Meet Serhat, Solutions Architect, Digital Native Business

Serhat is an AWS Solutions Architect based in Barcelona, who joined AWS in June 2018.

HereatAWS: Hi Serhat, tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?

Serhat: After graduating as a telecommunication engineer, I found my footing in roles related to system engineering and architecture. Before joining AWS, I worked as a Senior Consultant, supporting a unicorn startup in Barcelona. With almost 2 years’ experience in the partner ecosystem, an opportunity to join AWS as a Solutions Architect presented itself. Although it required me to relocate to Madrid from Barcelona, where I had lived for almost 10 years, I leapt at the chance to join the team.

My AWS journey started in Madrid on June 18, 2018, supporting the Middle East & North Africa region where I had the chance to visit customers in Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In time, I also began supporting Startup customers in my native country of Turkey,  where I had the opportunity to work with some of the most exciting and successful Startups in the region.

In July 2019, I joined the Iberia Solutions Architecture team and relocated from Madrid back to Barcelona, to support Digital Native Business companies. This is just the start of my AWS journey, I truly look forward to the many years ahead.

HereatAWS: Can you explain, in simple terms, your role and how you help your customers?

Serhat: Iberia Digital Native Business Solutions Architects strive to help the largest and fastest growing digitally-native customers to become the "unicorns of the future", through innovation and continuous deployment of cloud native technology stacks and advanced cloud solutions. Our team works backwards from the customer, listening to their business requirements, understanding every detail of the challenge and finally proposing the most scalable, flexible, and resilient cloud solutions that address their needs.

Our team is also responsible for providing technical thought leadership in the Iberia region, contributing to AWS customer facing publications such as blog posts and delivering keynotes at technology events such as AWS Summits.

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

Serhat: You need to have a strong technical background and general IT knowledge to succeed as a Solutions Architect. We hire people from completely different technical backgrounds, and don't necessarily consider knowledge of AWS services or products to be a 'must-have' requirement in the initial hiring process, as successful candidates will have time to learn those AWS services in depth.

For the soft skills, I would like to answer with a quote - “First you have to listen to customers. Companies that don't listen to customers fail.” Jeffrey P. Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon. In my opinion, this is the most important soft skill you need to succeed as a Solutions Architect - customer obsession.

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

Serhat: Having worked for different segments in EMEA, for me, I’d say the most positive impact has been my efforts with customers who deliver goods and services directly to the public during a crisis. I am proud to see those customers helping society and making a positive impact in difficult times.

HereatAWS: At work, are you involved in any activities outside of your role?

Serhat: I’m passionate about teaching and developing talent. One of my favourite programs at the company,  AWS Tech U, is an accelerated career development program for new graduates. The program allows for participation in project-based learning, creative real-world problem solving, and on-the-job training. In addition to my role, I take part in the hiring and mentoring new graduates, evaluating capstone projects and reviewing content for the program.

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

Serhat: I would say the customer interactions. Every week, I reach out to multiple customers to talk about their business challenges, ideas or upcoming projects. In those meetings, I really feel like I am a part of their team and this makes me excited to see that I earned their trust.

I cannot pass this question without mentioning the fantastic Iberia team that supports me every day, making my job even more exciting.