My current employer ran a campaign to interview practitioners so that readers can know a bit more of what cloud professional do, not only at work but outside work. I shared some insights into my day, how I spend my time, and how I believe Cloud is impacting the world we live in.

This is an extract of the original post.

Meet Paco de la Cruz, a Melbourne-based Principal in the Cloud & Engineering team. He is passionate about solving business challenges and delivering business value through cloud technologies and has been recognised as a Microsoft Azure MVP for 5 years.

So, tell us about a day in the life …

I like to start my days doing basic body weights or callisthenics exercises. Then I prepare a nutritious breakfast for my family.

At work, I’m usually involved in the delivery of a several projects as a cloud solution architect. At the same time, I typically work with our customers to define how modern technologies and the cloud can help them to deliver the business impact and outcomes they aspire. Another key focus area for me is the development of internal assets and accelerators so we can deliver value to our customers with accelerated speed to market and very high standards.

After work, I like spending time with my family and letting my inner child out, playing with my 3-year-old daughter.

From your perspective, how does Cloud help organisations to unlock business benefits?

I’m old enough to have experienced (but still remember) how IT was done before the cloud was a thing! I love comparing how infrastructure and distributed applications were implemented then and now.

While cloud services are very broad and include Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), my focus on cloud has been mainly leveraging PaaS so I’ll answer this question from this perspective.

I see cloud as a key business enabler. When organisations leverage cloud, they get the following benefits:

  • Business agility and accelerated speed to market by leveraging many specialised services and focusing on delivering business value instead of building infrastructure or a platform.
  • Simplified operations by making use of fully managed services with high levels of abstraction, availability SLAs, repeatable infrastructure and automation capabilities.
  • Resource optimisation thanks to the elasticity and scaling capabilities provided by the cloud.
  • Less capital expense by using pay-as-you-go pricing models.

For instance, I was recently part of a global delivery team that was working with a global customer in the mining industry. Our customer embarked on an enterprise-wide digital transformation and application modernisation program that demanded a consistent and modern approach to enterprise application integration.

Our customer wanted to save valuable time by putting the project in motion, without the need for initial experimentation or proofs of concept. That made it especially important to choose an implementation partner with the experience and tools to begin right away to make rapid progress.

Our team has a successful history with similar cloud implementations based on a defined set of accelerators and automation pipelines, as well as leading practices from the firm’s breadth of experience following the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, all of which made it possible to meet a high standard in a short time.

To provide the flexibility the program needed, we implemented a Center for Enablement and structured the application delivery so different teams could lead development in their own areas, united by governance, reference implementations, common processes, frameworks, standards, and quality controls.

Some of the key wins of this project were:

  • Ahead-of-schedule delivery of a global Azure enterprise integration platform
  • Repeatable infrastructure and automated release pipelines
  • Extra time to develop interfaces, saving time and money
  • Guaranteed business continuity and resilience
  • Governance and observability built in via dashboards, policies, budgets, alerts, and a logging framework
  • A new Center for Enablement to speed integration delivery
  • Robust documentation and hands-on training to address future delivery and operational needs.

Why do you love your job?

I love helping customers in diverse industries with my creativity and what I've learnt through the years to use cloud technologies and bringing business value or solving complex real-world problems that really matter. To me, it is truly fulfilling when our customers are highly satisfied by the value we bring and how we deliver our projects.

Also, I have to admit that I’m a bit geek and get super excited when I try or work with new services or features on Azure - that’s why I also love to share some of my knowledge by blogging or public speaking about the latest technologies I’m using or learning about.

Let us know more about yourself

  • Favourite physical activity? - Callisthenics, body weight exercises and nature walking.
  • Favourite special meal? - Ribeye steak
  • Besides tech, what other topics do you like to learn about? - Holistic/systemic health, parenting, leadership
  • Book recommendations? - Most of my recent books are about parenting :-) but besides those, I’d recommend, “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek, “The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel, “Quite” by Susan Cain, “Creative Confidence” by Tom Kelly & David Kelley, “The Unicorn Project” by Gene Kim, “The Carnivore Code” by Paul Saladino, “Permanent Record” by Edward Snowden, and “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari. And about parenting, I’d say: “The Conscious Parent” by Shefali Tsabary and “The Whole-Brain Child” by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson!