Breaking the Silence – Agile Admin Updates!

Well I know it’s been quiet around here lately.  Two of the agile admins, myself and Peco, have switched jobs and have been crazy busy.

Peco has moved to Opnet as a SE – he always loved their APM tool Panorama and we got a lot of mileage out of it at NI. Notably, this included getting some of our suppliers, like Vignette, to buy it and use it on their products to find the performance problems before we did… We were having Vignette V7 performance issues and used Panorama to identify exactly what they were, and when we fed it back to Vignette engineering they were like “how the hell did you do that…” Opnet’s never had great marketing, they’ve been doing what New Relic and AppDynamics have been doing for a long time but aren’t as much of a recognized name. It’s an interesting move for Peco, he went from long time Ops guy to a Java dev, working on system automation like PIE, and now an SE because he wants trigger time on customer interaction.  He’s a renaissance man!  And working on his own stealth startup on the side of course.

I have moved to Bazaarvoice, a SaaS startup in Austin (well, are you still a startup when  you’re up to 400 people?) to be their Manager of Release Engineering.  They have been increasing their dev and ops forces by a very large margin (P.S. We’re hiring!) and wanted someone to run the “middle third” of their DevOps teams.  There’s one team of DevOps embedded into all the product teams, kind of a matrixed organization; then there’s my team to do the build and deploy automation and cloud and data center stuff; then there’s a support team to wrangle the pages and tickets.

I was there for a week doing new hire training when they said “So we have moved to agile doing two week sprints, and that’s going OK except we realized we can’t release every two weeks safely. Get that going.  We start biweekly releases in three weeks. Zero customer impact each time!” Therefore I’ve been in a little bit of a frenzy doing that. It was definitely on the fine line between “I like a challenge” and “Oh shit.” I lucked out and got a week of slack because we decided to IPO on the date that the first release was supposed to go, and we decided that doing both on the same day was just a wee bit too ambitious. The first biweekly release slipped from a Thursday till the next Tuesday and only had two minor issues that needed fixing after, and the next one is coming up!  We should have it tamped down to regular in a sprint or two and I hope to return to more regular blogging.

On the side of course I continue to help run the Austin Cloud User Group and the Agile Austin DevOps SIG and put together DevOpsDays Austin and do other random stuff, so sadly when the overcommittedness hits the blog has to give.

James is doing great, and just had a new baby!  So he’s been out of pocket some too. He’s still at NI, and now large and in charge of all operations for their SaaS products. They are fighting the brave fight to get PIE open sourced and out the door.

We are all going to SXSW Interactive this weekend and will regroup and decide how we’re going to bring you all the latest in hot cloud/DevOps/tech stuff going forward!

1 Comment

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One response to “Breaking the Silence – Agile Admin Updates!

  1. Congratulations on the new position, Ernest! It was great to see you at SXSWi.

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