Author: Kyle Bassett


Moving UP the stack

If you missed the first part of this blog you can find it here > A year and a half, Part 3 - Time to focus

As I mentioned Arctiq is focused on the software and automation aspects of technology. Infrastructure focused projects are still very important but the applications that run on that infrastructure is the real effect on the business. This certainly introduces many critical aspects when automating your infrastructure and applications lifecycle. Automation tools enable the concept of integrated security into your infrastructure and applications. You can read about a real world example from our Practice Safe DevOps Event.

One example of moving up the stack is working directly with the development organizations. We spend a lot of time in the containerization space, this generally starts with designing the platform. There are many aspect to this stage including: where it will run? (cloud or not), sizing, networking, security, access controls, storage, self service options and HA/DR capabilities to name a few. Soon after we finish this stage of the architecture and build it’s time to move up the stack.

What makes change?

A container services is only going to catch on if the development community finds it useful and makes their job easier. As we work with more development teams we start to see the true power of automation. This often is achieved by automating business process to gain greater velocity. This is generally achieved by moving to Continuous Deployment and Integration. I can say one thing for sure developers love containers, self services and automation frameworks, they don’t want to be working on the infrastructure aspects of the environment. They want to focus on writing code…

Positive recognition is always a good signal

The past year and a half we have been fortunate to work with many great customers. The initial projects were completed but we continue to work with these customers today on new and exciting initiatives. It’s always a positive sign when you are able to retain happy customers and it’s even better when your customers and partners recommend Arctiq to their community. Awards were not something that Arctiq was focused on but they continue to be nice surprise and provided positive reinforcement that our model is working. We continue to work with our customers the way they want to engage, this does mean doing things differently and being willing to continuously change our game plan. It has proven to be a refreshing way to run our business.

Staying customer focus

As I mentioned staying customer focused has been critical to our success and continues to bring positive results in many aspects. We are discovering new partners based on what new challenges we are seeing in the market and what our customers are identifying as gaps. We were able to have a amazing customer / partner appreciation party in April to celebrate our first anniversary. As Arctiq continues to grow we will be sure to keep in mind what drove our success and many new opportunities

Eating our own dog food

This is one aspect that we continue to get better at. We are helping customers everyday understand the potential and opportunity when using today new tools and frameworks. The best way for Arctiq to learn and master these new tools and process is integrate them into our business. It allows us to learn exactly what effect they can have on our business and how we need to change to gain the most value from automation and continuous feedback. We have many stories the team plans to blog about, one of my favorite is how we completely re-wrote our web platform, enabled continuous integration and migrated to our partner Github Pages. Today we all make our own changes to the website and post our own blog (enabled by a complete automated workflow). Keep an eye out for this blog “coming soon”. It’s starting to look a lot like a platform we can soon offer to our customers.

Listening to customers and filling gaps

One thing we started to hear form our customer is the lack of real world training related to new software technology they were utilizing. Not the “how to install / configure” training but what we tend to call “Day 2”. This was part of our original business plan but as we listened to feedback we were able to build our the program. It’s focused on real world use cases, for example: how to I operate and utilize this new tool or platform, troubleshooting aspects and integration with other tools. We run them as *hands on** workshops and attendees get a lot of real world experience to do their job more effectively.

A whole new space

As I wrap up this blog series some cool things are about to happen. We are in the final stages of designing our new office and moving to a much larger space. One important aspect of this new space will be having a great place to run our workshops as well as starting to bring the community into many of our projects. We attend a lot of tech meetups and run as many events as possible and notice it’s always hard for the community to find a great space that is cost effective. Our new space will be designed to host great meetups, events and tech talks as well as a place for our partners and customers to collaborate with us. Stay tuned for a launch event we plan to host before the cold hits Toronto.

Blogging

Not a surprise but our blogging and sharing technical information with our community dropped off quite a bit this summer. I can attest that we have a long list of topics that we want to document and share. Keep an out for new blogs and signup for our Expedition Newsletter at the bottom of any page to receive notification. Please share them with your community, it help other learn about Arctiq and hopefully encourages them to share information and learnings. We have actually worked with several customers who can across us via a web search so a quick share is very appreciated.

My next topic will be way more technical but this was a nice way to reflect on the past year and a half and provide some context of how we run and built Arctiq.

Interested in learning more or discussing any of the technology we utilized we would love to hear from you.

//take the first step

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