‘Make a career out of the thing you enjoy and are good at. Always push yourself outside of your comfort zone’
Danny Cranmer, Senior Software Development Engineer at Amazon Web Services (AWS), studied MEng Electronic and Communication Engineering and graduated in 2011.
What are your main responsibilities and tasks at Amazon Web Services?
My team and I look after the engine for Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics. I am responsible for the end to end development of the service, from idea to development to delivery to maintenance. I am also an active committer of the Apache Flink open source project, which is the foundation of Kinesis Data Analytics.
Are you working on any exciting projects that you can share?
Right now I am working on a generic asynchronous sink base to simplify integrations with Apache Flink, including Amazon Kinesis Data Streams, Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose and Amazon DynamoDB. More info can be found here. Last year my team delivered a brand new service, Kinesis Data Analytics Studio.
How do you feel your time at Kent prepared you for working in the industry?
Before University I had no idea what I wanted to pursue in my career. While studying at Kent I had the opportunity to taste a broad set of technologies across hardware, software and management and discover what I enjoy, and what I am good at. I also learnt how to learn. The engineering industry is continually evolving, we never stop learning.
What did you learn in your degree that has been beneficial to you in your role?
My degree taught me the foundations that underpin a diverse range of technologies, allowing me to quickly learn new skills while appreciating how it works under the hood. To complement the technical skills, I also left with a solid grasp of the project lifecycle, and general business strategy. These skills have come in useful on numerous occasions.
What are your plans for the future?
I graduated almost 11 years ago and have been in technical roles ever since. I plan to stay technically focused, rather than jumping into management. I would love to start my own business in the future, but do not have any immediate plans.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same career path?
Make a career out of the thing you enjoy and are good at. Always push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Talk to people! Building a network is the key to success and most people are happy to grab a coffee and talk about what they are working on.
What was your favourite memory from your time at Kent?
While studying, I used to enjoy using the PCB fabrication facilities to pursue personal projects. Particularly creating mirco-controller based boards and developing the software to drive them. Of course the social life too. House parties, Woodies, The Venue and college bars. I made a few lifelong friends that I am still very close to.