The combination between technical work and communication

Roel Rymenants, Application Architect Devops

Roel Rymenants has been on board at Cegeka for three years. He first worked as a Technical Designer for 1.5 years before starting work as a Devops Engineer. 

Meanwhile, Roel is a Devops Application Architect, but he is happy to take us through his story of being a Devops Engineer and why he can recommend this job to everyone. The job gives you the chance to delve into a particular technology, but is also a stepping stone to the next step!

As a Devops Engineer, you create the factory (the system) for our craftsmen (developers) to work with.

Roel Rymenants, Application Architect Devops

Continuous growth

You are a DevOps Engineer at Cegeka. Why do you like doing this job?

"There are several things why I like my job so much. For one, you have a lot of responsibility regarding operational concerns (performance and availability, how is application deployed, how do we measure the things we want to know). In addition, I can apply an engineering approach and get quick feedback on my actions.

I also have a broad set of responsibilities within my current Acerta Project. For example, I get to provide platforms to the developers within Java (build server and test environment, everything related to deploying the application to different environments such as acceptance and production). The great thing is that we fully automate this for the teams so that this is kind of a self-service system. Where necessary, we also build applications to do that automation. In effect, we create the factory (the system) that the professionals (developers) can work with. We provide the tools."


What technologies do you come into contact with?

"Among others, I work with Java, Kubernetes, Helm, Argo CD, Open Telemtry, Docker ... "

What methodologies do you work with?

"I work with kanban/sprint as a methodology (more kanban than sprint) and further I use the DevOps methodology with three pillars."

What do you still want to accomplish in this role?

 "I'm still learning a lot myself. What is fairly new to me is everything about Observability and all the Engineering practices around it. We have a reading group within our team regarding the book "Designing data intensive applications." We also have a book on Distributed Systems to respond more to high availability & high performance and to be able to support architects.

My ultimate goal is to set up a more standardized way of working across different projects and to be able to do knowledge sharing between DevOps Engineers and developers across different projects, among other things via a guild operation like it already exists for Java."


How are you supervised in this?

"I myself am coached by an Application Architect , but I also coach the other members of the team myself. Coaching is very important. We all got a LinkedIn Learning account from Cegeka, these online courses are also interesting and educational. A great next opportunity for me is in knowledge sharing sessions ... I'm still going to work on that!"


What training have you taken and are you going to take?

"I educated myself by doing self-study through Google and Youtube. I still do that, especially when we are in the start-up phase of a new challenge. It's important here to take ownership in self-learning, in continuous learning. Also on my agenda is to take more courses within LinkedIn Learning: DevOps Foundation series courses, especially around methodologies.

Learning is also done by networking, by communicating and collaborating a lot with people and doing knowledge sharing."


How might you continue to grow?

"I have the role of Application Architect on my sights. Cegeka looks at my growth path with me and invests in my personal development among other things through the training and coaching mentioned above."

(Note: in the meantime, Roel was promoted to the role of Architect.)


Why should people choose DevOps?

"If you like the combination of technical work and a lot of communication, this is definitely a job for you! You don't work alone on your technical assignment, but always together with 2 or 3 colleagues. Hence, good communication is key, which stimulates smooth cooperation.

The Acerta project employs 80 people, half of whom are developers, and they build on what we develop as Devops engineers. This role also helps give you a better understanding of how software works GOOD (everything around it has to be right too).

So we ask ourselves, "What requirements does an architect need? And we look at how to offer those requirements to the team. We basically want to make a developer's job easy."


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