Enterprise Architect’s Best Friend Is Production System Engineer


 Alik Levin    Dear software architect! When you build your new system. Do you think about end users? Of, course you are! That is why you build this new system - your end users demand it.
If you think about end users - can you tell me who are they? Right, the people who will actually use it. Don't you think something is missing? Don't you think there is another guy who  will be using your system? Are you taking Production System Engineer into account?
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by dariorug

Why Should You Care About Production System Engineer

Production system engineer is the guy you should give special treatment. Why? Because she is to maintain your system in production. If you build a better system from operations perspective, it'd get a better treatment during the production by the system engineer. If the system will have better treatment it'd better treat it's end users. Connecting the dots?

What Production System Engineer Cares The Most?

From my observations this is what Production System Engineers Care the most:

  • What do I check when end users ask me  the following questions?
    • Why it is not working?
    • Why it works so slow?
    • Why I am not allowed to do this operation?
  • How do I configure this?
  • What alerts your system raises when it fails?
  • Where all alerts are sent?
  • How do I roll back the version?
  • What should I do when I see specific alert?
  • How do I distribute patches for your system?
  • How do I know what is the source of the incident?
  • How do I get detailed information regarding the incident?
  • How do I recognizes the trends that usually lead to incident?
  • How do I back up the configuration?

Conclusion

Make friends with Production System Engineer. Ask her tons of questions, know her pains, offer the solutions that relives the pain, or bettor off removes it completely.

What else should an Architect take into account when thinking about operations and Production System Engineer? What's your take?

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Comments (9)
  1. Jimmy May says:

    My "Introduction to Consulting" was from–of all people–a grizzled Oracle engineer.  He provided three pieces of advice with which I now do my best to follow at each-&-every engagement:

    1)  Once you’re able to take a peek at the target systems, look thoughtful, turn to stakeholders & say, "It’s worse than I thought".  (He was half-kidding, yet it’s too often the truth!)

    2)  Latency is what matters in terms of the user experience–whether it’s network, CPU, memory, or disk, bottlenecks are established by focusing on latency, not queues.

    3)  Make the production engineer your ally.

  2. Alik Levin says:

    Jimmy,

    Adopted "It’s worse than I thought". HAHA!

    Regarding #3 seems like we are on the same page here (and your guy from Oracle), right? 😉

  3. Jimmy May says:

    We are absolutely aligned in this regard!

  4. bani says:

    Another good friend of a production system engineer is writing  and maintaining smart  scripts. These will guide through a problem with less time and effort.

  5. Alik Levin says:

    bani,

    Good point.

    What are the best scripts that "saved lives" of production engineers?

    Feel free to post links here

  6. James Beeson says:

    Hi Alik,

    For extra credit the Architect could/should shadow the SE during an upgrade to really experience their pain, even better offer to take the pager for a weekend and handle any of the alerts in the live environment. After doing this they’ll have a great understanding of the support effort.

  7. Alik Levin says:

    James,

    Not sure, here….

    If it happens, the Architect would build absolutely perfect system from operations perspective, and that would threaten on me and you. You and I live and breathe production debugging, and perf bottlenecks… in case it disappears…. we become jobless…

    HAHAAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    LOL! Good point, partner!

  8. Liara Covert says:

    Data and technical complexities can seem to be a labryinth to individuals no accustomed to using them.  At the same time, it is by exploring the unknown that a person can come full circle and arrive face-to-face with one’s true self.

  9. Alik Levin says:

    Liara,

    That’s exactly the point of the post. Calling the Architect to meet the unknown, the Production System Engineer 😉

    Once the Architect meets him face-to-face he will discover his true self, no doubt! 😉

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