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Monthly Archives: March 2013

As I sit here on Spring Break in Florida, I am struck by what I was thinking last year about this time in terms of my career.  You see just about this time every year, my family with my wife and two daughters head south.   Last year (2012) was really no different, except that I have recently been assigned a new role in my job.

I had spent the previous 14 months working with Service Management and ITIL adoption throughout an organization of 12K plus employees and contractors.  I would routinely wear a bright orange sweater to work and as I walked into a room and someone would comment about how bright it was – I would say “I am from Service Management – don’t shoot!”  As I sat in my office one day near the end of the year, my boss walks in and says “we have a new opportunity for you,” which is always interesting.  I was being moved to a more business facing application area.  The area had a great leader named Jim that had stood up the function from the beginning.  It was known for its technical depth and the architecture team had two very seasoned individuals – of which I was to become their new leader.

As I went home that evening I felt every emotion that you could feel – from frustration to excitement.  Ultimately I would be leaving Service Management, which wasn’t all bad and moving to an application area to lead a team that knew much more than I ever did about developing application frameworks.

So back to my vacation in 2012, which was about 3 months after I had gotten this new role and I was enjoying the team, learning a lot, and was spending a lot of time leading, but not spending a lot of time exercising my creative ambitions.  So I have a constant search on a few job sites where I had query setup to match my ideal job.  As I was on vacation, one came across at a company I have long respected.  VMWare had a Cloud Solution Architect position available, where I could work from home and become an evangelist for cloud computing (something I love) and also work for a great organization.

I sat on the beach contemplating whether I should apply.  I have this philosophy that once I put my resume out – I am leaving, maybe not today, but at sometime in the near future.  I knew there would be no going back…so I sat in the sun for a week thinking and thinking and thinking…

On the way home I called a friend who worked for VMWare and he agreed to pass my name to those in the hiring position.  But if I was going to jump into this pond, I should look at the rest of the industry and at the time Software Defined Networking was all the buzz.  So I reached out to an old friend at Arista, who was making great waves with SDN – she just happened to be the CEO and someone else that I respect greatly.

Fast forward and suffice it to say that I decided to put my resume out…but nothing really materialized for some time.  This was unchartered territory for me.  Just as I recommitted to staying put, something came up.  Arista was growing like crazy and they were looking for more of an enterprise focused Solutions Architect (again my ideal job).  We talked and within a week I was on a plane for a quick overnight stay and interviews.  I got to meet with a lot of old friends and some new faces.  In total it was obvious that Arista was a special place, made up of people that wanted to make a difference in the networking world.

Fast forward to November in 2012 and I was in a place where it was time to resign from my position at State Farm.  It was possibly one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I would be leaving some great people that had spent a lot of time helping me grow.  Many of those people became great friends over the previous 5 years. Many were shocked, many were upset with me, and most were very supportive.  Opportunities of a lifetime don’t come every day and I was worried that if I didn’t sieze the opportunity – I would never have it again.  So as I end this post and contemplate the next one (which will be why Arista is such a great place) – I just want to encourage anyone out there that is considering making a move…don’t wait.  Pursue your dreams, pursue your innovative spirit, pursue excellence…you will never be disappointed for it is the chances that we don’t take that we ultimately regret!  One year after considering it – I am doing what I love with great people.  The choice is yours to do the same!

BTW – we are looking for great SEs in Minneapolis, Kansas and Ohio 🙂