud fluffer requires me to go bother an executive and ask permission to pretty please can I deploy a new container, can you go press the shiny button? No not that one, move your mouse up...up..now UP..ok over lef-no..can I have mouse control? Sigh fine, do you see where it says "Approvers", no that says "Release Pipeline"
Look I actually kinda like this job, I do, in as much as when I have something to do I get left the fuck alone to do it. Meetings are minimal, aside from the odd days when one of our app services decides to yeet itself into the river Styx, there's little distractions.
Yeah, developers do dumb shit but that's probably best left to the notion of job security and never talked about again less they go to HR and complain that the ops guy was very stern and direct and made the developer take some accountability for their work product.
It's so intergalactically stupid that I have to go ask permission just to do ops tasks by the same people barging down my goddamn door asking why the ops task isn't done yet.
"Because you won't give me permissions in GCP to actually DO anything".
Okay. Rant over. Time for lunch. Good meeting, see you all at the holiday party.2
Deployments, a limerick:
there once was an ops guy from New York,
who was working on deploying a fork.
the docs were weak
the code memory leaked
in a half hour all of production was borked.5
For the love of the God and compiler. Why do tech companies keep putting finance people in charge of operations?
Everything gets reduced to a value in a spreadsheet and ifsum<pretendprofits it’s a problem.
Company just closed $40m in funding and here I am quibbling about fixed costs with some MBA holding jackass to get $200 so I can equip my team with a licenses for a better IDE.
I’m this close to saying fuck it, buy independent licenses and then expense it back to the company. It’ll cost more than bundling but that’s why I’m not in finance.2
There’s immense power in being perceptive to what your business prioritizes for the rank and file versus what the business prioritizes for *itself*.
Like for example pushing to get individual performance reviews done with an exceeding pressure of a certain drop dead date while suddenly but simultaneously relaxing of any similar immediacy of completing management reviews.
Talk amongst yourselves.3
Work, the haiku:
(Plus more Dilbert)
“Where are you on this?”
“I’m where JIRA says I am”
“Ok, but how far?”10
Interviewer: “I agree, companies should stop calling people devops engineers, devops is a culture”
Me: “I’m glad you see it that way too”
Interviewer, now new boss: “and this is our DevOps Engineer, Jeff”
Sprint planning, the haiku:
“Is this worth four points?”
“I don’t know, what do you think?”
“Let’s just make it four”8
JIRA, the haiku (w/Bonus Dilbert strip)
Please make a ticket
Please move the ticket you made
Please tag your ticket3
site reliability engineering: the haiku
once called the “noc” team.
we were left alone, mostly.
then the “cloud” happened 😦
I appreciate “elegant” code the same way I appreciate fine wine: pretending to care while quietly sitting, passively listening to snobs drone on about barrel aging and vineyards and languages, statically-typed while simultaneously shutting my brain off, ordering another shot of tequila and working up the courage to fight my dad.
My problem with “The DevOps Handbook” is the same problem I have with Star Trek: The Next Generation: it gave me seriously unrealistic expectations that senior leaders can be convinced to abandon stupid ideas.
Or maybe it’s just that in my mid-to-late thirties my tolerance for manglement is as low as it’s ever been, and I’ve grown out of that idealistic kiss-ass stage of my career.