In our latest edition we had a chance to connect with AEM Technical Consultant Yuji Nakagawa. He shares his insight on working with AEM and the journey to his current role.

Q: What is a Technical Architect? In the engagement lifecycle where does your role fit in?

YN: A Technical Architect is responsible for the overall AEM Solution Design – starting from hardware sizing for the AEM platform to the integration into the client's environment. While we typically engage after the sales cycle as part of the delivery team, we do on occasion assist the engagement/delivery managers scope and filter AEM consulting engagement proposals.

Q: On an engagement which internal team do you typically work with most closely?

YN: An AEM project team typically consists of a DTL or Project Manager, Product Owner, Lead Developer, and AEM consultants. It is not uncommon for us to work with consultants from other product lines as well as MSAs on our delivery team.

Q: Before you became a Technical Architect at Adobe what was your previous role?

YN: I started as a developer in 2002 for a small modern design retailer called Design Within Reach and rose to become the Director Web Development. Design Within Reach was one of Scene7’s first customers and it was my first project using the product – This hands on practical knowledge of Scene7 brought me over to Adobe.

Q: What has made you successful as a Technical Architect?

YN: A very strong network of peers and a nice long list of lessons learned from past mistakes.

Q: What was the best piece of advice you ever received?

YN: My first manager at Adobe professional services told me to "always do what is right for the customer". Luckily at Adobe, this line of thought is aligned with Adobe’s core principles.

Q: What is your favorite Adobe product?

YN: It has to be InDesign/Illustrator. Not because I’m good at it. I can barely find my way around either product. But back during my Design Within Reach days, I sat right near the print team and was in awe of the print catalog creation process. It was always very exciting to be around and I often found myself hanging out with the creative folks quite a bit. It was amazing how they went from an empty canvas to a catalog cover page in the span of a few hours and then quickly iterated on it based on the Creative Director's feedback. On my desktop you will always find two or three incomplete INDD files from tutorials I work on when I have a few moments of down time.

Q: How do you delight your customers?

YN: When I start a project for a customer I’m always all in. I delight them by bringing my passion for Adobe and AEM.

Q: If you were not in the digital marketing space, what career path would you likely have taken?

YN: My dad was a gardener/fisherman. If the dot com boom never happened, I would probably be spending my days trimming bushes and fishing on the weekends.

Q: If you had an extra hour per day, how would you spend it?

YN: Cleaning up my inbox and my Macbook Pro storage. I’m pretty sure I still have an unread email from Kevin Lynch and am tired of the "disk is almost full" notices I get every week!

Thank you Yuji for participating in our interview series.


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