#87: This is a little different episode. With it being Christmas week, Darin and Viktor take a step back and think about all the things that they are grateful for in this crazy year that is 2020.
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Viktor Farcic is a Principal DevOps Architect at Codefresh, a member of the Google Developer Experts and Docker Captains groups, and published author.
His big passions are DevOps, Containers, Kubernetes, Microservices, Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment (CI/CD) and Test-Driven Development (TDD).
He often speaks at community gatherings and conferences (latest can be found here).
His random thoughts and tutorials can be found in his blog TechnologyConversations.com.
I got my gym membership finally.
oh you did? But then they closed the gym, right?
Two weeks later. Yes, I had I had maybe four sessions in the gym and then it's closed.
This is DevOps Paradox episode number 87. God Bless Us Everyone
Welcome to DevOps Paradox. This is a podcast about random stuff in which we, Darin and Viktor, pretend we know what we're talking about. Most of the time, we mask our ignorance by putting the word DevOps everywhere we can, and mix it with random buzzwords like Kubernetes, serverless, CI/CD, team productivity, islands of happiness, and other fancy expressions that make it sound like we know what we're doing. Occasionally, we invite guests who do know something, but we do not do that often, since they might make us look incompetent. The truth is out there, and there is no way we are going to find it. PS: it's Darin reading this text and feeling embarrassed that Viktor made me do it. Here are your hosts, Darin Pope and Viktor Farcic.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and the other 70 holidays that happen right around this time of year. What other holidays are celebrated in Spain this time of year?
It's Christmas. New Year's Eve, nobody cares about and the next thing coming, that's the Kings. I don't know if you have that.
No. I was just trying to think of this week. What, what, or right in this week or two weeks. So it's Christmas, primarily Christmas. Okay. And lots of other people celebrate other things. Some people don't celebrate Christmas. That's cool. Well, let's think about what we can celebrate. Now, next week, we're talking about 2020. Sort of a year in review and the week after that, we're going to make some predictions for 2021. But this week we wanted to be celebrating. Grateful. What are we grateful for? Well, we're grateful for people listening to us. That's a good thing.
Grateful for not commuting to work.
We're grateful for not commuting to work. Yeah, because 2020 made that possible, right? Well, actually, no, no, wait a second. Technically we commute to work. It may only be 15 steps, but we are commuting to work.
yes. Fair enough.
We're not leaving the house, getting in a car and driving to a building, or at least most of us aren't. For some of you that are listening to us, you may be still.
Not spending mornings and evenings honking in your car because you're frustrated on the highway in a queue.
Something to be grateful for. I haven't talked about this much. I've dropped over 40 pounds this year. I don't know what that is in kilograms, but it's a lot.
because that's one thing that 2020 made possible is I get out and walk five miles a day.
That is awesome actually.
That's good. I'm very, very happy with that. My health is in, in general, better. Not that it was bad, but obviously, you drop 40 pounds, things happen. What about you? You moved.
I moved to a new apartment, which if that did not happen, we would not be recording this episode.
Yes. I would be in jail or dead. One of the two things. Either depends who would be first to kill each other in a family because we had like 55 square meters apartment. Basically I was working from a living room while my girlfriend and daughter work and school, when I wasn't traveling before COVID. Now, all three of us in the living room, working, making calls, doing homeworks, watching television, playing games and all that stuff during months and months of COVID. I mean tell me, how would it be possible not to kill each other?
So you're thankful for being alive.
Yes or not in prison depending on whether kill or be killed. It is a huge problem. I mean, I really know from my friends, most of them live in Barcelona. It's a huge city with small apartments and it is an issue when you're cramped whole day in apartment instead of offices and what so not.
Yeah, and I have a house. It's just me and my wife. Our daughter is married and gone, so we're empty nesters. So for us, the only thing that's been weird is me being home. In our 31 years of marriage, this is the longest time I have been home in 31 years.
But yeah, new apartment. What else? Yeah. We started two YouTube channels and that's going steadily well. Actually, started one new YouTube channel and one that was neglected and not really worked on, start to, we started working
and resurrected back. Yeah. So. And in case you're listening to this, you may or may not be aware of our YouTube channel, which is also DevOps Paradox. So you can go to youtube.com/devopsparadox. And we have been doing, since about April, a weekly live stream, primarily weekly, usually on Friday afternoon, sometimes Friday mornings, it just sort of depends. Usually I'm using the afternoon and morning, meaning Eastern time. We talk for an hour about stuff, and then Viktor resurrected his DevOps Toolkit Series channel and has been putting over the past couple of months, basically something in 20 minutes or less.
Twenty minutes demo plus intro outro. Half an hour in total.
You've talked about Flux. You've talked about Argo. You've talked about many other things.
Yeah. It's commitment every week, something new.
If you need a good laugh, go back and watch the early ones and then start watching the ones that we've been doing in November, December timeframe.
I'm ashamed. Not only that, but like when I, for some reason have to check something, you know, if there is a bug problem and I rewatch not only all the videos, but beginning of the DevOps Toolkit Catalog blueprints and whatever, if I watch the first sections horrified, Oh my God, this is so horrible
Why would anybody want to watch this?
Yeah. I mean, it's not really, really horrible, but we really improved how we do those things over time and not a long time.
Yeah and what's going to happen in 12 months from now is we're going to look back on this one and go like, you're kidding me, right? That was horrible. What were we thinking? Of course, I'm halfway thinking that right now, as we're recording this. We actually have had some job changes this year. Viktor went to a new company. I changed roles. I'm thankful for my new role. It's a little weird for me. I'm still trying to get my head around it, but I'm starting to do more content.
It's potentially more natural role, right?
I think it's a more natural role. We'll see. Since this comes out on the Wednesday before Christmas, you may have already seen some more of the things that I've been doing and you may not have, and that's fine. But if you're interested, you can follow me on Twitter and you'll see what's happening there. I think it probably will be. It's just a different role for me. And your role has been good? You're liking your role and enjoying what you're doing.
Yeah. To be honest, I end up doing the same thing, no matter where I am. I change roles in the same company and end up doing the same thing and then I change company and end up doing the same thing, mostly because I don't know what I'm doing. I just put random stuff most of the time.
Let's go back to the YouTube channels for just a second. Going into 2020, could you have seen where we went with YouTube this year, whether it's the ones that you and I are doing together, or just even the stuff on toolkit series?
A year ago that wasn't in my head in any formal way, to be honest, or maybe it was, but kind of back of the head. I don't know how you work or others, in my case, it's usually a decision of one morning and then full throttle dedication and then dropping out of that something or not, right?
And we're still doing the podcast. Obviously you're listening to this right now. This is a very interesting year. The other thing that we changed up this year is there's transcripts now. At some point during the year we switched it out to where transcripts are always here. I thought about going back to the old episodes and adding transcripts. Heck no, because it just, it takes too much.
Don't. That's a slippery slope. Bad thing. I like I mentioned those videos that I'm ashamed now. I thought to redo them. No. It needs to be just go forward. Make the next thing better than the previous one. Slightly better. Noticably better. But sufficiently better than that accumulated over 50 times it's indistinguishable from what it was before. But redoing stuff, it's such a slippery slope. We're getting the same question. Will you redo that book that you guys did a few years ago. No. I mean, keeping it up to date, maintaining it, bugs, whatever. Yes. But new stuff always.
Right and that's something I read recently that managers maintain. I'm going to go off in a little bit different direction here for a second. Managers maintain. That's their role. Leaders look forward. And I think we want to be leaders, no matter what we're working with, we still want to be leaders, even if we're working with something that might be a little bit older. Just because something is old doesn't mean it's not useful. Maybe it's a repurposing of said tool. Think of a hammer. There's only so many different ways that a hammer could have been there until somebody came up with fiberglass so the wood wouldn't split on the handle anymore. So I'm always looking at no matter what the tooling may be, are there not necessarily new ways to use it, but more efficient ways to use it? Maybe more safe ways to use it.
Yeah. It's always about building something new based on the past experience, which is very different from reshuffling something from the past. The only really valuable asset is always knowledge rather than, at least in our world, the physical outcomes of the work.
And physical outcomes of the work can be defined as many different things. Are we bringing in more revenue? Did we get that new data center built? Did somebody get food on the table this week? What does it matter? All of those things matter because they all add up. I'm trying to think what else to be thankful for right now. And again, we saved this thankful episode for around Christmas time, because not everybody in the world follows the United States Thanksgiving model, but usually there's always something to be thankful for around this time of year.
Yeah, but that's close enough to Christmas that you can put it all under Christmas umbrella and that's celebrated almost everywhere.
I think one of the other things I'm thankful for this year is not having to get on a plane every week. This is the great paradox of this. I miss getting on a plane, but I also don't miss getting on a plane.
I feel like COVID forced me to stop for a moment and think, and yes, it wasn't a long thinking, but yes, I think that the amount of travels that I was doing and you probably feel the same was just too insane. Now I'm missing travels again, but in a much smaller capacity. I want to go back on the road, but maybe 25% of what I was before. 25% of what we were doing is still more than most.
That would still be eight to 10 days a month. I think we've settled back. I think we've gone through that cycle of probably in June and July, we were really jonesing to get on the road. It didn't help any that it was also summertime, at least in our hemisphere that we want to get out. But now it's like, yeah. Okay. I can get used to this. I get up every day. I walk five miles. I shower and blah, blah, blah. Get all my things done. I've got a very strong routine now and that routine, I don't want to lose.
I got my gym membership finally.
oh you did? But then they closed the gym, right?
Two weeks later. Yes, I had I had maybe four sessions in the gym and then it's closed. It's so awesome because previous attempts were me dropping from a gym. Now I can say, Hey, I would be going to gym every single day for months now if it didn't close.
Yeah, my gym membership actually ran out and they've reopened and I haven't renewed yet due to trying to just stay away from everybody just in general. I'm still laying low on a lot of things, but I get outside and I walk. I live way out in the suburbs, almost out in the rural area. I can get out and walk and jump down and do some pushups, do some sit-ups and get up and keep walking. It's been nice breathing the fresh air. Is there anything else that we're thankful for? There has to be a lot of things that we're thankful for.
We have good lives, decent salaries. A lot to be thankful for, I guess. But it's mostly, at least in my case, I don't want to speak in other people name, to me what I'm most thankful for is that I can do things that I really like doing and get decent salary out of that kind of doing hobbies in a way, almost.
Because basically our roles are at least in our area, it's typically called developer advocate.
Yeah, developer advocate relations, a few other names.
So with that in mind, what does it take to be that? It's like, maybe somebody is listening today and they are just tired of their nine to five, or unfortunately their nine until midnight or 2:00 AM because they are operations.
I was kind of devrel for many years now without really, like self-proclaimed rather than officially devrel, right? Only recently I realized that actually it's much more than what I've been doing. There's a lot of different things that you can do, subgroups or whatever. In the meantime I met people devrel that just kind of hang in forums and answer questions that are somehow related with what they're devrelling. But that's it. Write blog posts. Write documentation. Speak at conferences. Visit companies. It can be really many different things. Some do it all. Almost nobody really does it all, I think. Development can be frontend, backend, APIs, many different things. I was under the impression that devrel is more about having a really experienced person because that person is really representing basically company in a way. But a lot of young people, at least lately I've been meeting in those roles, with almost no experience.
why do you think that is?
Why there are people with no experience or young?
Yeah. Yeah. Well, no, the, I don't really care about the young part, even though that's sort of what I've been seeing as well. And it sort of seems counterintuitive.
I haven't been speaking about that because I feel that I might have perverted image about it. To me, I always imagined a person who really is experienced very, very experienced and some other qualities, but experience was important. I still feel that actually devrels should be very experienced people because you get random questions you need to answer and random problems to tackle. But on the other hand, hey, why not? Actually now, when I think aloud, if you start from scratch just recently graduated into devrel, then you may never, actually, I'm not sure whether you would get that base experience like that cause devrel is not really in contact with the real world. It's not really working on real projects either.
No it's most devrel. In fact, I heard, I don't remember who it was, but they were saying something like, well, I don't have to do anything real. I just have to come up with some little demos.
That's bad. I think that you do need to come up with little demos, right? Because you cannot really do real stuff. We are going to do Google scale something now during half an hour. Of course not. But those little demos are supposed to demonstrate larger scale or larger complexity problems, which you should still talk about and be able to communicate about and then discuss and what so not. Maybe what you see on a screen of that person is a small demo, but there must be a larger story behind that small demo and the story based on experience and not on somebody reading a corporate pamphlet, which many do, but I think it's really, really bad, kind of like really bad.
