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Pandemic

DevOps Engineer (2+ years) – Azure

About our client

At Collabco (recently acquired by Ready Education) we help Higher and Further Education institutions – Universities, Colleges, Business Schools etc – engage with their staff and students through our Azure hosted multi-tenant SaaS platform “myday”.

myday provides a convenient, single point of entry to the multiple enterprise systems used in education, such as timetables, attendance tracking, tasks, email, news, calendar, and more.

As an Agile team using Scrum to deliver a cloud product, we know that good DevOps practices are the backbone of successful development; and while we aim to create a fast flow of incremental enhancements to myday every sprint, having a full-time member of the team committed to DevOps will help us do this more effectively and efficiently.

Our acquisition by Ready Education means we’re planning significant expansion of our customer base as well as our team, making this a great time to join a successful business, have an impact on the way we work, and help design the processes we adopt to ensure we are constantly improving.

As a Microsoft partner we have access to a wealth of support and learning materials, meaning you can grow your skills with us while solving real-world problems, and where possible we’re happy to fund certification in relevant disciplines.

We’re a global organisation with sites across North America and Europe, while our UK offices are in the Knowledge Quarter of Liverpool City Centre with great access to shops, restaurants, and green spaces; although we’re working fully remotely since the arrival of Covid, with some of the team choosing to stay that way, so being able to commute to Liverpool is not a requirement.

We do collaborate closely however, so being in a time zone that means we can stay in touch during the working day is a must, as we want everyone to be able to attend Scrum ceremonies and feel part of the team – especially while we’re working from home.

At Collabco we’re fiercely proud of our organisational culture, and while lots of companies have “values”, we live ours every day:

– We strive for ridiculously good standards
– We are positively challenging in our approach
– We make responsible choices
– We make trusting connections

Every 3 months we take time out to celebrate team members who have been nominated by their colleagues as examples of these values, as well as holding weekly all-hands sessions to help the team stay in touch, and providing access to services such as Well Room to make sure we’re supporting the team through a difficult time.

Formed in July 2021 from Collabco (UK), StuComm (NL) and Ready Education (NA) Ready Education Global are entering a period of rapid expansion, with the opportunity to work on new products beyond myday over the coming months making this a great time to join a fast-growing organisation.

What kind of person are we looking for:

Reporting to the UK Engineering Manager, the role of DevOps Engineer will be part of our small-but-growing Engineering Team (currently 7, soon to be 9+), helping us rapidly ship new features to our customers in a controlled and targeted manner.

There are four main areas where we’d like you to help us improve our practices, and while we don’t expect applicants to know everything, our ideal candidate would have good working knowledge of all four, and detailed knowledge of one or more:

– Maximising the return on investment of adopting a DevOps culture within the team
– Managing the performance of our Azure infrastructure – scale, availability, georedundancy etc
– Improving our IaC coverage – we know we’re doing too much stuff manually
– Better code deployment pipelines – we’d like a smoother CI/CD processes, with better automated test integration and environment targeting

You’ll use your knowledge of cloud platforms to configure horizontal and vertical scaling that keep myday performant through peak periods, and advise the team on potential cost savings or areas in need of additional investment.

Although our infrastructure is almost entirely in Azure, we know we’re not taking advantage of the IaC capabilities available to us, and would love to invest in the automation of environment creation and configuration through use of ARM templates and tooling such as Terraform.

We’d like to do better at separating code deployment from feature releases, so you’ll ensure we have the correct configuration of environments for modern release management techniques. We’d also like to better integrate QA processes into our release pipelines, so you’ll collaborate with our QA Engineers to support the integration of test automation during releases.

Specific projects likely to be on your plate over the next 6 months include setting up a new staging environment, taking advantage of IaC to simplify similar work in future. We’re looking at how to ensure our customers on the other side of the world have the same performance as UK & EU, so deploying myday across different regions is another project we’d like help with.

As the sole DevOps engineer on the UK team, you’ll need the confidence and experience to take ownership of our Azure infrastructure, and advise us on how we can make the most of a DevOps mindset within the team – although you won’t be entirely on your own: our developers have self-managed our cloud platform for some time, and will be able to support you as you settle in, while our colleagues in North America and the Netherlands also have DevOps expertise available to provide advice and support.

