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Ryan.Paredez
Community Manager

Welcome to the latest edition of our Community Member Spotlight series. In this edition, Dietrich Meier, a Technical Product Specialist (APM), shares his perspective, tips, use cases, and more…

— Ryan Paredez & Claudia Landivar, Community Managers

 

In this post


 

Your work: what do you do and how did you get there?

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Can you give us a “day in the life” picture of your workday?

I currently work on a team responsible for the app and server environment monitoring needs of one enterprise-level client using AppD. My typical day starts with an early gym session, then I am in front of my home office desk with a cup of coffee by 7 am. Typical duties include new deployments and maintaining existing monitoring, alerting, and dashboarding. 

 

How did you get involved with this work?

I have always been passionate about anything computer and technology-related. I started out working in web development and IT support for some time before transitioning over to AppD sales engineer work. For the past few years, I have been part of a growing team that works to get the most out of the monitoring tools used.

What has fed your interest in your work?

There are always new challenges and projects with unique performance and analytical monitoring needs that need to be solved, and I find great satisfaction in getting that final version of the monitoring in place, or automating a previously manual task. The world of IT is exploding with new technologies and innovation, and AppD is no exception. The latest features are always an experience to try out, and there are plenty of old methods to be improved upon in the monitoring space. 

 

Working with AppD products

What first brought you to the AppD Community?

The need to find technical assistance and to share on topics like AppD Controller and agent bugs, and to get more detail about very specific instrumentations or extensions.

 

Can you tell us about a positive experience you’ve had here in the Community?

Getting helpful input on a topic that our team has been stuck on for some time is always a positive experience. It's reassuring to see other people going through similar issues or trying out unusual monitoring techniques with the tool.

 

How do you use AppD in your role?

I am part of the application- and infrastructure-monitoring team dedicated to using AppDynamics, so I use it every day. Here are some of the things we do:

  • Instrument new environments with AppD monitoring
  • Build dashboards and other custom solutions with the AppD metrics and alerting
  • Perform updates of agents, extensions, and maintenance work on AppD monitoring across a wide variety of systems
  • Provide demo meetings to new AppD adopters and training sessions for various teams using the tool
  • Assist pre-prod and prod teams with performance-impacting events on applications and infrastructure

 

What are your 2 top AppDynamics hot tips?

  • In my experience, most of the AppDynamics issues our team has faced have been solved by getting the basics 100% right. Many seemingly complex problems have been solved by double-checking basics like agent configurations, copy-paste mistakes, and firewall rules.
  • Agent log files are another trove of useful information when troubleshooting. It's a go-to starting place on our team for common issues like agents not reporting into the Controller.

 

Any interesting use cases you’ve experienced using AppD?

What comes to mind are some of the great things my team has accomplished with the amazing skills of Shane Tembo and Elmarie Van Aswegen.

  • We have automated updates of 2000+ agents using a custom-built Batch Script and SCCM tool.
  • We have also set up an automated ticketing system using alerts that come from AppD and flow through a few other tools like Micro Focus Operations Orchestration. The ticketing system opens and closes support tickets without requiring human intervention. 

 

Keeping up with industry news

What’s your best way of keeping up with industry news?

Reading online blogs, forums, and news sites is my personal way of staying up to date. I am also fortunate enough to have plenty of friends and family that work in the same industry, and getting their perspectives on relevant topics and trending news is always enlightening. 

 

What have you learned in the past year that you wish you had known when you started your career?

Knowing yourself better can be just as valuable as many technical skills. Understanding your own motivations and building productive habits can free up your time and energy in amazing ways. Atomic Habits is a great book on this topic.

I also wish I had known about the many TechOps roles that exist today. Back when I started working in IT, my personal scope for possible job roles did not include what I am doing today. 

 

Is there anything you’d like to shout out or elevate?

I am a big believer in sharing knowledge so that people can help themselves, and I have seen how valuable it can be in a company that has several teams and hundreds of people making use of a centralized monitoring tool like AppDynamics. 

 

Life after hours

What are some of your favorite experiences outside of work?

I enjoy staying up to date with the latest tech and business news but do plenty of other reading as well—a hobby that has been enhanced by the recent COVID lockdowns. Gaming on my PC and painting also make frequent appearances on my weekend schedules. 

 

How–or where–do you find inspiration?

In my professional space, I work under the assumption that if you want to write a piece of code or make a program do something particular, chances are someone else has already tried it, so you never have to start from square one. If you search around a bit on the internet, it can save you a lot of time. 

Other than public forums and online communities I also find a lot of inspiration from my passionate work colleagues and by reading books on a wide variety of subjects.

 

Advice for up-and-coming professionals

Always be prepared to keep on learning new things. Even if it's not an official certification, it will always be beneficial to know more and read wider than your job description requires. Problem-solving is also another underrated skill to have, and people will appreciate a solution to their obstacles, even if it comes in unexpected forms.