When cloud curiosity leads to a career transformation
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Editor’s note: Are you currently in a technical role but don’t have much experience with the cloud? Learn how one learner with prior app developer experience, Hussain utilized instructor-led training courses through AWS Training and Certification to grow cloud expertise, earn three AWS Certifications, and transition into a role as a solutions architect.
Hussain Masoor is a Solutions Architect at Emirates Airline, where he supports legacy systems and leads a team of cloud engineers to drive its AWS Cloud migration. The pivotal moment in his professional story took place more than three years ago and 3,000 miles away in Malaysia, where he led a team of mobile application developers at Maxis, a telecommunications company. It was a job he was grateful to have, but at the time he felt ready for a new challenge—gaining new AWS Cloud skills.
When Hussain was onboarding and modernizing apps from vendors, part of the transformation was a move to the cloud. During this process, he was looking to learn something new, which is when his manager encouraged him to participate in an Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate instructor-led training from AWS Training and Certification. Prior to taking this course his exposure to the cloud was limited. He thought the cloud was complex and didn’t quite understand the scalability of it. When his management team gave him a chance to learn, his interest, his confidence, and his proficiency blossomed quickly.
Hussain, a Pakistan native, knew right away he wanted to build his future career around the cloud, and after taking the Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate classroom training, he took two additional exam readiness courses, Certified Developer and Systems Operations, and achieved two AWS Certifications: AWS Certified Developer – Associate and AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate.
Today, working in Dubai, Hussain draws on his enduring passion for building solutions using AWS, Microservices, and Agile methodologies. He is also an AWS Community Builder and an AWS User Group Leader, many of whom stay connected via Meetup. Hussain believes that completing his first instructor-led training had a life-changing impact because it provided him with such a broad overview of the wide range of AWS services.
This blog will share highlights from Hussain’s story, in his own words.
My first exposure to AWS Cloud training
I had some exposure to cloud projects as a student, but what I knew about the cloud from university was totally different from what I know now. Everything I understood about software was small screens and small scale. When I attended the Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate instructor-led training, I was exposed to a bunch of new ideas about scalability and networking. It was an eye-opener!
I think it was very important that this was an in-person course led by an instructor. Taking on this material alone using blogs or videos wouldn’t have been the same. Our instructor had specific insights on AWS services and was able to answer questions that were specific to our company’s needs and workloads. The training included real-life projects, and gave me the confidence and skills to transition after many years to a different technical role.
Following the training, I moved from developing apps to building cloud solutions as a solutions architect. In part thanks to what I’d learned, we were able to significantly decrease deployment times from hours to mere minutes, migrate hundreds of servers to AWS, and reduce costs. I know that in sending me to AWS Training, my previous employer found the value it was seeking. What I didn’t know at the time was how big a difference it would make to me personally!
It was the vastness of the cloud that intrigued me. There’s so much to explore and they’re constantly innovating—there’s no stagnant point where you can say, “I know it all now.”
New confidence led to a new career
After earning my AWS Certifications, I gained the confidence and visibility to get involved in architecture, infrastructure, and scalable solutions. I used my knowledge to help drive large-scale migrations. My team was automating deployments, auto-scaling peak times, and much more. Understanding cloud technologies was a core requirement for team leadership, and soon I was promoted to that role. I also led Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) / platform teams.
It’s amazing to think back to where I started as a mobile app developer—who was frankly confused about the cloud and its possibilities. I’m not only happy with this new direction in my work, but also celebrating my recent promotion. Looking back, I give credit to my very first manager at Maxis, who believed in me.
The ongoing value of AWS Certifications
There’s no question my AWS Certifications helped me secure the job I now have with Emirates. Just knowing AWS is one thing, but having the certifications on your resume shows you’re on a certain level.
The first certification I completed, AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, was a very challenging one. It covered more services than you generally work with in the job I had at the time. I’d previously worked with a few services, but for the certification I needed to learn a lot more—and how they work together. Once I had this introduction, I knew I wanted to progress further. The AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification was more hands-on and helped me expand my knowledge.
Plans for continuous learning
I’m very happy with what I’m doing right now. Most of my work is in migrating apps to the cloud, and updating them, because many can’t just move as they are. It’s just so huge. Even if you start migrating everything, it might take decades because there is always something new to learn and implement. I’d like to take on even more challenges as well—my current work focuses on microservices, but I’d like to branch out into artificial intelligence and machine learning. There’s a lot of room for that technology to optimize airline operations, from anomaly and fraud detection, to tracking perishable items we ship. I’m making a real difference in large-scale applications with millions of dollars at stake.
And I’m looking forward to going for more AWS Certifications. I’ll start with the Professional levels of the two Associate ones I already have. And I know I’ll always have more to learn.