Radost started at AWS in February 2020 as a Software Development Engineer in Berlin, Germany.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Radost: I came to AWS by perhaps not the most ‘direct’ route. I studied Mechanical Engineering in Victoria, Canada and after graduation I worked in the ship repair industry, namely on the refit of the Canadian Navy submarines, before deciding to move to Berlin for a bit of an adventure and to be closer to family.
I completed an online course and several personal projects before landing an internship as a Software Engineer at Diconium, a VW company. There I was promoted to a junior and subsequently intermediate position, and ultimately joined AWS as part of the Commerce Platform team.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Radost: I am a Software Development Engineer with the Offers team within AWS Commerce Platform (CP). The services my team is responsible for enable sellers to author, modify and manage offers and rates for the respective AWS products they own. Our customers include AWS services you might be familiar with; such asEC2, S3, CloudFront, but also the AWS Marketplace which allows independent software vendors to offer their products to the greater AWS customer base.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Radost: To be successful in software engineering in AWS you need a deep understanding of how to build scalable and performant software systems. Our customers are continuously growing their product lines and we need to be able to keep up. We need to think big when it comes to implementation of new features, taking into account the direction of CP as an organization, and at the same we need to be able to dive deep to ensure no operational issues could impact customer product launches.
In terms of soft skills, I think communication is very important. My team has many different nationalities and backgrounds so earning trust and learning to disagree and commit helps us work harmoniously together.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Radost: Before joining AWS, I had never worked with any AWS services. My role has allowed me to gain experience with many services such as Lambda, SQS, SNS, DynamoDB and DDB streams. I also was able to learn about the operational side of software on the job, gaining a greater understanding of performance metrics and service monitoring.
HereAtAWS: At work, are you involved in any activities outside of your role?
Radost: After having such a wonderful experience with the tech communities here I Berlin, I joined Women Who Code as a community lead in the summer of 2018. I help organize community events such as hack evenings and workshops and maintain a community slack group to share resources and opportunities. When I joined AWS, I was made aware of the affinity groups and joined Amazon Women in Engineering, as the goals of the group aligned with what I was already doing with Women Who Code.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Radost: Working with extremely talented engineers and learning something new every day! I love being challenged and I am never bored when there’s so much to learn on the job.
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Radost: Show enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. Coming from a different background than most software engineers I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up. By asking lots of questions of the people on my team and the adjacent teams in my organisation I was able to get up to speed relatively quickly and effectively deliver results even during my onboarding phase.
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Radost: Learning. Growth. Teamwork.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Radost: Being Canadian I love the outdoors. I’m happiest when hiking, biking, running, paddle boarding, etc. Currently doing a lot of gravel biking and bikepacking. I am passionate about diversity in STEM which I promote though my volunteering with Women Who Code and Amazon Women in Engineering.