When you work in a startup, it isn’t only the product that has to be innovative. The management has to be too. This is where Giuseppe comes in.
“DevOps is the joining of two worlds — development and operations,” he said. A bridge between two positions that normally work independently. This buzzword has turned into a tangible model that works, but let’s first ask:
In the past, developers wrote software, and the operations team ran it. This fragmented format slowed things down — especially when issues came up.
“When something broke, the developers would say it works on their laptop, then the system engineer would say it doesn’t work for them.”
DevOps is a “model of shared responsibility” that smooths and speeds up the process. “Everybody in the team is responsible for the whole lifecycle. So, if something breaks, we are teammates and we work together to make it work.”
“We try to avoid things breaking but, when they do, we can quickly deploy a fix. This helps to improve, above all, the product,” Giuseppe added.
Such a rich job description makes for a rich working day.
What Does a DevOps Engineer Do?
As Giuseppe’s involved in the entire development lifecycle, he spends a lot of his time in meetings with colleagues and, occasionally, customers. He “babysits” servers, and manages both our products and internal tools. His overall goal is to makes things more efficient, by simplifying the way our teams work together.
“About half of my week is spent trying to automate every task that has to be done regularly. My job is to automate boring stuff so we have more time to play with our fancy technology,” he said.
Whenever there’s a process that needs to be optimized, Giuseppe’s called upon. But, why does he love what he does so much?
Why Be in DevOps at iGenius?
Working closely with all of our teams, from Machine Learning (ML) and Product Design to Marketing, Giuseppe loves the company’s “connection of people with different skills”. He needs to get in the mind of these team members, and find ways to make the way they work smoother. This opens up huge potential to learn.
“I don’t know much about ML or UX for example but, every time I talk with the team members, I learn something new,” he said.
“There’s someone in the backend, some DevOps, some front-end people, some product people, and we meet regularly to see what issues are blocking their work. We then work together to unblock each other’s work”.
“This allows you to have a global view of the product. You’re not just alone with your code, you’re apart of a bigger picture”
“You understand not only what you need, but also what others need,” he said.
The team may have different skills, but they all have one thing in common — a passion for perfecting the product.
“iGenius is where people and quality matter. It’s important to me that quality matters. It’s not obvious everywhere. We know there are deadlines, but we love our product, and we want to make it even better,” he added.
We mix our agile culture with a flat structure, striking a balance of autonomy and managerial direction. The team have a shared goal, but Giuseppe has the freedom to “propose something new for the week’s roadmap. Something new that will be scheduled if it will improve the process or the software”.
He also touched on the “awesome” smart working policy, and multicultural atmosphere that “makes you feel like you’re on Erasmus eight hours a day.”
How To Become DevOps?
Naples-born Giuseppe started out in a tiny 10-person tech company, where he “did everything” — from writing and testing software, to answering the phone. This allowed him to “really understand the underlying technology” that goes into a product, and build something from scratch.
Then he moved to a big consultancy firm in Milan, where he learned how “big tech moves”, before landing at iGenius.
“I love iGenius because it’s neither too small, nor too big. We know where we want to go, and we are agile enough to do it,” he said.
Any Tips For DevOps Starters?
He said simply: “be curious about everything. Learn anything you can, and practice it.”
“When you learn something for fun, you never know when you’ll really need it. But, when something breaks and you know the right spell to fix it, it’s priceless.”