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My AWS Story

lee profile image lee ・3 min read

I have found that my curiosity is one of the most important factors in my day to day happiness. If I am not curious about what I am working on then I drift and ultimately become demotivated and disillusioned.

I have experienced this in my career from time to time, probably around 2 - 3 times where I have finally acknowledged to myself that I need to make a change. It was never about money, power or ego, it has always been about curiosity.

I remember waking up in London about 4 years ago and thinking, today I make a decision. I was too comfortable in a role that I wasn't overly curious about, working with a technology stack that I wasn't overly passionate about so I approached my management and asked to take on a developing area of the business and help drive it forwards, I was already fairly comfortable with Cloud from a web development perspective but I really wanted to learn more, be curious and really add value through an ever-changing platform that would satisfy my tech curiosity until I retire (hopefully).

Looking back, I still remember the day I stumbled across AWS, it was shortly after the first iPhone had been released - I remember talking to a PHP developer who was storing images in something called 's3' object storage.

I had no idea what he was talking about

But I was like, 'oh yeah - the s3's of course'. Then, I scuttled home to Google it as fast as I could. Hmmm that's interesting I thought, then I closed my laptop and didn't bother with it again, VDI was the future 🤦🏻‍♂️.

Fast forward 4 years, I was sat in the office at News International in London (the business was on a drive to transition from a paper company to a digital media powerhouse) and our new CTO was introducing AWS and what services we would be migrating over to it, compute was available through EC2, S3, CloudFront, a simple version of RDS amongst others.

I had to learn this

I had to get involved. To me, it looked like the end of the gatekeepers of technology, all you needed was a credit card or some free tier credit and you can get an MVP off the ground in no time, an absolute geeks playground. So my AWS journey started further back than I originally thought.

I didn't get fully immersed until around 2016-2017 which was when I made that decision one morning in London and my employer thankfully backed me up and gave me the opportunity I wanted. I now manage a team of Cloud architects that cover all the major Cloud platforms, we have a number of amazing AWS SA Pro's who love the platform just as much as I do.

I had the luxury of having an existing heritage in tech and being in the right place at the right time within the organisation that I work for to start building a professional career around AWS and public cloud in general.

Others are not so lucky which is why I love the AWS re/Start program so much. If anyone has the opportunity to re-train and enter the world of AWS, then go for it, let your curiosity take you on an amazing journey, you won't regret it, the job market is exploding with AWS opportunities and the amount of online learning content is just mind-boggling.

Last but not least, the AWS community is very special, I can't quite put my finger on it but it reminds me of the Ruby and the Ruby on Rails communities that I have experienced, great people, always willing to help and they all share that same curiosity, everyone seems to have that edge about them that Apple displayed in their 1984 campaigns when the Mac was seen as the disruptor.

What's your AWS story?

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