Ideally you will have experience working with Azure, although we’d be interested to hear from experienced engineers with relevant knowledge of other providers such as AWS or Google who feel they could make the transition to Azure.

With your support we will ensure the team get maximum return on their investment in DevOps practices, while giving our customers the best possible experience when using myday.

Main responsibilities

– Helping the team achieve the increased effectiveness that comes with a DevOps culture and mindset
– Ensure optimum configuration and availability of environments as enablers for successful coding, QA, and release processes within the engineering team
– Management, monitoring, and maintenance of Azure infrastructure and applications
– Planning and implementing infrastructure requirements alongside development projects
– Reporting on infrastructure costs, reliability, capacity and performance
– Create new, and extend existing, documentation of myday infrastructure
– Collaborate with engineering team to improve our application deployment pipelines
– Support our QA engineers in the embedding of test automation as part of deployment
– Ensure Service Level Objectives and Indicators are defined in collaboration with other team members, product manager and development team
– Debug and diagnose infrastructure issues identifying the root cause
– Identify, evaluate and plan mitigations to lessons learnt in relation to incidents in collaboration with other team members
– Communicate with internal and external stakeholders
– Evaluate and communicate the risk of technical decisions

Essential knowledge, skills, and experience

– Good level of DevOps experience (2 years), with several years in a similar role
– Expertise with Azure, Google Cloud, or AWS (we currently use Azure)
– Good knowledge of Windows and/or Linux server administration (Linux is our Preferred OS)
– Good Knowledge of CI/CD and release pipelines
– Version control and branching with Git
– Familiarity with Docker/Container technology
– Intermediate knowledge of networking, IPv4, IPv6, routing, DNS which will be applied in a cloud context
– Knowledge of automation using scripting/programming tools such as PowerShell, Bash, C#, JavaScript, or Python
– Strong ability to diagnose and debug complex technical issues
– Able to communicate through clear documentation
– Able to contribute to technical discussions/decisions
– Ability and drive to pick up new tools and programming/scripting languages

Desirable knowledge, skills, and experience

– Prior experience and knowledge of Kubernetes and related tooling
– Use of Terraform, ARM or similar IaC tools
– Experience with GitFlow branching model
– Familiarity with Cloud Application engineering principles and micro-services
– Familiarity and/or prior experience of the ‘Site Reliability Engineering’ discipline
– Working in an Agile environment, with a focus on incremental delivery and “getting to done”

Personal qualities

– Excellent interpersonal skills, both 1-to-1 and in groups
– The ability to communicate and negotiate skilfully
– Pragmatic outlook in the face of competing priorities
– Taking pleasure in your work and the successes of the team
– A positive, collaborative approach to problem solving
– Willing to respectfully challenge the status-quo and ask why
– Attention to detail
– The ability to help others learn
– Confidence to share new ideas
– Understanding when to ask for support

About Personal Programmer

We are a nearshoring company that helps Macedonian developers to find their dream job working for international companies. A job where you can grow as a developer, and get the most out of your working life and career whilst enjoying every day you come to Personal Programmer’s office.

However, for the time being, due to the COVID-situation, we allow every developer to choose if they want to come to the office or work remotely. Your health is most important in these times and for us, it is only natural that you be the one that makes the decisions about the office choice. We are and have always been, a very transparent company where our developers have a lot to say. We listen. We believe in the positive effect of a long-term cooperation which, along with transparency, are crucial for a successful and satisfying working environment.

We do everything in our power to make your job as fulfilling as possible. We provide great equipment and working stations, advice about work-related subjects and about your salary, which you may discuss openly with your client.

At Personal Programmer you are in an ever-evolving team and we are looking forward to welcoming you to our family.

Apply now


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    Kristina I. Kapsarova

    COO - Responsible for transparent implementation of overall business strategy and operations of Personal Programmer Skopje in direct coordination with Personal Programmer B.V. Special field of interest: recruitment, managing human resources and career development of software engineers in IT organizations.

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