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Q&A with mthree DevOps Expert, Luke


Posted on 4/09/2019 by Greg Clarke

Describe your role and the team you work in.

I’m a DevOps Engineer in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Market Application Production Support (MAPS) team.

Our team supports the live trading and database systems for BAML across a variety of asset classes from FX to mortgages. The team acts as an in-between for users (traders/sales/analysts), developers, and data systems.

What are your main responsibilities and how have these developed over time?

The goal of the DevOps team is to shorten and streamline the software development life-cycle. I help us achieve this by making sure new code that's been created by developers transitions smoothly into production systems and any issues are addressed. We also report any issues to developers so they can be fixed. 

Generally, our work is divided into two areas - the regular weekly release-cycle and on-call support for issues. Each week, we build up to new code releases which happen on the weekend. We also deal with incidents and support work as it comes in.

Please describe a typical day.

My typical day starts with me arriving at BAML at high speed on my bike. I have a thirty-minute cycle in, so a quick shower in the bank's gym facilities is a must. At 8am, I'm at my desk and hopefully cooled off!

Our team is global with people in Asia (Singapore & India), EMEA (London & Dublin) and New York. The first thing I do is check-in with the team in Asia to see what work is currently on the wire and might need to be handed over. This can involve dealing with system issues (data issues, bring up or down process), regular code development or communicating with users regarding incidents and feedback. Days usually vary - you never know what will go wrong and need our immediate attention! 

Around 10am I break with my co-worker, Haashim for a world-famous Munchie-Brunchie breakfast sandwich in the cafe next door and pot of french-pressed coffee (the two of us have recently become coffee-snobs!). At this point in the day before lunch, we usually have time for more focused development work. After lunch, we have calls regarding future work, code releases and state-of-world catch-ups for the whole team to communicate what they've been working on. 

Around 5pm, I wrap up what I have been working on and hand it off to the US team - sometimes we chat on the phone to discuss issues in more detail. Then I'm back on the bike, and it’s time to ride off into the sunset!

How do you rate mthree as an employer?  Why did you choose to work for mthree?

I would highly recommend mthree as an employer. mthree is an extremely supportive company, they facilitated my move to Ireland and I have regular check-ins and meetings with the team. There is a real interest in making sure I’m happy in my role. 

I was recruited by mthree for a role that was identified as right for me and I worked closely with the team to ensure my career goals were met. The strong relationships mthree has with their clients enable them to get employees into great positions that just aren't available on job sites!

Also, mthree is involved in organising industry conferences which offer great opportunities to network and learn, like the 'Durable DevOps Scotland' event I’m attending soon! 

What do you enjoy most about working at BAML?

I enjoy the variety in my role - from fast-paced fix-it-now support work to slower deep-thinking development. There is also a great emphasis on employee growth and learning. You’re encouraged to develop your skills beyond your current role’s responsibilities. 

What are your career goals and ambitions over the next 2 years?

My main goal is to broaden and deepen my knowledge of the various technologies I interact with. I was hired by mthree because of my specific skill-set and experience, but since joining BAML I’ve been exposed to a range of new and interesting technologies. Both mthree and BAML are supporting and encouraging me to keep learning. 

Want to learn more about DevOps and the future of IT? Join us at Morgan Stanley in Glasgow for our 'Durable DevOps Scotland' event where Luke will take part in a panel discussion.

Learn more and book your ticket. 

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