Looking for the next thing

2 minute read

After five months off, it’s time to look for the next thing.

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I left Amazon/AWS in June, 2022, and it’s time to start working again. I’m not looking for the same kind of role that I held at Amazon/AWS, and this thread attempts to explain what I’m looking for. DMs open/RTs appreciated.

My ideal role likely doesn’t exist. I’ve repeatedly led small teams to build ambitious, deeply technical products that had great impact. But I know that such a role often requires massive time and emotional commitment, and my life circumstances don’t allow that right now.

So that’s the first thing I’ll say: I’m not looking for a full-time role. I have too many other things going on in my life right now. I would like to find something meaningful and impactful to do, but it will need to be limited in hours or duration.

OK, so what am I looking for? I would like to do technical work that has meaning. I love helping teams deliver, either leading initial projects or improving teams and systems that need to scale to the next level.

Most importantly, I want to work with nice people on hard problems. I love collaboration and the rush of a team coming together to do something special. I enjoy working with a mix of experience levels. I also value diversity of backgrounds in my coworkers.

As a side note, I was the DE sponsor for adding “Lead with Empathy” to our PE tenets. I won’t consider working for a company that doesn’t take a strong stand on being thoughtful leaders.

What do I bring to the table? Working so long at Amazon has given me lots of experience analyzing people, projects, products, and technology. I’ve done hundreds of design reviews, over a thousand interviews, and several due-diligence analyses.

Importantly, I also delivered. In AWS, I launched three major new initiatives, EBS, the software that runs on our datacenter switches, and QLDB. I also led DynamoDB development, turning around a team that was struggling to deliver.

Working at Amazon trained me to focus on finding the path to delivery. All of my initial launches were less than a year from start to production. The turn-arounds took longer, but always with a strong focus on tangible delivery.

I would love to work on something hard and deeply technical that leverages my skills and experience, and where people are willing to take limited hours from me (e.g. 10-20 hrs/wk). So I’m throwing this out there into the world to see what comes back.

If any of this sounds like a possibility, please get in touch. You can DM me on Twitter, email jobs@thecertains.com, or use LinkedIn. For more words on my background, see my about page.

PS. One thing that won’t be a match: if you need an expert in building on AWS. I am an expert in building some of AWS, but I have only moderate experience using the services. AWS has amazing solutions architects that are experts in building on AWS.

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