Having been one of the stereotypical people that just kinda fell into DevOps from being a developer there are plenty of things I wish someone had warned me about. I love doing DevOps and have obviously even created a whole blog around it, but there are certainly some sides to it that are just tough.
So my background started me out doing Systems Administration for a small private school. This was great and allowed me to really learn a lot on the networking and firewall side. Work with a lot of Virtual Machines and really learn a lot of general infrastructure stuff. From there I moved into doing Full Stack Development, Blockchain Development, and then finally falling into more infrastructure items due to my Systems Administration background. So overall I have the hardware background as well as the software background.
As a DevOps Engineer it will sometimes feel that you are just having to be constantly available. Listening to the PagerDuty alerts coming through and hearing them ring is always an eye-twitching moment. Preparing for on-call and going off-call are something that I have become very particular about. Having something that you regularly do to “celebrate” going off-call can really just help to reduce the overall stress and give you something to look forward to.
The phrase of “It works on my computer” is a phrase that will regularly come up. It will always be a constant game of trying to prove that it does not work properly on the server and then working on figuring out why it doesn’t work properly on the server. For me this is where the software background has come in handy since I understand a lot more about how the code would work and can dig in a little deeper on things and help to point in the correct direction.
No one understands what you do
So ultimately what DevOps does is something that is very nuanced. My wife, parents, and in-laws still don’t understand what I do. My wife just knows that I type on a keyboard and bring home a paycheck. Overall this is a small deal but it is interesting to constantly be trying to explain what I do for a living on a daily basis.
DevOps is a fantastic career that had a lot of ability to allow you to learn. There are some downsides, but ultimately there are downsides to any job. These are some of the problems that I wish I had gotten a warning about and some assistance to help work through them more, but everything can be a learning experience.