Moving to a vendor – Part 2

I previously posted a blog about what it was like moving to a vendor. It has been known and is quite well known now I work for VMware. I work in the Nicira spin-in as a part of the Network Security Business Unit. Along the way I have spoken about the company specific perks and they are pretty good. After a few months within the company (I am approaching my 6 month mark) I am realising something more.

I am working in a team of around 70 in the Network Security Business Unit. We are the spearhead with VMware’s networking portfolio. We have a tight knit group that works together to get the job done. No one knows everything and people are happy to share knowledge, share design considerations or have an impromptu whiteboard session. The last I’ve done more than a few times with my local team members! (Shout out to Dmitri, Nick and Grant)

I work with a product that is leading edge. I have moved from a customer land where we were considered technology laggards although we did some pretty cool stuff. It is a massive change going from talking about standard networking and application functionality to walking into a customer and changing their mindset. Some customers get it right away and others take time. When they do it is a great feeling that they can see what is in your head. A part of my role involves educating and teaching customers and I take great delight when you see it all piece together.

For me personally I’ve managed to meet some people I sincerely admire. Scott Lowe and Brad Hedlund have been great to meet at the VMUG during the start of the year. Martin Casado came to town and I spent a day and a half with him going to my customers. It was pretty amazing to be wrapped up into his world and see it from his point of view. Understanding his thoughts on technology, where the industry is heading and the policy battlefield was great. Also, Martin’s penchant for unique and different foods invariably leads to very interesting stories. We also wound up on the front page on one of our national newspapers!

Yes, we  did put a multi millionaire in the middle of the backseat! Squish Squish Martin!

Bruce Davie also spent some time down here the other week and it was great for me to see how operated. I also got to thank him for helping invent MPLS and in turn, allowed me to be where I am today.

As long as you are doing your core role and meeting or exceeding expectations there is a lot of opportunity at a large vendor. It has been noted by a variety of different teams that I blog and write a lot. I also have a presence on social media. This in turn has led to me working on some white papers and upcoming blog posts for the company. This is quite exciting when you get to do something like this. A professional extension to something I enjoy. These documents provide me a challenge to write a professional document that has my style, flair and technical analysis.

Immersion is something I touched on previously. By working with smart people you get to see different points of view on a technical problem, come across different use cases and have people fielding questions and solutions to problems all the time. Sometime this is 24×7 due to being a global business unit. I have personally learnt more about virtualised networking in the last 5 months than I have some other technologies I’ve worked on for years.

I’ve had a blast in the last 5 months. You’re challenged daily. I’ve learnt a lot of new things. The sales cycle is interesting. You feel part of something bigger and whilst in the end you’re just a number (the cynic in my head had to say that) the important part is you’re a powerful number. Powerful and empowered people create. It’s time to create what’s next.

Note that these have been my experiences at VMware. The people and the culture of the environment or company do allow a lot of the aforementioned to happened. I do hear that this is not blanket across all vendors.

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2 Comments

  1. Peter Carstairs

    It’s nice to see good things happening to good people. Currently thinking about personal study things how has the goal of CCIE digits changes if at all with the new job.

    • At this stage I still am very keen! I want to get my IE and I am working towards the v5 written.

      I may be swayed to a NFV/VCDX but we shall see what the future holds.

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