Yesterday, after returning to the United States for the first time in two years, I flew back to Kobe and moved from Kansai to the middle of Tokyo to begin my new position as an AWS consultant.
My journey to this point began during college, where I used my Japanese language skill to help manage application development projects with the Japanese divison of a large insurance company. Feeling stuck, I made my move to the Kansai region of Japan, where I worked for a cryptocurrency exchange looking to expand its international offerings.
...That was all until we were hacked for over $60 million.
I found myself in a position where, even though I would still have my job, I was in a very precarious industry where things could turn for the worse at any second, lacking true skills in the tech industry, and getting by only with my language skill. I could feel AI creeping up behind me, ready to take my career with it.
At my old position in the United States, there were multiple projects going on to move applications and data from our massive data centers to the Amazon Web Services cloud. I was always intrigued by the idea of how, instead of the months it would take to order a server, set it up, and get it onto the network, the cloud would allow you to spin up a server in minutes or seconds.
After the hacking, a friend of mine in the engineering department showed me a huge map of the server environment that the exchange ran on. It became clear to me that this is something I wanted to be a part of.
I worked for the next half year, to the beginning of 2019, to get my AWS Solutions Architect - Associate certification (many thanks to A Cloud Guru and TutorialsDojo) - along the way learning a lot about Linux, DevOps, infrastructure and web development. My certification helped me begin my new career as a Cloud Engineer, working as a contracted consultant and build engineer in Osaka in 2019.
In the days leading up to my move to Tokyo, I realized how much more I still have to learn through conversations with my friends and former co-workers working in the industry. Technologies like Terraform and Ansible that automate a lot of the set up and maintenance of cloud environments, as well as understanding how development and applications work to optimize the environments for both users and developers, are just some of the things I will continue to study in 2020.
I hope to use this space on Dev.TO to talk not only about my journey in Cloud, but also as an American working in the IT industry in Japan. Now, time to get back to studying for the AWS Solutions Architect Professional Exam!