I have worked on the GOV.UK website as both a consultant for Unboxed as well as a Civil Servant for the United Kingdom! I worked across multiple of the different Rails apps that make up the total of the microservice architecture of the site. Bank holidays, giant refactoring of various apps on Custom team, taxonomy, worldwide country pages for Foreign Office just to name some examples. The day to day work was focused on the handful of applications that our team owned.
More stressful were the days when I had to be on 2ndline and out of hours support, where I had to support the whole GOV.UK microservice system. Since GOV.UK is the official UK government website, any outage or incident was very likely to feature in the press. It was also difficult because one wouldn't normally have context on how every part of the website works or how the whole infrastructure stack was configured.
One memorable moment was when I was on out of hours support and a TV debate was scheduled between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, shortly before the snap election in June 2017. These sort of events usually drive a lot of traffic to the website. I was at home in the evening, had set up three monitors with all the dashboards up and somehow felt like the forced guardian of British democracy. However as I was bracing myself for the onslaught, it was announced that Theresa May would not be appearing on the debate. Never mind the impact on her election campaign, I breathed a sigh of relief!
- Ruby on Rails
- Traditional server hosting