Leading Azure team in the UK by Harry Azariah

CATEGORIES

Life at Nordcloud

Harry Azariah joined UK Azure team almost 1,5 years ago as Senior Cloud Architect, and was quickly promoted to lead the local Azure team. Here’s his Nordcloudian story. Enjoy!

 

1. Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?

 

I’ve lived in South London my whole life. I had been following Nordcloud for couple of years and then my ex colleague who had joined Nordcloud was talking about how great it was and he invited me for a chat with the team.
After the meeting, I was really interested in joining and contributing to the success and the vision of the company.

 

2. What is your role and core competence?

 

I am the Azure team lead in the UK; I have come originally from an infrastructure background but have been working with Azure for the past four years. Doing everything from solutions down to implementation.
My role in the team is to ensure quality in all UK lead Azure engagements and to build a strong team culture through social events and group activities.

 

3. What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?

 

I like our dynamic, young, modern thinking – we build processes in a new way compared to big consultancies and system integrators etc. I also like our general flexibility and that we are not managed from top down; everybody can contribute and influence.

 

4. What’s your favourite thing with public cloud?

 

Constant change, always things to learn and new stuff to play with.

 

5. What do you do outside work?

 

Socialising, watching sports, occasionally playing sports. I’m also a massive foodie so naturally cooking and eating are too of my favourite past times.

 

6. Best Nordcloudian memory?

 

I have a lot of good (and fun) memories from our social team evenings (Christmas party, leaving or welcoming parties etc).

 

Harry is one of our UK Technical interviewers, and if you like his story and can imagine working closely in his Azure team, have a look at our openings here!

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Greetings from sales at Nordcloud Netherlands!

CATEGORIES

Life at Nordcloud

This week we got to dig deeper into the role of Sales Enterprise Manager at Nordcloud and interviewed Rogier from Amsterdam.

 

Here’s his Nordcloudian story!

 

  • Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?

I’m from a small city close to Amsterdam called Weesp and have lived my 32 years old life here ( – 1 year when I lived in Spain/Argentina during my studies!).

After my studies I started at Canon as a Junior Account Manager and worked my way up to a more senior role at Pci/Canon. During that period I was working with Bart Bijman, who is now the Country Manager of Nordcloud Netherlands.

Bart was working at Nordcloud and I left Canon for a green oil & energy company called Argent Energy and we kept in touch. In the beginning of 2019 Bart called me about Nordcloud once again, and told me about an Enterprise Sales Manager role in the Netherlands. We discussed the unique business and the possibilities and I got hooked immediately!

 

  • What is your role and core competence?

My role is Enterprise Sales Manager and everything I do is new business, so I bring new customers in.

I cooperate with cloud talent, partners and channels, set up meetings/organise workshops and onboard new customers with the full focus on Enterprises & Independent software vendors.

 

  • What are your most used USP’s since working in Sales at Nordcloud?

It’s important to first listen & be approachable – it’s always about the customer and their infrastructure/products/services/apps.

After the customer tells me why they are unique (find the dots), I explain the history of Nordcloud and where we are good at (everything).

The most important thing after the meeting is that the customer have the feeling that “yes Nordcloud can bring my company further”!

 

  • What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?

On a personal “human” level I like the fact that we are an international company, working closely together with different nationalities. Also, discussions at Friday drinks are just also always fun!!

On a company & customer level I like the fact that it’s never the same – solutions and situations are always different & unique. You get to develop yourself and meet and cooperate with so many different people!

 

  • How would you describe our culture?

Open & helpful.

With any questions everyone is willing to help and work as a team.

#wintogether #growtogether – just like our values!

 

  • What are your greetings/advice for someone who might be considering a job at Nordcloud?

If you want to work for an international & unique company with a lot of diverse opportunities and new/unique projects, you should defo have a discussion with us!

 

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Partner and capacity management with Peter Bakker

CATEGORIES

Life at Nordcloud

1. Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?

I’m Dutch, living in Rotterdam.

I started the Azure relationship between Microsoft and Mirabeau when I was working at Mirabeau.

I grew their Azure business, we became an MSP and I was asked to join the Partner Advisory team by Microsoft.

