Our client is migrating to being a fully cloud-based Technology team and company. They are replacing their systems (the current ones were written in PHP an aeon ago on hosted servers) and those legacy systems have reached end of life. They will be replaced with high-performance technology more suited to 2019.
The PHP monolith is being dismantled and superseded by a service mesh based on Istio + Envoy with Kotlin service instances running on the JVM and hosted on Google Cloud Platform on the backend and React and React Native on the front. Our client has a successful and growing business entering a phase of new country expansion which their existing systems would not be able to support. They will not attempt to improve the legacy systems (much) but instead completely replace them.
That means that effectively they are embarking upon a greenfields project where they are re-architecting every layer of their systems starting with a cloud-native infrastructure. They are architecting for dynamic orchestration and allocation of service mesh instances based on real-time latency monitoring rather than thinking in earlier, outdated modes of resource management that focused on VM allocation. Those days belong in the past.
The toolstack is taking shape as they progress in their research and they are actively looking for an infrastructure leader with experience in large-scale, high-volume, high-availability systems who can play a key role in defining the stack. There are some key architectural foundations they will base their new systems development upon—CICD and TDD for development and deployment; and they’ll be using Docker + Kubernetes + Istio + Envoy for the orchestration and auto latency-based load balancing of their service mesh instances. They will most likely be using GCP’s Bigtable and Spanner as the wide-column big data and financial transactions ACID databases.
Our client is taking a different approach to most companies in the way they are defining the role of infrastructure within their transformation projects. Infrastructure can often be regarded as sitting in the backseat and having its contribution taken for granted. They are actively looking for a Head of Cloud Infrastructure who will push back against the other technologists to educate, lead and demonstrate better ways of working. Infrastructure can and should be a vital source of innovation within a high-functioning technology team.
There is so much innovation happening in the infrastructure space that if you don’t have infrastructure team at the table and shaping the conversation then the whole wider team is missing out on important innovations and their valuable insights. There’s too much happening in this space for Infrastructure to be following rather than leading. Great developers also appreciate when they have infrastructure partners who they can work together with collaboratively to deliver exceptional outcomes.
This is not a common point of view in our industry and there’s a reason why it is different for our client. They are a successful startup, have been operating for over a decade and were acquired by a multibillion euro juggernaut. Essentially, they are the online-only boardroom hedge against Amazon coming to Europe. Needless to say, they won’t be using EC2s.
That actually delivers a huge amount of freedom to them and, on reflection, the Google platform much better fits clients culture and values of experimentation, customer personalisation and constant change.
They are a daily deals online e-commerce company with huge volumes, and that’s the critical factor—they offer fantastic deals today, but tomorrow they will be gone. Dynamism and constant change is something they have chosen to embrace. It is part of their DNA; they are intrinsically risk-takers.
In our Head of Cloud Infrastructure we are looking for:
- Experience in architecting for high-volume transaction loads with low-latency operating constraints
- Architecting for high availability and zero downtime
- Knowing the territory with CNCF-style cloud-native development (as opposed to cloud-based hosting)
- Strong leadership skills—all success is about growing people
- Being at the top of their field and recognised as a thought leader
- A fantastic positive attitude who can work collaboratively with their colleagues
Our client is looking for someone who is at the top of their game. They went through the journey from initial startup to exit and acquisition and developed strong internal competencies along the way. With their acquisition and the backing of a multibillion euro consumer electronics retailer, they now have the opportunity to massively increase their turnover in the next year. Doubling turnover in the next year is a realistic proposition for them now with the access to the data, support and supply channels of their parent company. That’s a massive growth trajectory and it’s why they need a Head of Cloud Infrastructure who is able to envisage and design scalable, secure, distributed architectures that are leveraging all the best tools. Together with the infrastructure team they will have the opportunity to design this from scratch and influence the team’s standard of excellence.
Often, Infrastructure and the incredibly hard work that it involves is taken for granted. It’s like electricity and everyone just expects it to be there. But our CTO wants to expand Infrastructure into a powerful, direction-setting part of the team—a source of horsepower and innovation within the company. The insights and capabilities that Infrastructure brings to the table determines the degree and pace at which the rest of the Tech team succeeds.
This is a high visibility role for someone with a risk appetite to tell us how things should be done right. They are looking for someone with strong opinions on everything from authentication and security to CICD + TDD. They are also looking for someone with an obsessive commitment to simplification and rationalisation who would want to eliminate legacy technologies from the stack. They have some cleanup to do and old technologies need to go on a schedule to be ruthlessly eliminated.
Our client is not looking for wallflowers. You will have complete freedom to do the very best engineering that it is possible to do in 2019. You can choose your tools. You can set your own quality metrics. You can set standards over deployment, monitoring and our dynamically-scalable infrastructure. You won’t have any budget constraints so long as what you propose is basically sensible. We are after quality. In the long term, this is the most cost effective solution too.
You don’t need to necessarily know GCP already. They are assuming that if you are at the top of your game then you can translate and remap your experiences with AWS onto GCP. If you do have experience with large-scale GCP implementations already, then great. But leadership skills are more important and you’ll be supported in developing those further. They believe in their people and they are the basis of all our successes. You need to be able to mentor, coach, lead and inspire your team. You should also have strong opinions about who you would want to hire into your team and what key skills you would want to bring in as it grows.
We have a greenfields project to re-engineer the future of a multimillion euro working business that is the innovation lab for a multibillion euro parent company. Our client is looking for someone with the technical vision to envisage how a scalable platform should be designed that will be the foundation for the massive growth we are going through
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