February 2020 marked an entire year since I left my last job. I spent a lot of 2019 thinking about what to do next (a topic for a later blog post), and after many conversations with my wife and extended family, I ultimately decided to get back on the job market. It had been over 5 years since I last interviewed for a software engineering job, and the idea of getting back into the interviewing game was daunting.
I've been writing software for the better part of my life and loved it for as long as I can remember. I built dozens of projects during the first few years I learned to code. Each project represented an opportunity to learn new skills and hone a craft that I loved. Something shifted over the last 5 years, building software stopped being fun. Every new idea that I spent time on felt like a waste of time.
The brightwheel engineering team was a big Heroku customer, and relied extensively on Heroku's Redis offering. We loved how simple it was to spin up and use a redis instance on Heroku, and in the early days, the basic monitoring tools that Heroku provided were more than enough to get us off the ground. Brightwheel's reliance on Redis continued to grow as we scaled the service, and over time, we had to build our own profiling and querying tools to debug issues and monitor performance.
I just finished The Unicorn Project by Gene Kim. This book is the sequel to The Phoenix Project, and is told from the point of view of a female Individual Contributor at the same company, and at the same time as The Phoenix Project. Both books do a great job educating the reader about foundational business and technical principles while telling a fun story about a retail company struggling with its digital transformation.
This year at AWS Re:Invent, the AWS container engineering team released a feature that I'd been eagerly awaiting. AWS EKS on Fargate. EKS on Fargate is an expansion of AWS's Managed Kubernetes Service, but removes the need to spin up and manage your own EC2 instances and autoscaling groups. This is a big deal for a couple of reasons. Fargate eliminates the need for customers to create or manage EC2 instances for their Amazon EKS clusters.