In this next chapter, we chat with Adeel Azam, Lead Cloud Solutions Architect at Perform Partners. In his role, Adeel works very closely with our clients, but this week we will get a glimpse into the role of cloud architect and how he got started in the industry, and what is Adeel’s favourite thing about working at Perform.
Due to the service that we provide as a company, I spend time working with clients, gathering data and joining planning meetings as well as attending workshops to figure out where clients are today, where they want to get to next and this includes a lot of ‘everything else in between’.
The technologies within our clients vary. So, my role involves getting to know the clients, learning about the different technologies they use and processes involved, which helps us to understand their as-is state, creating effective pathways to connect, dissect and plan improvements and modernisation. I work on proof of concepts or look at tooling – which supports investigation of current applications they use from source to destination.
As an Architect, my remit is to discover and assess the clients’ ‘as-is-platform’, document evidence gathered, then provide help with governance and assistance in the technology to create positive outcomes.
I have been with Perform Partners for only four months so far, even though I must say it feels like a lot longer, but in a positive way. I have settled in really well because of the great relationship we all have as a team. Sometimes you think to yourself, and it might sound a bit corny saying these kinds of things, but the truth is, I’m just having a blast and there’s so much to learn and it feels good to be able to offer my experience to make a difference.
No, I think it was very clear from the offset. When I first joined, I was working with a client to provide an architectural backing and then there was a second arm to my role which was to develop architecture within Perform Partners. I also made a significant positive impact with progression on our VMware Partner journey, so I think these three main areas are pretty much exactly what I was expecting and what I am doing now.
Other than that, I’m hoping that once I’ve really settled and I’ve owned these areas that there will be somewhere else that I can also get involved. I always like to keep branching out and evolve. I am quite methodical, so I want to make sure I get my grounding right in what I’m working on first.
This is a good question. It’s bringing back a lot of memories. I’ve always been into technology and into engineering as a whole. When I was younger, we used to have remote control cars and whenever they’d stop working, I would take them apart and try to fix them. I’ve even probably gotten to point of breaking something that was completely good and proper, just to see if I can get something else that’s not working, working.
I started off my studies with an HND in Software Engineering and then did a Bachelor’s in Software Development Applications. My I.T career started with contracting rather than a permie role as I found it difficult to find a suitable role with a good salary, so I landed my first contract in Manchester for IBM. It just rolled on from there.
I perceive myself as an all-rounder. I worked as a contractor for a while and this gave me the opportunity to try different areas within I.T. I have worked for National and International Government Systems, Banking and Retail.
In most of my previous roles, I have always got involved in challenges that are not necessarily linked to my role and always make a positive contribution to the business needs. I am well known for thinking outside of the box with thorough thought and due diligence. This personal attribute has led to a natural career development from engineer, senior engineer, technical specialist to architecture. If there’s something that needs to be done and it’s outside of my area, but if it is going to help the business, I always do volunteer and have a natural flare for supporting change and progression. I don’t shy away from a challenge. I’ve always been this kind of a person with commitment and enthusiasm for work. This is how I got my nickname, 24/7 Azam.
Before joining Perform Partners, I was looking for a new challenge in order to increase my skillset and knowledge, and Perform Partners offered a fresh perspective and experience.
Tell you the truth, nobody in my family had gone toward the I.T industry before me. I did get a little frown from my parents when I did not follow the traditional family path of finance, medical or mechanical engineering. I just felt a natural interest in this field when I was growing up and worked hard to keep progressing and taking advantage of opportunities to learn and progress. I.T. gives the opportunity to mix academic learning with constant hands on and this really appealed to me.
I did quite a lot of reading back in my younger days. Even though the library was quite far away, I used to walk to the library on a weekend and enjoyed sitting there and reading. I used to borrow books too, and one day I just thought, “There must be an easier way to get more knowledge”. That’s when I discovered the internet and having knowledge at my fingertips, that’s where my interest in technology just grew.
The number one thing would have to be the people and the work culture. It is great to work with leaders that inspire me and it is great to work somewhere where there is a commitment to help their staff to take opportunities of personal and career development. Its great to be part of a company that is growing.
I feel that my biggest success is choosing a field that I really enjoy, and has given me results based on the level of commitment I have put in.
I would say that I am also quite proud of breaking out of the UK and working in the Middle East, though it was only for a short period of time due to family circumstances. I first started looking at jobs abroad before COVID hit. Even though I had quite good interviews, I was not successful and this was quite confusing.
After the pandemic, I was headhunted to a great opportunity in Saudi Arabia. Although it was a short contract, it is one of the accomplishments I am particularly proud of.
That’s a good one. Talking about it from the industry and the area that I’m working in – get as much hands-on experience as you can because doing the work yourself and seeing the output, will help you learn more than if you were just studying from books. For some industries, books might be perfectly fine. You do your studying in the books and that’ll give you your foundation and it will give you your advanced level to do your job. But in I.T., the more hands on you get, the more you will learn and digest.
The other thing I will say is – never stop learning because technology changes all the time and keeping up to date is key to success in this field. Just keep learning.
The different personalities and experiences each person bring to the team, is great to see and learn from. At Perform Partners we really work together as a unit, and being up to date with everyone’s work is real advantage in moving together as a team and inspires you to keep moving forward. The team inspires me but also individuals and an example is, Shaun Walsh. I work quite a bit with Shaun, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly, I really like the way he works and articulates, and I find this quite inspiring. So, I would definitely say inspiring!
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