28 | 01 | 2021

“Automatization is my philosophy of the DevOps”, – Illya Mitrofanov, DevOps and Infrastructure Engineer at Agiliway

The need for high-performance and creating the bridge between development and operations has long been around. Sooner or later companies face the hurdles related to the malfunctioning of the developed systems and misunderstanding between the software engineers, QAs, support, etc. Elimination of any misunderstanding among the teams or impediments to successful delivery, optimization of the processes, and full automation is the core DevOps principles. Staying atop the innovations is one of the key things that attract developers into DevOps. The field is flexible, constantly developing, and changing which is challenging yet extremely attractive for the engineers who seek something interesting and new.

In the article, Agiliway continues introducing you to our engineers. And this time we talked to Illya Mitrofanov, DevOps and Infrastructure Engineer with more than 7 years’ experience in designing, implementing, supporting, and administrating cloud-based and on-premise infrastructure utilizing various IT technologies, systems, and network stacks about his work, why he decided to get into the industry, and many more.

Illya, can you tell us a little bit about your education and qualification? How did you start your path in IT?

My university education has nothing to do with software development. I enrolled in the Telecommunications department, however, with the time I got into IT. I liked how things work here and how everything is developing. Then I got a chance to learn at sight, so to say, as an assistant to the engineer who worked as a support to a hotel’s IT system. And, that’s, basically was my first job and training at the same time. After that, I knew I wanted to pursue my career in software development, study, and grow as a professional in this industry.

Why do you think DevOps practices as well as the engineers have become this valuable for business?

My view on the DevOps philosophy is the maximum automatization of everything that can be automated. Hence, this is the reason why you need such an engineer. This is the person that takes care of the code after it’s been pushed to GitHub. The rest is on the DevOps who makes it work and scale automatically.

You see, it is difficult to overestimate the significance of the DevOps practices. Regular and continuous automation cycle allows integration of the code a few times per day which allows detecting and solving a problem once it occurs. Next, we introduce testing into the cycle. The tests run automatically against every build in the code so that any bug also gets detected and fixed at an early stage. It is crucial to keep the code production-ready for automatic delivery. Regardless of the timing, kept in this state it can be deployed any time necessary. As to the operations, we have to also keep track of the process management as an important part of the backlog.

What is your career path at Agiliway? How long have you been working here?

I have started my career at Agiliway 3.5 years ago. It is my first position as a DevOps Engineer. Not Cloud Engineer, not Unix Engineer, or Super Admin but the DevOps Engineer. I am grateful for having a chance to join small projects at first so that I could also learn and grow as a professional. Along with that, I started also working

What do you like the most about your work at Agiliway from both personal and professional point of view?

I like how the company helps people feel at home. You know, I call Agiliway a family-type company. I won’t feel comfortable as a part of a huge soulless money-making machine. I enjoy working in an environment filled with friendship, respect, closeness, and support. I guess this is the reason why I’ve been working here for such a long time.

As a professional, I want to develop. And I admire the company’s policy for personal growth. Whenever you want to try some new technologies, you can always discuss this with your manager or CTO.

One of the most recent things implemented in the company is the mentorship program, which, in my opinion, is a great opportunity to share knowledge with junior specialists and learn from the seniors

And what about the development and delivery processes at Agiliway? How are they built?

The processes are built the way that everything is professional and efficient. This is what I like about working in Agiliway. Every team member is responsible for a certain process; hence, we have separate people in charge of security, infrastructure, etc. which I think is cool for the work process. Because having specialists from rather “narrow” fields is extremely beneficial for the business and ensures the highest quality of the final solution or product.

The most valuable skill you developed at Agiliway?

I have become adamant about my work and I don’t quite that easy. That is the trait I have developed in myself within the past years.

What challenges do you face at work and how do you overcome them?

First of all, I enjoy doing something that nobody has done before. When you can’t find the answer on either Stack Overflow or GitHub, it’s the best for me. I love researching and trying new things, hence, improve my professional level. I had several cases like this in my career. One of the most recent is creating the environment based on GitHub commit. This commit allows opening the app, create the database, and we obtain a ready infrastructure in just one click.

Since we talk about challenging tasks, what’s the average time you spend on solving one?

Well, if the task is something brand new and there is no one to consult with or nowhere to read about, it may take up to a month to find the best solution.

What inspires and motivates you in your work?

Definitely, personal development. I’m not afraid of walking off the beaten track in my work. For me, it is like a snowball. The more your roll it, the larger it gets. The same is with your experience. The more you learn and explore, the better professional you eventually turn into. This is a continuous process and I’m all in for it.

I like to think that sky is your limit. We are in charge of our lives and we are the ones who decide how to live them.

What movie/book/blog/podcast would you recommend?

As to the professional sphere, I used to read Habrahabr a lot before it turned into lots of ads and not so much great info. Generally, I like reading articles on Medium and different books on programming and how the industry develops.

I also read a lot of non-professional literature. My favorite genre is fantasy. As to the authors, I like Tolkien, Martin, etc.

How do you spend your free time?

I love traveling. Well, in the current situation, it doesn’t happen as much as I would like to. However, I enjoy getting in my car and travel anywhere I could. This is my favorite type of travel. I have the freedom to choose where and when to stop, which places to visit. I guess this the best.

And the last but not least, could do you keep yourself productive and enjoy your work?

I think if you want to enjoy your work, you have to love what you do. I love my work because for me it’s like solving a riddle. I find this fascinating and interesting. And I truly believe that a person can become successful in what they do only through constant learning and trying. Without that, we stop. We don’t grow as specialists and as individuals. My motto to be 100% productive is to keep pushing. Because, eventually, you get a lot of experience, which is going to become in handy down the professional road. And when you get a new riddle, you are most likely to solve it within a lesser time. The more you work and develop yourself, the better you become. It’s a common knowledge, which everyone shall bear in mind.


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