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Alexander Hughes

Cloud evangelist + Azure architect

I'm a cloud evangelist and love seeing the light bulbs turn on when teaching others of the possibilities of the cloud.

I'm passionate about technology's capacity to empower businesses and enhance lives. Throughout my IT career, I’ve always sought ways of automating to even better leveraging technology. I've always been drawn to PowerShell and am comfortable in front on a CLI. I recognize the incredible potential of the cloud to solve all kinds of technical problems, and I feel right at home in Microsoft Azure. I'm excited by the constant change and am driven to master the latest cloud innovations.

I love chasing the high that comes from learning something new and can usually be found listening to a tech podcast or geeking out about the newest cloud breakthrough.

I've recently joined Deft as Lead Azure Cloud Architect.


What I'm most proud of

Ability to relate technical information clearly & simply

I pride myself on being able to reduce complex ideas to the basics, providing easy-to-understand explanations. This has led me to fulfill (and excel at) various training and mentor roles throughout my career.

Growth mindset

I’m always looking for opportunities outside my comfort zone to expand my horizons. My ability to rapidly grasp and master disparate technology stacks has helped me grow to support larger and more complex environments.

Experience

Cloud Architect + Engineer | Executech

December 2019 - Feburary 2021

I help organizations to leverage the cloud. My primary focus at Executech was architecture (including pre-sales, proofs of concept, solutions design, creating cloud adoption plans, etc.), although I remained a hands-on engineer overseeing cloud implementations and providing escalation support to a team of engineers.

I drove revenue growth by expanding the cloud footprint of both new and existing clients, and helped Executech employ automation to develop a scalable managed service offering to supplement cloud consulting.

I continued to be Executech’s principal subject matter expert and trainer for both Azure and Microsoft modern workplace solutions.


Training Team Lead & Senior Consultant | Executech

July 2017 - December 2019

As training team lead, I presented/trained at dozens of company-wide meetings and frequently provided hands-on instruction in one-on-one and group settings. I led onboarding efforts and taught all new consultants / technicians in a recurring “technical bootcamp” program, focusing on Microsoft 365 and Azure IaaS.

As a senior consultant (and cloud SME), I was a primary resource for all things Microsoft and Azure across Executech. I also took the helm at larger clients with more complex and demanding requirements.


IT Consultant | Executech

August 2016 - July 2017

As a consultant at a managed services provider, I’ve been exposed to a wide array of technologies while working with many clients across multiple industries and verticals. This offers an opportunity for accelerated learning, but also presents a challenge of balancing competing interests, providing me a chance to further develop prioritization and time management skills.


Systems Administrator | Snow Christensen & Martineau

June 2013 - August 2016

At SCM Law, I contributed to overall systems administration, including leading a small helpdesk team supporting approximately 130 attorneys and staff. I reported to the IT Director and helped maintain the (primarily Windows) server infrastructure and expanded my knowledge of Active Directory.

I sharpened my PowerShell / scripting skills and led several initiatives to automate and streamline multiple time-consuming workflows. I was also responsible for training new employees and occasionally presenting workshops.


Certifications

Education

University of Utah Block U

B.S. Information Systems

2013 - 2017

David Eccles School of Business
(University of Utah)

Competencies

Microsoft Azure
Microsoft 365
PowerShell
Azure AD + Identity
Consulting experience
Technical traning
Presentation skills
Cloud migrations
Solutions architecture
Infrastructure as code
DevOps Pipelines
macOS
CLI
Diagramming
Cost optimization
Performance optimization
Security & compliance

What's on deck

Terraform (Infrastructure as Code)

Lately I've been working a lot with Terraform and gaining more experience using it to deploy Azure resources. I've also been occasionally playing with Azure's Bicep language (which transpiles to an ARM template). Moving forward I'll be focusing on CI/CD, including implementing testing as part of the pipeline.

Ansible

Ansible (Configuration Management)

Although I feel comfortable with the basics of Ansible, I'm hoping to spend more time with it to really understand where it really fits into an Azure architecture. I'll be pitting it against using Azure automation accounts or even PowerShell DSC.

About me

Outside of work, I try to spend as much time as I can with my family. We have an above-average number of spontaneous kitchen dance parties and probably eat an above-average amount of ice cream.

If I had to pick a favorite show, I'd probably declare a tie between Stranger Things and The Mandalorian, although we've defintely watched more of The Office than anything else.

I'd also add that I think The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is absolutely an underrated movie.