At what age “should” a child start using a computer? These days, as we’re surrounded by computers and robots from all sides, no one is asking themselves that question anymore. Today's kids are often more tech-savvy than adults and a large part of them later in life choose a career in IT. Well, that wasn't always the case. In the past, computers and access to technology were not that common, but, regardless, for many people, computers became love at first touch.
This was the case with our Community user – Aleksandr Romanenkov, who developed an interest in computers at a very young age, which later evolved into his passion for helping people achieve better results while working with IT tools, environments, and projects.
In some ways helping others is a way of helping ourselves. It brings satisfaction that no other deed does, but can it also lead us to success? By sharing knowledge and resources, we can educate someone about our area of expertise. The win, in this case, is that you have to keep educating yourself so you can stay up-to-date and ahead of the curve 😉. By finding others’ pain points, you can assure the help you provide is exactly what they are looking for. By giving others the opportunity to share and listening to their feedback, you can improve not only the success of your customers but by making their voices count in shaping the product you can also drive your own company to success.
@Romanenkov_Al3x is an example of that way of being. Both in his job and on the Dynatrace Community, he acts as a helping hand for his customers and other Community users. Let’s meet him better and check what other topics and activities Aleksandr find interesting.
Can you share some details about your past? What is your story, and how it happened that you decided to work in the IT / APM area?
When I was 3 years old, I already had a computer so my path to the profession was determined. I couldn’t read - but I already knew that the "EXE" extension will run the game in MS DOS.
Since I was 16 years old, I have been working as an IRC helper in the biggest IRC network 😉. After two years, I’ve become an IRC Operator. My whole life in IRC can be described as the "is available for help" string in my /whois output. For half of my life in parallel, I have been creating my pet projects. (Since 2006 - IRC servers, different bots, scripts, forums, sites, integration and etc.)
Now I have 10 years of experience in IT, 7 years of experience in monitoring systems, and 5 years and 8 months in Application Performance Monitoring. I worked with Dynatrace AppMon (for those who remember Ctrl + F9 :P), and Dynatrace NAM (adlex:vantage), and I saw all releases of Dynatrace. It all was happening before my eyes.
For the last few years, I have been monitoring pet projects using Dynatrace, Prometheus, Zabbix, Grafana, and Python with notifications in different messengers, Slack, and Discord. It helps me not go crazy about NDAs, zero trust architecture, security restrictions, or internal documents, and do amazing things - like the alert in Discord, and try something new.
A very funny fact about myself is that my first Linux system was FreeBSD. As you know, it has no packet managers so for a long time I had to build everything from the source. It was a great experience for the beginning of my career, but it was a pain and not as simple as you have with "yum install" \ "apt-get install". 😊
Can you tell us a little bit about your professional life? Where do you work, and what do you do in your job? And how does Dynatrace fit into the picture?
I’ve worked as a DevOps Engineer in Performance Expert Ltd (Kazakhstan) for the last few years. I support Kubernetes clusters and production Dynatrace clusters currently. As part of my work, I analyze and diagnose problems and bottlenecks with Dynatrace APM in customer environments, act as an expert in the analysis of incidents in customer environments with logs\monitoring systems, and take part in meetings in the role of monitoring expert to help customers achieve their goals with Dynatrace.
Also, as an engineer, I have reported many internal issues to improve Dynatrace. I have created many RFEs (Product Ideas), some of which were released, and I can see them in the current version. It's a nice feeling.
What was the biggest challenge Dynatrace helped you to overcome?
This is a very difficult question because I can’t single out any one problem. I think with something new that will be coming up in the next weeks, Dynatrace will help with out-of-the-box. The approach itself has changed. I think this is the biggest challenge that Dynatrace helped, helps, and will help to achieve.
After some time, I can say that the coolest project I was lucky enough to participate in was payment monitoring. It was implemented by the standard Dynatrace functionality and some functions on custom plugins. This really made life easier for millions of people and made the service more convenient for the largest provider.
And for me personally, Dynatrace helps with the fear of public speaking. When I lead presentations, and 100-200 people are listening to me at the same time, there’s no other option than just going through it.
What brought you to our Community? What made you stay? What best advice can you give someone who just started using Community?
Since then, the Community has changed a lot, but for the better 😉. If earlier you could receive an answer within a day or two, now you can receive an answer within an hour. I open Outlook, move on to new questions and see that other participants have already answered them. In this case, I can only put kudos to the right answer. I see that the Community team has done a great job over the years.
Advice to someone who just started:
When you try to formulate a question, try answering it by yourself. I had many questions like those that were never sent. My advice - send it anyway and post the right answer. It will help other engineers who don’t know Dynatrace as deeply as you.
Tell us something about you that most people don’t know. What is your biggest joy or passion in life?
My favorite web server is NGINX. Programming language - Python. Tool - Dynatrace. 😉
My favorite dog breed - is a corgi. My dog's name is Thunder. He is a great professional in tearing up rags and scattering toys. He loves carrots and he is a sophisticated gourmet, just like me. For example, he prefers quail eggs over chicken eggs. 😅
What’s one thing on your bucket list? Your dream?
For this year, my goal is to gain practical experience and AWS certifications. Taking part in Dynatrace Global Perform is also on my wish list. But I think all this can be done without using magic, it just needs hard work and a little bit more patience.
And I want to wish everybody to be healthy. This is my magic wish.
Aleksandr, great to have you as a Community member! You provide a lot of help to others, and after this article – you spread some magic out on the Community!
We wish you all the best at work and in fulfilling your dreams, which are also partly our dreams. 😉