a podcast by Pawlean

Getting into DevOps w/ Erleene, Yasmin & Rahmat

May 04, 2021 Pauline Narvas Season 1 Episode 15
a podcast by Pawlean
Getting into DevOps w/ Erleene, Yasmin & Rahmat
Chapters
0:03
Introduction
1:02
Ladies in DevOps community!
2:14
What is this episode about?
3:57
Introducing our speakers
6:16
Erleene, Yasmin & Rahmat's journey to DevOps
15:18
What is DevOps anyway?
22:01
Why are DevOps Engineers important?
26:31
What's in the DevOps toolbox?
32:49
How can you get started with DevOps
44:31
The lack of diversity in DevOps - how can we improve it?
54:42
Thank you to our speakers!
55:07
Conclusion
a podcast by Pawlean
Getting into DevOps w/ Erleene, Yasmin & Rahmat
May 04, 2021 Season 1 Episode 15
Pauline Narvas

Joined by very special guests - Erleene (@erlydr), Yasmin (@YasminYAli) & Rahmat (@thisis_rahmat) - we'll be covering: What is DevOps? What's the importance of DevOps Engineers? What technologies are needed as a DevOps Engineer?  If we've convinced you that this is an exciting career path, what can you do to get started today?  We also discuss about how unlike other areas of tech, DevOps seems to lack the most women.

This episode is a special one to me because it kick-started the "Ladies in DevOps" community - a safe space for self-identifying women in the DevOps space or interested in learning more about it. We're now 400+ community members in and are happy to welcome more, head over to https://ladiesindevops.com to sign up!

〰️

Liked this episode and want to chat some more? Find me on social media!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Joined by very special guests - Erleene (@erlydr), Yasmin (@YasminYAli) & Rahmat (@thisis_rahmat) - we'll be covering: What is DevOps? What's the importance of DevOps Engineers? What technologies are needed as a DevOps Engineer?  If we've convinced you that this is an exciting career path, what can you do to get started today?  We also discuss about how unlike other areas of tech, DevOps seems to lack the most women.

This episode is a special one to me because it kick-started the "Ladies in DevOps" community - a safe space for self-identifying women in the DevOps space or interested in learning more about it. We're now 400+ community members in and are happy to welcome more, head over to https://ladiesindevops.com to sign up!

〰️

Liked this episode and want to chat some more? Find me on social media!

Pauline Narvas:

Hello everyone, I'm your host, Pauline Narvas. Welcome to my podcast, a podcast by Pauline. This is where I share my thoughts on topics that are important to me, and experiences that I think you'd find mildly entertaining or maybe even insightful. If you're new here, here's what you should know about me. I'm a 20-something year old Filipina living in the UK. I've been working in the tech industry for the past two years, and I have a degree in Biomedical Sciences. Since 2008, I've been sharing my life in pixels on my blog, Pauline calm. I'm also a international speaker, plant lover, health and wellness enthusiast. And as someone who basically grew up on the internet, I'm also a professional oversharer. Thanks for joining me. Before we start this episode, I just wanted to say that this is actually the episode that inspired the creation of the ladies and DevOps community, a space for self identifying women who are in the DevOps space, or are wanting to learn more about the exciting careers that are involved with these DevOps skills. And yeah, so I just wanted to say thank you to Erleene, Yasmin and Ramat for their inspiration during this episode. We had a nice conversation after we recorded and it actually, that conversation was what kick started me going crazy on the Sunday and creating the community stuff and just kick starting it to see if anyone would join. And now we are over a week in and we've got 400 members, which is absolutely insane. But yeah, we just didn't think that it would grow this quickly. So I just wanted to say thank you to them. And just for getting involved with this and kickstarting such a wonderful, inclusive community for all of us. But yeah, I hope you enjoy the episode! Hello, listeners. For today's episode, you guessed it, we have another collaboration. For today's topic, we'll be talking about getting into DevOps, I've been in the DevOps space for like over a year and a half now. And in the middle of that I changed organizations. It's been a really interesting perspective, from my point of view, seeing how the different organizations define DevOps and DevOps practices. And at the same time of how they sort of vary in terms of how they use DevOps in the organization. It's also nice to know that there's always a set of practice and a set of tools that brings the DevOps practice together. And so there are a lot of similarities as well as there are differences. Today I'm joined by Rahmat, Erleene and Yasmin, who are all DevOps engineers, and I've absolutely loved following their various journeys on Twitter. It's also really refreshing to see a group of really passionate young women, really, you know, smashing it in the field. So I'm just really excited to to talk to them about their journeys today. So hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me! I have to say, like I said earlier, It's so lovely speaking to you all, virtually because we've connected on Twitter, and I always like all your tweets, I always retweet where I can. It's just, it's just really inspiring from, from my point of view, seeing a group of us all all have the same profession as a DevOps engineer, and mash it in our own different ways. So yeah, to kick us off, let's start with a few intros.

Yasmin:

I'm Yasmin, I'm a recent career changer from science to tech. I currently work as a DevOps engineer at a cybersecurity startup. I'm also a Code First Girls fellow having taught one of their eight week software development courses.

Pauline Narvas:

It's so nice to see as well Code First Girls alumni around because I've spoken to a quite a few on the podcast and it's always nice to connect with them. So yeah, hi, welcome.

Erleene :

Hi, everyone. I'm Erleene, my pronouns she her. I've been working as a DevOps engineer since 2016. I'm a DevOps engineer currently at Expedia group, and I'm having a really good time. My throughout my experience five years in DevOps, you never stop learning. And that's like one of the best things about being a DevOps engineer. So thank you for having me, Pauline. Thank you for doing this podcast. Amazing stuff. And it's really amazing to meet Yasmin and Rahmat. Being on Twitter, it's like only this year, I started going on Twitter again, and that's when I started to see more women who are actually in the same field because I I don't really get to see a lot of like POC women doing this same role as me. So thank you. It's amazing to meet you guys.

Pauline Narvas:

Yeah, when I was looking out for who to speak to in terms of this episode, I was like, I'm only speaking to women. I speak to enough like men about this topic. So it's really nice, like you said, to have a bit of like diversity and to speak to you all about this topic.

Rahmat:

Hi, guys. My name is Rahmat. I am a DevOps engineer consultancy in London. I've been a DevOps engineer since 2018. And it's been fun. It's been a lot of learning. But I've really enjoyed the past two and a half years!

Pauline Narvas:

I think when I first started getting into DevOps, Rahmat...I think I messaged you on Twitter. And I was like, Can you give me a bit of advice? Because I, I was part of a graduate scheme for those who don't know. So my first two rotations were in software engineering, which is what I was a bit more used to it because it was focused more on the front end, and also digital architecture. And then when I decided to do a DevOps rotation, I was like, Can anyone help me? Because I don't know what the hell I'm doing. So it was really nice to connect with you from there. Yeah. So yeah, thank you so much for all the great introductions. I'm really interested in how you all started your journeys in tech, but specifically in DevOps.

Erleene :

And first off, my journey into tech wasn't really planned out. But it started just with my curiosity that started around like 20 years ago, I was 11 years old, totally giving away how old I am right now, when my parents decided to move me back to London from the Philippines. So when we got home, my dad had a computer and I didn't know how to use a computer back then. So I was like, how do I use this thing, this cool thing with a monitor and, and keyboard and a mouse. I was like, "Okay, cool." And then there was a rise of the use of social networking sites at the time, like my space high five, Bebo, and there was one that was like, really famous for Filipinos to use at the time, like a lot of my Filipino friends at the time was on this social networking site called Asian Ave. and we your user profile, I don't expect you guessing.

Pauline Narvas:

That's how I'm Filipino? I feel like I should know.

Erleene :

Yeah, no worries. Um, but on this site, you could actually customize your profile using HTML. And that's when it just clicked for me It started was like, how do I add this little gifts onto my user profile. So again, it started with my curiosity, looking at how I can customize my user profile. So essentially, was HTML that got me into tech. And then somehow, I ended up going to college to study software development and networking, which I did a btec diploma, and both of them. And I went on and attended King's College London university to study computer science. So that's kind of like a summary of my journey to tech, how we're going to DevOps was five years ago, after my first role as a systems analyst. At the time, there was like a lot of noise in the tech industry about micro services and configuration management tools to provision and configure systems, and for deploying micro services to so it just started from there, really, I wanted to learn how to build better things I had to like, understand how developers want to get them more better, like journey into deploying their applications into the cloud. So that's how it all started in. That's how I got into DevOps.

Yasmin:

My journey into tech is actually quite convoluted. And it's not conventional at all. So back in 2017, I was completing my master's. And I came across Bioinformatics, which is basically defined as the application of tools of computation and analysis to interpret biological data. So things like gender, gene or protein functions. And it's it kind of combines computer science, maths and biology together, which I thought was really cool. And then the following year in 2018, I started working as a data manager in clinical trials with hopes of somehow segwaying my way into data science. I also started to pursue Python and SQL courses in Udemy and code khadem II. And then my interest was also further piqued by seeing the kind of impact the status, the statistics on the software engineering teams were having on clinical research, and it really opened my eyes. And then in 2019, I applied for master's in computer science and also a coding Bootcamp, got into both of them decided to go for the bootcamp and stuff, mainly for the fact that after having a lot of conversations, I realized that the bootcamp will get you ready for industry to work ready to work in the industry and Then, in January last year, I started the boot camp. We were trained as, as full stack developers. And then and during the time of the boot camp, I did a final project. So I kind of like worked a lot with the backend technologies and serverless and AWS. So that kind of opened my eyes into DevOps. And I found that I really enjoyed that. So in August, I applied for jobs. And in September, I got two offers. One is a platform engineer, once a one is at that DevOps engineer, I went, and then I accepted one of them. And here I am.

Pauline Narvas:

No, that's amazing. What you mentioned about bioinformatics actually took me back to my uni days, I did biomedical sciences. And in my final year, I did a module on bio bioinformatics. And I remember, forgot what it was like a Jupyter, notebook sort of thing that we had. And we could like, do things in order to analyze the data that we got from the labs. I loved it, it was really fun. It was the only module where I was like, Yeah, I feel like I'm doing something because the modules were very much like theory, focus. And so so yeah, no, that's really cool. I didn't, it's interesting to me to see how many people goes into different journeys and ending up in the roles they're, they're doing right now. And it's also even better, knowing that in the future, this this isn't, it's super flexible, and there's going to be roles in the future that we haven't even heard of. But we'll probably need DevOps like skills to then you know, implement whatever it is in the future. So it's really, really interesting.

