Scott Price – Continuous learning and the magic of the cloud

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Scott is a bright and passionate DevOps Engineer, responsible for developing and maintaining the CALUMO platform you know and love. He brings a real fascination with cloud-based infrastructure and some (rusty) taekwondo skills to the CALUMO team.

Can you start by telling us how you found yourself working in DevOps at CALUMO?

I’ve always been interested in tech. I used to muck around with building computers at school, and though I started doing a computer engineering degree I decided I wanted to get some more hands-on work. I took up a traineeship doing IT support for schools, and then got some exposure to cloud-based services and infrastructure at Builder MT.

I was ready for a new challenge and environment, and that’s when I joined CALUMO. My responsibilities have swelled from DevOps engineering to include things around general infrastructure, build and deploy pipelines, and managing CALUMO as a service.

Why did cloud-based work catch your eye?

Oh, it just seemed like magic. It’s insane. In the school environment I was working a lot with physical hardware and end devices, and then I went to Builder MT and it was all virtual. Software defined networking just made it ridiculously accessible. It gets to a certain point and it’s all just magic.

As a result, I’m very engaged with Azure (Microsoft’s cloud computing services), breaking apart, understanding and weeding out the new software offerings. We map these products to business outcomes, and we’re always looking to integrate new cloud-based services that improve our product and user experience.

Another big part of my job is automation – we use tools to allow one person to do the work that used to be done by whole teams. I have a genuine wonder for this kind of tech – that’s what keeps me so captivated by it, and so committed to understanding how it can help our workflow.

How do you keep busy outside of the office?

I spend a lot of time with my family – my two-year-old son is my world, and we’ve got another on the way. I’m also a blackbelt in taekwondo, but I’m a bit rusty these days. Martial arts isn’t a very transferrable skill to IT.
I like to tinker with things. I like a problem, or just finding out how something works. I’ll take apart my son’s toys, try to see beyond the shiny outside to understand it, and I think that extends to my work with CALUMO. Curiosity is a real strength in the IT industry, particularly with Azure where there’s a lot of really rapid change.

I really believe in continuous learning – that’s a big part of our company culture and something I try to encourage in my team. In this spirit, I recently formalised my practical knowledge with a Bachelor of Information Technology at RMIT.

Do you think CALUMO’s culture of continuous learning effects the product and service we offer?

Yes, we’re always striving to understand the latest technology, so that we can create a more robust system to support our product. For example, we recently moved to a newer generation of virtual machines, which is 20-25% more performant for end users of the application.

That’s the kind of thing we’re always looking to do. The CALUMO team works to be quicker and more agile, to use proactive monitoring, to ensure our support is of the highest possible standard.

Are there other aspects of the working culture that influence our service?

Ideas are encouraged at CALUMO, and your voice matters. What you say can make a difference. I think that’s one of the beauties of working in supportive teams. As an individual, you can make change and really contribute to something meaningful, rather than just feeling like a small cog in a machine.

That definitely plays into the product and the service; what we do here is only as good as the people who create it. If you want a new feature you have to be able to build it, release it, test it, and support it once it’s out there. That process all flows through the stuff that I’m responsible for. It all flows together.