« Back to blog

Blog: Its not just about me and my dream of doing nothing...

Graham Weldon

21 April, 2014

One of my favourite films of all time is Office Space. Its relatable in a lot of ways, and just downright silly in others. A great watch if you haven't seen it yet.

One of the quotes that sticks with me is when Peter is discussing his "dream", it goes something like this:

It's not about me and my dreams of doing nothing... It's about all of us, together.

When applied to the role i've worked towards in my professional career, it rings true. I do have a dream of oneday doing nothing. And I mean this in a most professional and dedicated manner.

One of my work colleagues replied to a tweet of mine asking what my definition of "nothing" was:

Tweet by @wallyqs

DevOps, the field in which I work, is in my opinion an effort that finds each DevOps girl or guy in a situation where we're undertaking repeated tasks, ever increasing workloads, and deadlines that loom. We make huge efforts to automate processes and remove human interaction where possible, all while maintaining a sane system state, and a flexible deployment of servers and services that allows our users to take advantage massive, scalable, production-ready systems.

To say that I have a "dream of doing nothing" is to say that I dream that one day we can automate those systems we're currently operating, to a point where our jobs (if the system and services were to remain unchanged) would simply be system monitoring.

Sure, if the systems didn't change, we'd spend out time playing PlayStation 4's at our desks while our colleagues had double eliminiation pinball tournaments... All the while, systems in the background have been automated to handle those pesky problems that arise, spinning up new servers and repoting issues to users that our administrators don't need to handle. Hell, we could staff the place with one person ideally... but thats not going to happen.

The fact is that things change, things move, and priorities get reorganised. This is part of the changing environment that any developer or administrator works in. Its what we signed up for, and we know its the way things are.

That said, the goal and aspiration to reduce our workload and further automate systems is always there for me.

This is what I mean by "my dream of doing nothing". And I think its a noble aspiration.