Open Sourcing Automation at Target

Because automation should be easy, So I did that

Recently I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to start a new adventure with Target HQ as a Guest Reliability Engineer within Target Technology Services. While that move has been quite the change, I haven't let that distract me from my work. I didn't move to Target to work a ticket queue, or write some standard pieces of code, just like I said in my interviews with them, "I came to Target to do cool things". Cool things I have done indeed.

Target is a massive company with complex operational needs. I wrote a new piece of software that Target has decided to open source called GREASE. The idea behind GREASE is to automate away the hard bits of automating operations work.

GREASE is an acronym for:

  • Guest
  • Reliability
  • Engineering
  • Automated
  • Service
  • Engine

It is built using Python, and is designed as a distributed system spanning via a PostgreSQL installation with MongoDB as an additional backing service. I am working on an article for the Target Technology Blog this month to cover GREASE in more technical detail which I will update this article for then!

GREASE is what I have been working on essentially day in and day out since I was hired. My first day on the job I saw a demo of a tool that was doing some automation, but it was still very manual and really could not ever scale beyond the operations group that it currently was with. I decided I could do more. With the help of my partner in crime Grant Gordon to help guide me throughout Target, I built an automation platform for all.

I love Open Source, it's another reason why I get to be where I am today. I stand on the shoulders of men/women much more accomplished than I, and by reading their code, learning how it works, I taught myself to be where I am today. Not to discount the hundreds of people who have taught me though, they play an important role too! I am so happy to be a member of a team focused on Open Source, and promoting forward thinking. Building software has been my dream and I accomplished that. Being able to do it in the open source world, paid for it, and getting to work in amazing places/ways? Well, that's just the cherry on top! Without Free & Open Source Software we wouldn't be nearly as advanced technologically as we are today, and hopefully my project helps push forward as well!

So feel free to check out the code here! And keep up with me on here for more updates!