Q&A with Matthew Holloway, Cloud Solution Architect

In June 2012, Matthew, a fresh graduate from University, joined Fronde as a Service Desk engineer. He is now a Cloud Solution Architect in Managed Services - a position that presents a challenging mix including pre-sales commitments, project work (designing and migrating new solutions), and providing support to existing clients in conjunction with the wider Fronde team and Operations Centre.  

What roles have you held at Fronde?

From starting in the Service Desk, I quickly advanced through to the Application Support team. This team maintained a number of Fronde-branded applications (Notably, the MessageDirect gateway and Txt-A-Park) as well as various customers. I remained within that team as an Application Support engineer for a number of years, doing largely Java and C# .NET support. Eventually I progressed and joined the Infrastructure team as a DevOps engineer. From there, I worked hard to become a Senior Technical Consultant and have recently been promoted to a Cloud Solution Architect.

What I have thoroughly enjoyed throughout all of these roles is the variety of work and exposure that we get to different services and technologies. This ranges from solution design (both public and private cloud), automation/scripting and, more recently, consultancy-based engagements including AWS Well-Architected Reviews. 

What do you remember from the early days?

What I remember most when I joined the application support team (from the service desk) was how eager the existing team was to help and train me. I hadn’t had much exposure to Software Development, particularly in Java/Maven when I joined the team, however, with guidance, mentoring and support, I am now a lot more comfortable. One of the great things about Fronde is we are never left to struggle alone - If we ever get stuck on something, there are always peers willing and able to step in and help. This not only helps us to stay productive and efficient but also helps to build a great culture and team environment. 

What technologies have had the greatest impact on your life over this time, both personally and professionally?

Professionally, the rapidly expanding public cloud sector has had the greatest impact. Using public cloud, the barriers to entry (both technically and financially) are much lower. This means it’s available for even small businesses to design, build and modernise their own applications. On a personal level, the invention of and enhancement of smart-home devices like Alexa really do open doors for automation and managing the home environment.  

Have you experienced major life events during your time at Fronde?

Not counting the current pandemic, I did manage to get onto the property ladder and buy my first home in late 2017! I’ve since moved in with my partner. Throughout the good times, and not so good times, Fronde and my manager have always been supportive and done everything possible to assist.  

What are three words to summarise how Fronde has changed in the last 10 years?

Evolved with technology.

What are your predictions or hopes for the industry?

With the rapid innovation currently taking place in the technology and cloud sectors, I hope some of the gains will flow into other areas. In particular, transportation (electric and hydrogen) and medical, where things like virtual reality in particular could be utilised for training on complex procedures, helping to save lives.