Ihor Kanivets, Advanced DevOps: “Our team holds on to each other beyond work”

#Interview
November 18, 2021 4 min read

— Who did you dream of being as a child?

— I dreamed of becoming a train driver. I remember a colorful picture from a children’s book in which a driver ran a long chain of cars.

— How important is family support in the formation of a person and a professional, and were you supported in the choice of career path?

— Support is vital, it is an integral part of personality formation. Whatever happens at work, I know my wife always waits for me at home. In the absence of that, it is much more difficult to deal with problems. When your family believes in you, you inadvertently begin to believe more in yourself.

— Why did you start doing what you do now?

— I started my career as a part-time system administrator at the university. After getting a job in a computer lab, I realized that I liked automation. It was nice to watch the process: in one click I could turn on all computers in the audience or perform a number of other actions. Over the years, I began to grow in this field, writing more complex programs and scripts with which I could update hundreds of servers automatically. Interest in automation is also evident at home: instead of constantly turning the lights on and off manually, I set up a smart home. Now I can control the electricity with a watch or other connected devices.

— What are the most important qualities in your profession?

— Probably, responsibility, and attentiveness; after all, one awkward move can disrupt all production. I like honest, open people — it’s a pleasure to work with them. I think I was lucky with the team because apart from being colleagues we are also friends. We can discuss personal issues during non-working hours. There is a fun chat where we exchange memes and have a good laugh. It is very important to be on the same page.

— What does your workday look like?

Before the start of the working day, I run five and a half kilometers every day (except for the weekend, it’s sacred). As I work remotely, the boundaries between work and rest are blurred. When the task is interesting and gets to you, you might miss the passage of time. There are cases when the task eats me up, and I do not settle down until I find a solution. In the office, you can watch people get their coats and are off home. There isn’t anything like that on the remote.

— What challenges do you encounter in your daily work?

— There are often tasks that I haven’t dealt with before. For example, small details of the cluster can disrupt production. Before I get started, I need to be absolutely sure that what I need will happen when I press a button. The world is evolving rapidly, technology is advancing, so you need to follow trends and constantly improve your knowledge.

— What is the most difficult part of your job?

— I think the hardest part is fixing what you’re not familiar with. Lack of knowledge in new areas can be a stumbling block. In this case, I dive into the official documentation, and if it does not help, I turn to stack overflow or other sources. If I don’t solve the problem within 15 minutes, I turn to my colleagues.

— What do you like most about your work?

— The result that I need is one that simplifies other people’s lives. I’m developing code that will be useful to some professionals in the future because they don’t have to manually look for bugs. Less time is spent on identifying problem areas. And, as I said, I like automation: push a button and watch what happens.

— How do you assess the cohesion of your team? How does this affect the result?

— I would rate our cohesion level as 10 out of 10. I work closely with the team lead and QA engineer. We can always ease the seriousness of the situation with a joke. I know that there is a team lead who always has my back. Also, the QA engineer can always rely on me and count on help. Our team holds on to each other in work and beyond. And it is extremely precious.

— What are the most relevant trends in your profession?

— I realized that I needed to learn another programming language — golang. Now it is actively used and has become a necessity. In addition, I pay a lot of attention to cloud technologies — AWS, Azure. Also, I’m interested in Python. You can build a lot on these things.

— How does one start studying your profession?

— First, a person must have a base. That is, for DevOps the base of the system administrator is important — how computers and the network work and many other things. Then, the experience of a programmer can be placed on this foundation. There is an incredible amount of information and courses online. I am convinced that having a genuine desire to become DevOps, one will definitely become one. You need to make every effort as a junior and continue to work diligently all along. Having a genuine desire (70%) and knowledge of English (30%) are key attributes in learning the profession.

— How do you hone your English?

— In addition to school and extracurricular lessons, daily scrums with clients are very helpful in improving language skills.

— In your opinion, how will technology change your profession in the future?

— There will be more sophisticated approaches to solving complex problems. There will be less effort as the languages ​​will be structured, and the functions combined into blocks will present a constructor. We will be able to quickly form what is necessary in a particular case by adding or removing a tick. I think that artificial intelligence will continue to move forward and simplify life, both at work and outside it.

— Have you found new hobbies after joining Innovecs?

— Other than myself, I brought to Innovecs all my luggage of favorite activities — running, swimming, beekeeping. My parents have an apiary outside the city, which I am happy to take care of. After working on the code all week, I get in the car and go to watch the bees as they develop. This is my escape and the best way to relax.

— Is there a work/life balance and clear boundaries between work and life outside it?

— I would like boundaries to exist for others. As for me, I can work at night. By the way, I get a reprimand from my team lead for this, who is worried about my burnout. It really matters to him that I pay undivided attention to my family during non-working hours. There is a chance that the work may never end because there are always things to do. You need to learn to plan your day and not work late.

— What are your sources of inspiration?

— I am inspired by people. First, my team lead is my inspiration; I dream of reaching his level of expertise and breadth of knowledge. In the technical field, he is my absolute idol. In addition, I draw inspiration from travel, not so long ago I returned from Cyprus. But, to be honest, it’s not so important for me whether I’m going to Cyprus or Berdyansk, the point is to change the picture, the atmosphere. There are times when I clearly understand — I need some rest. So, you have to be able to stop for a while and not wear yourself out.

— Why are you studying today, and what would you like to learn in the future?

— I would like to go back to the gym and continue training. Keeping fit is extremely important to me.

— What makes you a happy person?

— My success brings happiness to both me and my family. I try to do my best to make the people around me feel good, it gives me wings. The atmosphere inside the family is the most important thing.

— How do you manage to stay up to date with company news while working remotely?

— Despite the remote mode, I do not feel separated from the team or company. I constantly receive invitations to corporate parties. Not so long ago there was a rebranding of Reason — a project I’m working on. Two hours before the presentation, a courier delivered a parcel containing four small cocktails and a branded glass. Distances are washed away by such lovely initiatives.

— You have been working for Innovecs for four months. What motivates you to stay here?

— People and communities are most valuable to me. I can always ask questions, I have no barriers to communication within the company. It’s a pleasure to be in the running community: sharing our results in the morning in the chat, we applaud each other’s achievements. Throughout my experience, I have not encountered such an approach. In other companies, the same running initiative can last not more than a month. At Innovecs, something interesting happens almost every day. Obviously, great efforts are being made to make working life interesting.

— What do you dream about today?

— My dream is not to lose my current passion for work, and life in general. I also want to continue to raise my bar, reach it and raise it again.

 

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