Rahmat:

My interest in tech started in my final year of university, I, prior to doing my current role, I studied a neuroscience degree. And then in my family, I was really like, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. And I basically was, it was really between in a given to get a job, going to do another degree, which was medicine at the time, or going to do a Master's, which, for a lot of people who do biological science degrees, they end up doing a Master's PhD, you know, going into research. When I did my dissertation, I realized I didn't really like being in the lab, but I just really couldn't hack in doing research, because just so boring at the same day, that was in the day. And I went to the hospital in my family, and I realized I did not want to be adopted. So that was like, that's not the one. So I also attendant, you know, lots of women in tech events. And I did a good first golf course that keeps them rcss. Like, I always need like a basic HTML, CSS from like, my tumblr days, you know, like creating themes and stuff like that. And it was just when I was, you know, doing these courses, and sort of trying to figure out what I wanted to do related to tech just made the most sense for me, because I felt like it appealed to the science side, which was, you know, problem solving, and also quite creative, and lessons good. There's different routes we can use to solve any technical problem. So I applied to a bunch of different grad schemes, got a lot of rejections. And fortunately, after my, after I graduated, I got into my current role, which is like a DevOps grad scheme. So I basically didn't really know what DevOps was, literally have, even for the first few months of my job, I have no idea what that was. But we had like a little boot camp, and they basically taught us everything before we went on to our current project. So that's just been been my journey.

Pauline Narvas:

I sort of really relate to you because I was also going to take that medicine path. And then I went into the labs did loads of internships in the hospitals. And I was like, This ain't the one like, I was feeling faint, white walls everywhere else. I've no, can't do this can't do this. But no, no, that's really interesting. And it's nice to hear, because I've recorded a different episode about community. But it's also really nice to hear that there's these all these events and community initiatives that you can get involved in. And that could be your path to tech. And I think it really, like just reinforces that idea that you don't need to go through a traditional route anymore. that annoys some people. But like, here we are, it's like the world is changing. So and it's great. So no, thank you so much for sharing that. And, yeah, it sounds like we've got so many great DevOps engineers here. Yeah. Well, we'll go through these questions. Rahmat to you mentioned how you didn't know what DevOps even was when you started your grad scheme. And my I did of grad school, as well, I was part of the BT graduate scheme. And before they renamed the grad scheme to digital engineering, it was actually named initially as DevOps grad scheme. I remember going into the interview like googling, like the thing in the waiting room, like, what actually is DevOps, I haven't even like prepared for that. Yeah, and then it wasn't until months when I was in my actual role. I started to see I started To understand what the different teams were, it's not just because initially I've been developing and coding my own projects in my room. So it's not, I thought it was just you just needed developers and maybe some business people. No, no, there's like so many different teams and DevOps being one of them. So So yeah, leading onto that, could you all like sort of give a brief explanation on what it what DevOps even is? I know, this is sort of like a controversial topic. Some people I've heard some people say that it's a team. Some people say it's a specific role. And some people even say, as a culture. So how is DevOps like defined in your organization, I'll just be really interested to hear from from people

Erleene :

Totall understand you guys. Concerns about what it actually was before you go stepped into the role. Being a DevOps engineer for the last five years. For me, based on my experience, and my own perspective, it's like a culture but more like a philosophy. I see DevOps, being a set of like, well guided principles and disciplines that have in place to ensure basically, the smooth and efficient delivery of software products to customers, and your customers could be the developers, back end engineers, and also the clients that are using the software products. So it's about a journey that you take with the developers who are building the services that you need to provide a platform for that, so that they can efficiently build and test and deploy that service on to an infrastructure that you provide for them, and that you manage and provision and you scale. And you make sure that it's cost effective. So in our organization, I've been at Expedia for about a year and 11 months. There isn't any kind of set of definition we use in our organization. But there is definitely a cultural understanding that developers need a first class experience to building and testing and deploying applications to the cloud. And it's about embarking on that journey with them, building a mutual trust between the developers and ourselves, like platform DevOps engineers and see how we could provide them with an excellent platform service. So that's, that's my take on it.

Pauline Narvas:

That's a really good take, actually, yeah, I mean, that's what I sort of would echo as well, like, you mentioned something around, like having more of like a client facing DevOps. And then like, like, I would say, client being the customer. And in my organization that is called a squad ops. And so they're the ones who were in squads that create like a feature for the website, or they own a service for the website. Whereas my, the two, experienced the two different teams that I've been in, they've actually been more of the internal DevOps. So creating tooling for our squads. So the, like the team I'm in right now, they create tools to then pass on to the different squads so that they can deploy faster, or so like you said, it's more secure, it's more cost efficient, it's more reliable. And I'm the sort of like how we define it, there's like two different avenues almost, but like you said, it is more of a philosophy. Yasmin, have you got anything to add to that definition?

Yasmin:

You all explain that really well, I've only been in my job for about six months. So I can't, I can't necessarily say what it means between different companies. But I can give you, you know, my kind of understanding and experience thus far. So I think. So I work between a security operations team who genuinely manage like hardware infrastructure, configure monitor, monitor networking, and then they enforce policies around security and compliance. And then the dev team who are involved in, you know, building new features, or bugs, bug fixes, tests, unit testing. And then there's me who's involved in, you know, deploying the applications to like a test environment or production production environment, and monitoring application and the system health and just following metrics, such as CPU, disk usage, etc. I also do, I kind of respond to application problems that may arise. So in that sense, providing application support, and then there's a whole bunch of automation that we do to speed the delivery of software and make it more scalable. So like based on this, I would probably say it's a combination of both culture and role because tech teams need to shift It's themselves around working within a DevOps framework, which is, I think, plan code, build, test, deploy operate once I'm trying to remember that diagram. But it's but it's also a job role in the sense that there are some responsibilities that DevOps teams are usually always involved in. So like automation, deployment, performance assessment, and monitoring. And then there are tools that we use to achieve these. So that's my kind of take on what DevOps is.

