“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” (Stephen R. Covey)
Listening with the intent to understand means you pay attention, not to the voice of your own thoughts but to understand someone else's point of view. Why is listening and understanding important in building IT products, and why is the Community the best place to do that?
By encouraging open feedback and giving space to everyone, we can assure the importance of users’ opinions. By providing feedback opportunities, acknowledging it, and reporting back, we can build a product that meets customers' needs and solves real customer pain points.
Feedback from Community users is one of the valuable and immense resources of ideas that can ensure we innovate in the right direction and we’re aligned with customer needs.
In this way, we learn from each other, grow together, and build Dynatrace, which can simply… simplify 😉 the complexity that we encounter daily in the IT, data-driven world.
One Community member who greatly appreciates the possibility of sharing feedback and openness to listen to customers' voices is Richard Guerra. This may be why he‘s not afraid to speak loud on the Community, by sharing his insights and helping others on their journey with Dynatrace.
We invite you to meet @richard_guerra in the article below.
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?
I grew up in the Toronto area, and although personally, I was always a computer enthusiast (6502 days), I initially worked in the aerospace industry.
I started my first IT job in ‘93 working with Novell Netware 2.2 and Arcnet networks. Over the years I saw Novell NetWare move from 3 to 4, Windows NT come in to beat OS/2, and have done both Exchange server and Lotus Notes deployments that replaced their MS Mail and CC:Mail predecessors, with Microsoft Exchange/Outlook eventually winning that game. On the network side, I saw Token Ring lose to Ethernet, Datapac, and Frame-relay replaced with MPLS, and ubiquitous use of VOIP. The Compaq server training I did influence me with respect to systems management tools, and along the way I’ve implemented Compaq Insight Manager and HP Openview Network Operations Manager to get real-time component failure notifications and obtain data for capacity management.
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?
In 2006, I started working in Technology Infrastructure at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). An opportunity arose in 2018 to manage the small team implementing Dynatrace AppMon and I jumped at the chance. Before AppMon, users experiencing issues would contact our help desk which would then engage the application support team. AppMon changed this paradigm, where the support teams could now detect application or user issues in real-time, even without users reporting issues. A management dashboard displaying real-time key service level indicators of our flagship digital application was so meaningful that we would now not be able to live without that.
Migrating from AppMon to Dynatrace-Managed was a significant project, as was a second migration onto a new Dynatrace-Managed Platform with greater capacity and onboarding of new applications. Having attended Andi Grabner’s Shift-Left/Shift-Right workshop, I firmly believe in ‘no-ops’, although we have quite the institutional inertia to overcome. “If you don’t like evolution, you’re going to hate extinction” is my favorite saying from Perform 2019.
What was the biggest challenge Dynatrace helped you to overcome?
I’ve been involved in two Severity incidents where I used Dynatrace to drill into details and point to the root cause. Using Continuous CPU Profiling and the time-frame selector is my favorite go-to alongside the Multidimensional Analysis / Exception Analysis to focus on what happened during the impact/experience. Severity incidents typically result in the engagement of many support resources and management – and there is an associated cost to everyone’s time, so the faster you can get to the root cause, the better.
I also use the term ‘data democracy’ - wherein the application support teams can see service-level data alongside process-level data and host-level data all in one easily accessible place without engaging other teams, for example, to go to the server platform team for CPU or memory metrics. Our Production Acceptance Testing teams use Dynatrace extensively during PTE testing.
What brought you to our Community? What made you stay? What best advice can you give someone who just started using Community?
I like to browse through the most recent posts regularly to keep up-to-date, drilling down into specific posts relevant to my environment or interest. The advice that other members provide is invaluable.
One example is the support for Light4J RESTful framework – an issue for us as well. Viewing the other requests/responses gave me some authoritative basis to speak to this at work and some confidence that Open Telemetry is the way forward on this subject.
I’d advise new Community members that if they come across a post that they find helpful, to please give a kudo to the post as a recognition to the Community member sharing their knowledge.
Tell us something about you that most people don’t know. What is your biggest joy or passion in life?
I am fortunate to have driven to the far North of Quebec (James Bay Region) before the caribou season was shut down and to have ridden my motorcycle all the way down to the Southernmost Point in Key West Florida. My fitness regime includes ‘rucking’ (hiking with a weighted backpack), and there are some beautiful forest trails a short distance away.
What’s one thing on your bucket list? Your dream?
The 2022 Rewind Community Challenge was very fortuitous for me – posting my ‘ice time’ selfie gave me much thought on what I want to do for 2023. I’ve now taken on a new personal challenge - along with a new pair of skates and hockey gear, I’ve embarked on a self-directed program to improve my skating and stick-handling skills. A stretch goal is to play in our corporate charity hockey tournament next December, but Saturday afternoon shinny with the kids at the local rink is already a win.
Richard, we’re happy that Community helps you reach new technical skills, gather knowledge and motivate you to improve in different areas. Lovely to see that for Dynatrace users, the Community is not only an IT forum but a space to develop and grow in various directions.