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Edin Zagora: Building the Principal DevOps Engineer Role Within Symphony

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Symphony
October 8th, 2021

Even for those working in the IT industry, it is often difficult to grasp the complexities of what a DevOps Engineer does since the role itself is the product of a dynamic working environment that is constantly evolving. Consequently, the career path to becoming a DevOps Engineer is complex and not fully defined. The DevOps Engineer role is unique since it has been created to bridge the gap between software development teams and IT operations.Β 

At Symphony, every team has their respective DevOps Engineer that works towards achieving a smooth flow through constant cooperation between all team members. Our DevOps teams are growing together with the need to better understand and optimize software engineering processes and transfer that knowledge to the development teams to deliver exceptional code.Β 

Meet Edin Zagora, a Principal DevOps Engineer who dedicated his career at Symphony to evolving the DevOps Engineer role within the company and sharing his hands-on experience with the DevOps team to help achieve outstanding results.Β 

DevOps – Liaising Between the Software Development Team and IT Operations

The story of Edin Zagora is a true example of rapid growth resulting from the strong collaboration between Engineering and People Operations teams. Since taking up the position of Principal DevOps Engineer in March 2021, Edin has balanced between the traditional DevOps Engineer role and his new responsibilities. He took a substantial part in creating the DevOps community and knowledge baseline, as well as providing full support in an operational and advisory context. This required him to be an excellent communicator and successfully collaborate with other professionals in similar positions, each operating their own piece of the infrastructure puzzle.

At the start of each new project, it is crucial to set up and follow a set of guidelines created with the help of previous experiences and examples. Making mistakes is an integral part of learning and finding the best possible solutions for future practices. Edin strongly believes in teamwork and the efficiency of working together and setting up a solid framework for all team practices and projects. Maintaining the foundations is elementary in overcoming any future obstacles and achieving optimal results.

β€œThe idea is to create a DevOps community within Symphony since people who work in that area are in the so-called undefined zone. They are equal members of all teams, but in most cases, they act and work alone. We want to build a shared knowledge library to make knowledge-sharing within the DevOps community easier. We want to have relevant hands-on examples from previous projects, whether it is operational activities or setting up the architecture to improve the setup of a new project and thus achieve better results,” explained Edin Zagora.Β 

Individual development for the common good

By creating a stable and interconnected DevOps community within Symphony, Edin wants to optimize the time to solve basic tasks and create a better setup for the projects. In his words, this would provide enough time, space, and resources for DevOps community members' education and further development which is something Symphony puts great emphasis on. By obtaining specific certifications, The DevOps Engineers officially put a stamp on their knowledge and accomplishments while providing additional value to the company and clients.Β 

Just as the Principal DevOps Engineer role is built, so are the processes within the DevOps community. Edin’s position is unique in the sense that, as he points out, his role is in the 50/50 ratio, working simultaneously as a DevOps Engineer and tackling his duties as the Principal DevOps Engineer. In this way, he stays in the loop with the processes on both ends, and, at the same time, he is able to share knowledge and professional experience with his team. The Principal DevOps Engineer role incorporates quality control, knowledge-sharing, setting up standards in accordance with the software engineering strategy, and making sure that all of them are applied accordingly.Β 

Another important aspect of Edin’s role is to work closely with Tech Leads, analyze each project from a DevOps perspective, and provide guidance and resources that shorten the gap between DevOps and other team members. β€œSymphony is constantly growing and evolving as a company, together with our standards that every project has to meet, including but not limited to security, compliance, and high-quality standards in general. As we tend to be the company mostly oriented to world-leading enterprise clients in their domain, we have to meet all expected standards to deliver our product as a complete service.” - Edin pointed out.

At Symphony, we put a lot of our efforts into cross-team cooperation and creating the best possible professional development plan. In this light, Edin works closely with the Engineering and People Operations teams, as well as the Head of Software Engineering, to improve working conditions and quality for each member of the DevOps community. They are aware that people skills are essential for overall success because finding common ground between all team members is not always an easy task. Edin points out that one of his primary responsibilities is understanding how people, culture, and processes work together to impact their job and fill the gaps in technology with expert care. As he likes to say, social bonding is achieved through tech bonding, and he aspires to accomplish that balance every chance he gets.