Rahmat:

Yeah, I think you guys have said it, you know, perfectly well, that, and I completely agree with both of you, that is both a culture and a role. But I think another thing that I think is important to, I guess, add that definitely something I've had a lot of experience with on my current client project that I didn't really know, that DevOps could be. And I guess, also, within the unit, DevOps roles can really vary, it can be good infrastructure, and there's also a side of maintaining. So like something that has had a lot of experience with, like Incident Management, you know, responding to alerts, those sort of, less more building of infrastructure, more maintenance, instructors, I think, is something that's important and part of DevOps, but it's not as spoken about, or really thought about when you speak about what DevOps is.

Pauline Narvas:

No, that that is like, super important. I'm starting. So from my old job, I did a lot more of the provisioning infrastructure. But now in my new job, I'm sort of, like exploring that monitoring, and even patching and stuff like that, because in my old job, I've always been like creating new things, creating tooling, but there's actually all the other things like supporting the services, you know, and debugging and problem solving on the spot around alerting and stuff, which is an absolute nightmare, but someone has to do. But yeah, no, there's a really, really great set of definitions. So my follow up question is around, like, why is it important to have DevOps engineers? I think this question came about just because I think a lot of people understand why DevOps is a bad route. But then, you know, I know, in my organization, we've got hundreds of DevOps engineers, and they're like, they're the probably one of the most important job roles in the business, because when we receive high traffic and everything crashes, no one, none of the like, software engineers really know what to do about it. Because, you know, they, they build the features, and they focus on creating the best features. So yeah, what's your what's your take, on why it's important to have DevOps engineers?

Rahmat:

I think, like what you said about when things crashes, it's like the DevOps engineers that are basically panicking. It's about you know, like reliability of the service, you know, you want them to be up in 100% of the time, if possible. And, you know, like massive companies, like say, Google, like, I'm sure if Google went down for a day, they'll be losing like lots of revenue per minute down Sundays, make sure that bins don't crash, for the most part, you know, everything, at least state stays online. So it's really a super important role.

Pauline Narvas:

I fourth rotation at bt, I did a SRE role, which is Site Reliability Engineering, and that was still relatively new. So I did a really big deep dive on SRV to try and like present back to the team. And it sounds like Google, I saw reef, every time they get called those sounds like absolute, like, oh, it just sounds so stressful. But you know, someone has to do it. Again, sorry. And DevOps, it's one of those things, and we're not going to get into it today. But it's again, one of those debates that we can have, what's the difference between salary and a DevOps engineer, but we're not going to go into that.

Erleene :

So me why I think DevOps engineers are very important, touching back on what you said Rahmat. Definitely, they're like the firefighters. Like if something goes wrong, you get alerted for me there was engineers are important because they're also cost effective. It's not just building toolings for developers to give them a smooth transition into building and testing and deploying applications onto the environmental onto the infrastructure by it's also about making sure that you have the right strategies, the right toolings in place, you're also looking at making sure the infrastructure is running in an efficient, reliable, resilient manner when it comes to SREs. All About resiliency is all about measuring the different types of metrics like latency traffic, the number of errors that are occurring. So they provide a lot of data DevOps engineers when it comes to learning how you can reduce the cost of running software in the cloud. So for me, two words cost effectiveness. That's why they're very important to have and the firefighters.

Pauline Narvas:

Yeah, no, super important, especially the cost effectiveness, but you You mentioned, I don't think that gets talked about a lot, actually. So yeah, that's a really important point,

Yasmin:

I think, I think Erleene and Rahmat to really, you know, some of that very nicely for us. But I think essentially, when when we look at DevOps engineers, what we do is what we bridge between development testing and operations, functions within tech teams. And we do this mainly by like automation, and just streamlining processes. So this enables, you know, speedy and rapid delivery of software, to clients and customers, reliability, scalability security. And if we just look up what it's like to have a DevOps engineer in a tech team, it's, it kind of enables, enables very frequent, but small updates, to help companies innovate for their customers and their clients by delivering things like more features to them, and more quickly, you know, and these frequent and small changes make each deployment less risky. Because they help teams address bugs faster, they can look at the last deployment that caused the bug and identify it very quickly. And an in general, they can just deliver software very quickly and in a more, you know, robust way. So all in all, I think DevOps engineers are really important when it comes to just the smoothness of the whole process.

Pauline Narvas:

Yeah, no, that's a really good way to describe Actually, yeah. And yeah, no touching on that, then, like, as DevOps engineers, what are the different technologies that have you that you've been like working on? In your day job, I'll start with you early.

Erleene :

Cool, thank you, technologies. Biggest one, we use Kubernetes. to host our applications. Specifically, we use AWS Eks. We also use golang, to build any tooling that we need to configure or manage applications that we deploy to our clusters. We use Spinnaker on top of Jenkins for ci CD and current talks to move into GitHub actions, which I'm like super excited to get on board with. At the moment, we're using terraform to provision our clusters and manage the configurations of our clusters. We use Vault for secret management. And we're using this thing called cube Federation to deploy the services or applications that we use on our clusters. And we're also currently using Helm as a package manager manager to for building our applications. So those are the technologies that we're currently that I actually currently work with day to day.

