Centre stage with Emma Button, Co-Founder at nubeGo
Born – Originally from Fleet in Hampshire, I’m now based in Wokingham, near Reading in the heart of the Thames Valley.
Studied / Education background – I studied my Masters in Computer Science and E-Commerce at the University of Essex. I’ve trained as a Professional Scrum Master and hold 5 current Amazon Web Service certifications.
Current role / bio – I’m the co-founder and COO of nubeGO, a specialist DevOps and Cloud Consultancy in the UK, Spain and Latin America. My background is as an agile software delivery specialist building and deploying enterprise software.
In recent years, I’ve specialised in the cultural, technology and process changes needed to grow high-performing software teams. I lead R&D teams going through cultural change; inspiring team members to transition from traditional working methods, through agile and lean practices and into the DevOps mind-set.
Who do you work for and what does your role entail?
nubeGO CEO, Fernando Honig, approached me to join him in founding a specialist Cloud and DevOps technology consultancy just over a year ago. I joined nubeGO full time in January this year. To a small business with ambitious goals, I bring my keen eye for process, and a passion for people.
As COO of a start-up consultancy, I wear many hats. I consider my primary goal to be ensuring that we deliver excellent technical support and engineering skills for our clients. I still spend quite a lot of my time on-site with our clients either delivering training or providing analysis and strategic direction to technology and process change programmes. However, a large proportion of my time is spent internally, helping to put in place processes and delivery practices as robust as those we help our clients to build.
What’s been your biggest work achievement of the last 12 months?
Choosing to leave my role as Head of Development in a financial services technology firm in order to start a business was the biggest and most terrifying decision of my career but has also been the most rewarding. In a year we have grown from 3 people to a team of 10 permanent staff and as many as 12 contract staff across three different countries. My experience scaling enterprise software teams has been invaluable.
If I look back on the last 12 months, I’m proud of everything nubeGO has achieved, but I think I’m secretly most proud of having qualified as an Authorized Amazon Web Services Instructor. As a career technologist, it’s fun to continue to challenge myself to learn new skills but even more rewarding to share my passion for Cloud technologies with a wave of new learners looking to adopt Cloud within their own organisations.
What is the biggest challenge facing the industry?
The IT industry continues to struggle to keep up with the demand for qualified and experienced technologists. The pace of technology change demands a continual learning culture which will need to be embedded during the early school years and supported by employers. Enterprises and SMEs who want to transform the ways in which they build and adopt technology will need to explore innovative ways of combining formal and informal training while breeding a culture that encourages technological exploration.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“If it hurts, do it more” – I first came across this phrase when I picked up jogging as a hobby a number of years ago. These days, I hear the phrase used a lot in DevOps circles to describe the way in which we push ourselves to adopt greater automation in order to optimise our release cycles. I still get a little nervous before talking in front of an audience so I’m trying to conquer my fears by applying the same logic to public speaking engagements!
What are your predictions for the IT industry for 2019/20 or beyond?
Over the next 12 months I’m expecting a natural shift of more “everyday” workloads into the public cloud as we see small to medium sized enterprises gain the confidence to start moving their windows workloads, file stores and databases.
For those organisations who have been using Cloud technologies for some time, or who have built up valuable data sources, we’re anticipating even wider adoption of machine learning tooling to process ever-larger data streams and stores. ML tooling is rapidly evolving and is starting to become more accessible to a wider technology audience, meaning that more organisations will find ways of applying data science to new and exciting needs.
How do you perceive the hype around AI, a big concern ethically or a huge opportunity?
Artificial Intelligence allows us to improve our effectiveness through use of data, and that really resonates with me. When I’m coaching teams on how to build in continuous improvement techniques to their daily work, I’m encouraging them to regularly inspect, adjust their own behaviours and become more effective. For me, AI technologies help us to apply the agile “Inspect and Adapt” approach to data and processing at massive scale.
What do you think is going to be the next big technology development? Quantum Computing? Smart Robots?
I think we might see a new evolution of platform-agnostic micro-containers designed for everyday consumer use. I’m picturing a world in which our mobile phone apps or PC apps may not just be web-based, but can run natively, regardless of our operating system, downloadable, with the very latest spec, on-demand and with a lightning fast start-up time.
Join Emma at Digital Transformation EXPO Europe
If DevOps transformation feels like it could be an uphill struggle for your team, or if your team has ever been through the pain of a significant production outage, join my talk to find out some simple coping mechanisms for responding positively to system failures and take home some inspiration of ideas of things to try within your own teams to break down a culture of blame.
Register FREE for your place at ExCeL London on 9-10 October 2019.