We all move towards something. Movement is a part of our life, and if we want to grow, we must do our best to understand ourselves, understand others, learn, gather knowledge, and put all that information into practice.
But what's the point of gathering knowledge and experience if you don’t share it and exchange it with others? One of the main purposes of the Dynatrace Community is to share knowledge, educate, network, get updates and news, participate in various Community initiatives, and develop Dynatrace as a product together.
Toshimasa Shirai is an example of a person who understands the value of growing and knowledge sharing. That’s why in September the Community team recognized him with the Member of the month award.
Enjoy getting to know @Shirai better!
Can you tell a little bit about your professional life? Where do you work and what do you do in your job?
After graduating from university in Japan in 1988, I started my career in the field of IT engineering as a main frame COBOL programmer. There was no Internet or E-mail at that time, so we used to use the telephone and FAX to communicate with each other. In the face of the possibilities that technology provides us at our fingertips, it may seem strange, but this is how the world used to be. On the other hand, it was very interesting to see technology and information technology develop and be part of the process. Even today the Development of IT technology enables me to encounter a lot of engineers and have valuable experience.
In 2017, I started to work on APM and came to know Dynatrace’s AppMon and DC RUM. Now I work in the branch office of IIM Corp in Osaka and my main role is to offer technical support to Dynatrace users and potential users of Dynatrace.
For new Dynatrace customers as technical support, we start with basic training. The purpose of this training is to learn the basic operation method and first to realize that the system managed by the customer can be visualized using Dynatrace. Next, after introducing Dynatrace, when a customer releases a new program or updates an existing program, we advise monitoring the operating status with Dynatrace, so after that, we support key request settings, dashboards creation, and visualizing notable information.
We also use Dynatrace to support troubleshooting when performance issues or troubles occur in customers’ systems. Customers realize the benefits of Dynatrace when they discover the bottlenecks of performance problems and the root cause of troubles. In this way, we support our customers so that they can utilize Dynatrace in many various situations.
Needless to say, I receive a lot of questions from customers, so answering them is also an important job. There are many things that information from the Community really helps with answering.
What is your story with Dynatrace? Why did you start using our products and for what project?
In 2017, IIM Corporation, Dynatrace’s Japan partner, was acquired by Seiko Solutions Inc., where I have been working since 1991. I started to work with excellent colleagues from IIM using AppMon and DCRUM. The first project on APM was to improve the in-house information system of a manufacturing company in Kyoto in a corporation with an enthusiastic IT manager by using AppMon and DC RUM.
This company had many locations both domestically and internationally, and a lot of access to their other, internal systems. The problem was that staff in the customer's information systems department were often contacted by users with performance problems.
Prior to the introduction of AppMon & DC RUM, the staff of the information system department dealt with performance problems using many logs, experience, and intuition. We at IIM, who have been supporting them for more than 10 years, proposed using AppMon and DC RUM to lighten their load. By introducing these, the speed of problem-solving has improved, and AppMon and DC RUM have enabled the information system department to detect and respond to problems before users notice them. Now they’re also working on operational automation using Dynatrace.
Have you ever had any interesting use case for the Dynatrace platform that you found to be particularly intriguing? Could you tell us about it?
One recent example is our customer who runs a factory in Osaka. They introduced an Android handheld terminal and visualized the RUM data by Dynatrace even though they did not use Dynatrace’s SDK. This is a helpful use case as handheld terminals are often utilized in factories.
The Android handheld terminal didn’t reveal the specific product name. The Terminal application was developed as a Java application using the Software Development Kit provided by the manufacturer. The server side was developed in WebSphere. Of course, OneAgent was installed on the server, and RUM monitoring was enabled. In the program test, when I check the session with Dynatrace, the browser was displayed as "Android WebView", and I noticed that "Android WebView" was built into the Software Development Kit. So, even though the developers of this Terminal were unaware of the existence of Dynatrace, they’re now able to monitor terminal actions and requests.
What brought you to our Community? What is your best memory about it?
