Candidate Profile Ethan Waldman

Tell us about a particularly challenging/exciting project or engagement you have been due to your relationship with PDS.:

Have worked on multiple projects, including:

1) at Blue Origin, migration of multiple microservice applications to AWS-based Kubernetes and migration of MongoDB databases to AWS DocumentDB and introduction of Terraform-based infrastructure-as-code for DataDog monitoring rule provisioning.

2) at Phase Change, creation of Helm chart and Ansible-based orchestration logic to package a new (to be released to market) software product for Kubernetes-based deployments.

3) at United Launch Alliance (ULA), negotiated the closure of platform readiness of a new Gitlab platform in AWS to initiate beta testing period and continued to manage relationships between the platform delivery team and the beta testing team through multiple technical challenges. Since the start of 2024, started to work on stakeholder engagement efforts on behalf of the Cloud Enablement group in an effort to transition the group focus from technical enablement to business-value driven delivery, with a multi-year long-term roadmap into the future.

How has working with/through PDS contributed to your professional growth?:

The projects I have been engaged with through PDS have allowed me to improve or sharpen my skills in either newer technologies or technologies I had not had the opportunity to delve into sufficiently in the past. These same projects have also allowed me to balance my technical solution design and delivery capabilities and my customer relationship management skills.

Can you share a specific moment or achievement that you’re particularly proud of in your career?:

I am most proud not of any specific single achievement or event, but of my ongoing effort to strike and maintain a balance between hands-on technical skills, technical leadership, and customer relationship management. This balance has allowed me to help customers dramatically improve their application and infrastructure stability and reliability, scale for growth, and adopt more future-oriented practices while, at the same time, giving me the honor (and personal satisfaction) of helping others to grow to their potential through whatever advice and counsel I could offer.

How do you stay updated on industry trends and continuously enhance your skills? Any favorite learning resources or strategies?:

Practice, practice, practice: hands-on experience and self-learning work best for me. Google is my best friend. However, I have always appreciated the value of good reading materials. I maintain an annual subscription to Online Safari bookshelf and have also shopped at Packt Publishing for years.

What advice would you give to fellow professionals who aspire to achieve similar success?:

Do not let others define what success means to you. My own proclivity to strike a balance between technical hands-on work and the demands for management/leadership growth often puzzled managers I reported to over the years, but the path I chose is not only the one that I feel has been successful but, most importantly, the pathway that I have most enjoyed.

In your opinion, what qualities make a candidate a good fit for PDS?:

Listening and observation skills and other soft or “people” skills are still the most important tools for every contractor and consultant in our profession. Most of us can learn what we need to learn to satisfy the needs and expectations of our customers. The willingness to truly understand our customers and our teammates as individuals and recognize how our contributions can advance a greater goal is more difficult to teach or learn but is probably the single most important tool that each of us carries in our personal toolbox.

What role do you believe mentorship and networking play in career development, and have they been instrumental in your journey?:

I believe that the best teachers are dedicated students, and, as a result, the best mentors are those who listen and learn from others. Those willing to listen more and speak less often have the most to share with others, and the dynamic among coworkers and colleagues who share unselfishly creates the best networking.