Teem Insights is a way for key stakeholders at Teemo to share their feedback and insights with the rest of the world. 


What is DevOps?

Richard

Today we’re talking to Théophile Dunoyer, who goes by Theo. Theo is a DevOps Engineer at Teemo. Theo, I know you do DevOps at Teemo. Can you tell me a little bit about DevOps and what you do at Teemo?

Theo 

Sure. Historically, there were two main teams: operations teams (operation guys, the kind of guys on Linux and big carrot procedures) and developer teams, who have the responsibility to develop new features according to business rules. And these two jobs have to work together in order to maintain resilient and scalable and well-rounded infrastructure and product. And this doesn’t really work for many reasons. First, because these two jobs have two different incentives, as developers need to deliver faster. That’s because a developer has pressure from the business to move quickly. And the operations guys have to maintain the stability of the platform because it’s their responsibility to ensure the platform is reliable. And, with these two jobs working separately, it doesn’t work. So my role is to consolidate those jobs and break the silos by enabling communications and finding common objectives between these two jobs. That way, developers can still ship fast, faster than before, and not break infrastructure.

I would say I’m the kind of developer who develops tools so that developers can work more efficiently.

Background and Day-to-Day

Richard

Can you tell me a little bit about your background?

 

Theo

I’ll give you a quick overview of my background. All my career I’ve been working as a cloud or system engineer at consulting companies and have worked in a cloud environment with developers to construct SaaS solutions mainly used by large companies.

 

Richard

Gotcha. How long have you been at Teemo?

 

Theo

One and a half years.

 

Richard

And so in your, in your day-to-day, how do you merge the worlds of operations and development? Are you working with both teams? Are you spending a lot of time with them?

 

Theo

Basically I’m integrated into the developer’s teams. Historically we had a separate DevOps team, but we don’t anymore. Because to have a DevOps team means you have silos because you are working on a different team than the main developers. And so it’s not an ideal thing when it comes to collaboration and communication. So now I work closely with developers. And my day-to-day job is to do the same kind of thing that developers do, except that I have a different set of rules as DevOps guy. I’m here to improve procedures and to lead good practices relating to observability, security, and stability toward our infrastructure.

 

Understanding Engineering and DevOps Difficulties

Richard

So what common roadblocks or difficulties do you find in your role?

 

Theo

I would say as a DevOps Engineer, I don’t really have that many problems. Actually, I have to go out of my scope to find problems, and then find solutions for these problems. And I think it’s a very good way of thinking to solve problems; to be aware of what really happens in the company. And it’s important to have a good sense of communication and always be soliciting your coworkers and giving them directions to identify problems. And so, yeah, it’s a big part of the DevOps mindset, constantly creating new interactions with your peers and finding new solutions to their problems.

 

Richard

So you said that you’re a developer at heart, and you work with the development team. So day-to-day are you coding and working in the backend and things like that? And if so, could you tell me a little bit about that? Like what languages you’re using for coding, what systems you’re using? 

 

Theo

To be quick and simple I will say we have two kinds of applications. We have business-related applications, for one. Generally, we will use python language for developing these kinds of applications. And we have highly performant applications. For example, our bidders. And for that, we will be more focused on VertX, which is a framework for building reactive applications. 

Globally we have to translate business into coding. And we have to do that by developing new features, and more efficient ways of processing information.

 

Richard

And so what do you say is like a successful day or a successful week in the life of DevOps? Because I know it’s not always that the problem is so clear. And you’re not always solving something exactly right in front of you. Sometimes you have to go looking for things, right?

 

Theo

Yeah. I will say it’s pretty hard all in all. Nothing happens without problems. So, there are always problems, every day. And you have to fix those problems and so you have to be very rigorous for doing that in a successful way. Yeah, it’s part of it. You just have to admit that it won’t be easy. Then you can improve the control over bugs and regressions.

 

Richard

Well, I don’t have any more questions for you, but I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. We’re coming up right at the end of our meeting now. Is there anything else you wanted to mention? 

 

Theo

I don’t have anything in mind, but I think it’s a good idea for companies to always take feedback from developers. Because you guys, (marketing, sales, account strategy) are on the front of the chain, but we are the last event.


Theo DevOps headshot

Théophile Dunoyer is a disruptive influencer. His main job is to propagate DevOps culture so developers can release new features faster, stronger and more efficiently. You can find him on LinkedIn.