Leave The House Out of It
To call Leave the House Out of It my side hustle would misrepresent its importance to me. It’s a business that’s only ever had a dozen customers and has never been profitable, but it does keep my hands dirty with technology. I began my journey as a manager in 2013 at Fannie Mae and watched my contribution to the code base fall to nearly nothing as I took on more of a role as coach, mentor, organizer, and servant-leader to the development team. Not wanting to lose my technical skills, I invented an app that allows my friends and me to bet on football games against each other, and it keeps track of the score. There’s a more detailed explanation of how the idea formed here.
Like any good technology nerd, the project has been more about the joy of coding something than anything else. You can tell this by the number of times it’s been completely rewritten for no purpose other than to gain hands-on experience in new technology!
It started in 2014 as a Google AppEngine project with data objects for its only storage.
In 2016 (not surprisingly, at the same time when Fannie Mae asked me to roll out a new CI/CD process), I added a CI/CD pipeline in Jenkins, leveraged automated BDD testing from cucumber, and performance tests from JMeter.
In 2018 (not surprisingly, when I started leading RBC’s Kubernetes implementation), the project moved to AWS. It was rewritten as a set of Spring-based microservices deployed on an EKS cluster with Helm and that same Jenkins pipeline.
In 2019 (not surprisingly at the same time that I took over IBM GTS’s AWS Consulting practice it transformed into an entirely serverless application. The backend became Lambda processes driven by CloudWatch events, APIs, and each other. The database was converted from a mySQL relational database to a DynamoDB database.
In 2020 (not surprisingly, while I was preparing for my AWS Professional Architect certification), I incorporated a bunch of AWS services, including tighter integration with CloudWatch for anomaly detection and a new CI/CD process to replace Jenkins.
Finally, in 2021 (not surprisingly, at the same time I was moving into my role running the Apps and Data practice), I created a new player for Leave the House Out of It, Book-E. It picks games based on artificial intelligence. I outlined the creation process in three blog posts: