About Me

I’m passionate about running IT operations as smoothly and efficiently as possible. I’m well aware that no environment is perfect, but I’ve yet to find an organization where nothing worked. That means there’s always something to build on, and getting started is often the most difficult part of “making things better”. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of three fairly large environments, all run very differently, and have learned an amazing amount from those experiences. I believe in building relationships to get things done; eventually, ploughing your way through people will catch up with you. I’m the first to admit that I’m not the most technical manager, but I build strong technical teams and surround myself with people who I can partner with to shape both the technical and overall strategic direction of my organization.

I grew up in the Amazon.com Infrastructure organization, and spent 10 years working my way up the ranks (IT Helpdesk, Systems Operator, Systems Engineer, Global Tier One/Tier Two Systems and Network Manager). Highlights of my career thus far include

  • spending a year in Dublin, Ireland, where I had the opportunity to build a world-class Operations team from the ground up
  • serving as Chief of Staff for Amazon’s VP of Infrastructure, which afforded me visibility into discussions and responsibilities that shaped my outlook on personnel management, data-driven results and handling pressure
  • owning both Event Management and Change Management for Amazon for about 3 years, including defining and releasing new company-wide tools and processes for both of those processes in conjunction with more than 50 tier one service teams
  • enabling an amazingly smart engineer to focus on FBAR at Facebook (automation’s where it’s at, folks!)
  • hiring 11 extremely talented Site Reliability Engineers @Twitter across multiple storage and application teams

On the personal front, I enjoy writing, reading (fiction and non-fiction), traveling, and am an avid sports nut when I have the time. I currently reside in Montara, CA with my awesome NetEng fiancee and am a technical project manager at Dropbox.

–@sdean.

2 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Stephanie, I enjoy reading and learning from your blog. As a tech writer, formerly an English dept. academic with just one year of experience in this new field, I really appreciate the insight you offer into the tech world and IT ops.

    Would you be so kind as to recommend similar bloggers/blogs?

    1. Hey Jeana- thanks for the note! Apologies for the delay… I’m just getting back into the swing of things after a bit of time away from the ‘real world’. 🙂 My favorite writer is Kate Matsudaira (@katemats on Twitter, or at popforms.com/blog). Besides being a great person, she has some very practical advice about navigating the tech waters. I also follow John Allspaw (@allspaw, or kitchensoap.com). He runs Ops at Etsy in NY & is a strong supporter of building healthy cultures and relationships (along with some great techie stuff, of course).

      Hope the experience in tech is going well so far! Good luck! 🙂

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