Déjà Vu All Over Again

From Scotland all the way to Scotland

In March of 2015 I began working for a high tech Scottish startup under CEO Duncan Johnston-Watt in a field that I had much to learn about.

In March of 2018 I began working for a high tech Scottish startup under CEO Duncan Johnston-Watt in a field that I had much to learn about… again.

Episode One

The company was Cloudsoft and the field was — you guessed it — the cloud. Specifically, deployment and autonomic management of applications to any cloud provider using Apache Brooklyn.

It was immediately a trial by fire. I attended both Cloud Foundry Summit 2015 and DockerCon 15 that spring where I staffed the Cloudsoft booth and faced questions about our company / product, as well as about containerization, orchestration, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, Mesos, Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, OpenShift…

While it may not have been pretty at first, after coming out alive on the other side I gained a much deeper understanding of the cloud space, and am confident in my ability to develop Apache Brooklyn blueprints for a wide range of distributed applications.

One such application that particularly piqued my interest was Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source blockchain framework initially developed by IBM. My teammates and I built an Apache Brooklyn blueprint to deploy and manage a hybrid-cloud, multi-region Fabric cluster — this was certainly the project on which I spent the most time and most enjoyed during my time at Cloudsoft.

Along the way I was given the chance to speak and present this work at several conferences including DockerCon 16, Defrag 2016, and IBM InterConnect 2017. However, the most memorable event for me (by far!) was Gluecon 2016. Duncan and I delivered a keynote address during which I performed a live multi-region deployment of Hyperledger Fabric. Tl;dr — Mike and Duncan pull an all-nighter to get it working for the first time and achieve such a goal one (1) hour before showtime.

Working on this project for Cloudsoft (a member of the Hyperledger Foundation) also gave me the chance to engage with and contribute to the Hyperledger community for the first time, something that I hoped would continue. This brings us nicely to:

Episode Two

The company is Blockchain Technology Partners (BTP) and the field is — you guessed it — blockchain. Specifically, a production-ready permissioned blockchain built for enterprise.

It is an immediate trial by fire. I just joined BTP as lead blockchain engineer and two months from now I will be speaking at Gluecon 2018 where Duncan and I will present the BTP platform that we’re building on top of Hyperledger Sawtooth, an open-source modular blockchain platform initially developed by Intel, as well as the first application to use this platform, the Scotcoin Project, Scotland’s digital currency.

With today’s announcement that BTP has joined the Hyperledger Foundation comes the chance for me to once again get involved with community and pick up where I left off with Cloudsoft.

While I’m certainly a more experienced and confident engineer than I was three years ago, and I do have more knowledge of blockchain and the Hyperledger ecosystem than I did of the cloud, I know that there’s so much more for me to learn. Can’t wait.