My team at Zalando fell in love with KStreams and their programming model straight out of the gate. However, as a small team of developers, building out and supporting our infrastructure while still trying to deliver solutions for our business has not always resulted in a smooth journey. Can a small team of a couple of developers run their own Kafka infrastructure confidently and still spend most of their time developing code? In this talk, we will dive into some of the problems we experienced while running Kafka brokers and Kafka streams applications, as well as the consultations we had with other teams around this matter. We will outline some of the pragmatic decisions we made regarding backups, monitoring and operations to minimize our time spent administering our Kafka brokers and various stream applications.