At Equinix, I manage the Global Solution Architecture team in APAC, based in Hong Kong. Our goal is to guide our customers on the possibilities the Equinix Platform can offer.
I came to Equinix from the television broadcasting industry in 2018. I ran the APAC Professional Services team for a vendor to television stations across the region. Customers in the broadcasting industry were looking for solutions that addressed problems such as:
- Faster time to market with more flexible solutions to respond to changing demands-think being able to temporarily spin up a new TV channel dedicated to the Olympics, for instance.
- Cost reduction – implementing more automation to allow more services to be supported by the same staffing or equipment levels.
- Changing consumption models – On-demand and catch-up TV models and revenue opportunities arising from new advertising methods, viewer interactivity, and targeted advertising analytics to ensure advertising was presented to the target demographic.
So, while I had been working in a different industry, the business drivers that bring customers to Equinix were familiar to me.
Starting from scratch
Changing industries is always a challenge. You need to learn new skillsets, markets, but one of the more challenging aspects is the new vernacular that everyone is using.
You can find yourself on the sidelines of conversations very quickly until you get up to speed with this, which was certainly the case for me.
I had expected this and was very upfront about what I did and did not know. I would-and still do- ask questions or have offline clarification sessions with people afterward to speed up my onboarding. This is where Equinix's strong collaborative culture benefited me.
Additionally, I also embarked on studying for the baseline certifications for each of the Cloud Service Providers, which helped bring me up to speed with their product offerings and their own terminology.
I mentioned above that changing industries is always a challenge; however, at Equinix, everyone has been exceedingly patient and generous with their time whenever I've asked for clarifications on anything.
I'm fortunate to be working in a team of people passionate about technology and the industry, and are excited about sharing their knowledge. I've also had a tremendous amount of support for any initiatives we have wanted to implement.
One thing that surprises most people who join is how accessible the Executive team and other senior leaders are. To anyone. Even as large as Equinix is now, it still feels like the biggest little company I've come across.
Tips on starting a career in tech
My number one tip is being able to tell a story that connects with the audience. Being the most knowledgeable person in a technical field isn't overly valuable if you cannot relate how that technology can help a customer with their business problems. This sounds obvious, but the difference between a good and a great Solution Architect is very rarely in technical knowledge; it's how they relate that knowledge.
Similarly, you want to make sure you have a personal development program that maps out your learning and growth path, so you ensure you finish a quarter more capable than you began it.
Be curious and brave enough to ask for advice. I've never met anyone who wasn't willing to help someone who approached them with some well-thought-out questions, looking for advice.
Interested to learn how Equinix can support your career journey?
We are hiring solutions architects! Check out open roles.
The original article was published here.