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Increasing Inclusion and Diversity in the Cloud Through Accountability Partners

Ryan Kroonenburg
Ryan Kroonenburg

We need more #WomenWhoCloud like Anne-Jeanette

During a lightning talk at the 2016 AWS re:Invent, Anne-Jeanette shared her experiences which led into a career as a cloud architect at Capital One. She described the devastation of Hurricane Katrina that resulted in the loss of her home, the amazing support that Capital One provided, and what she learned about the value of cloud computing while recovering systems from the disaster’s aftermath.

Listening to Anne-Jeanette, it’s clear that she is extremely focused, resilient, and technically sharp — so it was no surprise to learn she had earned an AWS Solutions Architect certification as part of their massive cloud adoption and talent transformation efforts.

As a cloud architect, Anne-Jeanette works closely with delivery teams to design and implement cloud-native solutions for complex business problems. She draws from a wealth of experience as a practitioner with strong understanding of the full software development lifecycle. Anne-Jeanette places a heavy emphasis on the DevOps practices of continuous delivery and integration.

Anne-Jeanette is also a “doer”, and was motivated to action by the comparatively low number of women who have earned their AWS certification. In a recent blog, she created the #WomenWhoCloud challenge to encourage other women to join her at AWS re:Invent 2017 in the certification lounge.

I’m Not a Woman Engineer, I’m an Engineer — My Journey from a mechanic to AWS Certified Solutions Architect — acloudguru.com

As part of the #WomenWhoCloud challenge, she established a 20-women learning team, called “Rev It Up”, and is their designated accountability partner. She is mentoring her cohort on the fundamentals of cloud computing — and using the courses from A Cloud Guru to help each participant achieve their AWS Certification prior to re:Invent.

Anne-Jeanette hopes to level the playing field in the cloud computing industry by flooding the market with thousands of highly skilled women through the AWS Certification program. Besides the education benefits of learning relevant skills for todays marketplace, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect led the list of highest paying IT certifications.

Ideally, so many women are in the cloud that #WomenWhoCloud will no longer be necessary.

An important part of her team-based approach to mentoring is accountability. She created a Slack channel to check-in on the participants to help answer questions and encourage their progress. Based on her approach and feedback, A Cloud Guru is working to further enhance our learning platform to facilitate even more team-based learning features.

If you have a suggestion for team features, drop a comment below for my brother, Sam Kroonenburg, and his ace development team!

The A Cloud Guru team is looking forward to seeing Anne-Jeanette at the 2017 AWS re:Invent, and hanging out with a very diverse and inclusive community of cloud gurus at the certification lounge. Cheers!


To support Anne-Jeanette’s efforts and help encourage other leaders to sponsor learning cohorts, we have created a new team-based subscription.

A Cloud Guru is now offering a special subscription rate to support sponsors of the #WomenWhoCloud movement

To receive the special offer for #WomenWhoCloud cohorts:

  1. Visit our new A Cloud Guru “teams” page
  2. Click on “Talk to Us”
  3. Mention #WomenWhoCloud when submitting the form

A Cloud Guru courses are delivered by industry experts with a shared passion for cloud computing. We strive to serve our growing community of cloud gurus, who generously contribute their insights in our forums, workshops, meet-ups, and conferences. Keep up with the A Cloud Guru crew @acloudguru.

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