Don't know where to move to career wise in IT (dislike DevOps from ops role perspective)

27 Oct 2005
Not sure this is the correct subforum, perhaps more suited to GD?

A topic on reddit about DevOps and coding triggered me and I wrote this reply:

''Coding is the reason I stopped software development and moved towards a support engineer role 9 years ago.
I hate writing code and spending my day looking at an IDE, it makes me depressed, I prefer work that favors being competent/fast/efficient with a GUI.
Also coding languages like YAML are utterly terrible, anything that requires precision like that is a pain.
I like software and OS config, troubleshooting, network config, databases, security, functional requirements, etc...
I hate anything to do with source code, repositories, Infra as Code, requirements/dependencies (especially in IDE's/project env's), CI/CD Pipelines and basically anything pre having working binarys for a specific OS, in my case mostly Windows, I consider that dev work and nothing to do with operations.

Basically, I started in 2014 as a sw developer (full stack .NET, I made decent MVC applications and even enjoyed migrating projects from T-SQL to Entity Framework writing LINQ Queries, but also spending time querying in SQL as well), while I was decent at it it was not something that made me happy. I was exhausted after a day of work. Formally I'm a support engineer or coordinator, while I am called a ''customer success manager'' to some customers, account manager for others, technical consultant to others, etc...
Since then I have done a lot, support/field engineer, jack of of all trades doing account mgmt, project mgmgt, sales, presales, planning. Mostly in Self service, payment integration&technology, access technology, ANPR and LIDAR, industrial automation. I would call myself well experienced in mainly payment technology: physical pin terminals, but also access technology (for vehicles). But the main thing is, I mainly set up physical clients. I do have some experience with (Windows) Servers (mostly for SQL server and IIS), VmWare/Vcloud but I have been workign with physical client devices most of my career and I an very savvy in Windows 10, IOT, etc. I would consider myself a beginner to medior in Linux. But not really in server infra, even AD/Domain is something we didn't really use...

I also notice I am more interested in the ''what'' than the ''how''. Functionally wise I love thinking about IT solutions and improving work processes. I know what I want a system or software to do, but don't like having to find out how to do it and I especially don't give a flying **** about how it's implemented or programmed.

Due to changes in ownership of my company and MGMT I was pushed into the AWS cloud world and got my SysOps exam as well (which went relatively easy, I learned for only 6 weeks and only in the weekend for a few hrs each wknd basically before passing the exam). While I love the idea of Cloud, find security and networking and even databases still interesting, as well as architecture, I absolutely hate the CI/CD pipelike and DevOps of things: I don't want anything to do with source Code, GIT, Ansible, etc... Don't even get me started on Service management systems like Jira (atlasian as a whole is terrible imo)... I don't mind service management, but most systems out there seemed to be designed by morons UI/UX wise.

However, seeing everything moves to coding, I am growing a dislike for DevOps to which MGMT is pushing me to (must admit I haven't given it a proper go yet, but I feel the vibes from 2014 and being depressed from looking at an IDE and code for 8 hrs again). I do not want to spend any less than marignal time writing or looking at code, it's what I hated as a developer, I don't want to stare at text/code/programming, IDE's or text/code editors for any noteworthy time. So the alternative would be something like security.
However, while I love pen testing, even security ''forensics'', and generally trying to break applications or infrastructure, I hate being the '*******' that guards and enforces rules and regulations, especially to colleagues. I dislike spending my time with ''compliance'' when it means enforcing rules on people. I do like troubleshooting though.

I actually love digging in databases, combining data from various data sources and making meaningful reports and present conclusions and improvements from available data. But dislike routine reports that need to be made every month. I like one aspect of security a lot (basically trying to break things or break into things) but dislike another (compliance and enforcement). Finally, I feel the requirement for documentation is getting out of hand, nobody likes documenting things, but I've grown to hate it the past few years.
I like teaching others to understand what is happening, without documentation, making things ''click'' functionally with people. I also love sales, I consider myself a beginner sales wise but with a lot of technical background (I am fine in reading/understanding various programming languages, mainly .NET but also Python, Java, functional programming like Haskell... Ive done a lot over the years. Hell I am capable of programmign basic realtime embedded systems like traffic lights or cranes or robot arms anmd while I love the results, I don't like the process. I am socially adept in regards to customers and am great in making people enthusiastic about IT solutions and propositions.

There are a few fields that still fascinate me: I would love to work for improving traffic flow by improving traffic light programming for example and tangible results/projects (so physical I guess), but I love to think about 'functional puzzles': if else then etc... Not actually writing the code and ****** typo's or markup rubbish in code... Whist I dislike automation when it it related to development, I like deployment and configuration automation. I do enjoy writing powershell scripts, bash scripts, or even batch files (as long as I spend not too long on them).

So am a bit at a loss, within the IT world, is there a future for me, am I missing some obvious direction I can go to career wise? I can still get enthusiastic from hardware, and there are fields that interest me highly, but I am continuously growing a dislike to DevOps I feel because it feels to much like development, I don't care about the sw development process so much.I am very comfortable with networking: both physical and virtual and enjoy setting things up, just not with ******* YAML code. I was considering a move to business consultancy. I was considering things like moving out of IT entirely to process manager or things like that. I just don't know what to do. I get my energy from people mostly in IT, and lose my energy from coding or bad tooling and webapps.
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17 Nov 2005
Swindon, UK
Sounds like you should become a teacher / lecturer at a local college or university.

Programming pays the bills. I think we're in a wonderful time where cloud computing is amazing, AI can write code and YAML isn't bad as long as you're viewing it in Notepad++ with show characters on.
18 May 2010
The issue is the days of not writing IAC are over.

Everything needs to be in code if its not then your doing it wrong.

I think DevOps or a cloud engineer might suit you if you like infrastructure.

However this aversion to code will be a big issue.

If its not IAC in the TF/Ansible sense, its Kubernetes which takes the idea of codifying your infrastructure to the next level.

CI/CD, everything is in yaml, Gitops etc etc...

Even Data Scientist is heavy on the coding.

Oh also Linux is a must.

What about Security? Something like a Penetration Tester? I have no idea how you would get in that field though as I am a DevOps.

Hid what I original wrote. If you are not interested in the how then a techy job is not going to be for you. Your job is to figure out the how something works and implement it.

There are non technical roles in IT.
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24 Jun 2005
Have you considered a design role? I've spent the last 10 years designing and building database systems (as time passes, spending more time in the design and less in the build. It requires a mixture of people skills (extracting useable requirements from business people), data skills (what data is, how it flows, what it means, etc). Some designers come into it from the business side, but having a technical background helps too (gives a good understanding of what is possible, what will be performant etc).
20 Dec 2004
It's really hard to pick out any coherent message from all that.

You repeatedly say you don't want to code, but say you love digging in databases and would love programming traffic lights, which seems contradictory.

If I can cut through the waffle, it seems like you enjoy solving problems with tangible results that you can engage people with.....which seems like gameplay programming could be something that's rewarding, but would need you to pick up C++ and code. Not the best time to enter the industry mind.

Business Analysis/Business Intelligence roles would perhaps suit, but you are spending most of your time in Ides and you will do a LOT of regular reporting processes, on top of the more interesting ETL and warehouse building.
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