Pauline Narvas:

Yeah, I think go Lang is a really interesting one. I had this conversation with someone a few weeks ago and how there's not enough go Lang engineers around. And it's such a struggle to find them. I know my company is like, actively looking for people with go Go's go Lang skills. Because it's, it's the future, it's what it seems like it's the thing that everyone's gonna be using. And if for anyone who's listening who's like thinking of getting into DevOps, we're gonna touch on this later, but, you know, go Lang is a good one to have a look, just to read up on and explore. But yeah, those are really good technologies. I started learning Kubernetes recently, because I come from a very, very much of a cloud, AWS terraform background. And then my current team mostly uses Kubernetes. And so I'm doing like the 30 days of Kubernetes challenge right now. It's one of those things that I don't know, like, I have so many opinions about Kubernetes I'm not gonna bore everyone to death of it. But firstly, Why yamo? And secondly, that's it, I'll just, why. Just Why?

Rahmat:

It's a lot of more, like I said, like more maintainence. So a lot of that I do day to day is more like service management type stuff. So I have experience with like, lots of investment tools, like pager duty. And I have experience with when it comes to writing out internal tools, and automated services, a lot of Python, a lot of scripted, which I found that I really enjoy. I find Python is such a fun language to work with, with monitoring like promethease grafana for like our dashboards, some UI to send to which I didn't know best people probably haven't heard of. So. Yeah, it's a wide variety of different tools.

Pauline Narvas:

I love Python as well. But I've mostly been using it for a while in my old job. I used to write lambda scripts, and I did it all in Python. And it was so cool. It was like we're trying to move towards like serverless tech. But now in my new team. I brought in all this experience and stuff and I was like yeah, let's get rid of all that stuff. And then they're all using like shift to provision by like infrastructure and like maintain that information. on prem, which is fine, but it's still it's one of those things that I'm like, Oh, I love Python. It's just, it's the universal language for everything. I think in like, I think this was a few years ago now. But like Python was rated one of the, I think it was the top language to learn in tech, if you want to get into tech. I don't know if that's changed recently. But Python was was up there. So yeah, no, thanks for that. Um, how about you, Yasmin?

Yasmin:

So at my company, we use AWS as our cloud platform. Programming Languages wise, I use mainly Python, but I've been encouraged to learn go Lang, as well. So that's something I'm actively doing at the minute. And then we use Ansible. For configuration management, we use Docker, containerization, and Kubernetes. And Helm for deployment. And we use were starting to so because our work in our startup were expanding. So we were really focusing on automation. So one of the things that we're using at the minute is Selenium WebDriver for browser based and regression testing. And then there's like just a lot of Linux and bash scripting, in terms of like project management, we use JIRA and Confluence. So I think that's it for now. I am learning more and more tools. I've only been in my job for like six months now. So we'll see where that gets gets me.

Pauline Narvas:

Yeah, no, it's really interesting to hear all of the technologies you work on, because it seems like there is like that common pattern that if you do want to explore this DevOps engineer role and you're you like using Jenkins, I don't know, I thought of Jenkins, because I absolutely hate Jenkins. That's a really bad example. Let me go back. If you really like Python, or you really like terraform, for example, then those are the technologies that you will be using when you're when you're a DevOps engineer. So if you are interested in those technologies, like maybe DevOps engineer engineering is for you. But yeah, no, thank you for sharing that what you said about bash scripting. Like we're on a podcast right now. So you probably can't see us. But we will, we all sort of was like, we saw a full developer face, because it's one of those things like you can either love or hate it. But it can get really complex when you start like writing really complex bash scripting, to do something, but it's one of those things like when I first discovered it, I loved it, I felt like a proper hacker. I was like, wow, I'm, I'm like those people in the movies like, I'm hacking away. Look, what I can do is really cool. But ya know, that those are really, really good technologies to get into if you're looking to become a DevOps engineer. And that actually leads really well into my next question around how when you're looking at DevOps roles, it's, it can be quite overwhelming, because you see all these technologies, and it's one of those areas of tech, which I think moves really, really, really fast, I think, I would argue probably one of the fastest industries that's always moving, there's always something new, or some new plugins to use with, like terraform, or with Kubernetes, or something. So like, and also like, unlike front end development, for example, when you have like an end product, like a website, or an app that you can visually see, the DevOps is a little different. And it often requires you to be able to read, like feedback on your terminal. And sometimes the error codes and the error messages you get make no sense. And so it can't be quite like, oh, what what I've what even Am I doing right now? So for the people who wants to, like get into DevOps, where do you think they should stop in terms of like, trying not to overwhelm themselves as well, and the process.

Rahmat:

I was just having this conversation with her yesterday about getting into DevOps. I would, I think, to get started, especially if you have zero technical experience, you don't know anything about tech, I'll say learning Python. I think just because like even if say you learn Python, you didn't want to do DevOps anymore. It's like he's pack them for, like flask, and like, it's just so applicable across different other tech roles. So I think Python is a great start. I think if you then decide that you do want to do DevOps further, I would say getting a certification, like this might be a bit controversial, but I think, I think and this is specifically I would say doing like a terraform certification, just because it's one of the cheapest is like relatively, it's like 60 pounds, and some others, that's gonna be like, no 200 100 it's relatively cheap. And you can, with some, like maybe two weeks of serious study, you can pass it. That's like it's like a good entry set to do. So I think learning Python, getting a cert because that's when you're applying for jobs. That's the kind of thing they like to see. A cabinet certification just makes you stand out when applying for roles even if you don't have the skill and the just shows that you have the initiative to learn or you're really interested in, you know, that Getting into this career field.

