It has been one month now since I started my position at Envato as a remote-working Site Reliability Engineer. Let me start by saying I have been extremely privileged to land such an excellent job at an excellent company as my first full-time role within the industry.

My first month has been quite eye-opening. I came from my father’s company where I managed a small infrastructure of telemetry data servers. While I achieved some cool things there and learnt a hell of a lot about Linux, servers, and what it means to be a sysadmin in general, my two weeks at Envato was a whole other ball game.

It started with a two-week onboarding at the head office. This was quite a big step for me as I currently live in rural NSW and the office is in Melbourne CBD. After meeting my boss (and work partner) and getting my hardware all set up, it was time to start setting up my workflow with the plethora of tools and systems used by a leading-tech company of this size. But, first, I had to put a GNU/Linux sticker over the Apple logo on my brand new MacBook Pro because…you know…trollololol.

While I won’t be divulging inner workings on a public platform like this, it’s safe to say Envato is doing some cool stuff under the hood with even greater things on the way. For someone like me, having recently read The Phoenix Project, Google SRE Book and being a wide-eyed n00by ready to take on the DevOps world, this was like a big sandbox of toys!

During my first two weeks, I got a taste of real infracoding, big-scale Iaas & PaaS, the vibes of a company Slack board, and several agile scenarios like Trello boards, standup meetings, retro sessions etc.

It wasn’t all fun and games though (pun attached below). There was a severe learning curve for me, both in the tech and corporate world. This is the first time I’ve worked in a team in regards to tech stuff. While I had no problem slotting in and the team were all great in welcoming me, I now have to make sure I’m letting others know what I’m up to, writing meaningful git commits, updating my Trello cards and collaborating on day-to-day tasks.

After my two weeks geeking out at the office, it was time to head home. For the last few weeks, I have been working remotely from home. This has probably been the most significant learning curve of all. Managing one’s hours and workflow is a double-edged blade; with great power comes great responsibility. Being able to set my own hours and workflow is excellent. It allows me to work in an environment where I am comfortable and uninterrupted which enables me to achieve total zen and just focus.

Knowing when to stop is a challenge, however. When your day-job is also a passion and hobby, the line can quickly become blurred between work time and personal time. I have been mitigating this so far by “logging off” at the end of the day (shutting down Slack, VScode, my work browser etc.) to separate work hacking and personal hacking. I also try to spend time out of the house, whether that be a cafe, friend’s house or my parent’s farm.

What I’ll say at this point is that Envato is a company to keep an eye on in coming times. I’m already talking with some very talented engineers and managers about how much potential Envato has to become world-class leaders in the DevOps space. All of which I will be sticking my nose in and updating you on!

I could go on several paragraphs further about the fantastic experience I’ve had in my first real engineering role, but I’ll save that for another post.