My Latest Obsession: Admins becoming Developers

A note: This post was created on a previous domain and migrated in 2018{: style=“color:gray; font-size: 80%; text-align: center;"}

You Already Code

More and more of what we do in Enterprise IT can be expressed as code.

While I won’t lead with click bait like Systems Administration is Dead, I do believe we’re not far from a fundamental skill set shift. It involves coding, but has less and less to do with the code.

Stay with me here.

If you’re a ‘Technologist’ or ‘Engineer’ in anyway that connects to operations and administration, you’ve written code. You learn enough BASH shell to get the job done. You read up on PowerCLI to make tomorrow a little easier than yesterday. You hack together some HTML on a wiki to make your documentation pretty. (Slight aside: please write documentation… even if it’s not pretty.)

Ergo, you’re a coder.

What you — and I, to make this story personal — are not yet is a developer. The core differentiator, as I’ve found it, is a learned set of skills, one of which is around socialization.

It’s all about how code is shared.

As I play with Chef, dig deeper into Vagrant and get more curious about how DevOps has led industry change, I notice one commonality: sharing code.

Keeping It Personal

I get more certain everyday that my core skill is Community building (with a capital ‘C’). My fellow engineers trained in storage array optimization are going on this journey from calculating IOPS to the automation behind DevOps. I spend my evenings and weekends making sure we’re on the same journey, so I can continue to be part of the Community we’ve made. I will do so by connecting those who are along for the ride as well.

If you’d like a tactical takeaway from this observation, learn Git. The best resource for that need is Git Immersion. The more I explore, the more I find branching strategy as crucial to success as well.

Lastly, find a project worth forking. As a VMware vExpert, I am inspired to give back to the pyVmomi project. I hope you do as well.

It’s all a start to something bigger. I hope you’re join me for the ride.