The People Behind Our Agile IT Operations – our DevOps team

 In Career Tips, Team Stories

Few years ago, IT companies recognized the value of having Agile IT Operations. The aim is to achieve synergy, integration, and synchronization of workflows. This blog post tackles how the DevOps team supports the agile approach.

DevOps is an engineering practice. It aims at unifying software development (Dev) and software operation (Ops). The DevOps movement strongly advocates for automation and monitoring. This applies to all steps of software construction. Starting with integration, testing, and releasing to deployment. — Branko Avramovski, Head of DevOps

The DevOps team connects all IT departments. But it is also on the front line in constant communication with clients.

DevOps is an IT mindset that encourages communication, collaboration, integration, and automation. The goal is to improve the software quality and delivery time. — Aleksandar Koteski, L2 Support Engineer

The first thing that you notice about the DevOps team is the positive energy and high morale. They are always cheerful and ready to handle every situation. Plus they have very refined taste in music!

Let’s kick off this interview with a simple question:

Head of DevOps

#1 What is Singular DevOps doing?

It is Support and Operations part in the Product Lifecycle. It starts from the built environment. Then, it goes through all stages in software production environment. DevOps aims at shorter development cycles and increased deployment frequencies.

To make this happen, we work closely with Development and QA teams. We focus our efforts on delivering a high-quality experience for our clients. — Branko Avramovski, Head of DevOps

#2 How is the DevOps team organized?

Our team has defined levels, associated with support process in mind. The biggest segment consists of L1 support engineers involved in direct problem handling. They s deal with the largest volume of reported problems.

Next, we have experienced L2 system engineers. They are dealing with more complex operational problems. They also mentor and lead younger teammates to the process of learning.Sanja Kuzmanovikj, L1 Team Lead

Suppot Engineers

#3 What is an average working day for the DevOps team?

DevOps – it’s a juggling game!
We spend most of our days developing automation and planning projects.

Working on incidents, troubleshooting, analyzing and providing fixes to bugs, and interacting with users. Making sure our local and customer environment is in perfect orderAleksandar Koteski, L2 Support Engineer

#4 What is the biggest challenge in everyday work?

Even though lots of people think that working as a support engineer is an easy job, we are faced with a lot of challenges.

The biggest challenge for me is to deliver what I have been assigned to in a specific period of time It requires great time management skills and great communication skills with the other involved sides — clients or product teams.Aleksandar Gilev, L1 Support Engineers


#5 What was the first project that you worked on?

I started working at Singular few months ago, so there are still a lot of things to learn. During the first couple of months, I spent most of the time learning the complexity of the products, standards in the operating practices and how we utilize technology in these areas. The first project, on which I’m still working, is the implementation of the server environment for our new client Tower Torneos.Miki Peshevski, L2 Support Engineer

#6 Which values resonate most with your team?

Whenever we need help, working hours or not, we always get quick response from a teammate. We always execute tasks and activities with the highest level of quality. Sharing knowledge is very important for good teamwork. At the end of the working day, we have an overview of finished tasks. often,  we have a beer ( virtually because I’m the only team member that is in Georgia:)). — Oto Onashvili, L3 Support Engineer


#7 What makes the DevOps team successful?

  • Support from our teammates –  Everyone is eager to assist and motivate the others, especially the newcomers in accomplishing their tasks and improve themselves in a professional manner.
  • Effective individual contribution — Every member contributes their fair share and is equally participating in improving the quality of services. All the DevOps members are fast and efficient in accomplishing their tasks.
  • Big merit for that have the Knowledge Base articles which are very important part for the new members. Each member has a sense of belonging to the team, commitment to the work.
  • Leadership — Our project manager and team leader plays a key role in motivating and organizing the team members. — Darjan Stojanovski, L1 Support Engineer
Darjan Stojanovski, L1 Support Engineer

#8 What do you enjoy most about your work?

The best thing about my job is the interaction with team members on all different levels of the organization. Creating great results while working with great teammates is also a huge part of the satisfaction.Biljana Petrovska, Product Support Specialist

#9 What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt while working as DevOps?

You have to keep a positive mindset even though you have been faced with lots of challenges. Working as an Ops member helped me in improving my time management, troubleshooting, and communication skills.Dejan Ilievski, L1 Support Engineer

IT Operations

#10 What is the most important thing DevOps help us (the team) achieve?

The processes and practices provided by the DevOps team enable provision of services on the highest possible operational level. Direct customer perception of the quality of our product is not just based on creating great design and features, but also delivering outstanding experience.Branko Avramovski, Head of DevOps

#11 What’s been your most challenging deployment / upgrade / migration?

Migrating our biggest client (Adjarabet) to a new infrastructure, while applying major release upgrade to our Sportsbook product. The preparation of such task took almost two weeks. Execution of it had to happen during night hours. In the end, the great collaboration led to great success and smooth transfer.Aleksandar Koteski, L2 Support Engineer


#12 How does knowledge sharing function within the DevOps team?

We have knowledge sharing sessions and knowledge base documentation. Every time when we learn something new, we create a technical documentation ( a knowledge base). The same documentation is demonstrated in one of our knowledge sharing sessions. This way other team members are getting familiar with the new features that our company offers.Biljana Petrovska, Product Support Specialist

#13 What are the everyday challenges of constant and direct communication with clients?

There are pros and cons in this job like in every other. So, I would like to divide the challenges into four small steps :
— Make sure we are speaking the same language so there is no misunderstanding;
— Do the troubleshooting;
— Act properly, make sure that the problem is assigned to the right place;
— Keep the customer satisfied;Dragan Trajceski, L1 Support Engineer

Development Operations

#14 Why databases are so important and need the targeted expert with experience?

These days the information becomes one of the most valuable assets in the business domain. The correct and timely management of the information makes the difference between success and failure on the market.

Different database technologies have been developed in past 50 years to collect, organize and process data. In the last couple of years, we have witnessed the explosion of produced data in various shapes and formats.

The mission of data experts is to manage the lifecycle of data management. From collecting and organizing up to utilizing the information buried in tremendous amounts of data.Aleksandar Kostovski, DBA

Teamwork fun

#15 How important is DevOps for the overall success of a company?

DevOps is a way of working…. Success is hugely reliant upon having great DevOps engineers. The DevOps engineer is the hard-working, knowledge-packed asset that allows organizations to see radical improvements.

The DevOps engineer is expected to understand production cycles, in depth, from start to finish. This allows increased transparency and collaboration when working with external team members. We give 110% every single day on the job, and we strive for more! Aleksandar Koteski, L2 Support Engineer

This was the story of our DevOps team. Positive energy, teamwork, mutual respect and real friendship is what makes them special. I really enjoyed while working on this blog post. If you want to read more articles about our teams subscribe to our blog, because at Singular the people create the success stories.

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