Coffee with Cloudera:  Meet Ali Bajwa, Partner Solutions – Engineer by Day, Rockstar by Night!

Meet Ali Bajwa, Director of Partner Solutions Engineering at Cloudera. For the past 6 years, Ali has been front and center in many partner field deployments, training, and discussions; he is a rockstar in the Cloudera Partner Ecosystem! We hope this interview helps you get to know the afterhours Ali. If you get a chance, follow Ali on twitter! @abajwa_hdp

What’s your fav coffee drink or “pick me up” in the morning?

I’m not a big coffee drinker, but if there’s a Starbucks stop, I’m getting a White Chocolate Mocha.

What advice do you give new hires on your team? 

Try to become an expert/sme in one area of our stack, so you become the point person on the team for that topic. 

Why?

I feel it’s a good way for new team members to get on the path of owning something and being able to contribute back. It’s a learning experience and means that you’re interfacing with other experts in the company to get your questions answered. 

What’s your favorite part about your job? 

There is a plethora of technology I get to work with, there is never a dull day.

What’s a partner project you’ve worked on that’s inspired you?

Rolling out the CDP partner enablement program. The internal engineering and solution teams have been working on CDP for so long, it was great seeing it all come together when we first demoed it for the partners. It was like they too understood and wanted to be a part of the vision. 

What do you do for fun on the weekend?

Pre-wildfires we did lots of hiking. Lately, my wife and I have been introducing “throwback” shows to the kids, such as Malcolm in the Middle. Now that the kids are older, we’ve added Christopher Nolan movies into the mix. 

What are your hobbies/hidden talents?

I played guitar in college and was in a band. Now in COVID times, a few of us get together for outdoor jam sessions at a distance. 

What’s your favorite restaurant?

Zareen’s (Pakistani food) by the Santa Clara office. It’s a small restaurant, where the owner makes you feel like family and they serve home-cooked meals. Also Shalimar in SF is great! I used to go there after work on Friday’s before kids. 

If CDP had a theme song, what would it be?

Funny you ask, while I was driving home from a late-night CDP development session, “Any way you want it” by Journey came on and I felt like it summed up all our intentions for creating CDP. I even took a pic and sent it to the team.

“Any way you want it

That’s the way you need it

Any way you want it, oh

I said, any way you want it

That’s the way you need it

Any way you want it” 

What’s one message you have for our partners?

Thank you to the entire partner ecosystem for your continued support and help on making CDP successful!

Ellen Fang

Sr. Partner Marketing Manager

Corinne Clouthier

Sr. Partner Marketing Manager

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