5 minutes with… Anatolii Obertyshev, DevOps Lead at Energy One France

As part of our series of expert interviews with team members across the global Energy One group, we interview Anatolii Obertyshev, who is based in our Paris office, as he discusses his role.

Good day Anatolii, could you tell us about your career at Energy One?

I joined Energy One France in Q4 2020 as the first Site Reliability Engineer, after working for four years as a Fullstack developer at other companies. Over time, I was promoted to DevOps Lead, because I took on more responsibility and became involved in new projects overseen by our Chief Technology Officer. This happened in April 2023 and now I am leading a whole team of Site Reliability Engineers.

The experience has been great. The part of my job I appreciate the most is the liberty I am given to bring a vision to life. We have flexibility in the choice of technology we use and how we want to do things to make our visions come true.

How would you explain “DevOps for dummies”?

First of all, I want to clarify that DevOps is a culture and a methodology, and the people who put this methodology in practice are called Site Reliability Engineers.

Now, if we look at the history of where “DevOps” came from, we have to look back a few decades. The “ancestors” of site reliability engineers were called “sysadmins”, short for system administrators. Those were the people who we imagine sitting in a server room, monitoring the infrastructure, making sure nothing breaks and fixing all kinds of problems.

With the advent of cloud-based infrastructure and its benefits (such as availability and cost effectiveness), a lot of things moved to “the cloud” from on-premise datacenters. This meant that system administrators needed to grow in their role and acquire a larger skillset outside of being able to monitor the network and the Linux servers. Hence a new methodology and ruleset for handling cloud-based infrastructure had to be created, which is now commonly referred to as “DevOps”.

In a general sense, DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering is about everything that is “Information Technology” but not strictly coding. DevOps is the foundation that sits below the actual IT development and creation of software. It is concerned with networks, servers, VPNs, logging, monitoring, tracing, infrastructure protection and IT security, database administration and much more. These topics are generally regarded as the domain of “IT”, but not strictly coding, and it is the glue that holds everything together.

If you compare it to a stage play, you could see the developers as the actors in this metaphor, bringing the play to life. While the DevOps team could be likened to all the people ‘behind the scenes’ that make sure the stage doesn’t break, props are handed to the actors, and light and sound works as it should.

That’s a great metaphor, Anatolii! What do you enjoy most about your current role?

I have mentioned already that I really enjoy the ability to realize a vision. What this means in this role is that I can look at a situation and see how things should be; I can see how certain things are supposed to be set-up.

Going ahead and being able to make it these ideas happen as I envision them in my head is just the best feeling. Seeing something working flawlessly with all gears turning correctly, everything just lining up perfectly, that’s the biggest pleasure I experience in my professional career.

How is Energy One France staying on top of new trends in DevOps?

When I arrived, our solutions were already running in the cloud. However, in the early days of my work at Energy One I was assigned to move our solutions to another cloud region that was geographically closer to an important stock exchange so that we had less latency. Due to this, we had an opportunity to create a resilient infrastructure from scratch using modern DevOps approaches.

Obviously, we’re still doing some things manually in the UI and console, for example for emergency cases where we have to intervene quickly. But for most of the day-to-day operation, everything goes through a very streamlined and secure process.

The end result is a faster development cycle, meaning faster bug fixes and releases of new features and improvements.

Looking ahead, how do you see the coming years at Energy One?

Looking at our growth and hearing customer feedback, eZ-Ops is one of-  if not THE best solution of its kind in Europe. the plan is to draw more resources to its further development. For our DevOps infrastructure team, this means we will certainly pay even more attention to the stability, scalability and security of our IT Infrastructure.

And finally… what would be your favorite travel destination (if money is no object)?

The place that I have reserved for myself for a very special time is Greenland’s national park. I learnt about it a while ago and was immediately fascinated by the looks. That’s a location I would really love to visit. I believe that I would feel like time has stopped, in a good sense, while visiting.

Tell us about your project