A day in the life of a Platform Engineer - With George Coyne

Overview

George Coyne joined CTS as a Platform Engineer within our graduate scheme, working solely with Google Cloud Platform.  To gain insight from George’s experiences , Nick Bain, our Talent Acquisition Partner asks about his highlights, achievements and future plans.

What's your career story? 

“This is the first job of my professional career in IT, after finishing my university degree I wasn’t sure which route I wanted to take. Emerging cloud technology was only lightly covered at university and therefore something I never really considered up until my introduction to CTS.”

“Upon reading about it, the CTS graduate scheme was a perfect fit for me as it had the opportunity to learn the underlying knowledge before putting it into practice, and during the assessment day I could clearly see what the core values of the company meant to the team.”

“My title at CTS is Platform Engineer, specialising in the Google Cloud Platform. My current role involves delivering assigned on-going projects to the highest standard, understanding customer challenges and guiding them through best practice solutions whilst helping them adopt this new way of working."

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn't have a tech background?

“We take a business's systems and mimic or transform that functionality into Google Cloud Platform resources in an aim to run it cheaper whilst optimizing the system.”

“I’d think of it in a similar way that you’d understand the job of an architect, working with a customer to understand their needs/requirements and begin to plan infrastructure according to those needs and best practices but in my case, everything we build is virtual and on the Google Cloud Platform.”

What were your thoughts on CTS before starting?

“I hadn’t heard of CTS before being shown the opportunity by a good friend and after looking into the company it just seemed like the right fit for me. CTS stood out because of its focus on people, with great benefits and encouraged/supported self-development it is the perfect start for a graduate.”

What are your favourite projects that you’ve been involved in?

“There’s recently been a project with a customer in high demand of PE resources involving requests for new resources to support their multi-environment, Event Driven and IoT based infrastructure whilst guiding them on best practice. We assisted  them with understanding the Infrastructure As Code workflow used to create their GCP presence. This project is one of my favourites due to the use of a full stack of GCP solutions ranging from configured compute instances for custom traffic splitting logic, multiple data solutions and serverless technology.”

“The internal CTS websites project was also fun for me as it reflected some recent changes to our team’s workflow. The project allowed me to get my hands on advanced tooling and get experience delivering top-spec solutions as we maintain internal projects to a high standard.”

What’s the work culture like?

“Self-improvement is at the core with the backing of supportive and open teams. As said before, there’s a large focus on people and with the pandemic hitting us all it’s brilliant to see the culture still evident and that focus on people prioritised. The culture of the department has assisted my growth from a fresh graduate to a fully-fledged platform engineer supported along the way to deliver top-end solutions.”

A big part of your job role is that it is ever-changing. How do you keep up to date with the constant updates?

“The team are all very passionate about emerging and current technologies, so keeping up to date is also a by-product of daily work and discussion. 

Aside from this, reputable media sources, team and even company-wide knowledge sharing sessions. Sessions can vary from agile structured (such a tech lounge and demos) to ad-hoc (pairing sessions and livesharing.) I think also being a premier partner with Google (and recently MSP accredited) helps a lot...”

 

Talk me through a typical day at CTS, before the pandemic…

“Before this, a normal day for me would be waking up early and walking in for 8am and begin my day with oats and coffee, catching up on any emails and beginning my day (whether that be certifying, self-improving, discovery, project work at the time). But this is back when you could turn around to your teammate less than two metres away and confirm something or just have a chat whilst working, good times.”

And right now?

“The rotation to full time working from home was quite smooth given that we ran test days across the company prior to the pandemic and full lockdowns.

Of course, full time working from home has its downfalls, it’s certainly a struggle some days, but the great thing about CTS is that it is an open book where we can discuss these experiences and come up with creative solutions to aid our day-to-day working from home.”

A closing statement from Nick...

It was really interesting to learn how George's role has evolved since joining CTS on our graduate programme back in 2018 - from having little knowledge of public cloud technologies to working on complex customer projects as a Platform Engineer. It's also really encouraging to hear that the team have continued to collaborate and support each other throughout the pandemic. 

We are currently hiring into our Platform Engineering Team, if you'd like to find out more about the opportunities you can contact me directly, my email address is nick.bain@cts.co

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