Pauline Narvas:

Yeah, I'm so glad that you mentioned certification because I wanted to, I wanted to say and I actually wanted to put like a question relating to it. I was like, Is that too controversial? Because I know a lot of people in the space, there's like little country, like everyone, everything's controversial nowadays. But like, in terms of the certs, I, I totally relate to that, because I've got my AWS certified cloud practitioner and my AWS solutions, architect associate certifications last year, and they boosted the amount of recruiters talking to me the amount of like job opportunities that were like provided to me when I was like, on this job hunt. And I think a good thing that that I learned from these certs, especially the AWS ones, I can't really speak for the terraform and Kubernetes, that I'm still studying for, but like, what I found with the AWS one is, especially the solutions architect is because solutions, architects look at a very high level of what's going on in there, like, you know, architecting their services. They also deep dive into like how sort of service work and what virtual machines are. And if you're like, you don't know anything about like, tech, it might be a good one to just like, maybe not the solutions architect the first year straight away, but maybe just like, going getting into the cloud, because the cloud, the cloud is like, that's another episode for another time. But there's so many concepts that relate that are so important to DevOps engineers, like I have a mentee who, who like really wanted to get into AWS. And then once she learned the AWS things, and then got two sets off the back of her, like, hardcore learning. She then was like, Okay, now I have all of this knowledge, how can I be a DevOps engineer? And then I described to her how you can build on top of the cloud, and then it sort of just opened her mind to like, all the possibilities, because I think when you don't have that background, you just don't know. And so yeah, I really advocate for certifications. And so I've been going on for five minutes about it. But so important, I think, also, nowadays, when you see a third, I know, I've spoken to a few recruiters about this, but when you see a cert these days, it's sort of like, because DevOps engineers are very much high in demand, but when you see a cert on there, like CV is suddenly increases your pay by another 2k. to, you know, it's like you get you know, so it might be worth looking into. And I mean, that was a learning for me was the most important thing. And when I showed my certificates, it was even more of a like, yeah, cool. Awesome. Have some more, you know, so yeah, no, thank you for bringing that one up. Um, how about you Yasmin? What, what would you say to like, complete beginners who who want to get into space, I

Yasmin:

think I would say definitely learned Python. It's a very, very useful language. And it's definitely when you look at DevOps, engineering roles and the kind of requirements they have, Python is always like one of the languages that always come up. So Python, and then I'd say, AWS simply because it's the most, you know, popular cloud service. But you don't have to learn everything on AWS services, I'd say learn the most common one. So like maybe easy to s3 buckets, I am roles, cloud watch security groups, etc. And then some basic Linux or shell scripting, because you'll be using these a lot. So I think, in a nutshell, those three and then just Welcome to small project. And I'd say put yourself out there on our, you know, on Twitter, LinkedIn, and maximize your network, which you're doing amazing at Pauline.

Pauline Narvas:

Thank you so much. That's another episode actually, like, I'm going to talk about that because I don't know. I mean, a lot of podcasts, I guess, have have said that have pointed out, like build your personal brand, which I don't like that word, but I like build your personal brand, like poorly. And I'm like, Oh, you know, it's like you put stuff on the internet and it gets it gets out there. I mean, like my this opportunity that I have in my new role. I got that off. Like I applied for it. But then as soon as they saw what I was doing on LinkedIn, and on Twitter, they were like, Oh my god, she's a thought leader in the, in the area. I was like, fully, there's a bit too much. Okay. Thank you. Oh, no, no, but that's really, really important as well. Yeah. And like you said, giving it a go and, you know, being really practical with your projects, because I know I learned a lot of my concepts, a lot of the DevOps concepts, like practices from just doing tickets at work, picking up the small ones than the more challenging big projects that forced me to learn terraform For example, I had to do a website as a service project where had to use terraform to automatically like provision an s3 bucket to create a static website and use route 53 CloudFront to make sure it's secure, and all that stuff. And to me now that sounds pretty straightforward. I've got like a solution in my head. But when I first saw that task, I was like, I don't know where to even start. But as soon as you like, really just jump into it, it's, it's fine. And it does really you sort of like, you know, pick up the skills as you go. So yeah, those are really important skills.

