Soccer is a game of speed and aggressiveness, especially at the youth levels. There is a great deal of strategy and mental awareness that goes into maintaining possession, playing the proper shape and moving the ball down the pitch. I coach youth soccer, two teams currently and I love every minute of it. I have also played soccer since I was a kid, and occasionally get involved in leagues as an adult.
The aggression and speed both apply to making career decisions in IT. Recently I was reading a friends blog post where they talk about their move from operations to the vendor side. With what was going on in my life it really resonated. Sometimes you need to have some inflection and look at what brought you to where you are and where you want to go. But sometimes you have to seize the opportunity in front of you and go after it like a defender attacking the ball.
I used to hire IT people and be a major part of the interview process at the past several jobs. I never asked where someone wanted to be in 5 yrs I asked, what is your career goal. Because it’s more important to understand that someone has a goal in mind. I would also look at the candidates resume and see how they had improved themselves while working at their last employer. Not just forced training but how they went out and did work on their own to gain skills.
My own move to the vendor side was a move from an Operations staff and IT reseller. It was time, but I hadn’t planed beyond that next step of moving to a vendor. I knew it was time but I had no clue what would come next. During my time at EMC I have realized that there are so many cool roles in the IT world. Some that were never exposed to me as a customer or a partner. The position of “Field CTO” was one that immediately caught my attention, and working with people like Paul Austin got me thinking that it was the path for me. I started looking at what I would need to do to obtain that goal. It came to me that experience working with product business units and taking feedback from customers to the BUs and helping to explain and shape the future of the company and product lines was going to take some work.
Ironically there was a confluence of events that led me to where I am today. But regardless of the how, I was presented with an opportunity to join SolidFire as a End User Solutions Architect and have accepted the position. The position is exciting and will challenge me, but the team I am going to work on is what I am most excited about. It reminds me of the vSpecialist team that I am leaving in a lot of ways, a bunch of type A, go getters, who work together, and understand and love community. I couldn’t be more excited, I have to thank everyone at EMC who made my time here memorable and have taught me so much. I hope to remain in touch and to see you all at the various community events.