Who are we?
Between us… We are a pair of developers or cloud architects, or entrepreneurs, or consultants, or executives, that have had the good fortune to both be in the right place at the right time and have an enormous passion for this field.
They say if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life (warning: cheesiness).
We’ve worked across industries; across verticals and horizontals; across industries that are emerging and industries that are heavily regulated; across continents, countries, counties, and cities; working from home or from an office, in open offices, and in our own private offices; across technology stacks and across hyperscale cloud providers; and on-premises, we’ve been a part of digital transformations before digital transformations were a thing.
We’ve survived wars, we’ve survived economic downturns, and we’ve survived pandemics. We’ve had experiences we wish we could forget, and we’ve had experiences that have shaped us and will be treasured for the rest of our lives. Sometimes we’ve helped others and almost always we’ve also learned from them. We’ve dealt with providers large and small, spoken at meetups as small as a dozen people, and at conferences in front of hundreds and thousands of people. We’ve been a part of many teams and led many teams.
And now, put your hands together for Darren…
I still remember the first time I witnessed someone programming. One evening, I watched someone copy BASIC commands from a textbook into a small computer – a Sharp PC (pocket computer), though the exact model escapes me. Looking over his shoulder, I was fascinated by this strange language he wrote that could control a machine and give it a whole life of its own. I thought that, with enough commands, in the correct order, we would magically create AI – I was 8 years old, and the scale of such things was beyond me. Still, this led to owning a computer, learning to code, and spending the majority of my time since then in front of a computer screen. But I regret nothing!
I stumbled across AWS sometime around 2008. Initially, I was dismissive of S3 – to me, it was just web hosting, but with better marketing. Then came EC2, but VMs were nothing new. Local web hosts had been offering these for some time, but Amazon could do it at a fraction of the cost. Interesting… But with SQS, things got really interesting. A message queue, the backbone of any enterprise application could be created with a credit card and a few clicks. But would any serious organization trust a bookshop with even a tiny piece of their IT infrastructure?
Well, we all know what happened next. With more and more services from AWS, more players entered the space to copy and compete with Amazon. But few dared to imagine how the cloud would radically alter the IT landscape and I would wager fewer still could have predicted the effect it would have on the culture of IT departments and technology companies globally.
I feel incredibly lucky to not only have witnessed such rapid transformation in technology over the last three decades, but to actually deliver solutions that delight users – all built on the cloud created by the most innovative technology companies that have ever existed.
And once more, put your hands together for Sasa (read as Sasha)…
I taught myself how to code in a basement shelter in third/fourth grade during the Croatian War of Independence, with no electricity, reading four books on GW-Basic. I coded my first game on paper before I ever saw a computer – I had to simulate random numbers by annoying people in the shelter to pick a number (by the way, one of the worse ways of generating randomness).
I started working as a developer and I still am a developer, even though nowadays people sometimes call me an architect.
I’ve worked in public and private sectors, telecoms, financial institutions, health care providers and insurers, defense, law enforcement, secret services, and governments. I’ve used Java and C#, Python and bash, SQL and NoSQL, and Windows and Linux (and Solaris). I was there when AWS started with my favorite service, to which my best friend introduced me – Simple Queue Service (SQS), and I was there when Azure launched my now all-time favorite service – SignalR (if you don’t know anything about it, drop this book now and go learn about it – everything in this book can wait; SignalR is just so useful as a service). I am also a massive fan of Google’s cloud efforts because I feel we cannot have just two providers dominate the market as that will lead to trouble. (We are already beginning to see some of this troublesome behavior.)
I’ve been called on to approve deals worth over $50 million and I’ve helped the digital transformation efforts of global, strategic top-500 customers of Microsoft. I have talked to C-level executives and developers and quality assurance engineers and project and product managers – and I have successfully (sometimes through many iterations) convinced them to follow a course of action that led them to get the full value out of their cloud investments.
And now, to answer the inevitable questions that always come up – AWS versus Azure? Azure wins for me for two reasons: the Azure portal is amazing when compared to the AWS Management Console, and Microsoft account teams (both commercial and technical) will do anything to help you (as will AWS’) – but the sheer commercial and enterprise power of Microsoft is unrivaled if you are looking to partner commercially. AWS has a better support organization, in my humble opinion. And Google – they should be doing a lot better than they are (maybe they could use some help?) in the cloud wars, but you can definitely run your services in any of these three clouds – if you know what you are doing. Do you? Do you know?
The easiest way to contact me is at linkedin.com/in/sasakovacevic/.
Enough of the fancy words, enough of the introductions; it’s time to tell you exactly how this book will help you – today.