In our new “Meet the Team” series, we’ll be chatting to Inawisdom employees old and new across the business, to find out more about what they do and what they enjoy about working at Inawisdom. Today, we’re talking to Chris Coles, who joined the team as a Cloud Engineer earlier this year.
What drew you to this role and to Inawisdom? What has your career path looked like up to this point?
What drew me to Inawisdom was the opportunity to challenge myself at a company which is on the cutting edge of technology within a space I have a wealth of experience in. Machine Learning and AI is very much at the forefront of many business leaders’ minds as they think about the future. Being in a company where AI / ML is their bread and butter is very exciting and opens up many different avenues of learning to explore.
My experience up until about 10 years ago was managing enterprise grade platforms for mobile phone companies, banks and search engines in on-premise data centres. I then moved to a small company who were pioneers in the IoT space, having thought about how to control your phone before the advent of smart phones.
Within 6 months I was seconded onto a project they were working on in AWS and I haven’t looked back since. That project I was seconded onto turned into Hive Home, where I ended up SRE/DevOps Tech Lead, seeing the growth of the customer base from 1 to 1.5 million users.
From there I moved to lead a team of engineers in a MarTech company who were based 20 minutes’ walk from my house (so I could be closer to my kids) but who were struggling with their usage of AWS. I came in bringing my wealth of experience supporting the growth of platforms on AWS using the right technologies and best practices.
What have you enjoyed most about this role so far?
For me, it’s certainly been getting to know a great team of people who are working with dedication and passion to provide the best service to their customers, and who have a wealth of expertise in AWS and ML/AI.
Have you faced any challenges in your new role? How have you been supported by Inawisdom / your team?
Yes. From day one I have been thrown in at the deep end… but that’s definitely the way I like it. I have 8 years’ experience of working with a specific IAC language for AWS (CloudFormation) which is also the standard language used by the Inawisdom Cloud Engineering Practice (with a whole set of templates already written and a common set of standards to adhere to). Within the first week, having immersed myself in some of the common tooling developed and specially tailored to CloudFormation, I was asked to join a project which required the use of a completely different IAC language, Terraform. This is something relatively new within Inawisdom but also something completely new to me!
With the support of other members of the Cloud Engineering practice who have Terraform experience, I’ve been piecing together code to build a MetaData platform in Terraform which runs in Kubernetes (which is another technology I haven’t used in anger) based on a set of templates built in CloudFormation, in preparation for having to build this out for a customer.
This has been a really interesting challenge to get stuck into as it’s given me the chance to explore a completely new technology and expand my skillset.
What has been the highlight of your time at Inawisdom?
Other than the warm welcome I received on the fortnightly All Hands call, I also got seconded onto an IoT project within my first few weeks due to my experience within that space. It’s an area I really enjoy working in and it’s great to have an opportunity to apply my wealth of experience to a new project.