Upskilling Advice with DevOps Institute Global Ambassador, Daniel Oh

DevOps Institute Ambassadors are volunteers from across the globe that want to help advance the career opportunities in IT and support emerging practices within the DevOps community based on a human-centered SKIL Framework, consisting of Skills, Knowledge, Ideas, and Learning.

These individuals are advocates for the “Humans of DevOps” and are industry pioneers who are passionate about DevOps movement, are recognized DevOps subject matter experts and who voluntarily contribute to the Collective Body of Knowledge (CBok) of DevOps.

This week, we are proud to feature an Ambassador from the United States, Daniel Oh, principal technical product marketing manager at Red Hat and also an ambassador at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).


Below, we asked Daniel a few questions about his career and the skills that he sees as most valuable for IT professionals today.

Daniel is well recognized in cloud-native app dev, senior DevOps practices in many open source projects and international conferences. Recently, he continues to evangelize enterprise developers on how to write event-driven microservices with hybrid serverless runtimes for the advanced DevOps platform.

(You can connect with Daniel directly on Twitter at @danieloh30 or via LinkedIn).

In your opinion, what skills are the most important in your line of work today and why?

It’s important to catch up on the most recent open-source projects and technologies through learning and practicing with hands-on experiences. This has proven to be especially important for me because it helps me improve upon my own capabilities so I can then evangelize, guide and lead enterprise developers and IT Ops teams on how to develop modern cloud-native applications and build hybrid cloud platforms and architecture through agile practices and DevOps initiatives.

Tell us about a challenge you’ve encountered in your job or career and how you overcame that obstacle.

New technology-based open source projects (i.e. Serverless, Kubernetes) are moving quite fast and have required me to spend more time learning through late nights and over the weekends. There has been no silver bullet for me to overcome this, but I have been able to reduce the amount of time I spend learning when I share where I get stuck with SMEs (Subject-Matter Experts). With SMEs, I can discuss the issues I have and find better ways to fix them. Now, I’m happy to participate in multiple SME groups to share my experiences and help out someone like me.

Who has been the most impactful IT Leader (or professional colleague) you’ve worked with throughout your career and why?

There have been many powerful leaders who I’ve worked over the last 18 years, but I would have to say Jim Whitehurst (CEO and President at Red Hat) first came to mind. I never had any experience working in an open-source culture before I joined Red Hat. With his leading open-source culture at Red Hat, anyone can send an email to the CEO with suggestions, ideas, feedback and even complaints about new announcements and strategies within the company. This has made me a more open and transparent person and encouraged me to overcome new challenges with a proactive attitude to discuss thoughts and ideas.

What’s one piece of advice you would give someone starting their career in tech?

Always share your thoughts, issues and best practices whenever you’re learning new technologies. It will not only improve your career, but grow the capabilities of your colleagues and your team. Once you get used to sharing your thoughts, spend some time summarizing and writing technical/non-technical articles on personal blogs, public websites, and social media.

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