Blog / Welcome to the Bootstrap team

Kris McAlpine: November 27, 2020

In our latest blog, Kris McAlpine - Software Engineer in NDS, introduces us to his new team, which provides the cloud infrastructure for NDS's services.

Welcome to the Bootstrap team! We are quite a young team, being formed at the beginning of August, but in that time, we’ve been working on a wide range of interesting tasks.

Our main job over the past few months has been to build part of our “platform as a service”, providing the cloud infrastructure needed for our application teams in NDS to deploy and run their services in the cloud.

The infrastructure consists of the computing power needed to run our applications, storage space to safely store the all-important data and security controls around accessing that data. This has all been built with reliability in mind to ensure that the system can cope with issues such hardware and network failures. This provides a robust foundation for other teams to build their new services upon.

We have also been working on automating the deployment of services to the cloud, giving us the ability to release new functionality in a controlled manner and recover quickly, should something go wrong.  We have set up a monitoring system so we can ensure our services are behaving as expected and an alerting the system to notify us when they are misbehaving. Log files from all parts of the system are gathered in a central place, giving engineers the information they need to track down the source of issues.

Another portion of our work has been to build shared services that are common across projects, such as central data storage that can be used safely and appropriately by our various applications. We use as much open source technology as possible, drawing on existing projects where we can to stand up new services quickly and provide familiar interfaces to work with for internal and external engineers.

We spend a fair amount of time interacting with others across NDS, from supporting services moving over to the new cloud infrastructure or discussing with them what functionality they’d like to see from us that would help them in their work. It’s also a chance for us to find out where the pain points are so we can resolve them quickly and to get positive feedback as well, so we know we are on the right track.

We are an agile bunch, perhaps not in the gymnastic sense, but in the way we work. We have daily stand ups to discuss tickets and blockers and fortnightly sprints where we present and review what we’ve achieved. The work is quite varied and it’s exciting to find out what we will be working on in the next sprint.

It has been very rewarding for us to see the infrastructure we’ve built grow and be used across different services. It gives a real sense of achievement, thinking about how much duplicated effort we’ve managed to eliminate, not just in current projects, but in the many projects to come.

 

To learn more about opportunities with NDS please visit our careers page.

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