Working in IT keeps you on your toes as you constantly evaluate, test, and implement new technologies and applications. In many ways, IT environments are getting more difficult to manage and protect due to rapid data growth, the increase in available tools and integrations, and the rise of cloud adoption. In addition, IT organizations are now (finally!) often considered strategic business partners as data becomes more valuable and business-critical.

This shift also means that IT admins are often asked to do more with less, which is why many organizations are leaning on automation. And (despite popular belief) creating scripts and automated tooling isn’t just for developers. Any IT professional—whether you’re an entry-level backup admin or seasoned DBA—can leverage automation. It’s a great way to meet your goals and advance your skillset.

To give you a little inspiration, I can still remember exactly where I was and what process I automated for the first time. It was a fully automated NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP upgrade process that included creating a temporary HTTP server that could be used in the field. I also remember, looking back at that specific piece of automation, how rudimentary it was compared to what I’m doing today. But the important part was that it worked.

That eventually led me to an interview for which I created my first Rubrik-centric Ansible module. Since then, I’ve become a core maintainer for our Python SDK, Go SDK, Ansible Modules, and Terraform resources, along with reviewing and contributing code to our core CDM releases that directly affect every single one of our API users. Starting with automation has led me to somewhere I never thought I’d be.

Automation and Digitization Create Better Jobs for IT Professionals

The fear that robots, automation, and AI will take over your job is real–but unfounded. Instead, think of how automation can facilitate better work in your role. Automation may be able to take on some of the more monotonous or repetitive tasks that you or your team need to do, but don’t necessarily enjoy. Examples of services you could automate include:

  • backup/recovery
  • archival
  • building test/dev environments
  • application and server validation

By automating these, you can free up the time you usually spend on IT environment management, and you can work on higher-value tasks, including:

  •         developing applications
  •         participating in DevOps
  •         providing counsel on data use to business leaders
  •         helping set strategic goals for both IT and the organization
  •         testing deployments

Essentially, you can focus your time on more interesting and strategic work, especially helping your organization make good use of data to drive business decisions. It’s a win-win for you and for your company. You’re happier and more fulfilled in your work, and the company is getting more value for your salary.

Getting Started with End-to-End Automation 

To get started, find the one task that you can’t stand doing regularly, and automate it. The benefits of automation here are twofold:

  1.       You have a project to work on that is actually relevant to your daily job.
  2.       You can understand firsthand the power of automation.

Another approach is to start with Configuration Management tools, such as Ansible or Terraform. These are designed to allow you to automate entire processes easily by abstracting the programming side and creating automation using everyday “language.”

As an IT professional, you’re in a terrific position to put automation to work for you, because of your experience in computation, development, DevOps, systems engineering, and software. By taking a proactive approach now and embracing the process of end-to-end automation, you can set yourself up as an irreplaceable, efficient asset to your organization. Plus, as I’ve seen in my own experience, it might also help boost your career and lead to exciting new opportunities.

For those interested in exploring Rubrik’s APIs, join Rubrik Build, our open source community. Rubrik Build is designed for users of all skill levels and provides a variety of SDKs, tooling integrations, and use cases to help you get started.