There I met Nordcloud’s founder Fernando.

Mirabeau was acquired by Cognizant and integrated as of January 1st of this year.

In terms of my career, I was in the middle of a journey with different changes and Fernando suggested for me to join Nordcloud in the spring of this year. His words were: “We always have room for good people”.

I had a chat with Nordcloud’s CEO Jan and after some discussion, we agreed on interesting goals, I switched clouds from Microsoft to AWS and became the AWS partner manager at Nordcloud. 

 

2. What is your role and core competence?

I was hired as Partner Manager for AWS. My responsibility was first to move from escalation management to opportunity management. Working with different AWS managers we started fixing things and recently signed a joint partner plan for 2020. We now have a joint ambition for what we are aiming to achieve together and this is actually one of my best memories since working at Nordcloud!

My role has also evolved since I started and I also have the hat of Head of Capacity now. I’m commercially responsible for reselling AWS, Azure, and GCP, managing our margins, making our Sales colleagues life is a bit easier and understanding cloud costs, cost optimisation and the real value of capacity management.

I fly around a lot and get to work with different teams as we’re active in 10 countries. My daughter recently asked me if I was working at KLM.

 

3. What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?

1) Depth and broadness of skill levels: we have so many talented, amazing colleagues.

2) The great names that we work for and all the great things we do for example for BMW, SKF, Volvo or Redbull.

3) Freedom and opportunity to learn and grow. 

 

5. What sets you on fire/ what’s your favourite thing with public cloud?

Digital transformation! All the new business opportunities that our customers get by adopting cloud.

For example last week at the AWS Partner summit Konecranes presented a great case of Nordcloud helping them in a very short timeframe to build a serverless solution using IoT that helps them to weigh containers. This solution is now fitted in new equipment and retrofitted into existing equipment. 

The payback time for Konecranes was only 3 months. Sales of their equipment were boosted.

It’s great seeing how starting small and laying foundations sets us and our clients up for success and even bigger projects. 

 

6. What do you do outside work?

I’m a passionate golf player as well as a youth at our golf club in Rotterdam.

 

8. How would you describe our culture?

Open and flat organisation!

There is no hierarchy at Nordcloud. We are all colleagues and together we help our customers to get cloud native. 

 

9. What are your greetings/advice for someone who might be considering a job in Nordcloud?

Somebody in a recruitment process recently asked me how I like it here at Nordcloud. I answered, ” I should have done this a year ago”!

As there is a lot of freedom and opportunity to learn and grow, you must remember to take care of yourself too. There is always something interesting to do, so it’s very much about finding the right balance. As things get excited, I sometimes have to remind myself; there is also always tomorrow!

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On #NordcloudValues

CATEGORIES

Life at Nordcloud

Today we are launching our new values. It’s a day to celebrate together as these values truly support our community of technology believers, but for me it’s also a day to reflect more than a year back.

At the start of 2018 we had an organisational change so that we could offer end-to-end cloud services and truly make a difference for our customers. But with the organisational change we were set-up with the situation of having two sets of values, both good: “We Care, We Share, We Can” and the Nordcloud CODE as in ‘Customer, Openness, Disrupt and Energy’. So for almost two years I’ve onboarded people to Nordcloud by telling that “we are in a unique situation of having two sets of values and together they mean… (less or more the same things)”. So they were good, but not really working as such.

After almost a year of pondering it was decided that the old values do not represent us anymore as a whole group. So with the starting force from our design experts we worked smart together and had the first Value Workshops in Finland and Germany at the end of 2018. During 2019 January – April multiple persons were interviewed and polled across countries and finally we were left with a wall of words that answered the following questions:

1. If Nordcloud was a person, what characteristics would he/she have?
2. What brought us together and continues to hold us together?
3. What are you proud of at Nordcloud?
4. What is important to you in your work/workplace?
5. What principles should guide our choices

Our awesome Culture Ambassador’s (at the time only two, now there’s design, technology, recruitment and our offices represented) started to think what the values could be as words, sentences and behaviours. We gathered feedback from Nordcloud Leadership Team, Founder, Supervisors, CTO’s, COO’s and other stakeholders, held a workshop for the Leadership Team and iterated the values forward over-and-over. The last crucial moment was when it crystallised that for us to grow together, create a coherent base for our culture and really embrace the value of having values, they need to be tied up with our mission and vision.

So what are they you are already asking? With a small drumroll I present #NordcloudValues that I hope all my colleagues will believe in as strongly as I do:

We make a difference
We win together
We work smart
We grow together

In one of our value sessions I compared the process of climbing a mountain down, because at the start we had quite a little of knowledge of the current state of our values, I was quite alone in it and now the long road of anchoring the values to the center of our culture is really ahead of us. Fortunately the amount of people now embracing the values, helping to launch, implement and anchor them is expanding. Implementing the values to our everyday life will require each of us to think about how my own work and actions support these values and to reflect upon them. But I do believe that when we commit together to these values and the behaviours behind them we’ll win in this as well.

I want to thank the following personally for driving & supporting the #NordcloudValues creation process:

  • Eija Jokilahti (Senior UX Designer & Culture Ambassador), for ideating the first workshop and for creating the look for the print material
  • Kaisa Tikka-Mustonen (VP of Talent Acceleration), for pushing the final values out and heading the value project
  • Kari Koskikallio (Managing Director of Intergalactico), for his word savviness in the final push in correct wording
  • Kata Kaski (Digital Marketing Manager), for thinking how the values can be launched & implemented, and the final wording
  • Tuire Peurala (Senior UX Developer), for hosting the biggest workshop in Helsinki
  • To rest of our Culture Ambassadors: Anna Mäkinen, Anita Musialska, Reeta Pykäläinen, Peter Marczis, Tiina Salminen, Marianne Pynnönen and Susanna Sell for helping in the value launch
  • Paul Lyons (Solution Architect), for checking that the spelling is correct
  • Fernando Herrera (Founder, Chairman of the Board) for helping us to connect the vision and mission into the values

 

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Journey To CKA and CKAD

This article is about trusting yourself to accomplish new things, achieving your goals and specifically Daniel’s journey to CKA and CKAD.

(Picture of Daniel in Yosemite National Park.) 


Last year I was working at Huawei in a position what looking from the outside must have been interesting. However, I was not satisfied with it. I had started to look for something else what would be more into it for me from a technology point of view.

This is how I found Nordcloud and their UK based subsidiary Nordcloud LTD.

Nordcloud went through some serious expansion last year and are still hiring tens of people in several countries. We in the UK have a few open positions if anyone is interested.

I joined Nordcloud in January and I could not have made a better decision.

They provide me just the right amount of hands-on tasks to keep me in the game, and not just be a theoretical architect.

I always thought without real hands-on experience you cannot call yourself a technical architect.

Everybody can talk about technology (we have seen it with several brain dumpers), but being able to talk about it and also to implement it with proper design, that is where the real knowledge resides.

When I joined Nordcloud I was already into containerisation.

My friend, Vinayak Kumar, was an SRE at a company where he designed/managed several K8s clusters and a K8s based environment spanning through different regions/areas of the world. The technology was just fascinating.

I can kind of compare the whole experience with it for me, like when I first met with VMware virtualisation back in 2007-2008. I instantly knew I must work with this technology and become an expert in it.

Nordcloud LTD is not a huge consultancy yet; however we are growing and contributing to the group level directives and solutions as well.

We have agreed with my lead Harry Azariah, that I will pursue to become a K8s expert – being an Azure Senior Architect working on AKS and focusing on all managed and unmanaged K8s solutions.

So my journey began…

I started to build my own clusters based on Kelsey Hightower’s and Ivan Fioravanti’s Kubernetes the Hard Way git repository.

I was watching tens, maybe hundreds, of hours of Kubernetes videos from Kelsey Hightower and others. Luckily, I already had some experience with Docker – I had built Docker Swarm demo environments in Azure a few years before, but still K8s was a bit of a new territory and a challenge. When I thought I had enough knowledge to ask relevant questions, I called my friend Vinay and he was kind enough to jump over from 120 miles away to have a session with me. Yeah, we could have done it online but it’s always good to see a friend!

