Starter for 10: Meet Max Guhl, Nordcloud’s Global FinOps Advisory Lead
FinOps is a continuous process that needs to be established and optimised.
1. Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?
My professional background includes sysadmin, customer support, sales engineering, consultant etc roles. The common thing with all of them being helping others with technical challenges.
I started at Nordcloud the first time in 2013 when we were less than 10 people. Finland is a small country and in IT everyone knows everybody. I had been working with Ilja at Nokia earlier and I knew he was building this new company focused 100% on a public cloud. It did sound an interesting idea and a great opportunity to learn new things …
Since that, a lot of things happened. I took a two-year “field-trip to customer side”, and joined Nordcloud for a second time at the beginning of 2019 as CTO of Nordcloud Finland. We have changed a lot in 6 years but what brought me back was getting back into a position where I can help people, my colleagues & our customers, and have my hands-on latest-n-greatest of IT technology. Knowing there would be a great team to work with made the decision easy.
2. What is your core competence?
I’m coming from what I would call “legacy IT” (or what was the state-of-the-art in the late 90s) thus things like data center infrastructure still close to my heart. Many things have changed but even in modern serverless architecture you still need a network, especially if you plan to communicate with legacy systems in on-prem data centers.
I would like to think I have something to offer for modernizing existing services but also helping new people to understand why some (strange) requirements (but not all) should be taken seriously. Kind of building a bridge between past and future.
3. What sets you on fire / what’s your favorite thing technically with public cloud?
The biggest thing in the public cloud is definitely granting access to the same state-of-the-art IT resources for everyone. If you have an idea you can just build it. If you find later it wasn’t quite as good as you first thought, just shut it down. And then start building the next version of it.
Working with people who have this “getting it done” attitude and helping them to build new stuff is what makes my day.
4. What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?
Flexibility and freedom to innovate. It’s not just thinking outside of the box, but you will get support from your peers and company to make it really happen. Of course, it takes some effort on your side to sell the idea, but I haven’t met too many naysayers.
5. What is the most useful thing you have learned at Nordcloud?
It’s about learning every day a new thing (or two). I can not really pick a single thing that is more valuable than others as the sum is far greater than the parts. Development of public cloud platforms is so rapid you can not manage it alone. To stay up-to-date you must have a great team of like-minded people around you who will notice things you missed and challenge your ideas.
6. What do you do outside work?
I love movies and live music. My taste in movies is biased towards art house cinema, directors like Peter Greenaway, Lars von Trier, and Aki & Mika Kaurismäki. But I wouldn’t say no for a good action movie either. For music, a small venue and interesting stage persona are more important than a specific genre.
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