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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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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Getting from A to B with AWS Team Lead

CATEGORIES

Life at Nordcloud

This week’s Nordcloudian Story is shared by AWS Team Lead, Tamas Kiss, from our London office. Tamas has worked at Nordcloud since 2017 and is a big fan of cloud, Open Source, infrastructure as code, heavy configuration management and deep monitoring. Let’s hear his story!

 

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

“I am originally from Hungary. Prior to Nordcloud, I was working with DevOps but started to get a bit bored so I was ready for new challenges with more variety. I looked up different consultancies, and got approached by a headhunter. Even if I wasn’t actively yet looking for a new job, Nordcloud’s type of projects, flexibility, size of the team, quick recruitment process and new line of work attracted me to join!”

2. What is your role and core competence?

I wear many hats! My official title is AWS Team Lead, but I also work as Senior Cloud Architect and Solution Architect supporting sales team.

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

I really enjoy the initial phases of project where we are figuring out the customer goals and get to do design and play around to get from A to B to achieve the business goals.

As an example from air crafts, Aériane Swift or Cessna 150 or Magnus Fusion UL, Airbus A380 or Antonov An-225, or something unusual like the P-791 or the Horten Ho 229, all can get you from A to B (with some luck), but they all have something unique which makes them the best choice for a problem. I strongly believe in the right tool for the right job; having the whole landscape in front of me when picking is a lot of fun. 

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

“Every estimate must be multiplied with two. This means if you think you are done in a week, count it with two!

Project management is hard. At least for me it’s much harder than the technical stuff.

I also learned that having a good head set for calls is crucial, as every meeting starts with “can you hear me?!” 😁

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

“It’s a full time job to just stay up to date with the demand of changes and new features.

You can reinvent yourself every second week. Right now I’m learning about Kubernetes, serverless and CDK”.

6. What do you do outside work?

“I have couple of open source pet projects going on and I enjoy spending time with my family.”

7. Best Nordcloudian memory?

“So this one time I took Ilkka, our new Cloud Engineer, to a client of ours. I was introduced as the Senior Engineer and walked in with t-shirt and shorts (as I do). 

The management joked around; “how much do we pay this guy again?”, as in “he must be good as he’s got the confidence of walking in in shorts!”. Ilkka then walked in, wearing a suit, and the client went “He must be new”. 😂

Keen to hear more about our UK AWS team? We are growing and looking for senior architects to Tamas’ team. 

Check out the opportunity HERE!

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First month at the Nordcloud UK Azure team

CATEGORIES

Life at Nordcloud

What a month it’s been!

Well, just a little over a month but an incredibly exciting, busy and interesting 6 weeks. I started with Nordcloud on the 29th, March 2019 and it’s a move that I’m really pleased I made.

I had worked within a consultancy environment for many years, travelling the country and working with customers of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Having made the decision back in 2017 that I’d had enough of travelling the length and breadth of the UK I decided to take a more local position at the Co-op as a Cloud Solutions Specialist working with the team there to establish their Cloud strategy. I’ll be the first to admit ‘the grass wasn’t greener’ and I soon missed the challenges, customer relationship building and variety of the consultant’s ‘lifestyle’.

I spoke to most of the big consultancy firms, had the same conversations, had telephone interviews and generally got invited to face-to-face interviews which I turned down – they were just not exciting or interesting. I didn’t want to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire (how many clichés can you put into one blog post?). I was conscious that I hadn’t been at the Co-op too long and wanted to make sure my next move was considered and somewhere I could be for a long time. The criteria was to; be somewhere fun, where I could grow, help to build something, learn something new every day, not just be a faceless number, somewhere I could get the consultancy ‘lifestyle’ but all without the endless travelling of the country and be appreciated (OK, my list of requirements was long!).

Being a bit of an avid LinkedIn user (sorry for the number of posts, likes, and shares that I do!) I noticed an interesting company, one that seemed to be a little fun with its posts, not generic a corporate approach  – ‘Nordcloud’. I spent some time researching the company and it looked like they had the exact culture and fit I was looking for! I got my CV updated and submitted it online and hoped for the best. It wasn’t long before I got a call back from Anna who talked me through Nordcloud, the opportunities, what I was looking for and the possibilities of a Northern office.

