A Face in the Cloud – Jeff Armstrong, Cloud Architect, Chicago

Keep It Cloudy News 25th July 2017
Jeff Armstrong - Face in the Cloud, Cloud Architect, Chicago

Here at Cloudreach, we believe that the growth of a great business is fuelled by great people. It is our talented individuals that make Cloudreach the success it is. Today Cloud Architect Jeff Armstrong tells us about his experience working and keeping it cloudy at Cloudreach.

 

What is your role at Cloudreach?
In my role as Cloud Architect, I primarily work with clients to realize the benefits of the cloud by helping them adjust internal processes and streamline operations, thus enabling them to take full advantage of the agile and dynamic nature of cloud technologies. I also assist customers by designing applications for use in the cloud, helping them drive down costs, increase business continuity, and realize strategic goals.

What aspects of your role do you find most challenging? Most rewarding?
I continually work with new clients that have conventional on-premise environments that want to move to cloud-first models, and this presents a unique challenge every time. Coincidentally, it’s also the most rewarding as they realize the capabilities and how the cloud will change the way they do things. With every new engagement I continue to learn and grow myself as well, giving me new perspective on client needs and desires.

What does true leadership mean to you?
A true leader shows you the path, they don’t tell you the path.  It’s hard to follow in someone’s footsteps if there aren’t any.

If you had to be stuck in an elevator with one person, who would it be and why?
Criss Angel – I saw him perform in Las Vegas recently.  After the opening act, he came on stage and thanked, very graciously, everyone for coming and spending their money to see his show, even with so many options available. Such sincerity is not something I see in large production shows, and as a customer, I appreciated it deeply. Afterwards I did quite a bit of reading on him and found him to be a very passionate and driven individual. I would love to pick his brain and learn about his journey, I think he would have a lot of useful insight.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I could work as a farrier if need be, not that there are a lot of horses in cloud consulting. However, if the need ever did arise, I would be able to give them a trim and get them up and running in no time (pun intended).  It’s one of those skills that will prove really useful only in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’ve been working in technology for, dare I say it, decades. During this time, I’ve had to continually re-invent myself as both technology and business changed in order to remain competitive in the market. I was an early adopter of virtualization technologies because I saw this as the future. I felt the same way about cloud and that’s why I started learning about AWS technology. I’ve done pretty well at spotting new industry trends and staying ahead of the curve.

What do you find most exciting about working in the cloud technology space and at Cloudreach in particular?
The tech of course! There are some really cool technologies and capabilities in the Big Data Machine Learning and AI space. For someone who loathed mathematics in school, I spend an awful lot of time fantasizing about what I can do with it in these spaces. As for Cloudreach directly, we are looking to engage with Non-For-Profit organizations in the near future in the US, which is a personal passion of mine.

What impact do you believe Cloudreach has had on the tech industry?
I think that Cloudreach is redefining what it means to be a consultant in technology. At Cloudreach I don’t feel like a hammer that’s made to hit a nail. We are treated like skilled knowledge workers that have drive and ambitions and our work life a balance is respected. Gone are the days where my employer expects its consultants to train on a new technology over the weekend to meet a client on Monday.

 

Thanks Jeff!

Like what you see? Great, we’re hiring Cloud Architects in Chicago and other cities across Europe & North America. We’re also searching for talent across all business units. Check out our current openings here.

Jeff also joined our team at the AWS Summit in Chicago on July 26-27, 2017, where he spoke about Building an Effective Cloud Operating Model on AWS.

For more Face in the Clouds with a Cloud Architect, read here.