The primary challenge faced by Curt was to introduce AWS to a team that had almost no prior experience with the AWS or any cloud platform. The team needed to grasp core AWS concepts and demonstrate their ability to deploy their standard 3-tier application architecture to the cloud within a tight timeframe of approximately three months. The 3 tier architecture needed to be modified to be 12 factor compliant and be more cloud native. The team needed to understand not only the changes being made, but also the reasons why changes were needed. A new CI/CD deployment pipeline was also going to be required. The team would also need an introduction to AWS IAM and general cloud security best practices.
Curt tackled the challenge with a systematic approach:
1. Training and Education: Curt began by conducting training sessions to familiarize the team with AWS core concepts. This was crucial in building a strong foundation for their AWS journey. His leadership skills and ability to simplify complex technical concepts played a pivotal role in facilitating the learning process.
2. Proof of Concept: Curt led the team in designing and implementing a modified 3-tier architecture for AWS based on the existing approved patterns, demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of using AWS for the Client's future projects. This PoC was completed successfully and within the stipulated three-month timeframe, showcasing the team's ability to adapt and learn rapidly.
3. Pipeline Development: To address the DevOps team requirements, Curt created robust Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines that automated the provisioning of AWS ECS clusters, ECR repositories, and RDS databases. These pipelines were configured to adhere to corporate security standards and ensure the proper sizing and access to the virtual machines. This had a huge effect of enabling teams to deploy their new applications much more quickly, securely, and efficiently than was previously possible.
4. Knowledge Transfer: Curt played a pivotal role in helping various teams within the organization learn and leverage the new patterns and CI pipelines. He provided guidance on best practices, architecture design, and troubleshooting, ensuring that teams could harness the full potential of AWS in their projects.
Curt's efforts and expertise yielded several positive outcomes for the Client:
- Successful AWS Introduction: The successful PoC introduced AWS to the development teams, paving the way for future cloud-based projects.
- Efficient ECS, ECR, and RDS Provisioning: The CI/CD pipelines for ECS, ECR, and RDS provisioning streamlined the process, ensuring adherence to security and sizing guidelines.
- Empowered Development Teams: Curt's guidance enabled teams to deploy their effectively and securely in their projects, enhancing the organization's capabilities and greatly improving feature velocity.
- Enhanced Collaboration: Curt's leadership and knowledge sharing fostered collaboration among teams, leading to a more cohesive and agile development environment.
- Positive Feedback: Curt's ability to deliver results and share knowledge received positive feedback from both the technical teams and senior leadership.
Curt's role as a Principal Engineer for the Client was instrumental in the successful introduction of AWS to the organization and the efficient implementation of a new 3-tier deployment model. His leadership, technical expertise, and commitment to knowledge sharing significantly contributed to the company's technological advancements and its ability to meet the evolving needs of its customers. This case study highlights Curt's dedication to driving innovation and building a culture of continuous learning within the organization.