DevOps gets a lot of press – so what is it, and how can you become a DevOps specialist?
Meet Oli from Gearset! Oli has kindly given us 6 ways working at Gearset helps you to become a better engineer. And if you haven't heard of Gearset—where on earth have you been? Gearset is the complete Salesforce DevOps solution featuring all the tools you need for unparalleled deployment success, continuous delivery, automated testing, and backups.
Oli Lane is an Engineering Team Lead at Gearset and has been at the company for the past 6 years going from strength to strength. Having studied Computer Science at Cambridge, he landed an internship, and later a graduate job, with Redgate Software (from which Gearset originated). He's seen Gearset grow from 7 people to over 170 employees and has progressed from spending most of his time coding to managing and leading a team (whilst still coding!). So, clearly, Oli knows a thing or two about what makes a great engineer.
Let's find out firsthand how Gearset helps you to be a great engineer.
1. You'll get to work on rewarding projects
At Gearset, we've been working on a really exciting project for the last year (we've actually just released this to all of our users, although it's been in pilot for a little while). This new feature is really a way of tying together all of our functionality into one view for our users. It’s been a really rewarding experience, both from a technical level and from a problem-solving level. We have a lot of variety in how technical our users are, so building something that works for all of those users seamlessly–whatever their experience level–is a difficult problem, but one that helps you to become a great engineer.
2. You'll be exposed to different technologies and develop your skills
3. There's always an opportunity to become a more well-rounded developer
Gearset really fosters an environment where you're encouraged to be curious. In my opinion, it's a good thing to embrace discomfort. I believe developers in general, myself included, love to do a deep dive into an area that we're really interested in. Most developers don't need much help getting that depth of experience, but it's also really important to have some shallower knowledge in a wider area. I got lucky to some extent because I joined a company at a really early stage meaning I had so many opportunities all over the place to get involved with other things that weren't my core competency.
Some of those opportunities included writing blog posts and joining in on a lot of customer calls to demo the product to new customers. And whilst I wouldn't say I'm good at either of those things, I would still say I'm decent! Paired with a really deep technical knowledge, that decent ability becomes a valuable and rare thing. In short, embrace discomfort, because even if you're going to be bad at it the first time, you don't need to be the best at it for it to be really valuable. Gearset lets you grow.
4. You get to see and interact with all sides of tech
What excites and scares me about tech is that everything's always changing. It’s daunting to know that if you don't keep moving, you'll get left behind. Particularly when you move into management and leadership, it's almost more important to keep up with those latest trends and know what's going on, and yet it's more difficult because you're spending less time writing the code and seeing the pros and cons of different approaches. That dynamic keeps me on the edge of my comfort zone sometimes! But that's also exciting; it's good to keep stretching yourself, learn new things, and challenge your old assumptions.
5. You can choose the right progression route for you, whether you continue to code or you move into leadership
I was eased into leadership at Gearset which was right for me. I started off managing one person, then a second person, then a small team of three, and then slowly built my team up according to my comfort level. Let me just tell you now, no one is a brilliant manager straight away – it's a hard skill! It was a humbling experience to suddenly go back to basics, but also really freeing.
Try things out, see what works, see what doesn't. Time management for me was key as was speaking to other managers. I'd say find a manager that you really respect and want to emulate and just talk to them—for example, you could say: "I've seen you be really effective at getting people motivated about this thing, how do you do that?". I've found that whenever I ask another manager those sorts of questions, they immediately open up because they've been there too.
6. Considering that it’s an exciting time to be a part of the team at Gearset, if you join now, you can really take charge of your career
I think you'll struggle to find anywhere else where you're more trusted to just go in and do your work the way you think it needs doing. We're a really open, honest, and collaborative team. If that's the type of environment you thrive in, then join us! If you really value growing as a developer, then this is the best place to be.
If you'd like to join Gearset, they're currently hiring via hackajob for roles you'll love.