#FACES 11 with Vasileios Alexiadis, Senior Cloud Engineer at NET2GRID
Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Vasileios Alexiadis, Senior Cloud Engineer at NET2GRID. Apart from his energetic personality and broad programming experience, Vasileios has been a Senior Cloud Engineer at NET2GRID for more than 3 years and leads the tech team of ''Enablers''. Vasileios has a Diploma Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and holds various accreditations such as Professional Scrum Master, amongst others.
1. Vasileios, you have a Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a track record as Software Developer, Application Consultant but you also have a specialization and experience in Telecommunications. Could you describe to us your journey up to the point when you decided to devote yourself to Cloud at NET2GRID?
As a person, I was always curious and liked challenges. Selecting a telecommunications specialty was one of them, and I really liked it, but eventually, I decided that being a software engineer was the right path for me! Developing a solution, making it a good fit for a client, and then seeing the value it brings seemed very interesting to me, so this led me to a consulting role. Eventually, I understood that I would like to challenge myself through a more complex product based on a microservices ecosystem. This fact along with NET2GRID's mission to accelerate energy transition made me what I am today!
2. You are the Team Leader of NET2GRID’s Enablers Team. What are the core responsibilities of your team and what’s your role within the team?
The Enablers team is responsible for supporting the extension of our products and our organization by improving the existing architecture and providing new tools. The activities that we support usually include exploration, architecture, scaling, infrastructure, and compliance. So, the above means that our team's goal is to "enable" the rest of the teams by providing automation and solutions. The scaling phase of the company is interesting and adventurous because we need to make sure that our solutions can scale efficiently with a linear cost factor but also keep our operational excellence high as a company. The latter means that our goal also includes improving how we update and monitor our products, react to, and communicate incidents, and so on.
I have two roles in the team as I am both the Team Leader and the Scrum Master. As a team leader, I am responsible for designing and challenging the solutions that we implement as a team and making sure that we improve the quality of our products iteratively. As a Scrum Master, I ensure that the team lives agile values and principles and follows the processes and practices that the team agreed they would use. Usually, during a workday, I clear obstacles that the team faces and I have discussions on how we can break or improve what we build!
3. During 2022, your team has been working to deliver a number of major achievements to our clients. Could you please describe to us two of the most important projects and how they facilitate the value we deliver to our clients?
The most important one is the progress that we made in the new platform data warehouse that is still under development. The new platform data warehouse will allow us to horizontally scale our most demanding solutions, and in parallel reduce their cost. The PDW, as we call it, will allow us to predict the solution's cost much more accurately and also serve more efficiently the company needs with multiple storage layers (long term vs short term storage). In short, when this is completed we will have in place a more scalable, cheaper solution that can be easily extended.
The second one was the implementation of a retry mechanism to our integration with energy datahubs that provide meter readings. The integration with datahubs allows us to offer smart meter services without the installation of a device. The moment that the datahub retrieves the data depends on the grid operator. Our team has extended the base solution by providing a retry mechanism that allowed us to fetch the meter reading data even if they become available days later. This way we increased the accuracy and the quality of the service that we offer to our clients.
4. You have a very energetic personality; we usually find you volunteering, leading, or co-organizing various company bonding activities at the NET2GRID Hellas Office! What is your everyday driver?
This is true! When I joined NET2GRID, we were 10 people in a room. In my eyes, it was a small dedicated team of passionate people fighting for the same cause. I know that it is a cliche, but I feel like we are a big family so this probably explains why I want to speak with everyone and make sure that everyone is ok. Also, as a person, I really appreciate the human interaction and I strongly believe that the best solutions are born from a group of people and not a single person. What's better than seeing the whole company enjoying a surprise gift or event and also being part of its "design" process? This is probably a good moment to say sorry to the rest of the company because I speak loudly in the office sometimes!
5. If you weren’t working as a Cloud Engineer, what would be your dream job?
Definitely a carpenter! I am a DIYer that owns many tools specialized in woodworking and I spend most of my weekends in my workshop. In the office, you will often hear me speaking about saws and my latest achievements. My last acquisition is a Japanese saw and my latest achievement is a stand for my miter saw.