An Open Letter to Stan

January 9, 2018


Dear Stan,

I have been a sales engineer for 20 years, deploying APM systems into thousands of customer environments – and now I am at Instana. After being here almost a year, I really need to get this off my chest.

It happened again, just this morning.

You’re a great mascot Stan, but could you stop making me look obsolete?

The customer deployed you, Stan, into their environment; and within six minutes you discovered, instrumented and started monitoring – EVERYTHING. I was left out in the cold.

  • 20 Hosts
  • 600 Containers
  • 30 Services

For the tenth time in two weeks, I was left alone and unwanted. I have “Had it up to Here” with You “STAN!” You’ve stolen my “hero” status at the customers.

In the past, the same environment would take at least 3 or 4 days to configure with the APM technology of the day. I would go onsite, take the customer to lunch every day, and tell them stories about the “Internet back in the day” or “How I remember installing my first httpd server on Solaris.” It was fun. I felt loved and wanted. And if I could get the APM solution running,

I was a hero!

Even better, whenever the application changed, I got to go back and be a hero all over again – well, along with the consultants.

But now, all I hear about is “Stan!”

The customers don’t need me like they used to. You simply do everything yourself.

They don’t need me to show them how to properly change their JVM Command line parameters with the “-javaagent” switch;

or to setup extra agents like a “standalone infrastructure agent to get server cpu and memory stats.

They don’t need me to configure a proxy agent for all those “newer” languages like NodeJS, Python, Ruby, PHP.

Stan, I have a strange feeling you don’t really care because you keep doing this over and over again. Now, Stan is the hero!

On the plus side, I now have more time for learning new things: Kubernetes; Docker; Orchestration; more DevOPS stuff.

I’ve had to adjust my understanding of what my job should be. Instead of stressing about deploying APM software, I guess I’ll help customers meet their objectives and help them understand how to get the most of your deep knowledge.

One thing is for sure – the customers are a lot less stressed. Instead of spending hours figuring out how to collect data, we get to spend more time optimizing their environments with your insights.

Anyway, thanks for making me feel useless and unwanted. Maybe I can bring my cape back out for Halloween – oh that’s right, I’m going as Stan this year.

Not Fondly,

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