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Change Agents: Infrastructure engineer fosters organizational culture change

Change is not Twilio infrastructure engineer Dominique DeGuzman's middle name, but it is her modus operandi. Preparing herself to make and take advantage of new opportunities in her career and education paths, DeGuzman has also advocated for change in the IT culture landscape.

In this video profile, DeGuzman described her role as an infrastructure architect, a typical day in her work life and how she prepares for changing job requirements. She also reveals the IT workplace pain points she’s heard from developers who've attended her conference presentations.

Recently, DeGuzman changed jobs at Twilio, moving from being a cloud services engineer for three-plus years to the role of infrastructure engineer. As the communications platform provider has grown, so has its need for IT specialists, she said. Her background in enterprise desktop hardware support and Linux server provisioning and management serves her well there.

DeGuzman puts in extra hours of study so she can take on new roles quickly. A self- and community-taught hardware and software engineer, she loves trying out new technologies on her sandbox server. "Honestly, what I love doing is going on a … product hunt for server configuration tools," she said. Most of the product won’t be used at work, but she'll keep it in her server configuration tool kit.

As a speaker at tech conferences, DeGuzman evangelizes community-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) training, especially as a means for low-income people to build careers in IT. She has met IT pros who are skeptical of this route, and she parries with examples of community-taught infrastructure engineers who, like herself, have succeeded.

"A lot of the times, it's really just a question that starts off as a conversation that turns into a friendship, which is really great," she said.

A college scholarship opportunity led DeGuzman into public speaking, and she competed nationally. As a result, her tech talks are less dry than most, particularly those with live coding. In this video, she describes how her public communication training helps her in day-to-day work at Twilio.

DeGuzman is an advocate for diversity in IT. She is co-founder of Twilio’s Diversity & Inclusion program and adviser for Twilio's Women's Organization and the LGBTQA Employee Resource Group. Outside of Twilio, she has helped organize diversity coalitions used in other companies, and she is the San Francisco City Director for Lesbians Who Tech, an organization that addresses LGBT pain points in the IT industries.

Check out this video interview for DeGuzman’s candid views on minority techsters' common pain points and her best and daily practices as an infrastructure engineer.

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