Wow – 2 years and 4 days with no posts. What a slacker…
Anyway… I’ve been busy doing a few things in that time. The most relevant probably being that I moved on from Trade Me near the end of 2014, and now work for Timely. This is a small company started a couple of years ago by some guys who I used to work with at Trade Me, and we offer an online booking/scheduling system for SMB’s around the world.
The interesting change for me from a technical perspective is that Timely is entirely based in “the Cloud” – or Microsoft Azure to be specific. We have a blog post here which explains our systems at a high level (and even includes a Visio diagram put together by yours truly). 🙂
That’s already a little out of date though… that’s one of the things about IaaS and PaaS; it’s very easy to move quickly. One minute there’s nothing, an hour later you’ve spun up a new SQL Server virtual machine with a couple extra data disks, and configured Reporting Services!
This is awesome in that you can go from “Hey, I’ve got this cool idea!” to deployed into production in days (or even hours). Proof-of-concept systems can be spun up and shut down with minimal effort, and Microsoft are pretty good these days at releasing frequent updates to Azure functionality; meaning there’s always fresh temptation to try out the latest beta-features.
It can also be bad though. If it’s easy to spin up new servers and services, you’ll do it more often, and then you’ve got to manage them (oh yeah, and pay for them). So I’m finding myself getting elbow-deep in PowerShell more than I ever have before in order to script and automate things as much as possible. Might not seem necessary when you’ve got 1 or 2 servers, but before you know it you’ll have half a dozen or more. 😉
Anyway, I’ll leave it at that for now since I’ve got a few posts lined up to cover some of these topics in more detail.