What drove the creation of Page An Engineer
I’ve been asked by a few people who are wondering why I started Page An Engineer (PAE), let’s go over some of the reasons why.
I am a serial entrepreneur that has a passion for technology. I have ran a SaaS business before as well as a web development agency. I love all things tech (well other than databases and printers I let others have that fun), this has led me to start most of my businesses in the tech sector and any outside the tech sector I have enabled via technology and automated processes the most I could.
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So why did I start PAE? I was working as a DevOps Specialist for a company in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and we had a monitoring solution for our production servers and some staging. We used an external monitoring tool that I was not fond of. I wanted to implement an external monitor for my home lab, normally I look to replicate what we use at work to increase my familiarity with it, when I took a look at what services were out there for free and paid ones; I found most charged based off not the monitors but instead off the number of times they had to contact you to report your site is down or having issues.
This is something I found a bit crazy, the cost could add up really quick during a major outage. I decided that it would also be nice to have some on call features integrated with a monitoring service. I went looking and I could not find a solution that ticked all of my boxes that I wanted it to. Due to not being able to find something and the fact I like building things I decided that this would be a good tool to build both for personal use as well as maybe release it.
Before I would comfortably release the tool to the public I wanted it semi battle tested, I built the core monitoring and alerting part and have been using it personally for the better part of a year. I have also used it to compare my results with the status of the site according to other sources online. I found it to be accurate and on point, this was when I decided it would be a safe plan to release it publicly as a SaaS.
This has been a major learning experience for me and has allowed me to do things properly from the start according to DevOps best practices. This was something I didn’t follow on my last startup as I rushed it, compared to this time which I was slow about releasing. I tried to follow the release of an MVP (part of the lean startup book) which meant I released something in a half baked state – not what I should have done. This time while I have an MVP I also made sure that things will be a bit better and resistant to failure because people are actually counting on me for their businesses.
To sum up the reasons why I created PAE, I wanted a monitoring service for my home lab and the websites I hosted there and ones I still host for clients (on the cloud not my lab) from my web design business. I wanted calling and the option for how to be alerted as a core creature while still having sane defaults.