Using AWS Serverless to support an iPhone launch marketing campaign

Using AWS Serverless to support an iPhone launch marketing campaign

3 February 2022

Kilian Niemegeerts

We’ve talked about our amazing opportunity working on a high profile marketing campaign before (in fact it’s starting to become a habit). 

To get a deeper understanding on the technical side of the matter, we decided to have a chat with Hans Habraken, one of the talented young DevOps engineers that helped pioneer our serverless AWS approach, to tell us more about his job, his favourite technologies and his experiences working on a high-profile US marketing campaign.

From VM to Serverless

“It all started with a mail from one of the managing partners looking for people that wanted to work on an international project with new technologies, so of course I instantly volunteered” Hans laughs, “the mission was to build a platform that could support a short-term, high-volume marketing campaign as cost-effectively as possible, so my first job was to figure out best technology stack for the job.”

For FlowFactor, these technology reviews are of crucial importance. Making our engineers do their own research ensures they are working with technologies they fully support and constantly introduces new technologies into our team.

“The traditional way of doing things would have probably been to spin up an EC2 instance to host an MVC-based application on a Docker container or something similar,” Hans explains, “the problem with this approach is that scaling is mainly done vertically by adding extra resources to a machine like memory and CPU power, which is hardly what you want for a short-term high-volume marketing campaign.”

“The next logical step would have been to use an Elastic Kubernetes/Container Service, which would allow us to deploy a Docker image onto a managed service to handle scaling,” Hans continues, “but quite quickly my interest was drawn to serverless architecture. For me serverless architecture is the next logical step coming from VM’s and Docker containers, so I pitched my architecture and everybody was immediately on board!”

In the end, Hans’ choice of technology proved to be the perfect fit for the project. Both during the development process and production the application proved easily modifiable and fully scaled to meet peak demand while keeping costs down during quiet hours.

The Learning Journey

So how does it feel to work as a junior DevOps engineer on a multi million dollar project? “It sounds a bit crazy when you say it out loud doesn’t it?” Hans laughs, “working on an augmented reality treasure hunt for the largest wireless carrier in the US launching the newest iPhone. Though I handled it just like I would have done any other project, it is pretty cool looking back!”

When asked how he handled the many challenges and new technologies in this project, Hans replies confidently: “Though the short deadline and time zone differences certainly posed an additional challenge, my AWS experience ensured I always knew where to look to find additional information,” Hans elaborates, “that’s the real beauty of working in a cloud native environment, everything fits into a common framework so it’s really easy to pick up new skills.”

If you’re like Hans, and looking for a job that challenges your technical skills with interesting projects while keeping your personal interests and ambitions at the forefront, look no further! Get in touch and maybe our next high-profile project will have your name on it!

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