Anyhow after that session I knew a lot more and was sure this is the technology I want to focus on in the upcoming weeks, months, (years?! 😄)

Fortunately enough, we got a few leads at Nordcloud with K8s, AKS requirements. I got the chance to put all I had learned into practice. This is when I realised I know less than I thought. 😄

So, dwelled even deeper into the rabbit hole, I started to work with Ingress controllers such as Nginx. In one of our projects (which I’m still working on) I had the opportunity to start to work with Istio Service Mesh. The whole experience was like a roller coaster ride. Just when I thought yeah I’m confident, something new came up. I think this is what got me excited about the whole K8s experience,  technology I knew little about and constantly can provide challenges.

About this time I decided I want to be certified.

With my lead Harry, I agreed that the CKA exam should be the first I achieve. I jumped on Linux Academy and started the CKA course there. It’s an OK course; you can get enough information to understand those requirements which are shared on the CKA exam leaflet. However, do not expect to be able to pass if you only go through this training.

You must do more – as a bare minimum I would recommend going through the K8s the hard way material at least 5 times if you are not managing real world clusters on a day to day basis.

By this time I was already working with AKS for 4 months, but that is a managed K8s solution, so you have almost 0 tasks to manage the Master nodes, and you can bet you will have some questions related to those.

11% Cluster Maintenance, 12 % Installation, Configuration, Validation, 10% Trouble shooting; all these can mean you will have to look at some master components.

So I was going on a long journey to search for useful exam prep tests and K8s trainings and found this link at the Kubernetes slack.

It contains so much information that it’s an overkill in general for the exam, but some are worth to go through.

With the CKA exam you can expect to use all your 3 hours to answer the questions, maybe get 10 minutes at the end to review what you have done. I used up my time completely, had about that 10 minutes to review with 1 question unanswered (8% worth). I decided to go and look at my solutions for other questions and not to bother with that one.

The main reason you will use the 3 hours is that you have to type a lot, even if you know where to find some templates in the documentation (what you can use), it is still a lot to do. Even if you use “kubectl create dry-run -o yaml > pod.yaml” to generate your base config, it’s a lot to achieve on the k8s resource side, not to talk about the install/manage questions.

I definitely recommend to use completion source <(kubectl completion bash)”>>~/.bashrc

Personally, I have not used any alias configured by me, some people find that useful. I work with alias in my day-to-day environments, but for the exam I was not finding it useful (configured a few though).

  • Know the documentation and where to find what.
  • Watch as some links are navigating off from the domain ad that is not allowed, but in general if you know where to find things or how to ask the right question if you get stuck, this will be a life saver.
  • Build a AKS, EKS, GKE cluster and use that to prep with the Kubernetes resources (it’s faster to build than a K8s the hard way cluster and it does not depends on your setup).
  • Do deployments of objects until you feel like you are bored with it, when you literally wake up at night and hear your thoughts going around “apiVersion: v1 kind: Pod metadata: labels: app: someapp spec: containers:”

That is the time when you can feel confident about your knowledge… not joking…

  • Build a habit to use the commands which help you to generate templates, or create resources quickly. There is a really good cheat sheet from Denny Zhang to start with.
  • Do some tests in a practice environment, the exam environment is nothing too complex, but it’s a browser based exam, not a basic ssh from your tty client.
  • I have tried this environment to get a look and feel, from Arush Salil.
Practical tips for the day of the exam:
  • Find a place with good WiFi Coverage and without any distractions.
    I sat in a phone booth at the office, however my WiFi was awful when I shared my camera ( have not tested it before properly) so I had to find another place to do the exam from. Save your self that 20 minutes of worry which I had…
  • Do some video calls with someone from the location you will do your exam from.

Luckily the proctor was reasonable enough to give me time to find another place.

  • I would not recommend to do it from home. I’ve heard horror stories from others that proctors were asking to cover everything in a room and such.
  • Have a glass of water with you. As I have mentioned you won’t have much time to leave from the exam… No food, no headset, papers, other electronics, etc. is allowed on the desk or around you.
  • Your face and eyes must be always on the screen. I was asked several times to adjust my camera (Dell XPS 15) or position because I was leaning too close to the screen… That was annoying – probably an external camera would have been better to use.

