Moving to the Cloud

I recently started my second job and moved to a new company, Cloudreach, a Cloud consultancy company (they are much more this, but it’s the easiest way to describe them)

I previously worked at Codeplay, an amazing company that is involved in some incredible projects. They are really pushing the boundaries with heterogeneous systems and parallel processing technologies work. One of their most recent endeavors involved helping to create the Khronos standard SYCL and their implementation of it ComputeCpp. ComputeCpp is being used to add OpenCL support to TensorFlow, becoming the the framework behind vision systems supporting targets like HPC, mobile phones and cars by lowering the barrier to OpenCL. This allows developers to use specialized hardware to parallelize their workloads.

I love the direction and technology at Codeplay and I would have liked to work on them. However, as a build engineer I supported the developers, managing the CI/CD system and building tools to help them stay productive.

Over the past 3 years I learnt a lot and did some interesting work but I didn’t move into software engineering, which was my degree specialism and where I ultimately want to be end up.

One of the biggest disruptions in the tech industry has been the rise of Cloud comping. For me, the cloud, is an interesting intersection between software and infrastructure. They merge together and the idea of designing systems expands from software on servers to how the software interacts with cloud services. When creating software you can’t be ignorant of its environment. Adopting and learning how to properly utilize cloud computing has been on my list for a while and I’ve been given an opportunity to do that.

Around the start of August, after almost 4 years at Codeplay it was time to take the jump and I let Codeplay know my intention of leaving. This was one of the hardest things I have done in a long time I regard many people there to be my close friends. They didn’t want me to leave but everyone was understanding and respectful, they were happy that I was making a good choice for myself.

I was able to give Codeplay six weeks before starting my new job. I’m proud of the work my team in preparation of my departure. The Integrations team that I had been leading for the last few months were fantastic, everyone was understanding and took the challenge head on. On September 15 I left with a warm farewell from everyone.

To the Cloud

Cloudreach are an impressive company; they work with many household names, they are Gartner leaders for Cloud MSP and were recently ranked 19th best company to work for in the UK. I’m privileged to be able to go from one amazing company to another. I didn’t have exactly what Cloudreach was looking for but we were both confident in my ability to learn quickly and join their growing AgileOps team.

My official first day at Cloudreach was September 18th but my actual first day was at Cloudreach’s 2018 financial year kick off in Lisbon. Every year, they get everyone in the company together in one location to celebrate and share their knowledge. It was great to meet the team I was joining and getting to know them before we started working together. However, I didn’t know who anyone was or what they did. One morning, I had breakfast with the new CFO/COO (he hasn’t started yet so his name will remain a secret), I didn’t even know! Lisbon was great fun, it was beautiful, a little too hot at times but what a great way to start and get to know the company.

Cloudreach Edinburgh

On my official start day, I set about consuming as much information about AWS as I could, whilst skilling up on the tool the client was using. Scheduled to start on a clients project on the 9th of October, I had booked my exam for October 6th. The project I was starting on uses Terraform to define their infrastructure. The training was too recreate a similar stack as an Application Team would be running on their infrastructure. I would end up joining the clients platform development team.

Cloudy Roots

During October 2nd-5th, I had my Cloudy roots, an interactive, fun two and a half day company induction. Leaders from all the different business units introduce themselves and their team to the new Cloudreachers, explaining how they interact with the other BUs. This unfortunately cost me three days of studying for my exam, although it wasn’t an issue in the end.

ThunderMoose

I like code names, they are fun, so the customer I am working with I’ve codenamed ThunderMoose (blame the XKCD password generator I use for picking codenames). They are a large enterprise migrating to the cloud. We were brought in to help them adopt DevOps and use the cloud natively.

On October 9th, I flew down to meet the team and get setup on the project. I will be getting familiar with Loganair as I’ll be on-site once a month, exciting time ahead!

The Future

I’ve got a lot more learning to do and certificates to get in the near future. Moving to Cloudreach will only help me with my goal to develop systems and software in a modern, testable and rigorous way.