Ashraf is a DCEO Facility Manager based in UAE. He joined AWS in December, 2015.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Ashraf: Before joining AWS, I was based in Egypt (my home country) and I’ve been working in the Data Center Operation and Maintenance industry since my graduation. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and seek a new adventure, so I decided to start a new chapter of my life by emigrating to Australia.
After I completed my immigration paper work, I started to look for job opportunities in Australia while I was still in Egypt. It was very unlikely to happen due to my lack of local work experience, but I always believed that hard work pays off. I came across an position in AWS Sydney as a Data Centre Operations Engineer, so I applied for it, completed the interview process and I couldn’t believe it when I found a response back stating that I did well and I’ve been accepted!
My interview experience was unique, due to some technical connections, I couldn’t manage to get the video on during my interviews. So, it ended up me completing all interviews without actually being seen by any of interviewers, including my direct manager. I really admired the AWS interview process and personally experienced that it only considers candidates based on their previous experience and their performance during the interviews.
During my five years journey at AWS, I moved up in the career ladder from Data Center Engineer, to a Chief Engineer and recently honoured to accept a Facility Manager role in one of the new AWS clusters, and the journey continues!
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Ashraf: Currently I’m a Facility Manager, responsible for the operation and maintenance of all Electrical/Mechanical equipment within one of AWS data centers.
My customers are Network and IT teams, and part of my duties is to ensure that they have 100% power and cooling availability over their IT equipment.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Ashraf: To be successful in my role, I need to have a solid knowledge in all electrical and mechanical systems that exist within the data center facility.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Ashraf: I have gained countless skills during my journey at AWS. Due to being involved in the operational readiness for different new clusters, I’ve interviewed more than 200 candidates for different roles within the organization. This has built my soft skills set. It gave me the opportunity to interact professionally with people from all over the world and allowed me to develop myself on how to judge people based only on their qualities and nothing else.
HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Ashraf: I have always been asked by my kids and their friends “what do you do in your role?”. My answer to them is that “I ensure you always have fun by keeping your Fortnite and Netflix up and running all the time”. AWS platform carries numerous critical services, I couldn’t be more proud of what AWS did during COVID-19 globally by providing customers with secure and advanced cloud technologies.
HereAtAWS: At work, are you involved in any activities outside of your role?
Ashraf: I proudly joined SYD-InCommunities group which took an awesome initiative in supporting local community and schools around the city.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Ashraf: Working with amazing people, learning from the best, and being part of large scale projects that I couldn’t imagine!
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Ashraf: It is always ‘Day One’ at AWS, so take advantage and keep learning something new every day.
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Ashraf: Safe, secure and productive.