In our interview series, we present exciting cloud jobs and the people behind them. After completing her studies, Hassata decided to join our Google Cloud Consulting trainee program and now answered a few questions for us about herself, her journey to date and her everyday work at the Public Cloud Academy:
Please introduce yourself. Who are you and how did you come to PCG?
Hello, I'm Hassata and I'm originally from Guinea. I've been living in Germany for 8 years now. I started studying business informatics in Guinea and then continued and completed it in Germany.
Why did you decide on a trainee program?
Last year I was looking for a full-time job and thought that a trainee program would be the best way to start my professional life. At university, most of the lectures consisted of theory and I wasn't sure if I was really ready for a full-time position. So I looked around on LinkedIn and discovered the trainee position in cloud consulting. I applied and after the interview I was immediately convinced.
Also, although the cloud isn't entirely new anymore, there isn't a course at the university that specifically teaches this topic - at least not until now. That's why the trainee program was the perfect starting point for me. I started the Academy with a solid IT framework and was able to learn all the important basics about the cloud here. As a later Google Cloud Consultant, the focus of the program is of course on the Google Cloud.
What interests you about the cloud sector?
What I associate with the cloud is freedom and a multitude of possibilities. IT and the cloud in particular enable you to work flexibly from anywhere, but also in many different areas. From data analysis and programming to a wide range of topics such as security or infrastructure. I find this great variety in the cloud area attractive.
How is the trainee program structured?
The trainee program runs in two phases. The first phase lasts 3 months and I would call this basic training. Here we learn the basics about the cloud. Here we dealt with the basic infrastructure and all associated services and dealt with topics such as containers, databases and security.
In the second phase we split up into different teams. There are several squads working on different customer projects to which we are assigned. At the moment I am still in the first phase.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
As a rule, we receive a specific topic from our mentor Robin, which we discuss with him. To do this, we solve tasks and do a lot of research so that we can continue to educate ourselves.
The days at the Academy are nevertheless varied. Sometimes we also receive larger projects that we work on either alone or in small groups and then present the solutions to each other.
From time to time we also work together with other team members from the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) team or the trainees from the first round. That's great because we can ask all sorts of questions here and get a good insight into the practice. It also happens that someone from the GCP team or "guests" from other departments present a topic to us, provide valuable additions or answer open questions.
Do you have an example of a project assignment?
Recently I researched the topic of Docker Containers. I looked at the difference between virtual machines (VMs) and containers. Furthermore, I learned what is meant by Kubernetes and Docker, with which you can create and manage the containers. I then presented the results of my research on a project basis using Google Cloud as an example.
We are currently working a lot with Python and FastAPI. We recently had a very exciting Python assignment here, where we wrote the "ls" command as a complete module in Python. We then converted this into an API with FastAPI and made it accessible through a route. The script is plugged into a Docker container. We will soon be orchestrating this again with Kubernetes. All in all, we have dealt with 3-4 topics in a single task and learned a lot from it. That was really exciting.
What do you particularly like about your job?
For me, these are clearly the high learning curve and the variety. I've learned more in my time so far than in a whole year at university. Every day something different awaits me and every day I learn something new.
In addition, I am not restricted to a particular niche. Sometimes it happens that you specialise and the activities are rather limited. But I got to know so many different areas of responsibility that I will definitely never get bored.
What has been your biggest challenge during the program so far?
Good time management is definitely important. There is just so much to learn in the Academy, especially at the beginning. It is therefore very important to me to really get the most out of my learning and workload in these 8 hours a day so that I can switch off in the evening with a clear conscience and enjoy the end of the day.
In your opinion, what should someone who is interested in the trainee program bring with them?
I believe that basic IT knowledge, especially in the area of infrastructure, is definitely an advantage. In addition, one's own motivation to learn is particularly important. Because then you can actually learn everything and work your way up, and we have great conditions here for that. In addition, communication plays an important role, both for teamwork and for customer contact. And my personal tip: don't forget your own smile 😉 Because ultimately the whole thing is a lot of fun if you're interested in the topic.
How would you describe the teamwork and culture at PCG?
The culture here is very open, and we have very flat hierarchies – I liked that from the very beginning. I've already had the opportunity to get to know many different colleagues in the company, including through team or company events. In general, people here are always very friendly, helpful, and easy to talk to. When you reach out to them, for example, if you have a question, they always take the time to respond and explain things to you. So you can always ask questions.
Additionally, there are many opportunities for further education in the company, which is very important to me. For instance, you can explore other topics between squads that interest you and participate in various exciting projects. There's a regular digital meeting called 'GCP Whatever' where we exchange various experiences, learnings, and ideas. We trainees were invited to this from the beginning and are asked for our opinions. In this forum, we not only discuss what went well but also openly talk about challenges, what to watch out for, and share examples. So, you receive a lot of valuable input on how to potentially improve in the future.
Furthermore, I have a great team with the other trainees, and it was really nice that we all got to meet in person in the first month, especially since we generally work together remotely. We've bonded well as a team and support each other throughout the entire time.
What are your goals for the near future?
My goal now is to successfully complete the first phase of the Academy. I'm looking forward to being divided into squads and getting to know the others in the GCP team even better and working more closely with them. Of course, I would also like to get the Google Cloud Architect certification, which we are preparing for as part of the trainee program.
Women are still in the minority in the IT world: Does that affect your everyday work?
There is the stereotype that the IT world is a man's world. But I think it's a world for everyone. I find it a total shame that women are outnumbered in the IT world. Having a woman on the team gives me a kind of certainty that as a woman I belong there.
IT has changed a lot in recent years and tasks have become even more diverse and varied. I think that also requires different perspectives and approaches. In my opinion, IT also offers a good work-life balance because you can usually work from anywhere that has an internet connection.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I read a lot (not just IT books ;)) – I especially enjoy mystery novels. Besides that, I like to spend a lot of time with my family and friends. But I also enjoy being a couch potato by myself 😉 Last but not least, I love exploring new places and travelling. I also have 4 nieces who demand a lot of attention and I spend a lot of time with them.
As a long-standing Google Cloud Premier Partner, we have already supported numerous customers in the introduction and efficient use of Google Cloud.
Are you also interested in a position as a trainee in Google Cloud Consulting? Current job offers at PCG can be found on our open positions page.