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Developer Spotlight: Michael Goode, Platform Operations Engineer

Meet Mike. He’s a Platform Operations Engineer here a Pinpoint and member of Team Bolt ⚡️ . who is currently working on building our cloud infrastructure and back-end support services.  He likes working on super intricate network and security projects while sipping on gourmet, pour-over coffee. And, the more classified the work — the better!  

Click on the tabs in Mike's Pinpoint Developer Profile below to learn more about his work. 

So, tell us your story, Mike. 

How and why did you end up in your role?

I find it rewarding to make someone's day just a little bit easier. That's why I enjoy working on the back-end, knee-deep in networking, and security minutia. If I'm doing my job right, then developers can deploy their code quickly and easily and they won't notice anything out of the ordinary. The downside is that my failures can have a much larger impact on all teams  — in fact, the entire product,  so I need to tread lightly!

Describe yourself as a developer?

Methodical. Perhaps to a fault! It is often easier to do something the correct (read: difficult) way once than it is to push a patch two or three times in as many weeks. It really depends on the situation, but the challenge of someone in my role is to be able to consider on-the-fly solutions that provide real value in the near-term, while also planning for long-term maintenance and durability at scale.

Tell us about your first dev job?

Right out of college, I worked on weapon payload systems for fast-attack nuclear submarines. As cool as that may sound, it might surprise you to know that most of the time I was buried under reams of requirements documentation. You'd think the U.S. Navy would be at the cutting edge of software development, but they're not the kind of organization that cuts corners on anything — especially when it comes to a pressurized tube with a few hundred sailors aboard. Like every other system on a submarine, the software was treated with a top-down, requirements-based waterfall approach that kept risky innovation at bay while dragging out development times from months into years. That's not too uncommon for large DoD acquisition projects, but it's not super exciting. I've worked at startups ever since.

What are you working on right now that has you most excited?

Lately, I'm focused on right-sizing our infrastructure. The wonderful promise of the cloud is that it's incredibly easy to provision all the storage and compute that you could ever want at a moment's notice. The downside, however, is that it is just as easy to rack up a massive bill for all of the stuff you didn't use! At some point, usually, when the Proof of Concept is tabled and the product is in the market,  you need to re-evaluate what you've got and whether or not you really need to pay for it. It's kind of fun to find money that you didn't even know you had. 

What is the hardest part of your job?

Making sure I'm delivering the right kind of value to the right people at the right time. Priorities change every day, and I need to adjust my workload accordingly.

What does your team do that you think is unique?

I think we communicate really well and work for each other, not just the issues of the day. The fact that so many people across so many teams are willing to take the initiative to help out, no matter the situation, is a testament to the fact that we are an organization unburdened by ego.

What do you prefer? Work from home, in the office, or some hybrid?

I can work just about anywhere! All I need are headphones 🎧

What is your favorite project you have ever worked on?

I once helped to design a classified user interface for a submerged launch vehicle. The code was complied in two separate facilities: one with the fully "classified" version of the interface (with all of the secret images and names intact), and another "unclassified" version I could work on at my desk, replete with code-names and placeholder images. It was pretty interesting working with all of those limitations. Half the time, I never even knew what I was building! 

3 things you are loving? This could be a dev tool, podcast, a tv show, anything!

I'm really enjoying Pulumi, the infrastructure-as-code tool that we use to provision not only our AWS infrastructure but the core tools and services on our Kubernetes clusters. Its flexibility makes my job so much easier, and unlike many other operations tools, it is designed to fit into the workflow of all kinds of developers. 

On a personal note, I recently opened myself up to the world of pour-over coffee when I purchased a Chemex a few months back. I now understand what all the fuss over gourmet coffee is really about. If you don't brew your own, you've gotta try it!

On weekends, I also love toying with my smart-home configuration; in particular, finding ways to hack cheaper, lesser-known "smart" products into unique,  functional, and coordinated setups that integrate seamlessly with Siri and Homekit. Pre-fab solutions from big names are too expensive and not nearly as fun!

Connect with Mike. 

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