The Next Challenge

A few weeks back (August 2019), I left my job as an Infrastructure Architect at a financial services company in London. I had been working there for 7 years and was happy in my role, and had a great set of colleagues and management. So why leave and where am I going? One word;


Yep, tomorrow is a new chapter in my career as I’ll be starting work at AWS as a VMware Specialist Solutions Architect. I decided to leave my current role as getting the chance to work at AWS was an opportunity I had to take a shot at.

I’m very very excited about this new role and new company. It has a lot of things I’ve not done before, for one I’ve always worked on the Customer side of things and not at a Vendor. But it also has a huge amount of things I am familiar working on and love playing with.

The VMware and AWS Partnership

The current technology partnership between VMware and AWS is something I’ve been super impressed with, ever since it was announced in 2016. I remember watching that announcement, expecting something to do with better networking integration or marketplace offerings. I was stunned by the announcement of VMware Cloud on AWS, and at how deep the engineering partnership was. And now I get to talk to AWS customers about how they might use that platform to meet their business goals.

Shifting Career Focus

In the past 18 months I have been focusing more on container technology at work, whilst in my free time working on getting my VCDX. My aim was to get my VCDX and then consider starting to leave VMware based solutions behind, so as to focus on more cloud native technologies. After working so hard to get my VCDX it felt somewhat difficult to plan to make that move. However that was the direction my old company was making and tech such as Kubernetes made a lot of sense to me. But now with this role, I get to pivot in another direction, and continue on my VCDX learning by focusing on VMware technology again. I also get to work with technologies such as NSX and HCX, products I’m very interested in but my previous company wasn’t using. Combining all of that with AWS seems like a crazy awesome job role, one that even a few years ago you would have been mad to think would exist!

This role also allows me to focus on developing and honing my skills as an architect. Whilst development in this area was one of the key reasons behind doing my VCDX, being at a customer the opportunities to work on new architecture projects were limited. Moving to AWS allows me to greatly broaden my experience of working with different customer use cases and requirements, helping to enhance my skill as an architect.

Getting the Role

As I said, I was happy in my previous role so wasn’t actively looking. My introduction to the AWS job was via a referral through a Twitter DM. This is a great example of the benefit of using social media to share what you are up to, as my tweets about VCDX and Virtual Design Master had put me on the radar of AWS as they look to expand their in house VMware capabilities. After getting the referral, I thought about it for a weekend and then decided I had nothing to lose and would regret not having a crack at the AWS interview process. It took a while to get everything lined up but it ended up that at the same period of the last few weeks in May of preparing for my VCDX, and getting ready for a week’s holiday, I also went through the interview process at AWS. This included the infamous Loop where I went onsite for 5 interviews in a day! Not ideal that I had to fit it in with preparing for VCDX, and I had to make a call about balancing interview prep with VCDX prep. But it all worked out and I’ve been very lucky to achieve my VCDX and get a new job at AWS.

Wrapping Up

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and understanding more about AWS and the role itself. I’m also looking forward to focusing my professional development on VMware Cloud on AWS, and AWS tech in general. I’m not yet sure what impact the role will have on my use of Twitter and my blog, ideally it will give me more of an opportunity to write about VMware and AWS technology that I find interesting. I’ll sign off here, so that I can get myself ready for tomorrow and hopefully get a early night, ready for a busy Day One tomorrow!

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