After passing the CKA;

I must say the CKAD was like a walk in the park. I went through the Linux Academy course just to have training and then I took the exam.

With the extensive preparation I had spent for the CKA (you need a lot as it almost covers “everything”) and the Linux Academy course I easily passed the CKAD. The exam is only 2 hours long and I finished it about 15 minutes earlier.

I can’t say that anybody who passes CKA can easily pass CKAD but for me it was not a problem. However, it is worth to mention by this time it was already 5 months into an AKS project for me where I was working with Probes, Persistent Storages, Deployments on an almost day-to-day basis.

So where to from here?

I’m definitely going to stick with this technology; it gives me the chills with all the challenges and new aspects of technology it comes with. Nordcloud is a place which lets its employees flourish if you can and are willing to put in the additional effort.
There are some plans in my head to get to know other K8s versions better like OpenShift (already studying), dwell into EKS and GKE more, see how they really compare, and build a K8s practice at Nordcloud limited on the long run would be nice. My leads as far as I see are partners in this.

What is the conclusion of all this?

I think for me it is that never be afraid to change. Admit to yourself what you think you need/want. I mean I did this a bit more than 3 years ago when I came to the UK from several years of being a Solution/Enterprise Architect, went to a Senior Consultant position, and just about 7 months ago from a Product Owner/Architect Position I accepted Nordcloud’s offer for a Hands-On Senior Architect position.  I can clearly say it totally is worth it – my move 3 years ago, and my decision this year, I was never really happier than when I made these two decisions in my professional life.

There is really something in the saying from Confucius: “He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right…” If you want something, do it; you just need to put the required time and effort into it and you can achieve anything.

Trust in yourself, and do not wait others to make your life happen! Because when you trust in yourself that is when magic happens in your life. 😊 

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Responsibilities & freedom

CATEGORIES

Life at Nordcloud

Jonah joined Nordcloud around half a year ago – now he shares his thoughts and wisdom, for example about the freedom we offer, but also the responsibilities that come with it!

He explains how we don’t have strict rules or a lot of people giving us directions, so it means that everyone needs to be able to work independently, with that freedom.

 

It’s all about common trust!

1. Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?

I’m from the Netherlands, born in Amsterdam.

I was looking for the next, bigger challenge and was contacted by Anna (Talent Acquisition Specialist of Nordcloud) in Linkedin and we started talking. I felt that as a professional who is always looking to develop, Nordcloud was the right size for me to do that and in about 3,5 months I started at Nordcloud.

2. What is your role and core competence?

I’m a Cloud Architect, infra as code and automation as my core competences.

 

3. What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?

Interesting projects and a lot of freedom to do things that I find useful and meaningful.

By simply being interested and showing it, I’m getting the chance to contribute to areas that I personally feel like we should develop.

4. What is the most useful thing you have learned at Nordcloud?

Organising things in a distributed, flat company and navigating through the whole web of people

in different countries to get things done.

5. What sets you in fire/ what’s your favourite thing with public cloud?

There are a lot of tools that are available with public cloud with very little effort, but sometimes there are gaps in different functionalities (for example between AWS and GCP).

Filling those gaps by engineering we can achieve very large things with very little effort.

6. What do you do outside work?

Spend time with family and cooking. I also enjoy making tangible things, like building furniture or fixing things.

7. Best Nordcloudian memory?

Conferences are always fun and there’s interesting talks and meetings but one that professionally stands out is when we did a well architected review for a client in Stockholm.

They had a really interesting and innovative product and the client here was like a kid in a candy shop!

He really understood the potential what we could do for them and we got to do cool things!

 

8. How would you describe our culture?

We get recognised for contribution; that’s very clear and open.

There is a high degree of trust in our engineering skills.

We are a very diverse group of different nationalities!

Nordcloud NL is also a very tight group and we have casual work place banter in my opinion more than in the other countries.

We do work remotely a lot but when we are together we go for lunches and have a good time.

There is no power distance and we are very flat organisation so I can make fun of my manager and vice versa and it’s all fun!

