Simon’s story

Simon-devops

Simon

  • DevOps
  • Since April 2016
  • Roubaix, FRANCE
  • Masters in IAGL (Applications Infrastructures and Software Engineering) at the University of Lille.

Can you briefly sum up your experience and your role as a DevOps at OVH?

I joined OVH as a developer in April 2016 for my third-year work placement, and then I continued to alternate between studying and working there for two years. Now, I have the chance to continue with the adventure in a permanent contract as a DevOps. Being part of Information Systems Department (under the CIO) from the very beginning, my role is to support and respond to OVH customer needs by developing, deploying and ensuring the maintenance of applications in Perl, Go or AngularJS.

Why did you want to join OVH?

It all started in 2012, when I was looking to host some of my personal projects, which led me to discover the OVH range of offers. I became interested in the company and began to follow their news and updates. I was instantly charmed by this French unicorn, both because of its history and values as well as its big ambitions. Ever since, I’ve wanted to go behind the scenes and be a part of the crazy adventure that is OVH!

Can you tell us about your first days at OVH?

I remember my first week as if it were yesterday! Before joining my team, I completed a full induction week with lots of different workshops, where I found out about the company’s internal tools, facilities, work and organisational methods, etc. That week was also the chance to meet and connect with colleagues from other departments.

What does an average day look like for a DevOps at OVH?

My day-to-day life as a DevOps at OVH consists of finding solutions in two lines of code, closing my colleagues’ crashed programs armed with nothing but a keyboard, playing “bug-hunter” to improve the stability of production applications, and always having an eye on monitoring. This means that I also have to be ready to don my “Super Ops” costume at any given moment, to fix faults in the production servers.

In your view, what makes OVH a unique company?

As soon as I arrived at the company, I was struck by how it had a flat organisational structure rather than a hierarchical one. The key words are “proximity” and “flexibility”, and this is demonstrated every day by the informal communication style, wheeled desks, and the frequent use of videoconference calls with colleagues who are sometimes thousands of miles apart. But it is also illustrated by the fact that the directors and managers share the same open space with their teams. Every team has its own independence, that vital trust, as well as several internal tools that allow it to successfully complete its projects.

What technologies do you use?

There are loads. Just like a composer or a conductor, I get to choose and work with many different technologies: Perl, Golang, AngularJS, Docker, Puppet, Kafka and many more. There’s no limit to the choice of technology, as long as there’s a justified interest. Before joining OVH, I either hadn’t heard of these, or I knew them just by name. But now, I’ve been able to experiment with and make use of each of them in certain projects.

Is there a project that you’re particularly proud of?

What has stayed with me the most was my first major project at OVH: an API using cold statistics. The aim of this project was to consolidate all of the statistics from the different tools used by support advisors into one individual dashboard. This would allow advisors to aggregate their data from heterogeneous sources as and when, so that they could quickly have an overview across several days, weeks or months. What made me proud was that I took the initiative to make the application algorithms generic. This way, they automatically adapted to the addition of new statistics and their access restrictions, without needing to modify the source code. This was a great discovery of my skills at the beginning of my work experience.
 
In your view, what skills and experience are essential for your job?

Versatility is very important. You have to be a developer and an systems administrator at the same time. It is also vital that you’re responsive to your colleagues and customers so that you can identify their needs and explain what you’re doing. They have many needs and requests, which is why you have to demonstrate your independence, as well as your initiative.

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