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Interview with a Bitovian: Meet Phil Henning, DevOps Engineer

The Bitovi Team

DevOps engineer Phil shares his journey to DevOps, his experience at Bitovi, and his best practices.

posted in Company, DevOps, best practices on March 3, 2022 by The Bitovi Team


Interview with a Bitovian: Meet Phil Henning, DevOps Engineer

The Bitovi Team by The Bitovi Team

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Meet Phil Henning!

Phil is a Site Reliability Engineer who works with clients to identify their DevOps and infrastructure needs and helps build robust technical solutions to support their businesses.

"I really enjoy my career! Every day I see the results of my efforts in the faces of my co-workers and our clients, which makes the effort worthwhile."

How did you become a developer?

I have always been interested in technology and virtual spaces; however, it wasn't until a close friend (who also works at Bitovi now) pushed me to enroll in college for computer science that my interest in contributing to the industry was ignited.

I began as a developer creating web solutions using JavaScript and Python for a major Canadian bank. I was tasked with automating workflows to enable quicker turn-around times on business requests during my time there. This small ask introduced me to the world of DevOps and seeing how happy and productive my team became after just a little taste really bolstered my interest. Soon after, most of our team's integration pipelines were automated, and the complex deployment of our legacy applications deployed in under 3 hours when they used to take weeks! As a backend developer, I found it hard to tangibly see the results of my work; however, as a DevOps Engineer/SRE, the results are immediate and affect the people I care about the most, my team. 

How did you get to Bitovi? 

After reaching the ceiling at my previous place of employment, I began looking for exciting opportunities. A close friend who was working for Bitovi was aware of a few open DevOps positions. After a conversation about his day-to-day work, I was interested. After our conversation, I took the time to review the company and some past and present employees. I quickly concluded that Bitovi would be an excellent move for me as they offered an incredible job experience and the potential to reach multiple new ceilings. After that, it was an easy choice to apply, and after a few rounds of interviews, I excitedly accepted a position as an SRE for the DevOps team.

What do you like most about Bitovi?

Bitovi lets me satisfy my three big career goals:

  • To be a competent member of the DevOps community.
  • To provide leadership to others who wish to pursue these sorts of challenges.
  • To be a reliable and valuable member of my team.

I thrive on my challenging and interesting work. Every day I learn new concepts or features about the tools I use. And I get to show off the work at the end of the week, which always leaves me feeling fulfilled. 

I enjoy contributing to our OS containerized DevOps orchestration tool, BitOps. It’s fantastic to work with, and seeing my profile in the commits history leaves a smile on my face every time.

Oh, Also, I get to meet and work with 70+ brilliant and passionate people.

What’s a typical day like at Bitovi?

A typical day consists of short meetings either with our client or with the team supporting our client and a mix of technical client work and business writing. A typical week consists of client retros and a team huddle where we identify wins and failures from the past week and put action plans into place for the coming week. And a typical month consists of one-on-one meetings with my team lead, HR, and occasionally my director.

Do you listen to music when you code?

I do. I enjoy lofi and jazz while I concentrate (and true crime in my free time).

Do you have any tricks for staying focused?

I take a 10-minute break every 1.5 hours where I get up to stretch and do something like a small workout or making tea. The reset gets me ready for the next steps and is a little reward for the work I've done.

How do you stay organized?

I've recently adopted digital note-taking using Github. The change was spurred on by the Bitovi DevOps team’s use of Github for notes.

How do you relax?

After a busy day, nothing relaxes me more than a cold Alexander Keith’s, a charcoal BBQ steak, and milking some cows and collecting truffles in Stardew Valley.

What is your greatest success in life?

cat-phil

My cat Loki, who is 8, is ridiculously healthy and happy. I took his little fuzzy face in when he was a wee little scraggly kitten, and today he is the king of the house (at least in his head). I’ve had friends mention that he is “the most cat cat they’ve ever met” and that “they would get a cat too if it were exactly like him.” It's like a quasi-proud parent feeling that I find immensely rewarding.

 

Finally, what is your advice to other devs?

Find something you are passionate about and wish to one day achieve. Work on reaching your goal for at least an hour a day, every day.

Bitovi is a group of really talented software engineers and product designers. We are a fully distributed (remote) team. We only hire the best, and we're always looking for top-notch people to grow our team. If you think you have what it takes, view our openings

Create better web applications. We’ll help. Let’s work together.