A CTO Who’s Always Learning: Meet Nathaniel Engelsen

Meet Nathaniel Engelsen. He’s worked in tech in various leadership roles, from CTO at smaller companies to Senior Director at large organizations. It can be a challenge for leaders to stay current on all the new technologies. Here’s how he does it.

Identifying his own skills gaps

Nathaniel’s career has been successful so far, and he knows that to continue being effective he’s got to stay on top of all the new cloud developments (just like the rest of us). Around two or three years ago, he realized there were some specific areas that he needed to catch up on, namely DevOps, containerization, and automation. Those are pretty big areas, aren’t they?

Googling Kubernetes led Nathaniel to Cloud Academy. After digging deeper into our Training Library, he saw all sorts of cleanly laid out learning paths for certifications. Nathaniel didn’t start out with a goal to get certified, but when he saw how easy it was, he went for (and got) the AWS Solutions Architect Associate certification.

Opportunities from certification

Immediately after earning his AWS Solutions Architect Associate cert, Nathaniel got a new position as Senior Director in charge of Infrastructure and DevOps. He says he wouldn’t have landed this job if he hadn’t first learned about DevOps and containerization — 75% of which he got from Cloud Academy.

When I need to learn the newest things, when I need to get really deep into something that I’m unfamiliar with, Cloud Academy’s been a really good resource for me.

How to continue learning

Nathaniel admits that when he first joined Cloud Academy, he didn’t know how long he’d stay. But today he keeps us as a key tool in his arsenal for whenever he needs to learn more about something cloud-related. Lately, he has been coming back for cloud security updates, new concepts in containerization, getting ready for the AWS Solutions Architect Professional certification, and learning new concepts in Azure for future job prospects. Topics he’s most interested are:

  • General cloud updates
  • DevOps
  • Containers
  • Automation tools (e.g., Chef and Puppet)
  • Infrastructure as code (e.g., Terraform)

Nathaniel says he doesn’t need to go anywhere else besides Cloud Academy to get this sort of top-notch content. It’s especially valuable to him to use the built-in structure of learning paths. It helps to have content laid out in a curriculum form so he knows which course, quiz, or assignment is next and he can easily progress forward.

Favorite instructors?

Nathaniel spends the most time in front of Andrew Larkin (VP of Content), Stuart Scott (AWS Lead), and Logan Rakai (Labs Lead Dev). Check out our team yourself and meet the experts who create content for you.

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