AWS in Sydney hiring spree to feed cloud growth

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AWS in Sydney hiring spree to feed cloud growth

Happy with local investment.

Amazon Web Services is hiring a wide spectrum of IT professionals to staff its support centre and other roles in its Sydney offices.

Although it only opened its doors in November, AWS Sydney has added 4000 customers to its existing 10,000 and is recruiting to match the speed of growth.
“The Sydney based Australian team has exceeded my expectations for technical competence and their contributions and culture fit. But with fast stage growth you can never have enough people," said Brent Jaye, vice president for AWS Support, by phone from Seattle.
"We would like to see many more candidates and hires in Sydney.
“At this point we're hiring as fast as we possibly can in every location around the world, including Sydney.”
IT professionals wanting to work with AWS should specialise, Jaye said.
“We have lots of roles with deep system administration responsibilities. You can imagine that any database that runs on top of AWS, we will work with our customers to make sure they run that correctly,” Jaye said.
The IaaS provider wants system administrators with deep expertise in Linux and Windows, database architects, network engineers and experts with programming skills to work in its support centre, said Jaye, who manages recruitment for AWS support centres globally.
Jaye said networking was another key skill.
“When you’re troubleshooting customer environments the networking component is a very important piece,” he said.
Jaye said it was also important for support engineers to understand what customers were trying to accomplish and to help architect their environments, with technical skills not enough for support engineers.
“They have to be highly effective communicators too. They need to work with a customer to diagnose their environment and provide proactive guidance on how they can be doing things better,” Jaye said.
The Sydney office includes roles in marketing, evangelists, solution architects and sales as well as support.  
AWS has formed software development teams inside some support centres which has created a best-practice advisory program for infrastructure-as-a-service. The takeup of the AWS Trusted Advisor program was boosting sales of its support programs and job demand, Jaye said.
“Many customers didn’t want to go through the same learning curve (in using IaaS). They wanted our talented engineers to help them along. We eventually built software that programmatically scanned customers’ environments to audit against known best practices,” Jaye said.
AWS’ approach was countercultural compared to other IaaS providers, Jaye claimed. Instead of centralising support centres to low-wage countries, AWS wanted to build a strong base in Sydney that could work more closely with customers.
“We're not telling any of our engineers to get off the phone. We are asking them to work with the customer to make sure they have resilient architecture, to make sure they're designing efficiently and saving the customer money,” Jaye said.  
“My hope is that in the long run the investment we make on the front side leads to lower effort on the customers’ side and on our side.”
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