Erleene :

For me, I must say Rahmat, good point about learning Python. And Yasmin, as well about learning Python, I would say definitely start with a coding language, it's really important to learn how to code but there's different like algorithms that you could use as well. You don't have to necessarily know all the algorithms because you could learn that while you do stuff. Again, certification is a good thing, right. So it's a good way that you mentioned it. So for somebody that has zero tech, nickel, experience, or knowledge, it's always good to like, learn the foundation, learn, like the basics of things. So definitely start learning Linux, or Unix, and also get into shell scripting, which means you will get more comfortable using the terminal. And when it comes to containerization, definitely learn Docker, learn how to build your own little container, learn how to run it. And also, I think it's, it's good to understand networking, because for me, I feel like networking is like one of my weakest points, you get a lot of issues when it comes to networking issues. Oh, it's, it's DNS. And you, you like it, you know, they will be DNS. So I think it's definitely a good thing to understand networking, and also just understand the different what they call the OSI layers to give you some knowledge about the different networking protocols that are used in each layer. Also, I think it's good to understand how operating system work, and the boot process of a computer, if you really want to get like super geeky about it. You could like look into how the kernel works like how does the system operating work? Like how do containers get implemented. And you're looking at Linux kernel features that are used to implement containers, they're called like namespaces, and C groups. So that's like, if you want to go really deep and like learn like low level stuff, I think that's that's where I will touch on like the basic stuff, learn as much basics as you can get really comfortable coding, when it comes to like, tooling, like for example, there's so much tooling out there for config management, Ansible, terraform, Chef, you have like, Jenkins concours get loved. A lot of people hate Jenkins, it's very archaic. There's a lot of plugins that you need to like, look into if you want to build like different stages of your pipeline. But it's always, it's always about keeping things simple, less managing and more innovative work. So yeah, keep it basic, get into coding, look at certification, totally agree with that, I want to do my Kubernetes certification as well. So trying to get there is just, I just need to put in the time. So if somebody wants to learn Kubernetes Kelsey Hightower has a repo on, it's called communities the hard way. And essentially, it gives you all the basics that you need, and how you could build a Kubernetes cluster from scratch.

Pauline Narvas:

That's a really good recommendation, I'll also add a YouTube channel that I've been, like binge watching recently, I don't know, for more of the visual learners, I guess this might be a good one. But for me, I'm not sure if you've heard of tech world with Nina. But she's really, really good. She mostly focuses on DevOps content. And I've never seen, like, especially a woman do like DevOps content. So it's, it's been refreshing and also just her content is has been amazing. Like, it's really, really good if you want to get started. And she recently posted a video about like, becoming a DevOps engineer in 2021. And that, again, just shows this really clear roadmap on how you can get there, so that that might be a good one for people. And yeah, we've actually reached our final question of this podcast, I can't believe time has flown by. But I wanted to talk about like, we're just going to move away from the technologies, but it's around DevOps and diversity. And I found that unlike other places, in tech, DevOps is like that place that often has a certain type of person. And I'm sure we all know what that sort of type of person is. It's always like a white, middle aged straight man. And I like I acknowledge that this isn't unique to DevOps. But across ech as well. But for some eason, when I was like looking t different DevOps teams, it's ith like, when I was searching or a woman or a person of color n that team, I just can't find hem. I don't know why. And hat's why I'm really thankful hat I have Twitter, because 've connected with all of you nd so many other other people ho don't fit that stereotype. nd it's just nice to connect ith them. But what why do you hink this is the case? And what o you think organizations could o to improve this? Like, have ou seen any organizational ractices, maybe in your own rganizations that can help ring more folks from diverse ackgrounds into this space? I now, that's a very big, maybe ontroversial question. But e'll start with Robert, if hat's okay.

Rahmat:

Oh, yeah, I think the first thing with DevOps is, I think, when we talk about getting into tech, and like, I follow a lot of people who make that kind of, you know, getting into tech tech content. People don't know that DevOps is a thing, like, it's a career path that you could go into, like, literally up. And like, when I was applying for jobs, I was literally just like, like, I was kind of getting desperate towards that post graduation, I said, Okay, I just, I just need a job, any job, and I'm just sending off my series anyway. And you know, and when I sent my CV here, like, grand scheme, I had no idea what DevOps was, but I'm like, you guys are gonna pay me and I'm gonna get to move to London, like, Okay. And I definitely think lack of awareness is like, the biggest reason, I think there's not as much diversity in DevOps. And I think from an organizational standpoint, I think, like my company's really great company in terms of diversity, and like, they're not paying me to say this, I do genuinely believe that they do a really good job with that, and it's something that they're conscious of, and I think having, like, the culture of the place matters, by for the quarter starts with, like, the founders, and whoever, you know, quits the company, like I had, like, when I had lunch with my, the founder of our company, we had this discussion about being a minority within tech. And, you know, why does he think, you know, like, the founder, which was like, you know, a white male, I was like, why do you think self organization on ice five versus you are, and he was, like, he thinks it starts with the culture of the people you have, it's something you have to be conscious of, of doing, of having a diverse workplace, it has to be a priority for the company to want to implement them to want to go to organizations and, you know, for example, killing black females, which is an organization to get, you know, black women into tech. And I think they have a job board. So organizations like that, like you, you would want to maybe advertise your jobs on both sides that so gets to a wider demographic. So you know, people from all different spaces know that you exist and know that this kind of role exists. So it's not, you know, only people who have privileged ID or knowledge can apply for these roles.

Pauline Narvas:

Yeah, awareness is. That's such a good point. Just because like you said, when you type in how do I get into tech, you can see all of these content creators, like they talk about software engineering, front end web development. And that's where people start. And they sort of like get stuck in that and they don't really like explore. And sometimes, like you said, there's just not a lot, a lot of awareness around that career path and how good it is. And I think like recently, well, I think I don't even know what time is nowadays. But like a year ago, I saw a tweet from a woman, a black woman on Twitter. And she shared I think we all know who if we're DevOps. But that's, it was a bit controversial because of how she shared it. But she was like, it was powerful. And as soon as I saw that, I was like, This is the sort of things we need in this industry, we need more like transparency, we need more people saying, I'm in DevOps. This is how you can get there. Like, this is the path I took, you can also get in there. And that's why I wanted to cover this on my podcast, because a lot of people have been listening in recently. And it's always nice to know that, you know, at least I'm doing my part in raising awareness because I definitely want to see more people like all of us, in this in this space.

