Building secure cloud environments for the customers in Sweden

We’re pleased to introduce you to Vladimir, who is our DevSecOps guru working at the Stockholm office. On a daily basis, he helps our customers in creating safe cloud environments. We decided to ask him about his experience in harnessing modern cloud technologies for our Swedish customers.

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

I’m originally from Russia but I have lived in Sweden since 2011. Before joining Nordcloud I used to work for Ericsson as a solution architect in the systems integration domain. At some point, I realised that I needed a major change, so I left Ericsson and joined Nordcloud to work on public and hybrid cloud projects.

2. What is your role and your core competence?

When it comes to core competencies, I have 25 years of experience spanning across many roles including software developer, UX designer, product manager and solution architect. Currently I’m addicted to building modern CI/CD pipelines with security focus, so called DevSecOps. 

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

I really like guiding customers in the best ways to develop and support modern containers / serverless-based applications and workloads.

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

I have the full freedom to do what I believe is best for the customer, I’m not limited by specific products, services, or processes.

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

Ultimately, ‘learned’ is not the right word being in the past tense, as I have realised we need to learn constantly in our fast-changing world of IT. Nordcloud is a community of great colleagues, who are willing to share deep technical and “how-to” knowledge and experience.

6. What do you do outside work?

Trying to help my daughters to do things right. Personally I do a lot of sport activities – alpine skiing, mountain biking, calisthenics, and table tennis.

7. How would you describe Nordcloud’s culture?

While this is not our official culture, for me personally I think it’s built around a fast paced environment, that encourages each individual to have the freedom to use their skills to help customers challenges, while always going that extra mile to find solutions.

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    Meet Petri Kallberg – our CTO from Finland!

    CATEGORIES

    Life at Nordcloud

    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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      Meet Eija from Nordcloud’s Design Studio Intergalactico!

      CATEGORIES

      Life at Nordcloud

      Eija works as a Senior UX Designer at Nordcloud Jyväskylä and she is one of Design Studio Intergalactico‘s experts with superpowers. Everyone at Nordcloud knows that ‘where there is Eija, there is laughter and joy’! Eija is a real pro in design from multiple perspectives and she enjoys designing both visual aspect and user-friendliness of services. On her free time she works as a freelancer photographer. You can see her photos on Instagram. But read her story first!

      I live in Central Finland, Jyväskylä to be exact. I’ve lived here my whole life, but love the fact that I get to travel around Finland and sometimes around the world for work. When I started at Nordcloud (or SC5 back then) five years ago I got to dive straight into a really interesting project; Making online games, or rather electric raffle tickets for Veikkaus. It was exciting and I learned a great deal from the project, the client and of course my colleagues. 

      My title is Senior UX Designer, UX design is what I mostly do. My daily work consists of a wide range of design work and I love the fact that I get to do so much of what I feel enthusiastic about. Solving real problems and coming up with something game changing is what sets me on fire! It is fulfilling when you’re presented with a problematic use case and you turn it into a seriously dazzling user experience! WOW! This of course applies in digital products, but why not also in social or communicational scenes. 

      On top of the inspiring work and professional growth that I’ve experienced at Nordcloud I have to say that the single best thing here are the people! I get to work with tech and design professionals, and it blows my mind how much I can learn from them. And even though we’re all nerdy we are also super cool and hip and fun!

      On top of being a designer at Nordcloud I’m also doing a lot of Culture Ambassadory things. For me this means being the ears and voice of my colleagues, developing our culture, tackling possible issues in our work community or environment with our people operations team and initiating fun things to do together. Along these I also do quite a lot of photography both at work and in my free time. To balance it all out I work out in different forms at the gym, dance studio and outdoors. And hey, these are all things that are supported and encouraged by Nordcloud!

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        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

                CATEGORIES

                Life at Nordcloud

                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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