A COVID Summer

It feels like it's been a long time since I last posted an update; in fact the last update was back in July and it's fair to say a lot has happened since. I’ve had extreme working temperatures in my garden office (34’C at one point), rouge builders abandoning work on our house, home schooling a 4 & 8yr old whilst also helping clients with projects.

Design Build Release

I’ve continued to work with a client in Chester on the launch of ManagedBills.com a business to business (B2B) platform which helps customers manage all of their business services in one place. The design and build of the platform has continued to evolve as new business requirements are elicited from the stakeholders and as testing uncovers bugs (or opportunities to make it better as I like to jokingly refer to them!).

Product Team

The MVP platform provided our team with the ability to review key features and make UI changes quickly on-demand. As with all projects its important to manage ‘scope creep’ and this project was no exception, during the design and build a requirement for a white-label capability materialised which added delays.

As well as working on the platform build the impact of COVID-19 was becoming more apparent as the office team moved to 100% home working whilst we looked to remove the on-premise data-centre. This did have an impact on our small DevOps team as we were now planning in over 30+ client set-ups for Office365 and a file server migration to Sharepoint.

As we moved into September and the schools finally opened (hooray!) attention shifted towards finalising integrations for ManagedBills.com specifically on our GraphQL endpoints and ReactJS app which allows customers to manage their accounts. We also built a number of interfaces into 3rd party external systems which were brokered through the AWS API Gateway.

AWS BookWorm

Back at the start of the year I set out a couple of personal goals of getting a professional level AWS certification completed. Following our family trip to Scotland in August I realised I'd neglected my studies in favour of helping my client project so decided to take action and book in two courses; Professional Architecting on AWS and DevOps Engineering onAWS.

Both courses were 3 days long, involved a lot of coffee but were brilliant! I highly recommend taking time out of your schedule to learn from the leaders in your field, you can always learn someone new. I just now need to schedule the exams which also require significant time commitments.

Pass me my tin hat, we are live

This week the team and I switched over the DNS to our production platform. We started off with our MVP on an Elastic Beanstalk environment, today we have a serverless architecture consisting of a Gatsby front-end, ReactJS account, GraphQL APIs, DynamoDB and Lambda functions.

We successfully loaded tested up to over 530+ concurrent requests and we didn't hear a pip due to the serverless design.

The past couple of weeks have been very tough I’m not going to sugar coat it, I’ve been writing SQL, functions in Lambda, configuring API Gateways testing with postman, writing components for ReactJS, writing functions in Zoho Deluge through to configuring Google Analytics and designing a multi-level affiliate system - and that was Monday! :)

The DevOps team I work with have done a brilliant job and exceeded my expectations, definitely gone over and above in what has been a stressful startup environment.

The team definitely deserved a big thumbs up!

Serverless Architecture

Signing off for the week

I’m going to share some more insights into the journey so far and cover specifics of the technology such as lessons learned and what I'd do differently. Hopefully this will help others should they embark on similar projects. 

Stay safe.