GlobalLogic UK&I
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GlobalLogic UK&I

2018 Year In Review: DevOps Consultant

2018 has being an interesting journey as a DevOps Consultant at ECS Digital I attended 7 conferences, travelled to six destinations. Completed 4 courses and attained all 3 AWS associate level certifications. Presented at meetups in London and Edinburgh and at ECS Digital’s Internal 2018 Knowledge Week summit. As well as attending various meetups in London AWS User Group, GCP, Serverless to containerisation technologies. It’s being a year of continuous learning with barely a moments rest.

Worked on various client projects mainly to do with Continuous Integration and Continuous delivery. Some of the key take aways from the years projects were stakeholder management. Managing client expectations and understandings. Taking complex problems and being able to break them down and articulate them and finding solutions that offer immediate and longer term business value.

As a consultant beyond the technical expertise the real benefits that a person can offer are the relationships they have built with their team and their clients. Working with corporates specially with financial institutions you have to follow process often finding what the process is, how to engage in it, becomes a real challenge and patience and fortitude are required. The ability to build these relationships with people becomes a real asset.

Last 2 years ECS Digital have held emotional intelligence training for its consultants I found the training insightful and gained a better understanding of how to apply this to my working environment.

2018 I found myself also mentoring and interviewing new candidates. Mentoring new joiners I found to be an experience of responsibility and privilege my colleagues have taught me as much about myself as we have learnt together. The positive feedback my colleagues have given me have left me with a feeling of humbleness.

In the working environment I spent as much time learning and developing my technical skills as I did helping colleagues. I found, it’s better to be open and offer help and advice, even when it does not benefit you. You’ll find people are ready to repay your kindness often remembering you when you least expect it. This is what I discovered in 2018. I found colleagues going out of their way to offer praise even when I hadn’t requested it.


Cloud Expo Europe 2018 — This was the first conference I attended as a host and as a participate. ECS Digital had a stand and some of my colleugues were presenting at this conference. We had one of the largest DevOps stands at the conference and the only stand with a large floating space ship. It was an opportunity to experience a conference from a different perspective. Luckily there were enough of us present to rotate on the stands and attend some sessions.

KubeCon ’18 Copenhagen— I won a ticket to this conference in an online competition. This was my first KubeCon and first time in Copenhagen and I absolutely love it the people were nice, travel to and from the conference was easy and got some key takeaways from the conference itself. Serverless computing isn’t just for public Cloud and their are on-prem solutions and there are efforts to make the various platforms work together. i.e. There were some interesting demos presented at the conference, two that stood out:

  • Keynote: Serverless, Not So FaaS — Kelsey Hightower, Kubernetes Community Member, Google
  • Quote of the day: “Data is what we collect and store. It becomes information once we analyse it. It becomes knowledge once we understand it.” By Kelsey Hightower, CloudNativeCon 2018
  • The Serverless and Event-Driven Future — Austen Collins, Serverless (Intermediate Skill Level)

AWS Summit London — This is the annual FREE AWS conference held in London I try to attend this conference every year.

Aurora Serverless. This on-demand service with auto-scaling capabilities completely removes the need to manage the instances. The micro-billing scheme makes this service quite affordable and reliable.

Google Cloud Next ’18 — This is a annual FREE conference for product announcements the main focus here was serverless as well.

BigData London — This was my first big data conference and my first look into DataOps.

AWS re:Invent 2018 — This is annual conference that Amazon Web Services holds at the end of the year at Nevada Las Vegas to make new product announcements and allow attendees to network and upskill in latest technology offerings and best practices. There were some big announcements made on Serverless and AI/Machine Learning and plaform management like AWS Control Tower and Configuration Dirft for CloudFormation.