 

Would you fit in a team with freedom and lots of changes to influence? Well Jonah is looking for more colleagues, so do get in touch! Click here for open vacancies in the Netherlands

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From TAP to Azure UK team

CATEGORIES

Life at Nordcloud

Tom Lloyd, Azure Engineer, talks about trust, pace of change and Ralph the Cockerpoo!

 

Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?

I live about 15 minutes outside of Cambridge, in a quiet (but great) town called Godmanchester. Having previously worked alongside Ian Sharpe (Cloud Enablement Lead) at a previous employer, he was forever raving about Nordcloud and saying I should apply. Knowing I was possibly not ready for a more senior cloud role, I thought my chance was missed, that was until I heard about the Talent Acceleration Program. After one interview I was hooked! I was lucky enough to be selected on the first Azure TAP track in January 2019, and I’ve been glad I was ever since!

 

What is your role and core competence?

I’m an Azure Cloud Engineer, working as part of our professional services team.  My core competence upon joining Nordcloud would have been Azure Infrastructure.

The TAP program was a fantastic introduction to a great many Azure services and I’m now on a long-term project helping migrate an eCommerce platform into Azure Kubernetes Services, leveraging Azure DevOps. The pace at which public cloud evolves makes it difficult to pick a singular core competence, it seems to change daily!

 

What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?

The trust that Nordcloud places in their employees. We are treated as professionals, given the autonomy to manage our own time and if we choose to work remotely that is totally at our discretion  – as long as we are keeping our clients happy and delivering good work, how we go about doing that is up to you!

In addition, the diverse nature of our workforce! Working with colleagues from so many different countries and backgrounds is great fun.

 

What is the most useful thing you have learned at Nordcloud?

You never stop learning. We are fortunate to have so many hugely talented people, in such a wide range of areas, lots of room for continuous professional development!

 

What sets you in fire/ what’s your favourite thing with public cloud?

The pace of change, ease of access to new technology and the agility it brings to both Nordcloud and our clients. Due to the fact you can get left behind so quickly, it constantly keeps you on your toes!

 

What do you do outside work?

Maintain a busy social life! I love to travel and experience new places. Pretty much any sport (whether playing or watching), football and golf primarily, I’m a long-suffering Arsenal fan. Trying (and often failing) to tame my crazy dog, Ralph the Cockerpoo. And, of course, a few beers when the opportunity arises.

 

Best Nordcloudian memory?

Successfully completing the TAP program. I loved it. The 6 weeks were fantastic, getting to visit new colleagues in our Poznan office, learning from genuine Azure experts and realising the move to Nordcloud was the right one was really rewarding. I’ve no doubt there will be more good memories along the way, but that sticks out for now!

 

How would you describe our culture in 3 words?

Professional, Flexible, Fun.

 

How does Nordcloud UK differ from our other offices in your opinion?

Having an office in central London, the best city in the world, is a major win for us!

Seriously though, that’s a tough one, all Nordcloud offices are full of fantastic people and are unique in their own way. The UK team are a very close-knit group, full of true industry experts, that are great at what they do. I could not have felt more welcome upon joining, and I know colleagues that have joined since will feel the same.

 

What’s your greetings/advice for someone who might be considering applying for a job in Nordcloud?

Easy; do it! You won’t be disappointed. If you want to work for a company that provides interesting projects, trusts you to work as a professional and truly wants you to succeed, then Nordcloud is the place for you. I’ve never worked for a company that places such a high value in employee work/life balance, and that so often an afterthought for companies. Sounds good, right?

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Holding great responsibility

Johanna Kaihlavirta works as a Developer in Nordcloud’s Managed Cloud Applications team in Jyväskylä and is active in a local group of women in ICT field.

You can read her inspiring views and experiences in the article Stereotypes That Still Prevent Women from Pursuing IT and writing about the NiceICT event at Jyväskylä office in our blog.

Here’s her story.

1. Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?

I’m from Jyväskylä, Finland. I ended up at Nordcloud nearly three years ago, when I was looking for new challenges to grow professionally. Small cloud company sounded like it would have tasks I had never done before, and so it has. There are still new challenges for me to pursue at Nordcloud.

