A step into the unknown — moving on from AWS

Paul Johnston
2 min readJun 12, 2018

Last year I was the CTO of a serverless startup, and travelling around the world talking about the difference serverless had made to the company and how I ran the technology at the startup. I wanted a new challenge after 2 years of being a startup CTO, and after a few great conversations and going through the AWS recruitment process I became the AWS Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless based out of London. I was excited! I was also nervous. I’ve worked with big companies before, delivering large scale solutions, but always either as a consultant or as part of a small company. This was my first experience working in a large enterprise, and it was AWS. It was also a big change for me and for the family.

Since last year I’ve been to re:invent, spoken at conferences, attended conferences, done webinars, written blog posts, run serverless workshops, helped customers understand serverless, discussed strategy, travelled more than I’ve ever done before and got to know some amazing people in AWS and beyond. There have been some amazing experiences and some amazing people too.

So what’s next?

I have decided to move on from AWS and do something different.

This hasn’t been an easy decision to make, and the team at AWS have made it clear that they would have loved me to stay, but for numerous different reasons (which I won’t go into), this has felt like the right decision for me and my family.

I have to say a massive thank you to all the people at AWS who I’ve worked with. There are some awesome people who have looked after me and have taught me a huge amount and encouraged me as well.

I have a few ideas and a few plans, but for now, I’m going to take it a bit easier over the summer and put a bit of time into ServerlessDays London and the wider ServerlessDays conferences and spend some time with my family. After several years of working in some demanding/high profile tech roles I need to take it a bit easier for a time and see a bit more of my wife and kids.

Or I may start a new startup. Who knows?

One thing is certain. I want to stay around the serverless community and help to grow and build it over the next few years. It’s a community I enjoy working with and have built up some great relationships within and I don’t want to lose that.

And the AWS serverless team is always looking for new talent across several different roles. The team is a great team to work with and if you think that’s something you might enjoy, then you should get in touch with Chris Munns or Ajay Nair to find out more.

FYI Twitter DMs are open — twitter.com/pauldjohnston . Active on the Serverless Forum slack (here’s the sign up form) as PaulDJohnston.



Paul Johnston

ServerlessDays CoFounder (Jeff), ex AWS Serverless Snr DA, experienced CTO/Interim, Startups, Entrepreneur, Techie, Geek and Christian