Meet Christoph, Senior Manager of Solutions Architecture

Christoph is a Senior Manager of Solutions Architecture based in Zurich, Switzerland.

HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?

Christoph: In my previous role I was working as a manager in systems engineering for a global vendor of data management solutions here in Zurich. Our solutions back then started to incorporate services from AWS and I started to understand cloud services and what AWS can do for customers. Every single time I touched the platform, I felt both blown-away and inspired. Then I saw a post for my position at AWS on LinkedIn, and I applied immediately.

HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?

Christoph: I manage a team of the solutions architects. SAs interact with our customer very early in the process and have a very diverse set of responsibilities that range from evangelizing, presenting and demoing use-cases, doing hackthons with the customers and finally helping them to architect cloud services to be successful in building with AWS.

HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?

Christoph: I need to understand technology on a high-level and need to be able to judge what is needed for a particular customer. I need to be able to listen to both the customer and our employees in order to understand their need to be successful in their roles.

HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?

Christoph: I needed to learn and adapt to the unique culture of AWS. I am still learning to be honest! I highly appreciate the focus on the customer and our working backwards approach that truly helps them meet their needs.

Amazon famously has a we “writing culture”. That means to achieve and drive something internally we create documents and collect data. In meetings we often start by reading those documents before discussing it. That results in very effective meetings and data-driven decisions.

HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?

Christoph: I’m part of our local education initiative. We contribute to educating Swiss people on technology. This ranges from engagement with kids, supporting to adjust the “Bildungsplan” for the IT apprenticeships in Switzerland, workshops and guest lectures at universities, as well as education for refugees and the unemployed. My goal is to be part of the group who supported a movement that narrowed the talent gap in IT in Switzerland.

HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?

Christoph: Working in a very diverse team to help our customers to achieve their goals.

HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?

Christoph: Amazon has well-articulated values, what we call Leadership Principles. Those values should resonate well. Also, a demonstrated will to learn something new every day is crucial. We have a great and diverse team. For someone who is open and networks well with others, it is a very easy to integrate at AWS.

HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?

Christoph: Interesting, surprising and satisfying.

HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?

Christoph: I go BMXing with the son of my partner. I really never thought I would jump like this in my age!

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