How did I change from working for a small company in south Brazil to work with an innovation team at AWS

Guilherme Sesterheim
3 min readJun 7, 2021


Do you know that feeling of just waiting the time to pass? Waiting for the weekend. Waiting for the next vacations. Waiting for I don’t know what. It was mid 2019 and I realised:

The frustration

"I'm not going anywhere with my job right now. I've been stuck with the same pointless activities for the last 3 or 4 years. The salary is good but… I'm not happy. What are the paths I have in front of me? (couldn't find them) My promotions are taking too long… but even when (and if) they come… I'm still not happy."

And that kept inside my mind for a couple of months. In September 2019 things started to get clear. I was frustrated with the reality of my city. Too much violence, everybody around so selfish… an act of kindness was a rare thing to show up. My way of life had been toxic for a couple of years and I didn't realise it.

What I really wanted

The plan was there: I want to leave the country and live somewhere I feel safe to walk at night on the streets. Somewhere I don't have to mind whether I forgot the car open or even my house open. Somewhere I'm not jailed. The destination? I still don't know. But the focus I do.

Then I made a huge movement in my career. I'm blessed to work on IT. And just because of that a lot of possibilities open up to me. I never left the technical part aside, but I decided to shift my focus, which previously was 80% to management, into to 80% technical behaviour.

Starting to study

I started to study on that same September. Quickly the pandemic came, and it in fact helped me. Living by myself with only my dog, with nothing else to do, I studied every single day (from Sunday to Sunday) with the spare time I had. It was at least 2h a day during the week and at least 6h more every Saturday/Sunday or holiday. Applying concepts I had only heard about in the software architecture world helped me develop Architecture and DevOps skills that are well valued in the market. I did invest on an AWS account and also a Pluralsight subscription. My previous manager experience helped me keep extremely focused on what I wanted to achieve and the path to reach that.

Ok, but how?

My self-organising board summarised

This board had several different states, but this picture summarises it all.

AWS — Studying to get a new job:

Courses I've finished:

The main articles I wrote (you learn more when you're writing):

Books I read (take care to change to your own country at Amazon):


I changed my job to a better one, and an offer to work at AWS (where I am right now) came way quicker than I expected.


This thought still has no ending. I'm still living in Brazil (in a much better city than I was before), but it's still Brazil's selfishness and violence that make me want to go even farther. I'm as close as I've never been to achieve this dream and this article is meant to be an inspiration for a career change or just personal life change if you're feeling stuck like I was. Keep focused and all the effort pays off.



Guilherme Sesterheim

Sharing experiences on IT subjects. Working for AWS. DevOps, Kubernetes, Microservices, Terraform, Ansible, and Java