Meet Hiroki.Ito, AppDynamics Support Engineer, in our first Staff Edition of the Community Member Spotlight series. He shares his professional journey so far, his problem-solving mindset and methods, what inspires him, and more.
Hiroki Ito, Support Engineer at AppDynamics
A day in the life of Hiroki.Ito
What’s a typical work day like for you here at AppD?
I am a Support Engineer, responsible for answering queries and troubleshooting AppDynamics customer issues. I am part of the Support team in Japan, so my primary role is dealing with queries from customers in Japan, though my team also deals with global ones.
Each query is unique, and I usually research, analyze logs, and replicate issues to resolve customer issues. Other than that, I usually check this Community to see if there are posts I can answer, or to try to learn something new to share with my team.
What has your journey into the field been like?
Initially I worked as a software engineer in the financial industry. I maintained systems related to foreign currency exchange. Then I moved to a different company more focused on IT. There I learned a lot regarding technical skills such as Java, Linux, AWS and experienced a full cycle of system development. I had a chance to work on six different projects/systems. After that, I had the opportunity to join AppDynamics as a Support Engineer last May.
What feeds your interest in your work?
It is interesting that I can learn a lot of new things from my work. There are many kinds of queries from customers, and they are very different from each other.
AppDynamics has various kinds of features and supports various environments. There are many features I’m not familiar with yet. But by investigating issues, by checking logs and replicating the local environment, I learn more details about those features. Customers also use AppDynamics in various kinds of environments, so I learn those environments too.
AppD in your work
Have you learned anything interesting about how different customers use AppDynamics to achieve their goals?
I found it interesting that some customers use AppDynamics API tools like Dexter to retrieve data from AppDynamics and analyze it.
AppDynamics can collect valuable data, especially using analytics, and AppDynamics API allows customers to retrieve the data systematically so that they can analyze it in a systematic way.
What kind of experiences have you had with the AppD Community?
The AppDynamics Community is public, and anyone can see the posts. I think posts are very valuable, so that customers who encounter the same issue can look for Community posts and resolve problems by themselves.
Knowledge Base articles are useful because I often look at them while investigating customer’s issues, or share them with customers when I request additional investigation.
What are your top 2 AppDynamics hot tips?
I personally think Live Preview and downloading debug logs from the Controller UI are 2 hot tips.
Live Preview allows customers to inspect the live data streaming of an application. When configuring custom match rules, Business transactions can be undetected for different reasons, but the Live Preview feature allows changing the configuration in real time and shows what kinds of business transactions to be detected, so it is very useful.
Customers can download debug logs of app or database Agents from the Controller UI. Debug logs are very useful when there are problems in AppDynamics. Debug logs can be also obtained by changing Agent configurations, but this method requires agent restart, which may take too much time or otherwise not be acceptable in some situations. Downloading from the Controller is much easier and faster to do.
What self-help issues do you notice customers experience most frequently?
Some errors are already addressed in AppDynamics documentation or in the Community. So if you find an error listed in a log, searching that error can be helpful.
In addition, customers often ask the IP range of SaaS Controllers, but (for the SaaS subscription) you can see the IP range from My AppDynamics Account > View Details on the Actions column.
Staying in the know
What’s your best way of keeping up with industry news?
I usually check Twitter, Reddit, and IT news media such as TechCrunch to see the latest information.
What have you learned in the past year that you wish you had known when you started your career?
I wish I had known more about the cloud, like AWS. Learning by doing is so important in learning IT related skills. However, it may not be easy to prepare hardware such as Linux servers or databases by oneself. With the cloud, I can easily set up the environments I want, so I can learn more efficiently.
What are some of your favorite things to experience outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy watching Sumo—a Japanese wrestling tournament where wrestlers try to force each other out of a circular ring or touch the ground—and reading Manga.
Inspiration and Insights
How—or where—do you find inspiration?
I often find inspiration when I am very relaxed. When there are many things I have to worry about, I usually go for a walk or sleep so that my thoughts are organized.
What advice would you give someone who is up and coming in your field of work?
It is important to try working on something that looks unfeasible at first glance. Repeating that may significantly enhance skills. Failing is fine, but not trying and always working on easy things may not be good.