Last Thursday was a sweltering day in the capital and Wimbledon was in full swing; the evening also saw Burns Sheehan partner up with, Auto Trader and Utility Warehouse to form our latest tech event and deliver a rally of talks surrounding their respective approaches to implementing and utilising the cloud. Prior to the event we had contacted our wider network within this space and received a varied response as to what contemporary topics would be most desirable to hear about at the event.

Utility Warehouse is a “multi-utility” supplier with a unique route to market and are the only place where you can get your energy, home phone, broadband and mobile services all bundled together, keeping costs low and making life easier for over 600,000 customers throughout the UK. Yann has been with the business for coming up to two years and has previously worked for the likes of Yoox Net-a-porter and Betfair within DevOps. It was really interesting to hear about the challenges involved in changing the mindset of those within the Infrastructure team when moving their core server estate to a multi-cloud environment.

IT Infrastructure & Cloud Services Manager, Yann Vigara’s insight into managing the cultural change in Utility Warehouse’s shift to their multi-cloud environment.

Russell Warman (Head of Infrastructure) at Auto Trader spoke about their journey to the cloud in their culture of continuous improvement and experimentation using Kubernetes and GCP.

Russ has been with Auto Trader since the earlier days, starting as a Project Manager in 1997 just after they were preparing to move online, and has successfully worked his way up to Head of Infrastructure, a position he has held for almost seven and a half years now. An impressive stat that was greeted with a few jaw-drops was when he highlighted that using a hybrid cloud approach, Auto Trader have this year seen their ability to release triple to 15000, with the time to deploy reduced from 18 minutes to 2 minutes.

Last but not least we had host speaker Mike Hobbs discussing how Moo helped their Development team succeed in operations post Kubernetes.

Mike explained how he and the team implemented “k8s 101” workshop sessions for all teams and created a #kubernetes slack channel to allow seamless and transparent communication across teams and crews. He went on to explain that if you give “Ops” to your development teams you should look at setting realistic limits and defaults and allow the data to make informed decisions, whilst stressing the importance of maintaining constant contact with your dev teams. Mike has been at Moo for coming up to two years and has previously worked at Amazon/LOVEFiLM for over six and a half years.   

All three talks were well received and drew many questions both immediately after the talk and in the bar afterwards! A Senior DevOps Engineer who is a regular attendee to Burns Sheehan tech events commented that the event was “informative and well organised, great venue too!”. Another DevOps Consultant who had never attended before said that she “enjoyed the variation of talks and will definitely take away some ideas and implement them.”

Thanks to Yann, Russell and Mike for their contributions! If you’re interested in attending our future events, please follow and join our meet-up page: