My official corporate bio:
A 15+ year tech industry veteran, Jeremy is a Distinguished Engineer within Service Delivery, building Red Hat’s managed service muscle in order to operationalize the vision of OpenShift as a hybrid cloud substrate through building and operating services like Red Hat OpenShift on AWS, OpenShift Dedicated and Azure Red Hat OpenShift.
He is a proven technical leader and intrapreneur, having seeded several strategic initiatives that have made their way into Red Hat’s products, services and process. Jeremy was the recipient of Red Hat’s Chairman’s Award and remains a frequent author and presenter. He previously specialized in software performance analysis, and currently works in the managed services space on observability, reliability and other tenants of Site Reliability Engineering.
As a Distinguished Engineer, Jeremy continues to challenge the status quo, pushes his teams to continuously improve, is an active mentor for many engineers, inspires confidence by providing long-term vision and context, and believes that infrastructure should be a dial-tone: Stable, Secure, Performant and Boring.
Some more detail…
I’m a Distinguished Engineer at Red Hat and one of several architects focused on managed services. Our team is called Service Delivery, which includes both pure development and SRE focused teams working closely together to build and operate both internal and external services.
For 2020-21, I have been leading the Red Hat OpenShift on AWS (ROSA) service bring-up team. That service, the first non-AWS service to ever be listed directly in the AWS console, is generally available as of March 2021.
In years past, I spent the majority of hands-on time in the financial services space, focusing on extreme low latency architecture design, tuning and jitter analysis. I’ve written lots of papers on the subject which you can find on my LinkedIn.
I try and contribute to whatever software I’m working on, whether that’s Kubernetes, docker, the Linux kernel or a variety of other open source projects. For example, I’ve participate in the Kubernetes Resource Management Working Group, sig-node and sig-scale.
As with any engineering lead, a significant portion of my day-to-day is enabling my co-workers to do great things. I do this by plowing the road, taking bullets, iterating and re-iterating our strategy, ensuring my direct reports are happy and healthy, and smiling all the way, because why-the-hell-not.
These days I also mentor folks in the black arts of systems thinking. I do this because I had great mentors along the way, without whom I would be nothing. Systems thinking behavior has absolutely nothing to do with computers. It just happens to also apply.
I want to share with you all a list of maxims that I often refer back to as guidance. I hope they are somehow useful to you.
Top Ten things @jeremyeder would probably say (if he’s somehow not in a meeting):
- Strong relationships are built on trust, mutual understanding and reciprocity. Do what you say. Be up front, even if it’s bad news. Over-communicate – especially in teams that are geographically dispersed.
- Find the doers. In every collection of humans, there are doers and “non-doers”. Find the doers as soon as possible and prove yourself as one of them.
- Better to light a single candle than cry out in the darkness. Or sometimes I say it as “the middle of every successful project looks like a disaster”. That may sound a bit negative, but it’s meant to inspire confidence and optimism in the vision we’re working towards.
- Don’t be a bottleneck. We employ tons of creative folks. It’s best to set yourself up to never be in their way. As a lead, your force-multiplier is steering, not rowing.
- Micromanagement is a complete waste of time. It sucks the life out of employees, fosters anxiety and creates a high stress work environment. Select the right people for the job and give them room to get on with it.
- You can get more done if you don’t care who gets the credit. I think this is fairly self explanatory.
- Think of the end at the beginning: pre-mortems are a great way to save time. Invest in planning, but avoid over-planning. Set aside quiet time to think.
- If you had 15 minutes to pitch your bosses boss, what is on your list, and are YOU working on it? This is meant to keep your eye on the high level goals, whether that’s group-wide, or company-wide OKRs and pillars.
- There is too much flying around to bother trying to keep mental notes. Write everything down.
- Have an opinion. Don’t stay silent – people, especially good leads and managers, want to hear what you have to say. Don’t wait for complete information, it will never come.
Finally: along the way folks have occasionally let me know that I don’t suck. For that I am eternally grateful.