2. What is your core competence?

JavaScript and AWS. On soft side, working with people, and communicating clearly and effectively.

3. What sets you on fire?

I love writing beautiful code to create useful software for customers to help them meet their business goals. I enjoy all aspects that are included in that process: collaborating with customers, pondering the best structure of code, making production deployments and helping colleagues with their problems, to name a few.

4. What do you like the most about working at Nordcloud?

I like the diversity of my work, responsibility and team spirit.

I’m working in a team which supports over ten software products for several clients. I’m responsible directly to clients, and that gives me great motivation.

Having so many products to look after, my work is very diverse. I work with many technologies and cloud platforms. I have different problems to solve regarding the product. The tasks I do vary from requirements engineering to making deployments, and of course all the diverse development activities in between. 

This makes my job really interesting.

We use automation a lot and write infrastructure as code, and document anything important along the way. This helps us make sure that all team members have the necessary information to continue seamless work with the product. Great team spirit is one aspect I love at Nordcloud.

5. What is the most useful thing you have learned at Nordcloud?

I have learned more courage to pursue things by myself, without asking for permission.

6. What do you do outside work?

I act as an organiser for a local group of women in ICT field. Most of my free time is happily spent with my family, but when I have time for myself, I read books from sci-fi to historical fiction.

7. Best Nordcloudian memory?

I had just started working at Nordcloud, when one colleague advertised a machine learning online course. I had a streak of online courses in my recent past, so I grabbed the difficult topic with enthusiasm. Discussion on the channel for course’s current and past participants was encouraging and we celebrated passed exams with various emojis.

After I finished the course, I received a small surprise gift from the company, initiated by the person who advertised the course and helped me along the way. I couldn’t have been happier!

Johanna’s Managed cloud Applications team is looking for new team members. Check here the job advertisement we wrote together with Johanna and the team!

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Short story of getting to Managed Cloud!

In Poland, we have built a team of Managed Cloud Engineers and they simply rock when it comes to multi-cloud clients’ support. Currently, the hottest stuff there is Kubernetes. Read the new #NordcloudianStory shared with us by Jędrzej Piszcz, from Polish office.

 

How did your adventure with Nordcloud start?

I was looking for a place to develop my professional skills in the first place but I also wanted to get more flexibility and challenges in my workplace. When I found out about Nordcloud I was very excited – but then during an interview, I realized that my skills weren’t a perfect fit for the position I applied for, but fortunately we found a new position that matched perfectly.

That’s nice because I actually was proposed to apply to another role and I really appreciate this approach to new candidates. I felt that someone cared about me even before I became a part of the team.

Do you remember your first impression after coming to the office/starting work?

A bit overwhelmed, yea!😅 People were talking a lot about public cloud-related stuff that I wasn’t aware of. In fact, this was also a reason why I managed to learn a lot in a short period and shortly after that joined the talks.

What are your role and core competencies?

I am Managed Cloud Engineer. I work with multiple public cloud environments, which were designed by our Architects. My daily work is making changes to these, ensuring their security, reliability and performance. Currently, I am focused on AWS and Kubernetes.

What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?

Support from world-class professionals and a variety of tasks. There’s no single person that knows every technology and framework, but when you have a network of specialists in your team, the results are more than only the sum of individuals

What is the most useful thing you have learned at Nordcloud?

To really appreciate practical technical knowledge (not to disregard theory, of course!) coming from many delivered projects.

What’s your favourite thing with public cloud?

That you can quickly start any project with existing templates and managed services (I develop some on my own as a hobby in spare time and I probably wouldn’t decide to use some technologies if I had to maintain all the infrastructure) and later on you can scale it any way you want.

What do you do outside work?

Read and write SF novels, play online strategy/4X games, play squash and travel (whenever I can).

Keen to hear more about our PL team? We are growing and looking for senior architects, engineers and developers!

Check out the opportunities HERE!

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Global induction AKA New Employee On-boarding at Nordcloud

For the past year, we have been planning and improving our induction process and so we recently implemented a new global induction strategy for Nordcloud. In this blog post, I’ll shed some light on our induction process and development opportunities.

