Instaclustr Insights provide meaningful insights into team members’ work life. This time it is Arran Dengate, Senior Technical Operations Engineer
What does your role at Instaclustr entail?
I’m a Senior Technical Operations Engineer. The most important part of my job is solving problems on customer clusters. When the fleet is quiet, it can involve giving advice, writing documentation, improving tools, running presentations, and discussing upcoming changes with the dev team.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I spend a lot of time trawling through logs and metrics to find the cause of an issue, then make changes to fix it or provide advice to the customer. For a particularly hairy problem, this can involve poking around in source code or trying to replicate the issue.
I’ll also participate in the team’s internal discussions on Slack—checking drafts, debating theories, answering questions, and chatting. I work remotely, so I’m glad this happens, asI would miss a lot of the conversation otherwise.
How did you first get interested in a technology career?
My sister inspired me—she worked at a 3D animation company, and on the bionic eye project. Talking to her gave me a sense of what it felt like to be in this field. Which is both amazing and frustrating!
And your formal education followed in that path?
Yes. After a quick stint in science editing, I went back to university and got a Master’s Degree in Information Technology Studies.
I must admit I was very conflicted over whether to go through the formal education route, or pursue self-directed learning and build up a portfolio of projects on Github. I still think that would have been a fine choice.
When did you join Instaclustr – and why?
I joined in mid-2017. I think the company has doubled in size once or twice since then!
The take-home test asked interesting questions about Linux administration. I knew that if the job resembled the test, I wanted to work here. (And it does.)
What’s been your favorite part about Instaclustr since joining?
Having so many experienced colleagues to learn from. Being able to ask “Hey, is there a much better way to do what I’m currently doing?” is amazing. Even when the answer is no, it brings peace of mind.
In your opinion, what makes someone a good fit to be in the TechOps Team
The right amount of fear. Worrying about the potential consequences of an action is very important, because it leads us to think about and mitigate risks. But you still reach a point where it is time to commit. Choosing to run a command can be a very confronting moment.