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Career Advice For Junior DevOps, NOC Engineers

As our industry continues to grow, we at Oracle Dyn are constantly thinking about the future of our business and our ecosystem. Upgrades, maintenance, and staying on the forefront of technology are always top-of-mind. But what about people? We turned to our customers and our own experts to ask,
What career advice would you give to a junior DevOps or NOC engineer? 

“Research twice and apply once.”

-Michael Vucci, Salve Regina University


“Always follow your path and do what you want to do. Don’t let the others to get off the track.”

-Piotr Wrzesniowski, Glencore International AG


“Be willing to work long hours and be available all hours of the day. Mistakes will happen but you will learn and become a better engineer because of them.”

-Brian Munn, Quanta Services, Inc.


“Don’t be afraid to learn everything you can.”

-Sean Ringel, PeopleAdmin


“Develop a passion for the systems and tools you use – whether you learn their advanced capabilities with a positive passion, or experiment with replacements with a negative passion.”

-Justin Mack, MarkMonitor, Inc.


“Better to ask for forgiveness than wait for permission :)”

-Adam Litman, Thomson Reuters


“Keep learning.”

-Lukasz, Thomson Reuters


“Work hard and keep updated…world changes….and quickly!”

-Nicola Marangoni, Swiss txt AG


“Never focus on just one area in technology…focus on all of them!”

-Jason Semon, The New York Times Company


We then turned to some of the DevOps and NOC professionals we have in-house for their thoughts as well:


“The best advice I have for DevOps is to follow new developments in containers, docker, etc. (like Kubernetes), as well as existing deployment and automation techniques (including continuous integration). Familiarity with the tools available helps a new DevOps person understand what is available and what would work best in their situation (Chef, Ansible, Salt, Terraform, Jenkins, etc.).”

-Christine Graham, Senior Software Engineer


“Learn how to be empathetic, understand how to not blame people for process failures and to instead focus on process improvement.

Find a mentor, determine what your areas of interest are and grasp a solid foundation in networking and systems engineering. Use resources like the OpsSchool project to gain a foundation of knowledge and most importantly share your knowledge back into these communities.

Socialize, share, join local meetup groups, go to conferences, and develop relationships with people who can provide you with an outside perspective so you can understand diverse perspectives around challenges you may face.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or take chances, if you are afraid of a system or a concept take the time to learn about it, always be willing to admit what you don’t know.”

-Chris Chandler, Network Operations Center Director


“I agree with everything shared by Chris. Curiosity and empathy are some of the most valuable soft-skill traits you can demonstrate. Understanding that you need to continuously cross-train outside your current comfort zone.”

-Veronica Harding, NOC Manager


“Don’t be afraid to ask questions; it is a good way discover what you don’t know so you can take time to learn it. Be a user of the systems that you are supporting, it helps you understand impact when an incident occurs. Also invest in some strong coffee, you never know when you are going to have to pull an all-nighter :)”

-Bethany Ross, Senior NOC Administrator


“Have side projects. Working at Dyn provides daily opportunities to learn new technologies, but I come across things I want to learn and play with that don’t pertain to the business Dyn is doing. In those circumstances I can apply it to my side project however I want. Having an actual goal to work towards is sometimes more motivating than just plowing through a book or tutorial.”

-M@ Sheppard, Manager, Traffic Management

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