E92 - Trevor Spires at AWS12 July, 2023
Our Senior Vice President Antonio Costa was joined by Trevor Spires, the Sr. Solutions Architect at AWS on today’s episode of The Route to Networking podcast. Trevor is a technology professional with over 10 years of experience working as a Consultant and Pre-Sales Architect in the web software and IT infrastructure space. On the side, he does content creation around networking-related topics on YouTube and blogs.
Trevor started his journey to Networking in the Air Force and for him, it was the best start to his career in technology. He was in a technical role doing Networking for them. Not a lot of jobs out there would give a 19-year-old with no experience the keys to the kingdom to get hands-on but they gave him that chance and he accelerated from there. He got thrown into the fire and learnt a lot really quickly which gave him the opportunity to receive free education alongside working. That role taught him that he could take on. A lot and more importantly taught him that if you don’t know how to do something, it’s okay to raise your hand and do it anyway. It goes a long way!
His role at AWS was a natural progression. He started as a Network Engineer in the Air Force and stayed in the Networking specialist area for 5-6 years. He had an opportunity to join VMWare as a Networking Specialist, which prepared him for the role he is now at AWS.
Certifications are often required to advance your career, but there is a common debate as to whether they are worth the time and money. Trevor took his first cert in the Air Force and since then the rest has been history! Certifications have always been a way for him to learn something new and they are a great framework if you love to continuously learn. Say you wanted to learn Cloud Security, it would be really hard to sit there and teach yourself that. Certifications give you a very direct path to learning niche sectors. In terms of investing your time, money, and education, in Trevor’s opinion, they are the most valuable way to do that.
Although he does suggest different routes depending on what stage you’re at in your life. If you are fresh out of college then get a degree. There’s no reason for you to not choose the degree route as it will teach you the fundamentals. If you’re later on in your career and want to get into tech, then get your certs. It really all does depend on the person!
If you are just starting out, especially if it’s 2022 and you have no pre-existing experience, the skills you can’t go wrong with learning Cloud Computing, Software Development and Customer Service. Customer Service is one of those valuable skills that you will need throughout your entire career, and it won’t go away.
If you can focus on the fundamentals to start with then do that. The fundamentals really aren’t going anywhere so things like TCPIP, Routing, Switching, Firewalling, Linux, Databases and Automation, jump on board and learn those skills because it’ll make you a very credible candidate.
Some advice to those who want to start, Trevor says don’t be too rigid with your goals. Don’t specialise in anything too soon and stays open to new opportunities. The more limitations you put on yourself, the harder it’ll be to move around.
Trevor shares where he thinks the future of networking is going. Make sure you tune in to the episode now to listen.