Can you tell us a bit about your background?  

With over 25 years in the IT industry, I have a broad range of experience across a vast array of technologies. My qualifications are diverse, spanning multiple vendors and multiple products, including hardware, OS, applications, and cloud [Azure; AWS; GCP]. It is a great journey to be on, and the landscape is ever-changing. I have a fair few years left on this journey – I started out as an L1 support engineer, and I’m currently a senior cloud architect and team leader in my current role. Who knows what will happen next? But whatever it is, I’m looking forward to my next challenge. 

Can you tell us about your role with The Project Foundry? 

I am a Senior Cloud Architect and Team Leader here in the digital practice in The Project Foundry. It requires a lot of technical expertise and a lot of responsibility. Cloud architecture with exposure to numerous cloud providers does indeed help provide a customer-focussed solution, which gives me great satisfaction. 

What motivates you to do what you do? 

I have had a keen interest in computing since I got my first computer at 12 years of age. It was an Acorn Electron (sister to the BBC Micro). My passion started there and never waned over the years. The technology landscape has obviously changed, but my desire to both fix and build systems is still there. The more complex the problem, the better.  

How have you evolved personally and professionally over the years? 

I’ve developed quite a lot over the years. Personally, I would say I’m quietly confident and professionally, my knowledge and abilities keep expanding here at The Project Foundry, and they are quite happy to allow me to continue my quest to gain more knowledge.  

What does culture in a work environment mean to you? Why is it important to you? 

A good culture is particularly important to me. It means you are valued, and you will want to stay. To me, it is the difference between a job and a career. A job is about making money, whereas a career is about making you happy. A major factor in my decision to move to The Project Foundry was down to the culture. Work takes up a lot of your time, so you need to be happy doing it. 

How do you maintain a healthy balance between your work and personal life? 

There does have to be a balance. I work predominantly remotely, and it helps me by having a room dedicated to work. I even have a separate laptop. Flexibility is a major factor and working for a company that is outcome-driven helps with flexibility and balance. Some discipline is also required. For me, going for a walk before I start work does the trick. 

Are there any misconceptions about your work/field that you would like to clarify? 

Working in the IT industry does not mean we are experts in everything that has an on/off switch! 

Is there a particular aspect of your work that you are especially passionate about? 

I have always been passionate about emerging technologies, which really helps me in my daily activities. It is great to be able to leverage some of these when designing solutions or focussing on new avenues. There are usually multiple ways of achieving a result, but often, only one will fit the particular business case. Also, being able to integrate emerging technologies helps future-proof a solution. 

How do you deliver value to clients? 

I provide value to clients by designing solutions, collaborating with the client and the rest of the team. I then propose a solution best suited to the environment, as I am not hindered by focussing on Azure or any given vendor. Although qualified in Azure, AWS and GCP myself, and there are enough qualified individuals on the team to become partners, instead, we prefer to provide an agnostic solution. 

What are the typical benefits to the client from using our services? 

Our practice offers a number of services to clients, ranging from advisory services to architecture and cloud adoption.  

Amongst other things, we can  

  • Design a cloud transformation roadmap that aligns with your business requirements 
  • Assess multiple options with multiple vendors for you 
  • Help you plan your cloud journey 
  • Perform cost optimisation of your cloud environment 

 

Mark Carragher

Mark Sweetman

Sinead Usher

Maria McCann

Sevim Sonmez

Andre Mostert