FACES #6: Meeting NET2GRID's Cybersecurity Guard, Remco Brink
On the occasion of International Programmer’s Day on September 13th, we dedicated September’s #FACES to Remco Brink, backend developer and platform architect at NET2GRID. Remco has been with NET2GRID for 9 years - almost since the very beginning of the company. Amongst others, his responsibilities include the platform infrastructure and design, automation and its integration with external systems. He has a really strong background in tech and his interests are high-availability systems, APIs, monitoring and security.
1. You are NET2GRID’s platform architect. What does your job entail? Can you walk us through a typical day at NET2GRID?
As a platform architect, my responsibility is to organize the development of the overall vision that underlies what in effect is the NET2GRID platform. It's to make sure all the engineers come up with solutions that fit this vision and ensure we're all working towards a well-orchestrated design. Additionally, I help our partners to integrate with the NET2GRID platform as efficiently as possible.
A typical day at NET2GRID starts with a stand-up, where the team discusses important tasks that have been finished, are in progress, or are about to be started. The rest of the day is usually a healthy mix of writing code, reviewing code from my teammates, or troubleshooting production issues. We try to keep meetings to a minimum, but of course, the occasional meeting is hard to avoid.
2. Can you tell us what are the latest and greatest tools or technology you use to make NET2GRID solutions cutting-edge?
We're incredibly proud of the platform we've created over the last years, going from a somewhat monolithic setup to a micro-service-oriented solution. Most of our customers are using AWS, where we employ a cloud-native solution using containerization and serverless technologies where possible.
What makes our solution cutting-edge is the ability to easily and predictably scale to a large number of end-users, both on the IoT side as well as on the API side. Since a large part of our customer base are real-time customers, this makes this incredibly fun and challenging.
3. How important is security in cloud development? What are some prominent cloud threats that you are capable of detecting and avoiding?
Security is incredibly important in cloud development. The trust that both our customers and end-users have in us when they place our hardware in their homes is something that we don't take lightly. The biggest threats in cloud computing are misconfiguration, unauthorized access and insecure interfaces. We make sure we live up to the trust our customers and end-users have in us by having regular pen tests on our platform, having automated tools check our coding practices, and peer-reviewing any code before it hits production.
4. How many coding languages do you know? What is your favorite one?
I use about half a dozen languages regularly. Even though I come from a background in Perl, these days PHP and Go are probably my favorites.
5. How do you feel about remote work?
The last couple of years have been strange, for sure, especially since I'm a massive fan of working in an office. Having a great team around you is so much more rewarding than the flexibility of working from home. That said, NET2GRID is pretty flexible when it comes to letting us work from home, so I might just keep doing that one or two days a week!
6. If you were on a desert island - what would be the 3 things you would like to have with you?
I'm an avid reader, so books would definitely be one of those things. Other than that, probably an internet connection and a way to listen to music - life wouldn't be the same without it.
7. Rumour has it that you are a name in the techno DJ scene in the Netherlands. How do you respond to that?
Hahaha, I wish! I'd call myself a bedroom DJ at best, but it's correct that I'm still spending quite a few hours a week behind the turntables. I've been involved with techno and house music for over 2 decades and still do a monthly show on an online radio station (DI.fm). It's incredibly rewarding and so much fun! Over the years I've played in clubs in Europe and the US, but these days it's mostly a hobby.