My name is Dandison Allen-Thomas, and I am in the Cloud Engineering practice. Before joining Kubrick, I spent three years working in the insurance industry and prior to that, I studied Economics (BSc) at Queen Mary University.
I have always been interested in technology. During my three-year stint in insurance, I was the one people called upon for technology-based support, despite being part of an underwriting department and not having any formal training in technology. This interest led me to not only learn Python in my free time, but also motivated me to speak to friends who were working in technology to learn more about how I could pursue a career in this field. I am skilled in problem-solving and logic and enjoy being on the cutting-edge of development, so it felt like the perfect career for me. Also, technology is changing the way we operate in this world, and I was eager to be a part of that change.
I was attracted to Kubrick’s offering in particular as it provided a clear pathway to not only enter the technology industry but thrive once placed with a client. The hands-on training meant I would be equipped with the skills and knowledge to take on any challenge, and the two-year commitment offered security in terms of employment and ongoing development opportunities. Learning alongside a cohort of other consultants who were also new to the world of technology was also encouraging, as not only could you develop a strong network, but you could also benefit from peer-to-peer learning. Furthermore, Kubrick works with many large clients who are global, multinational, and span many industries, making it the perfect place to launch a career in technology.
During the 15 weeks of training, my cohort and I were exposed to a wide variety of tools and processes that would aid us on client site, and for the rest of our careers. One of the first things we learnt in training was the common way of working in tech, specifically the agile methodology. This proved to be extremely useful as I did not have to adjust to daily stand ups, work item creation, or retrospectives one I began my client placement. We were also required to deliver regular presentations back to the cohort and to other key stakeholders across the business. This improved my presentation skills and taught me how to speak in a business professional way and communicate ideas clearly and concisely.
From a technical standpoint, we were introduced to the three big cloud platforms – AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, and GCP (Google Cloud Platform). During training, we learnt how to use these platforms and provision resources such as function apps, storage accounts, and host web applications. We also learnt how to use Git as a version control system. In addition to the commands, we were introduced to the best practices regarding commits and branching, which has proved to be useful since going on site. We were also taught python which I use regularly in my current role, but to a much more advanced level.
Some of the main Cloud tools I was introduced to during the 15 weeks of training were writing pipelines using Yaml, containerizing applications using Docker, and writing infrastructure as code using Terraform. I also learnt SQL for querying databases which is another important and highly useful language for anyone entering the data or technology space. The foundation level of teaching we were given during training helped transform me into a confident developer.
In regard to the structure of training, the information was taught to us via presentations, which were delivered by the team of trainers, and through practical exercises which we completed both individually and as part of a team. There was plenty of opportunity to follow along with code and put into practice the ideas that were being communicated. We not only wrote code and adapted it based of the examples we received, but we implemented our code and provisioned cloud resources to create solutions which could be presented to others.
We were also assessed on a regular basis to see if the information we had taught was cemented in our minds, and if we could perform the same tasks independently without the support of a trainer. These assessments, although stressful at times, were hugely beneficial as they helped us grow in confidence and assured us that we could deliver high-quality work independently on site.
Since training, I have been working in the energy industry on the trading side. I am currently involved in a project to migrate a local set-up over to the cloud and help display important financial metrics onto azure web applications. Before migrating to the cloud, this process was carried out manually which wasted a lot of time, led to important metrics being unavailable in real-time, and negatively impacted potential profitability.
The initial challenge was that no ci/cd process had been set up and no-one had responsibility over the cloud for this new team. Since joining, I have been involved in ensuring there is network security and a ci/cd process. I have also played a key role in monitoring our applications for any bugs or performance issues and providing remedies where appropriate. Additionally, I have supported with some python development and ended up using code I’d written to provision things within the cloud.
The technologies we have been using have included Docker, Azure pipelines, GitHub repo, and Python. This has been a large project which has required a lot of resource, and I am proud to be a part of the newly-created team which has been brought on board to support this initiative.
Before joining Kubrick, I did not know the ins and outs of the cloud. I didn’t even know how to code, and couldn’t imagine the type of work I could feasibly undertake in the world of tech. I have since been introduced to technologies that are in-demand and relevant across industries, was given real-world context so I understand how to apply what I have learnt to real-world projects and was placed with a leading client where I have been able to put my real-world knowledge to the test.
I would highly recommend Kubrick’s cloud engineering practice to anyone considering a career in technology, or to anyone who enjoys thinking outside the box and creating practical solutions. The Kubrick training provides structured learning across the key technologies that you would need to succeed in the world of cloud, making it an extremely valuable programme. It also provides you with a holistic understanding of the benefits of cloud which enables seamless upskilling to similar technologies. Finally, it provides an opportunity to work on real projects doing important work, providing a platform for a fulfilling career in tech.