DevOps and the Weather Guy
Each year, when serious weather approaches an area, we see a reporter standing in the path of the storm. Are we doing these same things in our daily job?
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Hurricane season is again upon us in the western hemisphere. Aside from the blistery winter days, this is the only other time I regularly check in to The Weather Channel for weather-related updates.
When the hurricanes get close to reaching a populated land mass, news outlets quickly send one of their resources to set up camp directly in the path of the storm. Then, the news reporter covering the actual does the unthinkable, puts on some waterproof gear and stands in the middle of the storm shouting the updates over the sounds of the approach weather-related destruction.
While I know most have seen this, below is a photo I took (from The Weather Channel) as Hurricane Florence approached North and South Carolina:
While I don't really understand why someone has to be right in the middle of the action, I did wonder if we do the same thing in our careers.
DEFCON 1 in DevOps
As a DevOps engineer, your day started as any normal day. You have a backlog that never seems to end and feature developers approaching you for advice and direction.
Then, the alarms begin to sound. Well, you get a text message and an email. Both have UPPERCASE usage though, so it might as well be an alarm that sounded. One of the applications under your realm has crashed. It is the end of the month and the end of the quarter. Downtime is not an option at this point.
You try to restart the application. No change.
You try to restart the node running the application. No change.
End-users are getting worried. Management is even more concerned. Did you realize this is not only month end, but quarter end, too?
Your next step is to dive into the source of the crash. You examine change logs that could have led to the issue. You review system logs, application logs, and database logs, trying to identify the source of the issue. You even pull down a version of the repository matching the branch that is currently running on the server. You are in the middle of the storm, doing your best to analyze the situation and report back to anyone who is concerned...which is pretty much everyone in your vicinity.
You are the weather guy standing in front of the approaching hurricane.
While the DevOps engineer's situation is not exactly the same, the approach employed is to do whatever it takes to provide information regarding the situation and help those in need.
I would think if I chose a career path in weather-related broadcasting, I would want to be right in the action and not reporting the events of the storm from thousands of miles away — possibly using any still-functional EarthCam’s that are nearby.
While it seems extreme for the reporters to be standing in harm’s way, I do feel like they have enough insight...and common sense...to seek shelter when things truly get to a level where their life is being threatened. Just like a DevOps person would leave the area if they felt like the server crash was going to lead to physical harm.
Have a really great day!
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