Life at Ataccama
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Life at Ataccama

AWS Meetup: Ataccama Style

This week we had the honor of welcoming AWS Users and special AWS guests to our Prague office for an engaging community meetup. At this nearly end-of-the-year event the community had the chance to hear two info-packed talks, including one from Novartis data scientist Sheikh Alam.

And of course we were excited to hear from our cloud governance lead Martin Damovksy, who gave us a second chance to hear the talk he presented at pop-up Hub Warsaw earlier this year.

Without giving everything away (you should really check out their talks when you get the chance) here’s a glimpse into our evening.

Data Science Product Development with AWS and Python SDKs

Data Scientist Sheikh Alam (AKA @MrDataPsycho) shared his experience of building cloud-native data science products for internal teams (think: HR and Marketing).

According to Sheikh’s experience, if the data science team can own the project, it’s almost half the cost as if the product development team made it, keeping in mind that it won’t look as “good.”

He demonstrated how to build such an application using AWS services like ApiGateway, Lambda, DynamoDB, StepFunction and Sagemaker, along with monitoring and logging for the application using CloudWatch Insights.

Pain Points

  • AWS Roles and Policies
  • Debugging integration of Lambda and Step Function
  • Authentication with Streamlit
  • Network Load

Cloud Governance at Scale

Our Cloud Governance Lead Martin Damovsky (@damovsky) joined Ataccama one year ago when we had roughly 20–25 AWS accounts in the company. He was told that before long they’d need hundreds.

In his presentation Martin shared how it was possible to secure and control these accounts as an on-prem company moving to cloud.

According to Martin’s presentation, Ataccama originally wanted to configure in roughly 10 regions three services in all AWS accounts: IAM users, roles, and policies; GuardDuty setting; and Security hub settings.

DATADOG reports show that at least 41% or organizations have adopted a multi-account strategy in AWS. Less than 6% have more than 100 AWS accounts — and Ataccama falls into this percentile.

The turning point? The release of AWS’s powerful tool, AFT (Account Factory for Terraform).

Martin took us through the process with AFT in just five steps — but the result is nonetheless invaluable.

Tips for using AFT Yourself

  • AFT is not a toy! It has access to every AWS account
  • Secure access to your AFT account
  • Regularly update your AFT
  • Be careful with third-party TF modules

The Biggest Takeaways?

After a thoroughly engaging Q&A session we kept the conversation going.

Here’s what a few attendees who stayed for the afterparty had to say about the meetup.

Adam Mazouz, Cloud Solution Engineer, Pure Storage

What brought you to this event?

A lot of the user group is bringing the community together, so we can learn how we can enhance our daily life in whatever job you’re doing. Some people are doing some developer stuff, some people are doing some architecture or solutioning the infrastructure in the cloud. And part of the journey is to share your knowledge and give back to the community. So I think this is the main purpose of being here. I always love to come back to these events to see what people are doing, or the latest than actually just to have fun. There’s beer and you talk to people. It’s always a nice environment.

What was the most interesting thing you heard tonight?

Sadly I missed the first talk, but Martin’s talk was really cool. He has a lot of knowledge, obviously, around how to not do your job twice. So if you really are going to be doing the same thing every day, why not automate it? And what’s better than making sure you know how to automate stuff and all the best practices around it. I think what Ataccama is doing around this is something everybody who’s handling these accounts should do. So I’ve learned a couple of things. And it’s always nice to see the interactions after the session. So it was really a nice environment where it’s an open discussion.

Anything else on your mind?

Ataccama’s office is really cool. :)

Michal Simon, Founder, Codiac.io

What brought you here tonight?

Mostly the community, I actually hadn’t checked much about the topics. But I basically wanted to network and talk to people with similar problems and ideas, see how the energy flows. And, of course, the talks have been very nice. But the networking part is something that I’ve been looking for.

What was your biggest takeaway from the evening?

Well, there are definitely many companies that have AWS accounts. So that was a highlight for me for sure.

The first talk was also interesting, especially from the perspective of how capable data scientists are these days. By just having some knowledge of the infrastructure, just putting a few boxes together, they can have their infrastructure that they need. Before it was much more complicated. They needed their own team to build the solution. And now they can help themselves with just a little external help, and they could just deploy whatever they want.

Anything else on your mind?

Well, I am definitely looking forward to the next one. And I hope to see familiar faces and new faces as well. I think the community needs to keep some part of it to run and pass on the spirit. But we need new faces as well to bring new ideas and freshness basically to the stage as well as to the community.

Want to come along for the next meetup, or just learn from other inspiring colleagues like Martin? Join us!

See what openings we have over on jobs.ataccama.com.

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We are a growing, international software company developing an AI-powered platform to help our customers process, manage, and monitor (big) data. We like #ChallengingFun. Do you?

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