  • DeepRacer — reinforcement learning
  • AWS Control Tower — Managed landing zone offering for multi-account environment to govern AWS workloads with rules.
  • Serverless announcments — Lambda Layers for shared libraries and Custom runtimes for lambda. AWS Toolkits for popular IDEs, Ruby Support for Lambda (GA), Nested Applications using Serverless Application Repository, Step functions service integrations, WebSocket support for API Gateway, ALB Support for Lambda
  • New AWS databases — Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) — Fully managed ledger database, Amazon RDS on VMware — Automate on-premises database management, Amazon Timestream — Fully managed time series database

Serverless announcements I found to be a reoccuring throughout the year from most of the conferences I attended.

ECS Digital Knowledge Week — Internal company summit where everyone from the various offices around the global get together to network and share ideas. Part of being a consultant at ECS Digital means you can join the company travel abroad or be on-site and never meet your colleagues. Knowledege Week is a yearly gathering where colleauges get to meet each other who have only conversed over Slack, WhatsApp and email.

As I mentioned earlier I presented 4 times this year and I presented a talk on the latest announcements on serverless technologies from AWS re:Invent conference.


DevOps Playground London — AWS CloudFormation — This was a hands-on lab session where I presented a number of lab to learn CloudFormation. My objective here was to give enough information for people to get hold of the basics and do further study the labs are up on GitHub if anyone wants to try them.

DevOps Playground Edinburgh — AWS CloudFormation, this was the same presentation repeated in ECS Digital Edinburgh office.

DevOps Playground London — AWS Serverless — The objective on this presentation was to teach the basics about producing a serverless website utilising various techniques and services to create a static website and then adding dynamic functionality to it. The challenge for the presentation itself was teaching the audience of various skill level all this within 40 minutes.

ECS Digital 2018 Knowledge Week — Internal summit where all the consultants come together to meet in our London Bridge office. It an opportunity to network and meet with fellow colleagues and share knowledge and experiences. From handling engagements, client expectations through to the latest developments in technologies to announcements with partners. ECS Digital has an attractive array of partners ranging from all 3 major cloud providers (AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure) as well as Docker, Rancher, HashiCorp, GitHub to CloudBees. to name but a few.

This year I presented a talk on latest announcements from AWS re:Invent 2018 conference. I add the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend the conference.


Database automation — Using UrbanCode and continuous delivery tool from IBM at a financial institution. This was a interesting project got to meet some great people. Shared ideas and collaborate with some great people. The project required creating a jenkins pipeline to automate and push database updates to the clients route-to-live process.

ECSD enablement Pod — This is a new service offering from ECS Digital. I joined the team to help move a project forward. Having used UrbanCode on a previous project I had built relationships and understood the process that would best help this project. I had experience with Jenkins CI (Continuous Integration) and had just finished a project using UrbanCode.

Other projects I would go on to work on involved more stakeholder maangement and less hands-on. The experience was good I got to collaborate with colleugues on a different way and make new connections. The key take aways here was there is always something new to learn.

Stakeholder Management

  • Docker Swarm — isolated environment project — Managed client expectations, deliverables and communication between various stakeholders. The project was delivered successfully. Having a great team and the skill set required is key to delivery.
  • Cyber — This was more a mentoring project for two new starters leading meetings and managing client expectations asking the right questions. How to prepare for an engagment.

Mentoring new joiners — With a fast growing company with expanding numbers I mentored a few colleugues into consultancy and DevOps. The real joy was seeing how people developed and how far they had come. DevOps is about culture as it is about process and practices and using tools. Getting the right people and developing is key.

In conclusion looking back at 2018 I managed a well balanced year keeping busy building relationships with colleagues and clients alike. Developing myself on personal and technically professional level. I got to travel and attend some great conferences all the while continually learning and evolving myself.

2019 I’d like to get a slightly better healthy life style change can be good travalling on company I have learned sometimes its better to order a salad so I look forward to all the new conferences and new and old colleauges I will connect with and expand my working knowledge and collaborate with. Thank you 2018 for being a peacful year of growth.

P.S Happy New Year to all who read this :-)



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