Before joining Rackspace, I knew nothing about the cloud. And now six months into my industrial placement as an intern, I have developed an interest in cloud technologies and have passed the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam. My new career ambition is to become a Cloud Solutions Architect after graduating from university in 2021.
At university, I loved the technical modules, such as mechanics and business analytics, so only applied for internships at technology companies in the hopes of realising my future career goals.
The lunch that led to a winning introduction
During my first month at Rackspace, I met a bubbly and confident recent graduate, Enrico Palomeno, in the games room during one lunchtime. He’s part of the graduate scheme while I am one of the six interns completing a twelve-month industrial placement at Rackspace’s UK headquarters. Our office has a games room which is an awesome place to spend time with colleagues and make connections. Enrico explained that he was training to become a Solutions Architect. My girlfriend is studying architecture at university, so this term being used in an IT context intrigued me, so I asked to shadow him.
Shadowing Solution Architects
When shadowing Enrico, I watched him use charting software to add cloud products and services to a detailed design that he was creating. Solutions Architects create ‘cloud architecture’ diagrams to show the design of IT infrastructure, much like an architect in the traditional sense creates a sketch or blueprint. He explained what each component did and I was really impressed by his knowledge; a great example of the Rackspace core value of expertise. Safe to say, his job was nothing like I had imagined from the name of his role. I shadowed him several more times.
My manager Priya Deylor introduced me to Enrico’s leaders and colleagues Alex Galbraith, Luke Carter and Ben Morgan-Smith who then kindly organised “A Day in the Life of a Solutions Architect” especially for me. This allowed me to delve deeper into the role. I attended meetings which looked at how customers could be helped more and also met the other graduates in the department. His team demonstrated the Racker core value of compassion with their willingness to help me as they went out of their way to give me an insight into their world. It’s also an example of Rackspace’s Fanatical Experience™ where we look to go above and beyond of what is expected.
Increasing expertise using Rackspace resources
Rackspace UK offers 100 hours per year for professional development that can be used for online courses and/or for funded AWS, Google and Microsoft certification exams. With these splendid policies, I started studying. As I learned more, my interest grew. After a few months, I achieved my first cloud certification: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.
I’m now studying to be an AWS Certified Associate Solutions Architect and in the near future I hope to gain multi-cloud competency by passing exams offered by the other Rackspace partners. As my interest grows, I often read up on the subject outside of work and often commit weekends to extra study.
Through shadowing and study, fuelled by the pursuit of knowledge, my ambition is now to be a Solutions Architect post university.
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