Red Hat's Tech Sales team helps our customers solve challenging problems the open source way, using a unique combination of technical and creative skills. In our Tech Sales Spotlight series, we’re showcasing the journeys of some of our talented Red Hatters across the team.
Before I joined Red Hat, I was working as a J2EE developer. I had heard about the company through using Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in university. However, impostor syndrome prevented me from applying back then—I didn’t think I was experienced enough to work here.
Luckily, at the time, my friend Lucas was a solutions architect at Red Hat (he’s since switched to software engineering). He helped convince me that I had what it took, told me what a great place it was to work and encouraged me to apply for a JBoss consultant position in Madrid. I wanted the red fedora, so I decided to go for it!
After many interviews, I got an offer to join Red Hat in June 2008. Over the last 14 years, I have had a few different roles, which evolved over time. And Red Hat has evolved, too.
From one of the first consultants in Europe…
In my first role as a consultant, I started off by helping customers with their JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) and service-oriented Architecture (SOA) platform implementations and delivering official JBoss training courses.
At the time, we were traveling a lot as there were just a few consultants in Europe. The projects we delivered were generally very short and focused on problem-solving (a.k.a. fire-fighting!) and performance tuning. Now, by contrast, Red Hat is engaged in expansive strategic projects for enterprise companies.
After three years in consulting, I was ready for a new challenge and moved into presales - it was an area I had considered even before joining Red Hat. I moved into a solutions architect role and initially focused on middleware, especially on migrations from WebSphere/WebLogic to JBoss EAP, but later I started to focus on infrastructure and Red Hat OpenShift.
Eventually, as my tenure on the team increased, and I gained trust with key account managers, my role shifted from handling many accounts in different verticals to handling a single large account as a global solutions architect. This was really rewarding for me. I learned to manage big global accounts with vast system estates and got the opportunity to lead a superb multidisciplinary team consisting of consultants, architects, technical account managers, account-based marketing and more.
Back then, we had to do many things that a solutions architect does not do today. We were like one-man bands! We’d have all the conversations with the customers, design the solution, scope the project, deliver proof of concepts, write proposals, handle support escalations—you name it. Red Hat was hitting our stride and beginning to scale at an accelerated rate, but were still proving ourselves to the enterprise.
… to a global solutions architect role leader
After 11 years in presales, I decided it was time for another change. I was lucky to find an opportunity within the newly-created group of what Red Hat calls ‘role leaders.’
I am now the global solutions architect role leader for OpenShift. Essentially, my job is to provide consistency in the OpenShift specialist solutions architect (SSA) role across geographic regions for instance, by defining a common technical certification path. I also collaborate with different teams and departments to ensure that the OpenShift solutions architects have all the tools and resources they need to be effective in their jobs. Here, I hope to contribute through my experience with OpenShift and dealing with large, complex accounts.
Becoming a part of this team was a dream come true. This being a newly created team, we are still figuring out how to give our best, but I am eager to see what the future brings.
I currently work from the Madrid office, although most of my interactions are in virtual meetings. I enjoy going to the office and meeting my colleagues, especially now as I haven’t seen some of them in more than two years.
Many things have changed over the years, but my passion for technology and Red Hat are the same
I like technology, and I obviously love OpenShift. But apart from the technology itself, I have enjoyed meeting with OpenShift SSAs all over the world, listening to their challenges and successes, and trying to fill the gaps they may have with global support and initiatives. Having a work-life balance is also important for me, and Red Hat has always been very supportive in this regard.
I have met a lot of incredible people who have taught me a lot. The soft skills training I’ve had, like delivering impactful presentations, having crucial conversations, and so on have personally been most useful to complement my technical skills. I am also involved in Co.Lab, presented by Open Source Stories, which introduces students to the principles of open source and inspires them to bring the power of collaboration to their own communities—and that’s very rewarding for me. I have also recently joined as co-lead of our Women’s Leadership Committee chapter in Spain.
If you are looking to make a lateral or internal move—whether it’s within Red Hat or your own organization—ask yourself: What are you passionate about? If you have the answer, go for it. And if you do not succeed the first time, keep trying. I didn’t succeed on my first try either.
Interested in joining our Tech Sales team? Check out our open roles here. If you don’t see something that’s a fit for you right now, you can share your interest here.