Hosts Joel Parks and Jon Shanks make their formal (or, rather informal) introductions, and set the scene of what listeners can expect from Season 1 of Cloud Unplugged: A lighthearted look at all things cloud computing through the journey from ground zero to moving your first production workload into the cloud.

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Joel Parks  0:09  
Hello, and welcome to Cloud Unplugged, the podcast where we take a lighthearted and honest look at the who, what, when, where, why, how and OMGs of cloud computing. 

This is episode 00: README.TXT. The purpose of this episode is to provide you with a preview of the show. We’re going to share with you what you can expect from the show, who this show is for, who we are, and really just whatever else occurs to us. So, in the spirit of introductions, my name is Joel Parks, I have been in the technology field for a long time. My actual first technology job was building a local ISP in my small Texas town in 1995. Ever since then, I’ve moved on to varied and interesting things. I’ve had the really good luck, honestly, to work for some very interesting companies. Most of those experiences have been in a transformation role in some form, whether it was the initial transition to virtualization, and then to cloud or modernising applications. You know, that’s been a lot of my role is, is driving change in companies. So with me, is my partner in crime here, Jon Shanks. Jon, why don’t you introduce yourself.

Jon Shanks  1:32  
 Hello, I’m Jon Shanks. And I am now about to copy Joel, and tell you almost the same thing. But, this is not me generally mimicking what he’s just saying … I also worked for an ISP back in early 2000s. And then had a very similar kind of career path, but on the other side of the pond here over in the UK, working with gambling companies and stock exchanges, and just large enterprises, transitioning them through to modernised approaches, seeing through the DevOps movement, which is now DecSecOps movement, which is now DevSecFinOps movement, which is ‘whatever-else-Ops’ movement. 

Joel Parks  2:16  
Dev-Sec-Fin-Ops, fish, dog, cat-ops whatever?

Jon Shanks  2:20  
hahah, exactly. And always trying to basically bring value to the customers, taking on their problems and iterating with them on solutions that are the best fit.

Joel Parks  2:33  
Now, Jon mentioned that he is in London, UK. I’m actually based in Nashville, Tennessee. I figure you could probably figure that out from the accents. But just, you know, by way of giving you more information about us, we’re on different sides of the ocean. But obviously we do have a lot in common. One of the things that we have in common is we actually work together! Jon, why don’t you tell him a little bit about what we do?

Jon Shanks  3:00  
So yeah, I mean, this isn’t a sell for us. But we have a company that’s around getting people into the cloud easily, but based around containerisation as the fundamental common denominator, and trying to accelerate the adoption of Cloud with self-service for developers, and really focusing more on the business value, which is take away the operational issues and the security issues of Cloud, and try and streamline it as best as we can, with tools and products that we have engineered.

Joel Parks  3:33  
Right. So we’re both pretty proud of what we’re building at Appvia and I mention that for a couple of reasons. One, as Jon already mentioned, we’re not going to bore you with one sort of long sales pitch. That’s not really the purpose of this podcast. But I did want you to be aware of that, because one of our hopes is that we’re going to share some additional content. Jon and I both speak publicly on the tradeshow circuit and at different conventions and industry meetings, you know, once those are a thing again, after the the world heals from the global COVID. But we’re hoping to be able to share some of that content with you. So it’s not going to be necessarily directly from the podcast. So you may hear Appvia thrown in here, there or yonder. That’s our company. That’s, that’s the context where it’s coming from. 

So I think from there, I think it’s important to talk about, you know, who this is really aimed at, you know, who really should be listening to this podcast, and who are we talking to? From my perspective, this is really for anyone and everyone who works with or is into interested in cloud computing. And that really crosses a lot of different roles, you know, right from sort of the the engineers and the architects that are very hands on implementing technology to the executives and the senior managers who are more concerned with organisational dynamics and strategy. Jon, what do you what do you think about that?

Jon Shanks  5:00  
Yeah, exactly. So it’s essentially us taking all of our experience and our industry knowledge. Knowing the common pitfalls, I think we’ve both probably been in companies many times over, reliving the same story, learning lessons learnt, who impacts and I think it’s very easy to trivialise getting to the cloud when you’re a large enterprise. Like the cultural change and the impact it’s going to have on the business, how the business is operating. So it’s kind of atofactor in the realistic change as well as the technological change. And kind of represent everybody in the conversation as best we kind of can.