So if you want to get into being developer relations type role, answer questions, if it's a technology that you're interested in and it's open source, start putting in some pull requests, so your name is available. Those kinds of things, right? That's sort of like entry level, but.
I don't know. I still have that notion that I would recommend that somebody spends, I don't know, maybe let me be optimistic five years. I was about to say 10 years, but maybe at least five years in engineering before jumping into that.
I'm going to take it one step further. Engineering, maybe. Services for sure. If you want to learn how a product works in the real world, become part of a services organization. That will change your life in all sorts of ways. Good and bad.
if you ask me, I think it should be rotation that engineering people working on a product should spend at least couple of weeks a year in services. I see it almost as a joke when I see program managers, product managers, engineering, whatever, interviewing a company, asking 10 questions and then based on those 10 answers to those 10 pre-prepared questions, they create a roadmap for next quarter or a year. To me, that's so disconnected from reality. You need to experience the suffering of the people using your product and the only way to experience that suffering is either to get a job in that company or to go to services and without knowing that suffering, your product sucks. I can guarantee you that.
I think everybody should have to go through the field services organization, whether that's directly in services, whether that's customer success, who are people that are front lines with your clients. Having that true one-on-one not through the filter of product, but that true one-on-one day-to-day type operations will make you a better person in understanding your product. But it will prepare you immensely for understanding how to explain those simple demos, because in understanding how it's really being used, those demos you create help you build a story to get you to the Google scale of whatever. Because then you could, in 30 minutes, take somebody from zero to Google scale quickly. It doesn't mean that it's fully fleshed out, but you can see the building blocks. It's sort of like, well, even from your Kubernetes book. What was that? 2.3? 2.4?
2.3. The way you built it out was here's a pod because the pod is the lowest common denominator in Kubernetes. And then it moved to
ReplicaSet and Deployment. Yeah.
until you finally got to StatefulSet. Right? So taking people through that, it's like, okay, even if you go through things fast, you still have to go through them. This is one thing that a lot of people get wrong. It was like, well, I just need to get from A to Z. I don't want to go through B to Y. I just need to go A to Z.
Yeah, that's bad.
You have to go through A to Z. Do you need to spend six months inside of C. No, you might be able to get through it in a day or even an hour, but you still have to go through it. Somethings you might be able to skip because they don't matter. You might be able to skip F right. But you're aware that you skipped F. It's not as if F didn't exist. You just chose to skip it because it was more optional. Just because something is optional doesn't mean it does not exist. Boy, how did we end up here from being thankful to talking about
Yeah, I don't know. It started with Merry Christmas and now we're into pods.
Well, a pod is an ornament on a tree and the tree. No. I can't make that analogy there. Okay. if you've got something to be thankful for this year, go share it over in the Slack workspace. If you're not a member over in the Slack workspace, the links to join it are down below and go over in the podcast channel and just go put something that you're thankful for, that you're grateful for. Maybe it's your company was downscaling and you did not get moved into the, this is the role that I really dislike having heard this year to where you have been promoted to being an entrepreneur. If you don't understand what that means, you got fired. Maybe you're thankful that you didn't get let go. Yeah, maybe it was hard this year, but you're still working, still getting paid. You're in good health. You're listening to us. That's always something to be thankful for. Right? No, We're thankful that you're listening to us. Any other final words?
2021 is coming, baby.
2021 is coming. Winter is coming. Winter is already here in some places. So with that, Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Whatever it is that you do. Next week, we're talking about 2020 in review and the week after that, 2021. 2021 has to be better. Right?
It will. Almost certainly it will be. I mean, you never know what disasters are ahead of us, but we are going to get rid of COVID and get back to normality normal
nope. Okay. Pause. I don't want to go back to where we were. I'm going to play out the manager leader thing again. I want to go forward. I don't want to go back to where we were. I want to go to better. I don't know what that better is. I would like to be able to go back to a restaurant and sit down and eat. I would like to do that. So if that's normal, then that will be nice.
Back to normal, while taking into account only the steps that we had to take back. We made some steps forward. That stays.
All right. Again, Happy Holidays everybody and we will see you next week.
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