AWS Security Profiles: Brittany Doncaster, Solutions Architect

Post Syndicated from Becca Crockett original

Amazon Spheres, Brittany Doncaster, Solutions Architect

In the weeks leading up to re:Invent, we’ll share conversations we’ve had with people at AWS who will be presenting at the event so you can learn more about them and some of the interesting work that they’re doing.

How long have you been at AWS, and what do you do in your current role?

I’ve been with AWS a little over four years. I work as a Solutions Architect in the Atlanta office. I spend most of my time talking to customers about architecture and best practices, whiteboarding solutions, and helping people move their existing IT infrastructure to AWS solutions. Essentially, I’m the technical point of contact for my customers.

If someone wanted to become a solutions architect, what advice would you give them?

I think the most important quality to have is technical breadth, because you’ll deal with a lot of different technologies. But you also need to have a natural curiosity. You’ll always encounter things that you don’t know, so you need to be able to investigate and learn in order to find the answers.

Tell us about your own past work experience: What helped you get here?

I started my career as a software developer, then I became a software architect leading development teams. From there, I began working on enterprise-level architecture and then got into cloud technology before joining Amazon.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

The pace of technology. You need to know so many things. When I joined AWS, there were roughly 30 services I needed to know about. Now, there are well over 100. But while the pace is challenging, it’s also the best part of my job. I’m always learning. It goes back to that natural curiosity.

What’s the most common misperception you encounter about cloud security?

Security personnel are used to dealing with policy documents and spreadsheets when performing security tasks on-premise. When moving to AWS, many people have to shift their mindset regarding how they view security. It’s no longer documents and spreadsheets, but instead code. The insight you can have into your AWS environment via our services allows for automated remediation and alerting that wouldn’t have been possible previously. By moving to a model where your security policies are enforced by code, securing the environment happens much quicker and in a much more repeatable manner.

You’re co-presenting a session at re:Invent 2018 about using AWS Lambda as a security team. What are you hoping that your audience will take away from your session?

I hope they’ll shift their thinking away from the need to write policy documents and toward using services like AWS Lambda, instead. I want to help attendees get a feel for how easy Lambda is to use, and to see how Lambda can be the glue for the security team, tying together automated monitoring, auditing, and remediation.

Any tips for first-time conference attendees?

Every year is different, so every year is like a first year! Embrace it and jump in.

If you had to pick any other job, what would you want to do?

I’d be a Geologist – I love rocks!

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Brittany Doncaster

Brittany is a Solutions Architect based out of Atlanta, GA. She comes from a development background. She now works with enterprise customers in the Southeast to adopt cloud technologies and architect using best practices. She specializes in Security and Serverless technologies.