Welcome to the page about me. If you’ve arrived here, I’m going to go ahead and assume that you are interested in at least one of the following things!

  1. Who am I?
  2. What is this website actually about anyway?
  3. Do any of the opinions on this site actually matter?
  4. If I read through all of this text, will I eventually know why the answer is 42?

If you’re interested in a more “formal” answer as to who I am and what I do for a living, you might want to try here (or, everyone’s favourite for this sort of thing - LinkedIn).

So, Who Am I?

Hi - my name is Alex and I work in Information Technology … “Hi Alex”

These days my job title has the word “Architect” in it. In the past my job title had the words “Infrastructure” & “Developer” (what you’d probably call something like “Platform Engineer” or “DevOps Engineer” now - much trendier). With that said I’m not a big believer in job titles, I think it’s more interesting to talk about what you actually do.

I like to think of myself as someone who, at the end of the day, solves problems using platforms. Lately that tends to involve using words more than hands on a keyboard, but I try very hard to make sure I still get to do some of the latter because: a) I think it helps me be better at my job, and b) I enjoy it! 😄

This leads nicely on to …

This Website

I’ve created this website because I wanted somewhere to write about some of the things I was doing with technology. Judging by the blog posts and tweets I skim on my morning commute, I don’t think this is a particularly unusual thing for someone to want to do.

I haven’t done it up until now because I think, if I’m really honest about it, the stuff I have been doing in my career has mostly only been interesting to my employer. Now, I think I do things that might be interesting to other people too 😄

The Technology Behind The Website

Nothing too fancy here, but this is a good excuse to shout about the awesome Hugo, which is a fast and reasonably flexible static site generator. We use it at work for storing our documentation - which I write a lot of - and I like the “write some markdown –> becomes blog post” style.

The theme it uses I crafted myself, with heavy influence from the Future Imperfect Theme which I am very grateful for - you will certainly see the similarity, although I rebuilt the code as I wanted to understand how it worked. I cherry-picked a few other ideas from elsewhere which I didn’t write down and I apologise for that!

The site currently runs as a Docker container inside Google Kubernetes Engine because That’s My Jam. It might move in the future - if it does I’ll probably write a blog post about it 😉

Do My Opinions Matter?

So, all that said and done - do the opinions on this website actually matter that much? Well of course that’s for you to decide.

I work for John Lewis, a large premium UK retailer. I’m their Cloud Architect, and I work primarily in their E-Commerce space (read as: I’m in the team that hosts johnlewis.com). Does that mean much? Well, I suppose one element that does is that I have some skin in the game when it comes to running things at scale (it’s a popular website …) for a lot of teams (we have a sizable and demanding - in a good way - engineering department) and all the usual fun and games that come with building an operationally sound platform hosted in Cloud. Our cloud is Google-flavoured, so expect to see a reasonable amount of content in that area in particular!

If that sounds interesting, then hopefully the blog posts on this site live up to that billing.

One important point to end on though - usual disclaimer. I might work for the John Lewis Partnership, but the posts on this blog are most definitely expressing my own opinion, and may not reflect the opinions of JLP, etc etc and so on. You get the idea.