“It is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all.” (Ernest Shackleton)
Courage to explore. It’s so essential in all areas of our life. Courage is the drive that makes us go after and achieve anything we set our mind to, despite limitations and obstacles. Courage is to keep trying, making mistakes, and learning from them, again and again. Courage is to get out of your comfort zone, venture into the unknown, try new things, and discover “foreign lands”. Lands of Self, of your own limitations, talents, and ways to be better and do more than simply pass through life.
To live life to the fullest, one needs to have passion. And when work becomes one, it’s a double win.
This month we’re proud to introduce you to Michiel Otten @michiel_otten, an enthusiast of the IT/APM industry and the Dynatrace Community, who through helping others got something unique for himself! If you want to find out what exactly – keep on reading. 😉
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 young, I was always outside. I remember long evenings of playing soccer together with my childhood friends. I also played tennis on a competitive level and was hoping to make my career of it. As I know now, that was a bit far-fetched, but everybody should have childhood dreams, right? 😉
Luckily, I had another passion for IT. From a young age, I started developing websites and building my own PCs. It felt like a joy to create things and continuously learn new skills. This is still something I try to do every day.
After high school, I started studying “Information & Communication Technology” for a bachelor’s degree. Here I learned a lot about database development, .NET/Java frameworks, application development, and IT organizations.
During this study, I also started my first professional career, part-time at an IT helpdesk. It was from this function that I was promoted to different functions within the organization. During the years, I developed expertise as an MSSQL database administrator and a Technical Application Engineer. These jobs were also the first ones where I experienced that performance really matters. It would have helped me out big time if we had a tool like Dynatrace around back then within that organization!
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’m a Dutch consultant working within Eviden (formerly known as Atos) in what we call the Digital Performance-practice. We deliver professional services to multiple customers that are in either Dynatrace SaaS or on our own Dynatrace Managed Cluster.
Together with a lot of colleagues, we make it our day-to-day job to integrate Dynatrace within the customers’ landscape. Not only on a technical level but really ensure that every user gets the best Dynatrace experience possible.
So, to summarize: Dynatrace is basically the heart of our professional service delivery. Using Dynatrace, we really try to improve our customers’ digital experience and prepare them for the IT of tomorrow.
How do we do that? I think I explain it all in this short video.
What was the biggest challenge Dynatrace helped you to overcome?
The biggest challenge that we’ve overcome from a delivery perspective is business insights. Within one customer, we used Dynatrace to start monitoring end-to-end business processes.
So, we really extended the APM part towards specific business processes. This enabled us to create a massive performance improvement in “hidden” performance bottlenecks.
You can think of missing files in directories extended by not or slow responding SaaS vendors. Using, for example, Dynatrace dashboards, custom metrics, SLOs, and request attributes, combined with the power of Davis AI, we massively improved this customer’s most imported end-to-end business process. Without Dynatrace this would not be possible. Next to that, Dynatrace also helped creating/drawing the right architectural designs which gave our customers a lot of extra insight into their IT environment.
Another thing to add and what Dynatrace brought me, is my visit to Perform 2023 in Las Vegas.
Here I had the pleasure of presenting our way to prepare for the IT of tomorrow with a short demonstration of the strength of automation. I also had the pleasure of discussing APM with a lot of Dynatrace-enthusiasts. Perhaps this wasn’t a big issue that Dynatrace fixed for me, but definitely, an example of how the Dynatrace Community also brought me something on a personal level!
What brought you to our Community? What made you stay? What best advice can you give someone who just started using Community?
The boring answer is that my job as a Technical Consultant brought me to the Dynatrace Community. Since I’m a daily Dynatrace user
The Community also was one of the study topics for all my Dynatrace certificates.
I most like the fact that the Community is an active one. People from all around the world are trying to help each other. That brings me to the second reason why I’m on the Community.
The Community is also about helping each other, and that is what I also try to do. I got a few tips for people just joining the Community.
Tell us something about you that most people don’t know. What is your biggest joy or passion in life?
Just like when I was young, I still love to be outdoors. It’s not playing soccer with my friends anymore but riding my bike through Dutch nature. Nothing is more relaxing than being outside and really helps clear your thoughts.
Next to that, I like to travel. Last year I traveled through Italy for about 3 weeks and visited the most beautiful places there. And finally, I never say no to a burger…absolutely love them. Therefore, I was delighted that I was able to visit Gordon Ramsay’s burger place in Vegas. 😊
What’s one thing on your bucket list? Your dream?
I would love to create some unforgettable memories by taking a trip to see the northern lights, or the aurora borealis, as they are also known, preferably in Lapland. In my imagination, nature there is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Michiel, stay active and hold onto your courage to explore! We wish you strength in overcoming the following stages of professional and personal development and hope to see your dream of seeing the northern lights come true very soon. 😉 PS: Remember to share some pics with the Community!