This is just the start for cloud
Darragh Kennedy recently gave ITWeb some insight into his own transition to the cloud, and it sneaked in a few fun questions to get a measure of the man.
ITWeb: Why did you transition to the cloud? How has your job changed since this transition?
Kennedy: When virtualisation came along, it accelerated our ability to build software, but we were still restricted by the linear data centre build process. Cloud removed this restriction and allows Operations and Development to work at the same rhythm, leveraging agile processes. I now manage teams of software developers who also build infrastructure as part of their business-as-usual work. Infrastructure is simply a part of the software stack.
ITWeb: How did you become the cloud manager for Lonely Planet? What is it about your current role that interests and challenges you most?
Kennedy: A technical background and a desire to work in a dynamic industry led to a team management role. The travel space is a good fit, as there are always new and challenging projects. Working in a global company means operations are spread across time zones, but that helped give us justification to decentralise our IT and expand our use of cloud. Being a first adopter brings a lot of challenges but the rewards can be great.
ITWeb: In your role, it's important that you keep innovating to provide the relevant information and knowledge to your clients, internal and external. How do you keep up with a field that is currently evolving quickly?
Kennedy: I spend a huge amount of time reading and attending meet-ups and conferences like the ITWeb Cloud Summit 2017, and liaising with my overseas colleagues. I find Twitter is fantastic to keep up to date in your technology of choice.
ITWeb: What advice would you give to start-ups/SMEs when it comes to the cloud?
Kennedy: Just get in and try it. You don't need to invest a huge amount of capital. Run a proof of concept and follow standard cloud architecture principles that allow you to scale out and handle rapid increases in demand if your business requires it. For start-ups, I would say any time spent upfront building your environment in an automated fashion will pay off a hundredfold.
ITWeb: What comes after the cloud? Or is this the end?
Kennedy: This is just the start; the cloud is the foundation of the future, most conferences I attend are starting to focus on products built on cloud including IOT/industrial Internet, AI/ML, and VR/AR.
ITWeb: So to the fun stuff! Do you have any hidden talents?
Kennedy: An encyclopedic knowledge of frequent-flyer programmes.
ITWeb: If you were a superhero, which one would you be and why?
Kennedy: Any superhero that makes my daughter laugh, or even better, sleep!
ITWeb: Whom do you admire most?
Kennedy: People who dedicate their lives/careers to social causes. I think there was a famous South African that did this.