In this series, Tech Better takes a look at the innovative work and passion projects of Walmart Technology associates.
For Tijan Kanteh, senior systems engineer at Walmart Technology, his job is all about providing a seamless experience for his customers — application developers and IT operations.
“Pretty much the bottom line is the customer is the boss here,” Kanteh said.
When he’s not running around after his nearly 2-year-old son, Kanteh is focused on building and integrating systems to ensure web applications and services are being monitored for performance and availability.
Kanteh is part of a group called Tech Enablement, which enables and supports tools that application developers use at Walmart Technology. It implements various solutions to help development and operations groups perform their jobs effectively. The group ensures that vendor products can scale to Walmart’s size as well as integrate well with existing solutions.
“That can be a challenge, and as an engineer I see them as opportunities to find answers to challenging and complex problems, which is very much part of my responsibilities,” Kanteh said.
Most vendor-enabled systems within the same category integrate with other third-party products, but when direct integration is unavailable, the team must be creative and use methodologies such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Representational State Transfer (REST).
Another option is to work with the vendors to provide the required support or capabilities.
What really motivates me is the opportunity to solve complex technology problems.
At Walmart, Kanteh implements and integrates application performance management and event management solutions. His group uses and supports products from leading industry vendors.
“If you have multiple service-management systems and they are all stand-alone, they are likely more efficient when they talk to each other or are integrated to perform a unified function, and that’s part of my job,” Kanteh said.
In addition to supporting application performance and systems management capabilities, Kanteh and his team also provide event or alert correlation and notification management for his internal IT customers.
“If there’s an application or a system issue, we have to make sure we send out timely notifications to the right teams so they can respond promptly to mitigate any exceptions and avoid potential service disruptions,” Kanteh said.
Performance monitoring and analysis allow developers to test applications before they go to production.
“Because if you write a code, you want to test it to ensure it performs as expected,” Kanteh said. “So we provide the tools and capabilities to do some of those tests as well as monitoring and alerting.”
Kanteh and his team provide performance monitoring and analysis for mostly Java and .NET-based applications. They also support messaging middleware and service-oriented architecture (SOA).
“We have toolsets that are wide in scope as far as supportability,” he said. “We support pretty much every major application platform.”
A focus on the customer
For Kanteh, the ultimate focus of his group is enabling a smoother customer experience, whether it’s in a store or online.
“What we need to do as an IT group is to make sure the customer’s overall shopping experience is seamless,” Kanteh said. “That’s a key [goal] that drives a lot of the things we do.”
Walmart is currently looking for data scientists, developers and engineers. If you’re a Cassandra or Hadoop fanatic or a regular user of GitHub that’s ready to dive into Walmart’s world of data and software development, search Walmart Technology openings.