Building your brand as a Solutions Architect
For International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’re featuring more than a week’s worth of posts that highlight female builders and leaders. We’re showcasing women in the industry who are building, creating, and, above all, inspiring, empowering, and encouraging everyone—especially women and girls—in tech.
As AWS Solutions Architects, we use our business, technical, and people skills to help our customers understand, implement, and refine cloud-based solutions. We keep up-to-date with always-evolving technology trends and use our technical training to provide scalable, flexible, secure, and resilient cloud architectures that benefit our customers.
Today, each of us will examine how we’ve established our “brand” as Solutions Architects.
“Each of us has a brand, but we have to continuously cultivate and refine it to highlight what we’re passionate about to give that brand authenticity and make it work for us.” – Bhavisha Dawada, Enterprise Solutions Architect at AWS
We talk about our journeys as Solutions Architects and show you the specific skills and techniques we’ve sought out, learned, and refined to help set you on the path to success in your career as a Solutions Architect. We’ll share tips on how to establish yourself when you’re just starting out and how to move forward if you’re already a few years in.
Establishing your brand
As a Solutions Architect, there are many resources available to help you establish your brand. You can pursue specific training or attend workshops to develop your business and technical acumen. You’ll also have opportunities to attend or even speak at industry conferences about trends and innovation in the tech industry.
Learning, adapting, and constantly growing is how you’ll find your voice and establish your brand.
Bhavisha helps customers solve business problems using AWS technology. She is passionate about working in the field of technology and helping customers build and scale enterprise applications.
What helped her move forward in her career? “When I joined AWS, I had limited cloud experience and was overwhelmed by the quantity of services I had to learn in order to advise my customers on scalable, flexible, secured, and resilient cloud architectures.
To tackle this challenge, I built a learning plan for areas I was interested in and I wanted to go deeper. AWS offers several resources to help you cultivate your skills, such as AWS blogs, AWS Online Tech Talks, and certifications to keep your skills updated and relevant.”
Jyoti is passionate about artificial intelligence and machine learning. She helps customers to architect securely with best practices of the cloud.
What helped her move forward in her career? “Working closely with mentor and specialist helped me quickly ramp up with necessary business and technical skills.
I also took part in shadow programs and speaking opportunities to further enhance my skills. My advice? Focus on your strengths, and then build a plan to work on where you’re not as strong.”
Clare Holley, Senior Solutions Architect
Clare helps customers achieve their business outcomes on their cloud journey. With more than 20 years of experience in the IT discipline, she helps customers build highly resilient and scalable architectures.
What helped her move forward in her career? “Coming from the database discipline, I wanted to learn more about helping customers with migrations. I took online courses and attended workshops on the various services to help our customers.
I went through a shadowing process on diving deeper on the services. Eventually, I was comfortable with the topics and even began conducting these workshops myself and providing support.
This can be a repeatable pattern. We are encouraged to experiment, learn, and iterate new ways to meet and stay ahead of our customer’s needs. Identify quarterly realistic goals. Adjust time on your calendar to learn and be curious, since self-learning is essential for success.”
Maintaining work-life balance
As a woman in tech, work-life balance is key. Despite being career driven, you also have a life beyond your job. It’s not always easy, but by maintaining a healthy boundary between work and life, you’ll likely be more productive.
Sujatha engages with customers to create innovative and secured solutions that address customer business problems and accelerate the adoption of AWS services.
What helps her maintain a healthy work-life balance? “As a mother, a spouse, and working woman, finding the right balance between family and work is important to me.
Expectations at work and with my family fluctuate, so I have to stay flexible. To re-prioritize my schedule, I analyze the impact, reversibility, raise critical feedback before jumping into a task. This allows me to control where I spend my time.
In this growing technology industry, we have innovative and improved ways to solve problems. I invest time to empower customers and team members to execute changes by themselves. This not only reduces the dependencies on me, it also helps to scale changes and get quick returns on benefits.”
Reach out and connect to others
To continue to succeed as a Solutions Architect, in addition to technical and business knowledge, it is important to discuss ideas and learn from like-minded peers.
Clare highlights the importance of growing your network. “When I joined AWS, I looked into joining several affinity groups. These groups allow people who identify with a cause the opportunity to collaborate. They provide an opportunity for networking, speaking engagements, leadership and career growth opportunities, as well as mentorship. In these affinity groups, I met so many awesome women who inspired me to be authentic, honest, and push beyond my comfort zone.”
Women in tech have unfortunately experienced lack of representation. Bhavisha says having connections in the field helped her feel less alone in the field. “When I was interviewing for AWS, I networked with other women to know more about the company’s culture and learn about their journey at AWS. Learning about this experience helped me feel confident in my career choice.”
Continue your journey
Take the AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate certification to build your technical skills. This course validates your ability to design and deploy well-architected solutions on AWS that meet customer requirements.
We also encourage you to attend our virtual coffee events, which provide a unique opportunity to engage with AWS leaders, career opportunities, and insight into our approach to serving customers.
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Interested in applying for a Solutions Architecture role?
We’ve got more content for International Women’s Day!
For more than a week we’re sharing content created by women. Check it out!
- Celebrate International Women’s Day all week with the Architecture Blog
- Deploying service-mesh-based architectures using AWS App Mesh and Amazon ECS from Kesha Williams, an AWS Hero and award-winning software engineer.
- A collection of several blog posts written and co-authored by women
- Curated content from the Let’s Architect! team and a live Twitter chat
- Women at AWS – Diverse backgrounds make great solutions architects
- Extend SQL Server DR using log shipping for SQL Server FCI with Amazon FSx for Windows configuration
- Mainframe offloading and modernization: Using mainframe data to build cloud native services with AWS
- Message to the next generation of women disruptors in technology
- Migrating petabytes of data from on-premises file systems to Amazon FSx for Lustre