John Walker and working with the AWS community.

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John Walker – Head of Architecture and Amazon Partner Network Ambassador. 

We talk with John, who recently achieved Amazon Partner Network (APN) Ambassador status, one of only 240 individuals globally, to hold the prestigious title.

John is our Professional Services Team Lead and his technical leadership and natural instinct for innovation are not only instrumental in developing the agile, modern cloud solutions demanded by our customers, but central to him achieving Ambassador status.

Our AWS certified technical teams work with customers to find the optimum balance of availability, security and affordability for AWS-hosted applications – this recognition for John, as an APN Ambassador, is a true reflection of his commitment and thought leadership within the AWS community.

Here is what john had to say:

Q – What was the first step in achieving Ambassador status?

A – Although I applied to be part of the process, in reality, my journey to ambassador status goes back a long way and my lifelong passion for learning. I’ve always had an innate desire to understand not only how things work, but how they can be improved. And as it happens, this approach to life has stood me in good stead for my role here at CirrusHQ, which requires me to understand everything there is to know about the vast AWS infrastructure and services. I then get tasked with shaping those services to help our clients achieve what they want to achieve in AWS, only spending what they need to spend, which fulfils my desire to make things perform better.

From there, it is but a short step to recognising the steps needed to achieve ambassador status, which is good personally, for CirrusHQ and ultimately AWS and its clients. You don’t automatically qualify from the number of AWS certifications achieved or how many clients we have or how high revenues are, it’s all about giving back to the Amazon community, while promoting the advantages offered by AWS and helping their customers too. I say their customers, because those I help are not necessarily customers of CirrusHQ, but all are leveraging the power of AWS in some form to achieve what they need to achieve. 

Q – How did you become an Ambassador?

A – Having the appropriate AWS certifications was one of the first prerequisites for applying to become an ambassador and the second was actually delivering 10 contributions – as Amazon refer to them – which help those working within the AWS environment. These contributions can be different, but I chose to write a series of blog posts that went really deep and offered technical solutions to likely issues being faced by the readers.

This is the great strength of CirrusHQ. The certifications and all the information available through AWS will only take you so far from a theoretical perspective, but implementing resolutions to issues, or devising solutions to clients’ challenges on a daily basis in the real world, brings a new perspective to the advice and support I’m able to provide for others who may only be working with the limited number of applications and services they need within their organisation.

As an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advanced Consulting and Solution Provider Partner, we work with a wide variety of clients, in a range of sectors, all using a different combination of services, which gives us an unprecedented advantage when solving problems. I’ve also worked with the user groups and delivered presentations, which unfortunately due to the pandemic meant remote, rather than social, but we hope to get back to beer and pizza soon.

Q – What was a common issue you explained?

A – It’s important to pass on our experience to the Amazon community, because it’ll help people actually work within the AWS environment they have. One such example was about undertaking a migration to AWS, which is becoming increasingly popular due to the limitless scale, services and opportunity on offer. I drafted a three-part blog, detailing how to undertake a successful migration, the different potential approaches and the different techniques, the steps, the documentation etc.

However, it’s also important to explain that just because someone can undertake a migration, it doesn’t necessarily mean they should; there are pitfalls for the unwary and even a detailed blog will not ensure every reader can just jump straight in and succeed, without support from experts such as CirrusHQ. The Haynes manuals explain in great detail how to change the engine in a V8 Jaguar, but it’s really not something you want to do on your own, without a lot of experienced support.

In part two

You can read part two of this conversation with John soon, when we will look at the part played by CirrusHQ and the wider team in helping John become an Amazon Partner Network Ambassador. 

We hope these insights into the range of careers here at CirrusHQ demonstrate not only what a future in technology offers, but what a great place to work CirrusHQ is. We firmly believe in nurturing the talent within and will support the career ambitions of all our people, which of course could include you, now you’re read al about us.