MyWeek showcases one of our expert’s work week – the highs and the challenges they are facing, and what the role actually consists of.
This week it’s time for us to step onto Belgian ground and into the world of Azure Development. We followed Maxim, our Azure Architect, for one week in June. Maxim has a background in integrating systems using Microsoft technology – yep, you guessed it: BizTalk Server – which, over a period of 10 years, gradually moved towards designing and building cloud-based integration scenarios or applications using different Azure services. Now let’s see where this architect has landed in the Zure world!
What customer work do you have ongoing?
I am currently doing two projects for the same customer. The first one about a document sharing platform I have been doing since I started at Zure, and it is now close to the finish line and waiting for some final testings. We did that as a small team with Antti, but got help from Matias for all UI/UX-related shenanigans, like where should the feedback button be placed or how to gather user feedback. It has been a really nice start project for my Zure career.
Currently, most of my time goes to this other project that has seven Zure employees working on a grand API platform. This week I have been converting classic DevOps pipelines into YAML mode, ensuring all changes are nicely being tracked in version control. I have been majorly focused on the backend side, so working mostly with DevOps, Azure AD, App Services, Key Vaults, etc. My workdays consist mostly of pure C# but sometimes we use PowerShell in occasional places where it’s easier or a better fit for purpose.
What has been most challenging?
The latest challenge for me was working with networking area. Our Security Consultant Teemu did a security assessment to our project, and as a result we did some modifications to the platform. It was the first time for me to dive so deep into the networking and for example blocking all kinds of public access, so it was both challenging and interesting.
Other challenge has been the onboarding to this new, massive project. Luckily we started at the same time with my partner in crime Antti, so we have been doing a lot of pair coding and pair onboarding with him and of course other members of the team.
What internal stuff do you have?
We have had this super fun internal project here in Belgium that we are planning for CloudBrew conference. I don’t want to spoil the surprise beforehand, but I can tell that it includes a race track, IoT-sensors and serious development on Raspberry Pi. We might even have a speaker session about this coming up! But even if it would not end to any stage, it has been so much fun planning and building it as a team here at the office.
Internally, I’m also participating in our DevOps Guild meetups. In this last session I promised to keep a minicode (internal training session) on Azure Load Testing, as Pasi Huuhka suggested it would be an interesting topic for many Zureans. However, I first want to finish the concrete example at the customer case before doing the training, so it’s definitely going in the backlog for next fall.
Best things this week?
I’m really happy just to be here at the office with the team. We usually start and end our weeks together, so all Mondays and Fridays we all gather to the office. I have about 45min drive from the coastal town called Blankenberge, but we have always such a laugh at the office, so I don’t mind the commute.
Another best thing about this week is not work-related, but we are finally getting keys to our new house! So very chill and stressfree moving days ahead. :’)
What does an Azure Architect role require?
From my experience, as Zure is focused on more senior experts, I would say that the major skill needed in this role is just years of development experience, the C# skills being at the core. Of course, Azure PaaS knowledge speeds up the learning curve, but it’s not mandatory – we have developers who did not have any Azure competencies before joining Zure.
Otherwise, this has been a really communal company, so I would not stress too much about the details in the competences, if you are willing to learn new. I still remember my first day at Zure, when the CEO himself called me and asked if I would like to join this new project, by describing what the work in there was like. I have never quite had the experience of being asked for my opinion – usually I have just been assigned to a project and that’s it. But here the people are actually interested in you having interesting stuff on your table.
Are you interested in Azure Architect or Azure Developer roles at Zure? Check out our job opportunities and come work with us!