Why building cloud engineering teams that are truly representative of society is essential

Ryan Pothecary

I have recently completed 1,728 “Day 1”s as a Senior Specialised Solution Architect, Trainer and Professional Services Consultant at Amazon Web Services (AWS). The famous AWS “Day 1” ethos puts people at the centre of everything, with a long-term focus and emphasis on bold innovation. 

Today, I start a new Day 1 as Digital Futures’ Cloud Engineering Training Lead. 

The attitude at Digital Futures is not dissimilar. Our people are our focal point and striving for bold innovation drives us forward. However, it is our mission that sets us apart. The driving force behind Digital Futures is the willingness to truly make an impact on increasing diversity in the tech industry – a mission that really excited me and drew me towards joining Digital Futures. 

When I look back at my 30-year IT career and the teams I’ve worked in, the environment has been staggeringly male-oriented. Digital Futures has given me an incredible opportunity to not only work with people starting out on their own IT careers, but to work with engineers who will come from different backgrounds, genders, and cultures. Our ambition is to build a tech industry that better reflects the society in which we live. 

The launch of our Cloud Engineering pathway is an incredibly exciting development for Digital Futures. Cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) have revolutionised how we deliver and consume IT services. Diversity is fundamental for that revolution to continue. I truly feel that having people in your teams who have different perspectives to your own will enrich the type of solutions that will be built. 

We are proud members of the AWS Academy programme and are proud to be the first non-university member, and we base much of the training and certification on AWS. However, every business must consider a multi-cloud approach and we will ensure our students enter industry with multi-cloud experience. We will be supplementing official material direct from AWS, with material from Azure and GCP, as well as with the technologies that businesses are using in their own cloud adoption projects, such as Containerisation, DevOps and Infrastructure as Code. 

Our 12-week Cloud Engineering training programme is just the beginning, our students will become part of the Digital Futures family. They’ll benefit from the experience of their peers, as we create a Cloud community where we share and learn from each other. Digital Futures will support them through future certifications, technology deep-dives and as they head out to work with our industry partners. 

Today may only be Day 1, but there is so much to come.