NAB uses DevAx::academy in monolithic application breakdown

NAB used an AWS training program called the ‘DevAx::academy’ to help its teams understand how to break up and re-architect monolithic applications that could not be easily rehosted in the cloud.

Head of technology in business and private banking Adelle McDonald told an AWS community chat that DevAx was used to change the mindset of maintainers of monolithic applications, and to understand “patterns” to power a shift from monolithic applications to a microservices-based architecture.

“When I first started working here people were still looking after assets that had COBOL so the mindset … was really able to be reset by people being able to see what new technology does, how it’s different and why it’s worth investing in themselves and also for the company to learn new ways of working,” McDonald said.

“Also it’s just a clear sign of what patterns we needed to break the monolith. We were very proficient doing a large scale transformation for lift-and-shift for cloud, but some of the assets we couldn’t actually rehost and so being able to work out how we’re going to break them up and then across the different kinds of architecture how we’d be able to do that at speed because we’d be able to reuse those patterns was [useful].”

McDonald said that DevAx helped NAB to get across the concepts of breaking up its monoliths as well as the practicalities, and to benchmark the ability of staff to come back from the ‘academy’, pick up a piece of work internally and have a measurable impact.

Though much has been said about NAB’s cloud migration strategies and ‘cloud guild’ training program over the years of its transformation, it has never previously revealed use of the ‘DevAx::academy’.