When I don’t see the expected result, I search for the document first, but sometimes I look for the discussion by experienced Community members when troubles are not solved. Usually, they don’t fix immediately, but still, I get a lot of hints. One of the most impressive cases I experienced was when I posted the problem about time zone in Data explorer because I wanted to know what happens in different time zones outside of JST. Then a member from Indonesia shared a case in UTC+7. Other Community members started to share their experiences under the submitted Product Idea (RFE) in that area as well.
Community challenges are also interesting. They show a different side of the Community and allow us to meet other Community users from different sides, not necessarily related to the IT industry. I always enjoy posts from Community members and appreciate all replies to the posts I submit from Japan.
Why do you think it’s worth being a part of the Dynatrace Community? Why do you contribute to the Community?
You can find here people from all over the world, with different backgrounds, different levels of experience, and working in different environments. Among them, you’ll find very inventive people who will often help you when you are standing alone against a problem. In many cases, they’ve already been in that place or if not, they will share some ideas on how to solve the issue that you’re experiencing.
And other way - I also like to support other members by sharing my knowledge and experience. It’s a good feeling when you know that you helped someone save time and saved someone else's worries.
What part or parts of Dynatrace Community do you like the most?
A product idea subforum is an excellent place. It meant that members could suggest, discuss and vote on various ideas related to the product in an open space and have an impact on its development, and in some way on the future of the company.
And how about your life outside IT – what is your biggest passion? Let other Community members discover something new and interesting about you. 😊
I live in Osaka, Japan with my wife and daughter. There are many temples around my house and one of the most famous is Shitennoji, which was built in 6th century and is popular among tourists.
Shitennoji is a place where many tourists and worshipers visit. Also, many places are open to the public for free 24 hours a day, so the spacious and quiet precincts, including myself, are often visited by local residents for a walk. However, all locations in Shitennoji were closed for several months from April 2020, when the coronavirus spread. This was the first event in the history of over 1400 years since it was founded in 594, so it was big news. Shitennoji is usually quiet, but sometimes a bazaar of antiques and secondhand books is held in the wide precincts. I always visit the used book bazaar held twice a year. I am very happy when I can find books, especially about baseball, from the 1970s - so from the time when I was a kid
I sometimes go to stadiums to watch baseball games. Baseball is popular in Japan, and I feel both proud and sad to see popular and skilled baseball players like Shohei Otani transfer to MLB. 😉
Talking about music, I was surprised that Lili Collins, who was cast in “Emily in Paris” on Netflix, is a daughter of a popular musician in 80s, Phil Collins, and I was reminded of my campus life.
I also like to travel. In April 2019, I went to Hasedera Temple in Nara Prefecture. It is a famous temple in the mountains, built in the 7th century. The garden with beautiful peony flowers was impressive. There were not many tourists like in Kyoto, so I could have a quiet and relaxing time.
In December 2019 I traveled to Okinawa, which is a beautiful subtropical resort area. Okinawa has its own history and food culture and is an interesting place for us Japanese. This photo was taken at Nakagusuku Castle. It has different characteristics from the castles seen in mainland Japan.
Recently, I went with my wife to "Senjojiki Cirque" in the Central Alps, Nagano Prefecture. Even if you don't have mountain climbing skills, you can go up to the mountainous area with an altitude of 2600m using the bus and ropeway. There is also a hotel in Senjyojiki Cirque, which is famous as "the hotel with the highest altitude in Japan". Hiking roads are maintained at Senjojiki Cirque, so you can easily enjoy hiking. And I could see a lot of wonderful scenery and precious alpine plants that I can't usually see, and I made good memories. Recently, the temperature in Japan has often exceeded 35 degrees, but when I arrived here, the temperature was 17 degrees, and I felt cold even with a short-sleeved shirt.
Now, I think of going to Okinawa for my next, long vacation.
We live in times where change is the only constant, where the world around us is changing faster than before. One of the major factors behind that change is technology development. We can see how technological innovation is reshaping the world and how technologies are becoming increasingly complicated and increasingly interconnected.
Toshimasa, we’re really happy to see that you’re not stopping in developing yourself and supporting others on their way to being better, both with Dynatrace and in the whole IoT industry.
By providing assistance to your customers and Dynatrace Community members, you help them achieve their goals and grow. As continuous growth is the process of learning new knowledge and skills on an ongoing basis, we wish you and all Community members never stop.