Joel Parks  5:39  
Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree with that. The, the the change in the way that people work together, in order to realistically absorb and adopt cloud technologies and cloud ways of working is generally the single hardest thing to achieve in any large organisation. And john and i have have been there done that. And we want to be this to be a very practical examination of some of those things. This is not an ivory tower, restatement of the DevOps project, or the Phoenix project, or DevOps handbook or, or something like that. This is real boots on the ground hard won experience of how this practically happens in organisations from small to large.

Jon Shanks  6:25  
Yeah, exactly. And it’s not about as being armchair theorists, you know, and sitting there and smoking our pipes, philosophic realising, like about it all this is about real hard knocks, and some tough decisions that companies got to have to make.

Joel Parks  6:42  
I just got this picture of like Masterpiece Theatre of like somebody sitting in a smoking jacket with a pipe, you know, next to a fire, it’s like, welcome to my dissertation on Cloud. Yeah, that’s, that’s, and we want it to be very interactive, you know, we are we have our opinions, we have our experience. But we are, we are two people who have had good fortune to work in this area for a while, we know that you’re out there, you’re listening, and you’re going to have experience, and either questions or feedback or experiences that you want to share with us, and share with the community. So we want to make this a very dynamic experience, I’ll share with you in just a bit how you can get in touch with us how you can send us messages and how we hope that’s going to work. So rather than have this be a free form discussion of a whole bunch of different tech topics and and, you know, sort of go Helter Skelter at this, what we thought is we you know, we take you on a journey that most companies go on, and the first season is really framed around the beginning of the journey. So, john, do you want to walk the listener through what we what we have cooked up for them?

Jon Shanks  7:55  
Yeah, so the aim of this season is starting pretty much from ground zero. And it’s trying to work out like, where do you even begin? And then working forward into then the team structure like, who do you get on board? Do you have the skills in house? Do you get a supplier in? What supplier? What’s the criteria? And also, then the impact it’s going to have on where do you start? Do you start with a giant plan of like transforming the entire business? Do you start small? And what does that, contrastually look like with with Shadow IT and you know, all these kind of topics of the reality of what kind of goes on in a business. And we’ll just walk through a series of kind of situations, examples, which weren’t based on any one company, but kind of a generalised overview of what we’ve seen, historically. And then hopefully, we’ll kind of start getting a steer from other people like yourselves, and then we can kind of work out which topics on some of the things we’ve discussed could be used for other things.

Joel Parks  9:04  
Right. So in each episode, we’re going to take a pause right up at the top, talk about some industry news. We’ll, we’ll unpack what’s happening today in the world of Cloud. And then, you know, for the first few episodes here, we’re really gonna focus on that  story that Jon just teased: The beginning. How do you go from no Cloud experience whatsoever to, you know, the beginnings of a cloud-native organisation with something actually running in production, generating business value. That’s generally the front-end journey that most companies have to encounter at some point. And, it’s pretty interesting. Jon mentioned a bunch of the the mechanics and things that we’ll talk about. The other thing that, you know, often people don’t want to talk about is the friction, the pushback, the challenges that are really associated with driving that kind of adoption and conversations you’re likely to have at that stage of adoption. 

Again, we’re trying to pay this forward. And if there are those of you that are listening in, if this really resonates with or you have great stories that you’d like to contribute, we would like to give you a forum to also pay that forward. So in the context of making this a discussion, how do you get in touch with us? Well, there’s two main ways. The first is that you can email us that’s Or you can tweet at us @cloud_unplugged on Twitter. So as you’re listening to these episodes, if something comes to mind, or if there’s a story you’d like to share, you know, shoot that over, we would love to hear from you.

Jon Shanks  10:47  
Yeah. Also, if you disagree with us, which you’re probably likely to, to be honest, you know. We’re not sure of opinions here, and I’m sure some of them might be slightly controversial. Then, you know, reach out, maybe resonate, maybe some of them you just totally don’t agree with and you think we’re absolutely crazy. And, you know, morons are even suggesting such a thing. So, you know, please give us your opinion, any opinion is a good opinion as well. So as far as we’re concerned, you know, like we say, we’re not on our ivory tower. These are just based on experience, there is no real right or wrong. So, you know, share your experiences too.

Joel Parks  11:24  
Yep, that’s it. So I think that really covers what we had hoped to do in this episode. Jon, does that sound good to you?

Jon Shanks  11:31  
It does to me, yeah. Sounds good to me.

Joel Parks  11:34  
Alright, well, fantastic. Thank you for tuning in for the inaugural episode of Cloud Unplugged. We will be back with you every Wednesday on your favourite podcast app. Tune in and join the discussion. Thanks. 

Jon Shanks  11:47  

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