--- Riccardo M. Cefala, aka Captain Keepin’ Cool: CS Cloud Native Engineer
Alignment: Neutral Good.
His secret super-power is something he uses every day: patience!
I had a pretty natural evolution to cloud technology. I started to play around with coding when I was 15 or 16. I liked the idea of craftsmanship that wasn’t in the physical world and that you could build these things that had a huge impact on people’s everyday lives. My undergraduate and graduate theses centered on cloud computing because it’s fascinating from a progress point of view. It democratizes access to resources, so anyone with a good idea can start small, without having to host their own services, and build something that can potentially grow to have a global impact. In university, I would have to fix old computers so I could run my programs. Now students can access the capacity of a network to run their programs. I think, too, it’s going to make engineering more fun as it evolves. It will automate the repetitive work and just allow us to build.
I was a software engineer with an interest in systems, but before Container Solutions (CS) it felt like I had to be either in development or system engineering. You have to understand both sides to really contribute to a business’ success, but a lot of places have the two roles heavily partitioned. Moving to CS felt like a career change because it was my first time working as a consultant. They had me dealing directly with a large firm soon after joining, but I felt like I always had someone at CS who could help me. It was refreshing to feel encouraged to implement my own processes. I even got feedback to stop asking for permission! They trusted me to find the right solutions, but I always had help to understand how something worked, if needed.
It’s both fun and challenging because often it’s not just considering the technical solutions, but getting people excited about the right solutions. It’s also empowering to be in an environment where it’s not just considered important to stay on top of developments, but the office supports and requires it. The cycle of learning certifications and technologies is not just for you, either, but to share. You write posts about what you’ve learned, translate it into a talk for your colleagues, and from there go on to present at conferences or meetups.
The support from management is so important. Right now, I’m in the middle of prepping for an AWS certification exam and moving to London at the same time. I’m going to be the first engineer based in our new UK branch. I’ve always loved the city and they’ve supported my desire to move there from the first day. It’s crazy doing everything it takes to settle in a new city while working on client projects and testing AWS. It’s easier, though, with the support that’s built into CS.
A lot of engineers look for a purpose. I’ve found it in learning - not just knowing a lot of things, but also learning how to apply them. You’ve got to have a balance between theory, design and making stuff happen. That’s what I’m trying to do and my goal is to always improve. That’s what I would say about CS: if you care about staying on top of technology and having the time to learn about it, as well as being challenged with interesting projects, this is the right place. Also, it’s just cool.