Hello, Cloud Newbies! Welcome “Hello, Cloud Newbies!” a blog interviewing Cloud Professionals from all around the world doing cool things to see what kinds of careers are available when you work with or in Cloud Computing!
Today, we talked to Gwyneth Peña-Siguenza, who is a “Cloud Engineer” at an Energy Startup, and works Connecticut, USA!
If you’re considering a career in the Cloud, or looking for a place to study for certifications, talk to fellow cloud-nerds, and help Cloud Newbies get started in the Cloud, please come join us at Cloud Newbies Society! We’re a Cloud Platform Agnostic, which means everyone’s welcome, no matter what type of Cloud Computing platform they’re interested in! ☁️
Now, without further ado…. Let’s hear Gwyn‘s story!
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So hello, Gwyn! Thanks for taking part in this interview! I’m super excited because we both started in tech support roles! Let’s talk about that! So, What do you do, and where do you work?
In our HR system, it says Cloud Engineer, and I work at an Energy Startup. I started as a sysadmin, then got promoted to Cloud Engineer in late 2018.
Can you describe your job to me in a way my 85 year old grandma can understand?
I make sure all of our virtual computers are running smoothly and if there’s an issue, it’s my job to figure out what’s going on and fix it. I also come up with new projects when I’m not fixing issues.
What’s your educational and career background?
I dropped out of college after two semesters, I was living in Ecuador at the time, so I moved back to the U.S.
I landed a tech job at an Apple store, then moved on to a help desk gig, then I got interested in cloud and got an AWS certification, landed a sysadmin role at an Azure Shop, and now I’m here.
Where are you based? Is your job remote or onsite?
I am based in Connecticut, USA. It was semi remote before covid, now it is full on remote.
What’s an interesting fact about yourself?
I grew up on a farm, I know how to milk cows and take care of baby goats and all those farm tasks. I also produce music on the side.
G.O.A.T.! (I’m probably not even using it properly…)
☁️ Cloud Computing ☁️
Which Cloud Platform(s) do you work with? How many years?
For the past two years I’ve been working inside of Azure daily.
Do you have any certifications?
Yes AWS certified developer associates and AZ-900, currently studying for the AZ-303.
Did the certifications help you get your current or past jobs?
Absolutely, I landed my sysadmin role because of my AWS certification and my interest with cloud.
What got you into the Cloud?
At my help desk job, if you had downtime you could see what other people on the team were up to, I was friends with some people on the infrastructure team and they were working on moving some virtual machines over to AWS. They would show me all the ins and outs of what they were doing and I thought to myself it’s so cool that our entire cloud existence is managed via a laptop.
How do you use Cloud Computing in your day to day?
I’m in Azure everyday, architecting or deploying new solutions, or looking into alerts triggered by solutions that are already in place, or doing some maintenance, depends on the day.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about Cloud Computing?
There’s so much possibility that you can explore from anywhere in the world, right from your laptop. It’s so accessible.
What do you think is the most frustrating thing about Cloud Computing?
It’s so easy to spend money and if you don’t take the proper steps to set up your billing alerts, budgets, and cost management, you’re going to have a bad time.
What’s a cool problem you’ve solved with the Cloud?
Anything that I can automate I can. I used Azure Functions to automate 20 hours of work for two colleagues, once the system was in place they were able to do more mindful work and were very grateful for it. I learned a lot about Functions and Azure in general with that project.
What’s the most fun you’ve had with the Cloud?
It’s always fun for me to learn new services. I’m a cloud nerd, even understanding something like VNet peering is fun for me. Whenever I feel like a beginner again, I’m happy.
☁️ Hello, Cloud Newbies! ☁️
What’s one thing you wish you’d known when you started working with Cloud Computing?
I wish I would’ve taken the time to understand the fundamentals, now that I am further along in my career, I find myself going back and learning the basics of networking and cost management.
What are your favorite resources to learn about the Cloud?
The learning modules that Microsoft provides are very well put together and free. I also think that studying for a certification is great, they are outlined and give you a lot of high level knowledge.
Eyyy thanks for the shout-out! 😎
What advice can you give to someone who is considering learning about Cloud Computing to begin a career in the Cloud?
Go for it. I am a big fan of the entry level certifications, which is why I got the Azure fundamentals even though I’ve been in the field for a few years. A good level of theory and hands on is key.
All cloud platforms offer free credits when you sign up, so make sure to use those when you’re watching tutorials and implement the solution for yourself, just make sure to delete all the resources when you are done. I once forgot to erase a CosmoDB account and ended up spending over $1000.
What background do you need to get into cloud computing?
I think the space isn’t as newbie friendly as software dev is, yet. There’s lots of work to do but I want to encourage anyone from any background to give it a try if you’re interested, don’t let credentials and titles scare you, all of this is possible to learn. Lean on the community, there’s a lot of us willing to help as much as we can.
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