WFH DevOps Diaries🏡

Akkireddy
3 min readJun 26, 2020

Tell me a bit about what your job is here at Talent Venture Group (TVG) and what’s the most recent project you’ve worked on?

I am the Head of DevOps working on multiple projects in TVG & Sister companies. Since I joined TVG 1 year ago.

Do you have any top tips for working at home as an Engineer?

Don’t pretend that you are working from the office. We all may have felt the tendency to treat WFH the same as office work-recognize this and work with the change, not against the change.

For example, we may be tempted to worry that our slack icon blinking off means others are alerted to that fact immediately and think ‘oh another coffee is it?’. Those are unfounded assumptions and damaging. Instead, I’ve found that embracing the slack status feature and allowing yourself to take longer breaks or more breaks away from the screen can help. I’ve taken afternoon walks to enjoy the sun and done some work a little later. I’ve even accepted that some days it’s ok to not ‘produce’ much and instead use that time to think or consume knowledge.

Make time for socializing with colleagues, Fridays to build social connections from home. We have a fun channel where we share things we do on the weekend, sometimes we have Friday drinks!

  • Working != chained to your desk, Home != office
  • Work with the change, not against it
  • Use your slack status or if emergency phone calls(to fill communication gap ;))
  • Accept some days are harder than others when WFH
  • Your hours even out over time-some longer days and some shorter days
  • DevOps Engineer != Dash board & code machine
  • Socialize 🎉

Are there any specific tools you’ve found useful?
I planned the course to be interactive in a skype or AWS chime together with participants working with each other. We had to pivot and take it remote due to lock down, we found the most useful tool of course is <your choice of> video calling technology, we also used slack ‘posts’ (a feature within a slack channel or private chat) to share the lesson plan and learning objectives within the groups’ slack channel.

A lot of the changes we made to allow remote facilitation were based on trial and error, what works for one group may not work for another and of course, with a mixture of Mac, Linux, and Windows it can make for an interesting ride!

What does a typical day look like WFH?
Actually, my day starts with an espresso machine(BFF), I’ll get up make a coffee and some breakfast, and ease into the working day; sometimes this is getting my head into Trello cards for an hour before standup, others it’s just catching up on Slack or Bitbucket PRs. Once a week I jump on an open-source project for social coffee morning first thing to try to claw back some of that much needed socializing I miss from the office!

This is followed by my team’s daily standup, we’ve changed things up a bit and instead of each individual doing a status update we go through our kanban board from right to left and treat stand up as a mini planning-what do we need to do to get a ticket from ‘In Review’ to ‘Done’, or what tickets are a priority to pick up next.

By this time another coffee is needed, this time a long black (double shot espresso ). ☕️

The rest of the day is variable, if there is a large piece of work I’m undertaking it might involve some video calls with one or two other QA engineers in my team to align our related work or debug some crazy changes. Most days there is a mixture of server debug and some meetings-with other teams to collaborate on shared features, wider groups that I am a part of to discuss projects or with my own team for our standard ceremonies-retrospectives, refinement, and planning.

WFH has changed some of this flow, there are days where I wake up early and I’ll get out around the park before settling at my computer, some days I’ll take a walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon. There have definitely been days where I have worked into the evening but with the freedom, WFH gives me I’m enabled to balance that with days where I feel more productive but sadness’s missing office culture in fact from my end if you were office guy(yada…..).

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Akkireddy

#DevOps — #AWS — #Cloud enthusiast.. Views are my own.