Luigi is a Senior Consultant, App Dev based in Milan. He joined AWS in September 2018.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Luigi: I started my career as a software engineer in a start-up that built a recommendation and discovery engine for the media industry. I had the opportunity to grow from a junior software engineer to software architect and a team leader. After ten years in the company, I felt it was time to embrace new adventures. During this time, I was fascinated by the AWS account team that was supporting us. In particular, by their long-term strategy, customer obsession and effort to build honest trust with us. I believe this is the main reason why I decided to join AWS. It was quite a leap in the dark to move from software engineer role to consultant, but the Application Developer specialty helped a lot to stay attached to my background and keep growing in the vertical.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Luigi: As an application developer consultant and cloud architect within AWS Professional Services, I spend most of my time by helping enterprises and partners to design and build new applications on AWS. I also support customers to modernize their workloads, to increase their efficiency and get the best out of AWS services. Being located in Italy, my customers are mainly Italian enterprise operating in manufacturing, automotive, power & utilities and FSI segments.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Luigi: A consultant role requires a balance of both technical and soft skills. Customers expect us to be aware of AWS services and a proven experience of how to build secure, efficient and reliable production grade applications that make the best out of AWS and support their customers for a long time. This means that we never stop learning and keep our technical bar raising day over day.
Being a customer facing role, it’s crucial to develop the soft skills that help us establishing an effective partnership with the customer. Wearing customer shoes, working backwards from their needs, build empathic relationships, earn trust, are keys to succeed in any engagements.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Luigi: Every day there’s a new a technical challenge that brings us to learn something new. A new customer needs to learn about an AWS service or feature that I have never used in the past or that I just did not have the chance to play with.
Previously before joining AWS, I was interacting more with internal rather than external customers. Moving to a consultant role, it has helped me learn a lot about being customer facing, which deals especially with soft skills. Shadowing and pairing with tenured consultants have been a great learning opportunity here at AWS, both from a professional and personal perspective.
HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Luigi: When I joined AWS, my mission was to increase the possibilities to bring back value to my country and my community. Helping Italian enterprise to innovate faster, improve their customer experiences so their quality of life, has been my tenet since I joined AWS. So far, I have had several opportunities to do that. Some examples are : I worked with automotive customers to improve the onboarding experience of professional drivers, who nowadays are doing a job of challenges (regulatory requirements to meet, traffic on the road, tight deadlines, being often far away from their families). I supported insurance organizations to improve digital experiences of online channels. I partnered with customers in the power & utilities industry to improve the efficiency of smart metering data collection.
HereAtAWS: At work, are you involved in any activities outside of your role?
Luigi: I am a mentor at Amazon. I am happy to share my experience with other Amazonians, and support them facing the same challenges I went through. I believe it’s another way to give back to the community and to build long lasting relationships with others.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Luigi: At Amazon we start by working backwards from the customer needs. I believe the most exciting part of the job is to close the loop, having the customers achieving their business outcomes after having built together the solution that we identified together.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Luigi: Customers have been doing their business, in their industry, for years, sometimes for decades or even centuries. As consultant, we jump into their business to support their growth and to support them to further innovate. Sometimes it’s challenging to get the right context and background in short time, and this is crucial to understand customer pains, challenges, concerns, and build empathy with them.
HereAtAWS: What initially interested you in working for AWS?
Luigi: In my previous job, I was an AWS customer and I met the AWS account team (account manager and solutions architect) few times. I have been impressed by their positive attitude and by their aim to really help us succeed with our goals. I remember them helping us to identify options to reduce AWS cloud consumption. This was disruptive and really customer obsessed. That time was the one that triggered my interest for AWS. I then had ex-colleagues and friends that moved to AWS. I received a positive feedback from their experience, and this was the confirmation that I should join.
HereAtAWS: What were you excited to see AWS working on when you first got here?
Luigi: When I joined, someone from the team was working with a large power & utilities company. I was impressed by the energy they were dedicating to the customer and by the focus they were keeping to enable their teams and their partners to build new innovative workloads and define a long-term digital innovation roadmap
HereAtAWS: What products or solutions have you worked on? What have been your favourites and why?
Luigi: I am a fan of serverless solutions. I believe they really bring lot of value to customers and increase dramatically their speed, thus reducing the time to market of their new digital solutions.
I recently had the chance to work on a media solutions where we leveraged on Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS). I have been impressed by how quick and easy is to set up a live streaming solution that support interactive video experiences and engaging features like live chats.
HereAtAWS: What’s one of your greatest accomplishments since joining AWS?
Luigi: In the middle of a pandemic, I had the opportunity to work with an Italian industrial and commercial vehicle manufacturer. I supported the customer in designing and building a pioneering vocal and digital driver companion that enables the driver to bring their digital life on board, interact with their vehicle and the driving community, and access its connected services through voice commands via Amazon Alexa. I learnt a lot during that project, from voice assistant design to hardware installation on a vehicle.
Despite being in the middle of lockdowns, I had the opportunity to embrace the same commitment, passion and dedication of the customer in the initiative. That relation contributed to the establishment of a long-term strategic partnership between the two companies, which is nowadays supporting lot of shared initiatives.
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Luigi: Like Amazon, AWS has a hiring bar that is incredibly high. One thing I enjoy the most is to leverage on the incredible talents, that just became your new colleagues and team mates. Enjoy each of them and you will learn something new every day.
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Luigi: Build, Transform and Learn.
HereAtAWS: Do you have any needs or commitment that require flexibility in your role?
Luigi: I am father of Sara, five years old. Working from home, has given back to me an incredible amount of time I can spend with her, compared to when I was used to commute three hours per day. I would never go back to a fulltime work from office.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Luigi: Spending time with my family, go for a walk, go cycling, visit new cities and landscapes. I was used to play martial arts (judo and aikido), which helped a lot to enforce my strengths and to fight against my fears.