The process of me starting took some time with my notice period and Nordcloud working through their Northern office plans but one thing throughout the process that kept me interested and assured me that I’d make the right decision was the communication and honesty they gave me throughout the process, something that I think can really lack in the recruitment world.

Since starting at Nordcloud it has lived up to everything that was promised and that I was hoping for. As with all companies growing at the pace and scale of Nordcloud across Europe, there are things that can be changed but everyone is happy to listen, from your colleagues, team leader, country manager, and wider Nordcloud team, it’s a very flat, no hierarchical structure. Being a company that’s growing it’s a fantastic opportunity to put your stamp on something and not just be a faceless person (one of my requirements!). If you have an idea you’d like to do to help yourself and the company Nordcloud will be more than happy to help support and organise with you – something I think is often promised but often never lived up to in businesses. To succeed you really do need to be a self-starter and make your own opportunities, the company will help and support you as much as you want if you do. Being one of the fastest growing companies in Europe (an incredible achievement for such a young company) the opportunities are endless.

Being the new starter and first Nordcloud person up in the North of the UK it would be easy to be forgotten or ‘not in the loop’ but it’s not been like that at all, from the Azure team, the wider UK team and even Nordcloud people across Europe have all made sure I’m included and part of the team, there’s fantastic team spirit and culture, team calls, team drinks, Slack channels, Meetups, one-to-one’s, company feedback questionnaires, and support in going to the fantastic London office when I want (the office is located in Holborn, central London in a big, bright and fun building with countless hotdesking and quirky offices.

Another area that I have been incredibly impressed with is the induction which was very well organised, thorough, and planned. The induction really helped me get a really good start. From arriving on the first day and finding my brand new MacBook ready and waiting and my induction plan sorted with both local and company-wide inductions organised for me it was a fantastic first impression to the company. I’ve started at places before where nothing is ready and you’re left for a week with nothing to do while people run around trying to sort it out.

And as you can probably tell I’m loving Nordcloud but as with everyone I can’t come to work for free but the compensation has been fantastic, from brilliant pay (yes, you may be able to find somewhere that will give a few pounds more but they’re nowhere near as fun and interesting to work at as Nordcloud), not only are your exams paid for but you’re also paid a bonuses for passing!, talking of bonuses you get a quarterly bonus – no more waiting an entire year, recruitment bonuses for finding other fantastic people to work here, the list goes on and one, safe to say you’re well looked after. Even with all those benefits work-life balance is really important to the company and you’re fully supported with a good process in place to make sure that happens. I’ve worked for companies before that will happily have you running all over the country – that won’t happen at Nordcloud, you feel respected and appreciated for the work you do. Being a modern company and at the forefront of cloud technology you can obviously work from anywhere; home, the London office, the Manchester office, customer site, a cafe or wherever you want to and can get your work done.

Well, that’s it – I could go on about how great Nordcloud has been to start at and how much I’ve enjoyed my first 6 weeks but find out for yourself and have a look at the current opportunities or drop myself or Anna in the talent team a message (anna.makinen@nordcloud.com).

/Joe Hodkinson, Senior Cloud Architect

joe.hodkinson@nordcloud.com

Drop me an email or connect with me in Linkedin !

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AWS opens new availability zone in London

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News

AWS announced last week that they would be opening their 50th availability zone in London, giving an ever-growing customer base even more flexibility to develop ‘highly-scalable and ‘fault-tolerant’ applications.

The new London region has been given PSN (Public Services Network) assurance, which provides Public sector customers in the UK with an assured infrastructure to build their services. The PSN allows UK Public Service customers to move their UK-OFFICIAL data to the EU (London) Region, controlling the risks that accompany it.

For all customers, the ability to spread your applications over the third AZ allows you to decrease the risk profile of running your application on AWS, (spreading your application into the third AZ means that only 33% or your instance will fail if an AZ does, whereas previously this would have been 50%). The third AZ will also allow AWS to begin rolling out additional services which require three AZ’s to operate in the London region.

You can find a complete list of AWS Regions, services and prices on the AWS Global Infrastructure page.

If you would like to know more about AWS’s availability zones, please contact us. 

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