Eason is a Cloud Support Engineer based in Dublin, Ireland. He joined AWS in March 2017.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Eason: I joined AWS in 2017 through an internship program opening in Taiwan. At the time of me joining, AWS had just established in Taiwan and created opportunities for students. I was really excited about this, I knew AWS would be a magical place to work and I wanted to learn more, so I applied for the internship while I was still a junior undergraduate student in National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT). It was my first-time using AWS as I had to complete my interview assessment for the position I wanted. I can remember it took me a couple hours to read the AWS documentation’s during my midterm exam week, I was still not very confident in myself with the technology. But who knew I could pass all-five core AWS certificates within one year and become an AWS specialist while I was still an intern.
I was tending to choose a software development role as my first career option when I graduated. After working in the Premium Support team, I learnt that this was a powerful global team which had a big impact on changing the world by contributing their deep level of professional insight to millions of customers. Therefore, after I graduated and served mandatory military service in Taiwan, I continued my journey in AWS as Cloud Support Engineer by passing a series of interviews. In 2021, I was relocated to Dublin and joined the Mandarin premium support team in Ireland, I was keen to help people by addressing difficult technical challenges every day. The relocation process was very complicated when I was applying from Taiwan, but AWS has a dedicated team that can help you address complex issues, so you always know what steps to take next during the process, you will never miss any critical material and dates.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Eason: As a Cloud Support Engineer, my role at AWS is focused on addressing technical issues raised by customers using AWS services. I primarily focus on container services and developer tools such as: Kubernetes, EKS, ECS, container technologies and DevOps solutions. In my duty, I heavily work on troubleshooting, problem analysis based on complex real-world scenarios and guide customers to improve and resolve critical business impact from services they’ve shipped to the production environment and then even to the product improvement for AWS service. (Included but not limited to answering question like application cannot resolve DNS, why application crash, connection timeout… etc.)
Most of the customers I’m working with are using Chinese, we offer customers the ability to use their native language to communicate with us, this helps better resolve technical problems they have. Technology sharing is not limited to specific language especially as AWS is a global company. I’m also involved in lots of opportunities to address tough technical issue raised by engineers or software development teams from other countries, developing tools that make my team work effectively, contributing with training content and delivering deep level training for my team and other teams in AWS and external customers.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Eason: It is important to be curious about everything and be willing to learn new things, as the AWS technology is changing so fast it becomes hard if you fall behind nowadays especially as there are 200+ more AWS services on the line. Also, you will need to learn to embrace the unknown, study from failure and not fear the uncertain, be opened to learn from the dynamic environment around you is essential, as you may be facing challenges that probably never have happened before in the human history.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Eason: It is no doubt that skills are growing quickly with each Cloud technical domain but the major thing I learnt here is that communication skills and having a deep dive mindset is important. Since I’ve been working as Cloud Support Engineer the role has taught me how to think deeply and drill into the knowledge under the hood, explain the perspective with real data and evidences, instead of your feelings and assumptions. My communication skills have also improved especially when proving your theory to convince other people. This mindset also helps me to deep dive into every new learning topic.
In addition, as a Chinese speaker the full English environment that AWS have is really helpful for improving my language skills. As we use English as our primary language, not only writing but my speaking and presenting skills have also improved. People here are willing to embrace different culture and hear your voice, no matter what accent you have.
HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Eason: We are affecting millions of AWS customers behind the scenes, it contains live streaming, ticketing platforms, data analysis, start-up, banking services, cryptocurrency exchange etc. These AWS customers are creating amazing products for the world, and we are the engineering team to help them succeed.
HereAtAWS: At work, are you involved in any activities outside of your role?
Eason: I volunteered to participate in the educational AWS Taiwan STEM for high school in 2019, which helped hundreds of students learn Cloud Technology.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Eason: Learning will be never stop here! I would say the opportunities are endless within AWS and you can make a positive impact working here and grow within different areas, such as mentorship, interviewing, developing content, public speaking and many more areas. Here at AWS the culture is to encourage employees to focus on a specific domain but also encouraging you to have multidimensional growth.
Even though it’s been 4 years in AWS for me now I’m still excited about learning new AWS Cloud technologies, solving real-world problem, broadening my job opportunities and working with talented people.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Eason: Security is always a priority at AWS, we have a high concern about customer privacy and their security. Based on the Shared Responsibility Model, we don’t have access to customer information, yet customers will still ask us for guidance when they are facing problems. The interesting part is that we end up helping the customer find the possible root cause in situation’s even when we are blinded from an information perspective. This requires us to understand the technical domain in-depth and then correctly narrow down to the type of information we need to check with the customer. Once we have an understanding we can point out the root cause and take the right action. It is challenging but also very fascinating which will help you gain lots of experience.
HereAtAWS: What initially interested you in working for AWS?
Eason: It’s scale as a global company, technology and the talented people.
HereAtAWS: What were you excited to see AWS working on when you first got here?
Eason: I was excited that I was going to be assisting customers, I also love the products customers create especially as I use them in my day to day life. Working with customers I understand that I am making great impact to millions of people in the world.
HereAtAWS: What’s one of your greatest accomplishments since joining AWS?
Eason: I was working on a difficult networking issue on EKS which is related to problem raising from a large live streaming company which offers its services to millions of users around the world. It took me at least 3 weeks to drill down the problem and figure out what the issue was. I finally found out it was related to the product itself and did a complete long bug analysis report. The customer really appreciated the work I did. The product development team gave lots of positive feedback as we have good loop between these collaborations. Projects like this I realise the impact I am making to every AWS customer, no matter which role you are, with your effort, you always can improve things.