If passion could be bottled, Josh Hilliker would be the next amazing renewable energy resource. As Director of the US Cloud Solution Architect (CSA) team, his infectious energy leads his team of cloud professionals to create amazing solutions for Intel customers every day. Whether it be cloud strategy, migration, reverse migration, or multi-hybrid cloud infrastructures, this powerhouse CSA team leads in providing cloud performance optimization solutions. We talked to Josh about his CSA team, why Intel is a great place for Cloud Software professionals, and what he is excited for next at Intel.
What is unique about your CSA team?
The team of CSAs in the US come from very broad, diverse backgrounds. We have professionals from different Cloud Service Providers, a broad range of industries, and years of in-depth software stack experience. When you bring these people together with Intel’s unique vantage point, being agnostic and in every cloud, we understand our customers’ service needs, concerns, pain points, and how to best optimize solutions. We are not tied to just one area or one part of the stack, we can look across the entire landscape.
What about Intel makes this a great place to work for Cloud Software professionals?
Accessibility and knowledge transfer. At Intel, the accessibility to innovative and progressive engineers and architects that work in different parts of the solution stack. For example, if you’re going deep on database, then you’ve used Hammer DB, and it’s a benchmarking tool. What’s great is that the gentleman that wrote Hammer DB is at Intel. And what’s awesome is at Intel, you can get him on the phone, ask him some questions, be able to understand more about how benchmarking works or how a specific benchmark work. You can get more into the details with experts whether it’s a spec, a benchmark, a hardware stack component, or even a software, the Linux community, or the open source community, you have access to these experts and can participate in knowledge transfer.
How does your team embrace the Intel culture?
The Intel culture on my team comes through our level of openness and transparency. Challenges are an opportunity for us to come together and swarm the problem and understand the best path forward. We really seek to understand. What’s really great about Intel, in our transformational values, is that we have the One Intel culture. And boy, it is true in the cloud space and true with my team. We are all focused on providing the right solutions for our customers.
The work isn’t just work. It’s a passion. It’s the passion to understand, passion to learn, passion to earn success. Infectious passion, spirit of collaboration, and fun is a part of my leadership style. Just as much as I support my team, my team is pulling me to be successful in our strategic goals. The team’s quest to learn, the quest to know, and the quest to give back to the world is how we win as a team.
How do you help your team develop in their careers?
Career development isn’t something that’s just a standard conversation we have on a quarterly or yearly basis. We are focused on career development. It’s about where each individual wants to focus. What technology do they want to focus on? What are they working on for themself? From self-improvement or health, whether it’s learning more about culture, or even just exploring. I actively ask the question, “Okay, what do you want to do? What kind of schooling would you like? What kind of training would you like? What kind of opportunities would you like?” Because in my mind, career development is a lot of OTJ, which is “on the job.” That means what opportunity would you like that will help you grow? So, if it’s a competitive situation, no problem. Let me throw you in there and let you learn more about the competition, learn about the strategy and how we are in comparison against the competition. That to me is all part of that career development conversation.
What excites you about the next step in your Intel journey?
Much of what Intel is doing to change the world is through the solutions we deliver with our external partners and customers on how to get better cost and performance optimization with their cloud infrastructure, whether that’s a partner working with a customer or directly with the end customer. Our goal is to get to the modern intelligent cloud, always operating at the right level at the right demand for the right time. Whether it be for hospital systems, for order taking, or searching to get an awareness of products, each of those use cases impacts each of us. It impacts the world.
With Pat Gelsinger becoming Intel’s new CEO, the renewed recognition that we are a technical company and we need to do more has created a new level of excitement. Our push to live the vision of where we need to go, has really fueled and fired up my team. For the folks I’ve talked to in the industry, they’re feeling it, and they’re seeing it and they’re asking questions and saying, “Hey, I want to come to Intel. I know you guys are pushing hard on the technology, you’re pushing on your technical acumen, I’d like to join you and be a part of that evolution of the next Intel, where we come back to our roots, we apply all of the new learnings and create this reemergence of the old culture with today’s reality.”
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