Q & A with Phuc Nguyen- Lead Site Reliability Engineer
We sat down with Phuc Nguyen, a Lead Site Reliability Engineer, to find out what day-to-day life looks like, what significant milestones he has had at Vortexa, and what success really looks like in his role…
Phuc is a Lead Site Reliability Engineer, based in the Singapore office, responsible for ensuring the stability and resiliency of the platform and keeping the infrastructure secured and up-to-date with the cloud native technology
Prior to joining Vortexa, Phuc held different roles including being a full stack engineer, to a mobile developer to a product owner in various startups in Singapore.
We wanted to find out what inspired Phuc to join Vortexa, what some of his biggest milestones have been to date and what day-to-day life really looks like for a Lead Site Reliability Engineer…
What inspired you to join Vortexa?
Vortexa is one of the fastest growing startups within the global energy technology ecosystem, on the bold mission of connecting the energy world. As a result, it inherits challenges that are worth tackling when maintaining a stable infrastructure dealing with big data and delivering them to the customers.
”…no one is perfect and the only way to get better as an organisation is to self-motivate and help other people realise their full potential.”
What would you say is the most interesting aspect of your role?
The most interesting aspect of this role is that I am exposed to a wide range of greenfield technology such as Kubernetes, Elasticsearch, Kafka, Airflow, etc. As a result, I gain the experience managing those critical components in the production setting environment and get to share the knowledge with the team.
What have been some significant milestone moments for you at Vortexa?
The most significant milestone moments for me are when I get the chance to work with various different teams to understand how their applications work behind the scenes. This helps me tremendously when dockerising and migrating all the legacy applications over to Kubernetes so that we have a centralised place to monitor, alert and auto-recover them in case of failure.
What does day-to-day life look like for you as a Lead Site Reliability Engineer?
Due to the time differences between Singapore and the UK, all my meetings start in the late afternoon and this gives me an uninterrupted focused time when I start my day. I will normally catch-up with all the queries and incidents that happened overnight (during the UK working hours) to keep myself up to date with any changes in the platform, as well as any outstanding urgent task that I need to take over from the team.
Once that is done, I can focus on my current task in hand as well as preparing for the meeting with the team at the end of the day. Quite frequently, we will have demo and knowledge sharing sessions so presenting or attending the sessions is a good channel to learn from others and keep myself updated.
”…Vortexa is one of the fastest growing startups within the global energy technology ecosystem, on the bold mission of connecting the energy world.”
What key qualities make a Lead Site Reliability Engineer successful?
Having a deep understanding on how the underlying technologies that make up the infrastructure work; in our case, they are AWS services, Docker, Kubernetes, Kafka, etc.
A second key quality would be having a broad understanding of how different applications and services interact with each other. This is the key when troubleshooting the live incident with tight SLA as the root cause of the issue might be from the upstream applications.
Lastly, taking ownership of any changes that have been made to the platform, be it being done by you or your teammates. This is in line with the knowledge sharing sessions where we discuss the purpose and implementation details of those changes.
How would you describe the culture at Vortexa?
At Vortexa, we embrace the culture of continuously learning and improving ourselves as well as not to blame or push away our responsibilities onto other people. This is inspiring because we know that no one is perfect and the only way to get better as an organisation is to self-motivate and help other people realise their full potential.
What advice would you give people hoping to join Vortexa?
Just be humble and open to learn from your team mates and you will excel in whatever you do in Vortexa.
Describe your working life at Vortexa in three words?
[Living life?] to the fullest.