Lukasz joined AWS in 2020 as a Senior Solutions Architect, and is based in Wroclaw, Poland.
HereAtAWS: Hi Lukasz, tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Lukasz: I joined AWS back in August 2020 after saying “Yes” to the AWS HR representative, who used to call me persistently every six months since 2016 asking if “this is the right time for me to finally join AWS?”. That was the right time to make a change in my career.
I did my first large-scale AWS project back in 2010. It was an e-commerce loyalty platform for the UK market. Since then I fell in love with cloud technologies and acted as Chief Solutions Architect and CTO for companies working in mature markets. A 16 years career in IT allowed me to experience all types of roles available, starting from quality assurance for a large tech company, to public sector in Poland, development, project management, and others. It was a great opportunity to work with customers from all around the globe, where I had pleasure to sit at the table with executives from the largest consulting groups and large financial institutions sharing with them my expertise and knowledge.
The reason for change? Simple. I saw AWS as a place built from opportunities, experts and true leaders that I want to learn from. This is exactly the case!
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Lukasz: I’m working as generalist senior solutions architect for Small and Medium Business (SMB) customers covering Central and Eastern Europe. The beauty of SMBs comes from their maturity, high agility and quick decision-making. I help them connect between business needs and technology to enable further growth.
HereAtAWS: What kind of skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Lukasz: Once during a solutions architecture meeting I heard a wonderful definition of generalist solutions architect: “Our job is to know our customers and their needs and to be able to represent them in the best possible way”. I cannot agree more, thus communication skills, analytical thinking, and the ability to speak the right business language (explore and discover real needs) are critical to be successful in the role.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills for your role?
Lukasz: I came to AWS quite well equipped in terms of skills and experience. Nevertheless, I had to enrich my writing skills to be able to meet Amazon’s high bar in writing. It helps me with efficient communication and creation of new mechanisms (initiatives) that help our customers grow.
HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Lukasz: The SMB market is a steam power of economy and innovation. Those companies are main change ambassadors, so by helping them to transform with cloud puts me in a role of catalysator for something bigger and better. Enhanced products become more impactful by making people’s life easier. Workloads are becoming more sustainable, which has a great impact over the environment and professional lives of others. Progressing innovation touches my everyday life and makes me proud.
HereAtAWS: At work, are you involved in any activities outside of your role?
Lukasz: Yes! I’m an active mentor for various roles and positions at AWS. I help people discover their growth areas and ways to achieve success not only at AWS, but also personally. It’s always a great pleasure to observe how people spread their wings, grow and make bigger impact once enabled.
Apart from that, I’m a member of an Internet of Things (IoT) TFC, where I’m combining my passion for vertical farming with cloud technology looking at ways to use cloud solutions within agriculture for sustainable food production. This is the area in my eye that will help humanity reduce starvation problems, as well as power and water consumption in the next decade.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Lukasz: Definitely Dynamics! SMB market in emerging markets has millions of customers and as solutions architect, I’m trying to support every incoming request for help. This means cases from various industries and various technical backgrounds. I’m always laughing that each day I have a different case to solve… or 8 of them. It keeps me going, motivates me to discover new ways to solving common problems. Constant learning!
HereAtAWS: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Lukasz: Time. I would love to have longer days or at least the ability to not sleep so that I can explore all those interesting topics. Without time, I have to use strong judgment and prioritization to invest my focus into right things.
HereAtAWS: What initially interested you in working for AWS?
Lukasz: Culture and possibilities. Over time, I have experienced many organizations, where it was only a sentence on the walls in the office. I heard a lot from colleagues working at AWS how much different it is and how much influence Leadership Principles have over the employees’ everyday life.
HereAtAWS: What were you excited to see AWS working on when you first got here?
Lukasz: Again, culture! Since Day 1 I felt the atmosphere, I observed Amazon’s Leadership Principles floating in the air between members and people I spoke to. It was just amazing to discover the values, where Customer Obsession North Star was the one corresponding with my personal approach. It was a dream!
HereAtAWS: What products or solutions have you worked on? What have been your favourites and why?
Lukasz: One of the financial customers’ CTO on an initial meeting admitted that they are using on-premise environments for their HPC trading platform and it won’t change anytime soon. Asked about reasons, he shared disbelief that AWS cannot be cost and performance efficient for their workloads – due to assessment report prepared by a company without cloud knowledge. After a month, I was able to show the approach, architecture design, benefits and calculations that convinced the CTO and whole group to go all-in on AWS. Satisfaction was then bigger when the customer shared the anecdote that I was able to provide more value in days than software vendors in months.
HereAtAWS: What’s one of your greatest accomplishments since joining AWS?
Lukasz: I was able to create a program tailored to one of my markets which attracted over 100 customers to AWS, allowing me to discover their business needs and common blockers. Based on it, I created YouTube videos on AWS channel and set of webinars allowing me to influence over 5,000+ unique viewers.
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Lukasz: Stay yourself, show your strengths and don’t be afraid to try new things and fail. It’s the perfect environment to try things and learn!
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Lukasz: Innovation, dynamism and fun.
HereAtAWS: Do you have any needs or commitment that require flexibility in your role?
Lukasz: I’m a father of two – so work life balance is important, as my kids are young and I want to ensure that I’m there for them. With AWS I don’t struggle to have quality time with my family whenever it is needed.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Lukasz: I’m passionate about vertical farming and technology in agriculture. Together with my son, we are making small Proof of Concept (PoC) projects exploring various ways of growing plants. Apart from that, I’m a survival and bush crafting maniac, which helps me to spend time away from technology.
HereAtAWS: Is there anything else you would like to add about your personal journey?
Lukasz: My biggest challenge at some point in career was lack of people I could learn from or true mentors. At certain stage of your maturity it becomes a frustrating factor, as you want to grow and it is hard being the most experienced in your own environment. It changes at AWS – this is the place of true leaders, great mentors and real experts, who can challenge you a lot! I’m benefiting from it every single day.