 

As we all know, sometimes things can get really hectic, there are multiple on-going projects, people are busy and yes, we get it, sometimes all the steps in the induction process are not the first things in mind – however, we truly believe that dedicated time and well structured steps for new employees’ induction makes a huge difference in the long run.

That’s why we started with two clear objectives on what we work towards to:

 

#1 Make a lasting impression and give warm welcome

  • We ensure a common frame to welcome new employees – while ensuring kick start is also a fun experience
  • Company vibe, ways of working and services are discussed with everyone regardless of role, site or unit while the most important part of induction, role based one, has also clear guidelines

#2 Elevate tenure & performance

  • Global Induction frame is for 2 weeks, and we have a way to collect feedback – that’s built in for the first 6 months of employment
  • We want to digitise as many manual elements of induction as possible, and have repeatable content to ensure even more structured process and therefore ultimate business value.

 

Nordcloud’s induction starts already in the recruitment process.

It’s so important to know not only the role and tasks of a company you’re joining, but for example ways of working, company policies & services, culture & people, career development opportunities and of course the practical things like tools, dress code, benefits or schedule for your first days.

✍️ After offer discussions and signing employment contract, the new joiner is welcomed by our Talent Acceleration team and Hiring Manager via phone & email. It’s time for all the practical preparation (work permits, systems, tools, welcome swag, schedules etc). We will also send short introduction videos to get to know our people and plans already prior to official start date.

On the first day, as with anyone always, there is a lot of information, yet excitement and many new people to meet. It’s time for the local welcome.

📲 💻 We’ll make sure your systems and tools are all set up, give you a tour of the office and go through our Employee Guide. One of the cool things that we did with Trello is also Personal Induction cards where you can track your own induction process, make sure that you participate in everything that is planned for you in a time that works for you and this way you can already get used to the independent and flexible (but supportive) ways of working that we like. That said, your team lead and managers are also of course doing their best to make sure that you get all the information you need and they’ll also take you out for a lunch with your new colleagues.

In the afternoon it’s time to start with our Global Induction sessions, giving everyone a chance to speak with our CEO about our vision, mission and strategy. This session is followed by another session with our Global People Operations Lead, who shares our history, values and career development opportunities as well as gives guidance to our daily tools. All of these are live meetings, but thanks to 2019, you can obviously join remotely too, via Hangouts.

We use Slack actively for communication and you will be invited to all the relevant channels and get a warm welcome from other global Nordcloudians – it’s time for a short introduction about you and your role, but also about your hobbies and passions. Welcome new friends!👋 👋 👋 👋

 

 

🤸🏽‍♀️ The first week goes past quick with global and local role-based induction sessions as you will get an understanding of:

  • our Customer Cloud Journey and our services
  • what our Product Areas & Service lines do and how you can select your focus area and contribute to it
  • your personal development plan involving trainings and certificates that you will agree on with your manager (everyone has an independent training budget and time off budgeted for learning & development).

During the second week, you will get an idea of your role in the Cloud Journey. We will be:

  • agreeing project priorities
  • learning best practices and reference solutions 
  • learning about our productised services 
  • making sure your Nordcloudian CV is on point and all security policies are in place.

Now you have completed your first two weeks and have a good overall understanding on all the important factors for your successful journey at Nordcloud.

We have a bunch of great tools to systematically keep track of your happiness and well being as we go along. You can always follow up and contribute to your own and your teams’ journey with digital tools like Trello or Officevibe and we are continuously analysing data but most importantly, you have learned that at Nordcloud, we have an open and transparent culture where you can and should ask whenever something is unclear, or if you need any help with any matter or when you have ideas and suggestions to share!

Our new set of values is well integrated to our ways of working – even in our induction process you can see us working towards common goals:

We make a difference
We win together
We work smart
We grow together

Read more about our values and how they came alive here.

If you’d like to hear more about our induction process, here’s a good article from one of our Senior Cloud Architects about his first 6 weeks at Nordcloud. You are also more than welcome to get in touch with Anna who coordinates our global induction.

Welcome to #NordcloudCommunity.

 

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