Erleene :

I really appreciate th s question, because I think it s really important to highlig t this current issue. I don't ev n like to use that word. But th s current dilemma that we're n when it comes to bringing mo e women into DevOps engineeri g roles. I think it's the case f what, what I've been thinki g of, from my experience, there s a lot of gatekeeping th t happens, especially when t comes with like white men th t you work with. I don't want o say too much about that. But I think it's down to what Ram t what would say it's down to t e organization, really being mo e cognizant about how important t is to have diversity a d inclusion, inclusion in a in n organization. It has to sta t with the people that you bri g on. It has to they have o realize that there are real y good values in terms of li e diverse opinions. It's also ni e to actually be working with n t just male people in the DevO s team, but also with more wome . Because the more you show tha , the more you put that out the e more women are going to be lik , yeah, I want to join that ki d of band, I want to be joini g the superheroes that saves t e day and firefighters and stu f like that. So yeah, lik , totally 100% when what Ram t said about the founders, he h s to start from leadersh p positions, it's all about tryi g to bridge that gap between lik , you know, having more women n t just like PRC, women, but havi g more women in the role becaus , like, where I'm currently at s like around 10 engineers. We, I was like the second woman, b t the first woman Actually, s e got promoted to become a principal like super amazing a d inspirational to see that. B t being the only woman on the te m is like, crap, I wish I just h d more women to work with, y u know. So for me on how organiz s organizations can improve th t definitely support mo e initiatives out there, like y u have a lot of these groups th t are trying to bring more wom n to be in STEM roles, or just o be a DevOps, like girls wi l code Women Who Code. And there s a nother one could code f colors, I think. So once you s e organizations who are active y supporting these initiative , and also actively hiring the e women, I think that's like o e way of improving diversi y inclusion in organizationa

Pauline Narvas:

Yeah, no, that's really, really good point. Another one I would add to those is, I think, on LinkedIn, they might have a Twitter presence as well, I don't know if I follow them. But there's also women in DevOps. And they do a lot of like, panel talks and discussions around being a DevOps engineer, as a woman in in this very, you know, what's the word Mike, my mind's gone, like, non diverse environment. So, so yeah, that's also worth looking at, and connecting with them, because I've connected with quite a few DevOps engineers from that space, and they're all incredible.

Yasmin:

I think a lot has alre dy been mentioned, I definite y agree with. But awareness, lik Rahmat said, is crucial. For xample, if I, if I lo k at my experience, I, wh n I was looking into tech, he only thing that was coming ac oss was software engineering, oftware engineering, f ont end development, I had no i ea what DevOps was. And even whe I came across DevOps engine ring, I didn't know what the job actually entailed. So I think awareness is definitely ey. And I feel like a lot of c mpanies could actually me ge with outreach organizat ons and community projects. So l ke work with schools, universiti s, boot camps, women only, or inority only spaces to bri g about awareness and empower p ople to make, you know, nformed decisions about their areers. So like my company, the e's two female DevOps engi eers as myself, and another one, another girl that I work with. nd she, she got the job first. nd then I joined, I think tw months later, we both came rom the same boot camp. And t's, it seems to have worked rea ly well for the company, to t e point that the CTO is ctually actively looking to h re more people from the boot ca p. So I think a lot of companies are now also moving away from ma ing the prerequisites of, y u know, necessitating a degre to get into tech. And looking i to, you know, hiring people f om more diverse backgrounds. And I think that's great. nd it's definitely worked on my ompany. And I think that's defi itely a way forward.

Pauline Narvas:

That's a really good take. I think, this also just promotes my friend Kim's while she works for a company called tech returners, and she runs DevOps workshops for people who are trying to get into tech or returning to work into tech. And I think I've seen a lot of workshops and a lot of courses where you can learn how to code, learn how to build a website, but like seeing more of the DevOps skills around and then having organizations like, engaged with those workshops and those courses. Definitely, it's it will definitely help at least raise awareness at the very least. So yeah, no, there's a really great answers to those questions. I really, really appreciate that. And we've reached the end of our conversation now which is absolutely insane. But thank you so much for all of your input and output your anything else you want to promote on the show notes. And, and yeah, just keep on like building keep on being the firefighters of your companies and just keep raising those the awareness about how ool a DevOps careers and yeah thank you so much for being inv lved. And that is it for this episode. If you want to continue our conversation on this topic let's do it. You can find me on social media on twitter at @paulienuh on Instagram at @paw.lean and on my blog pawlean.com. If you found that episode insightful consider supporting me you can do so over on my support page where you can share my content, buy me a burrito, send me Bitcoin, use my affiliate links and more. Check it out at pawlean.com/support-me. Thanks again for listening, sending you all happy coffee positive vibes as always, and I'll see you in the next one. Bye!

Introduction
What is this episode about?
Introducing our speakers
Erleene, Yasmin & Rahmat's journey to DevOps
What is DevOps anyway?
Why are DevOps Engineers important?
What's in the DevOps toolbox?
How can you get started with DevOps
The lack of diversity in DevOps - how can we improve it?
Thank you to our speakers!
Conclusion