Datacenter investments in Türkiye are increasing in many sectors in a drive spearheaded by the telecommunications industry. Türk Telekom is one of the leading players here, continuing to channel vast capital into such facilities and fiber infrastructure.
Jeff Barr, vice president and chief evangelist at Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company that has made if not the most significant contribution to cloud services, provided his insights during an event where he interacted with young developers in Türkiye.
Emphasizing the importance of the young population in Türkiye, which he said they refer to as “digital natives,” Barr, who is undertaking a role to inspire the customer, employee and developer ecosystem, expressed enthusiasm about the current landscape.
“It is a fantastic time to be an entrepreneur and a software developer. I firmly believe there is a strong market for everything we build with technology. From machine learning to AI-powered services, you have access to a wide range of cloud services that go beyond the basic services such as computing, storage, and networking,” he noted.
“This gives developers the power and flexibility to say, ‘Okay, I can come up with interesting solutions to big problems,'” he said.
Barr encouraged developers to update their skills and stay abreast of technological advancements continuously.
“You must ensure that you continue learning and keeping your skills fresh. Therefore, you may need to dedicate weekly time to learn new things. One of the things I always tell developers is that they need to keep ‘studying.'”
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Cloud an ‘excellent partner’
In addition, Barr highlighted the strong compatibility between the gaming industry and cloud services and described the transformation experienced by gaming startups.
“For example, when a game is announced, there are high expectations until the launch. You want to attract a large player base on the first day and ensure your game can handle this large online audience. Then, your game can reach its peak and continue at that level for a while,” he said.
However, Barr stressed it might either grow or experience a decline if it fails to attract enough new players or retain existing ones.
“The cloud is an excellent partner for this unpredictable success,” he noted.
Barr also underscored the significance of empathizing with customers and audiences, emphasizing the need to create products and services that inspire imagination and creativity.
“We never focus solely on what we are doing. Instead, we create something and offer it to customers, saying, ‘Take this, use your imagination, use your creativity, and create something incredible with it,'” he said.
Barr also stressed the importance of considering how audiences perceive this new product or service.
“I imagine what they would think if they had this in their hands and what they could create with our new services, features, or capabilities.”
Enhancing skills through education
Among others, Barr stressed that every organization and country should ask themselves if they have enough well-educated developers, as he summarized the steps to enhance skills.
“You take existing developers or individuals who want to enter the technology field and help them improve their skills, enabling them to advance from a developer to a solution architect, for example. You can also assist them in entering a different industry by providing them with fundamental cloud knowledge,” he noted.
Barr says he believes education can always do more.
“Through our education programs like AWS re/Start, which provides cloud skills training, and the AWS Certification opportunities we offer to young adults and individuals rejoining the workforce, we contribute to developing the new generation of cloud professionals in Turkey,” he added.
Seizing new opportunities
Barr mentioned that they started with a single region in 2006 and now have 99 accessibility zones and 31 provinces. He stated that five more areas are under construction and they continue to expand their footprint.
Barr elaborated on their investments in Türkiye and the criteria they consider when selecting regions.
“There is no specific date or timeframe when we will have a region in Turkey. However, we always express our desire to have a region in every possible location in the long run,” he said.
First and foremost, he said there needs to be a developer community.
“They should be the real end users of the services, but we also consider the local market size. Then, we consider the ability to do business and the technical factors,” he noted, as he cited the criteria.
“For example, can we really build a data center? Do we have access to the right connectivity? Do we have access to renewable and sustainable energy sources? We look at many different factors,” Barr explained.
“By launching a region, we think about how we can enable customers to do something new in that region.”
Evangelist inspiring emotion
Barr also reflected on his role as an evangelist and the importance of effectively conveying technological knowledge.
“I am probably still doing the same job I have had throughout my career,” he said, describing his work.
“I can define evangelism in the technology field as deeply understanding technology. In Amazon terms, we call it ‘going deep.’ We deeply understand something and then explain it to you, the audience. It sounds simple. Understand something and then explain it. The explanation part is always fun because you can try many different ways to convey a message. Will it be in written form? Video? Something similar to social media? Artistic? Graphic?” he said.
For Barr, it is not just about conveying technological knowledge; it is also essential to make it enjoyable.
“That’s why, in the storytelling aspect, I always try to create action, excitement, or evoke strong emotions in people,” he added.