They say life is a book comprised of multiple chapters and in my case, it’s time to close a very long chapter in my book with my career at Cisco drawing to a close. As I look back on my career every move I’ve made has always been a step forward and this next one, no less so than the others I’ve taken. I am nervous, excited and anxious to get started in my new role and as I look back, it’s been a great ride.
I’ve had the opportunity to participate in all roles of the networking ecosystem from partner, to customer and finally to vendor. Each job provided different perspectives and lessons learned. Some were from the school of hard knocks (DLSw and SNAsw come to mind) and many were “once in a lifetime” opportunities. I’m proud of the job I’ve, done, the solutions I’ve helped customers with and teams I’ve been honored to be a part of.
I started as a SE focusing on a large Enterprise customer in Columbus before moving into a Consulting SE and finally being honored to become one of the first Data Center Technology Solutions Architects (TSA) in the company. The DC TSA was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had – being a Philmont Ranger for the summer of ’91 was the best. The team I was part of kicked ass and took names wherever we went and many of them are still great friends.
My most recent role as a Technical Marketing Engineer (TME) for the Nexus 7000 product has been incredible. I’ve traveled the world, visiting 5 continents only missing Africa and Antarctica, presented to audiences in Australia, Europe and the US at our largest customer events, Cisco Live and even earned Distinguished Speaker twice! Once in Australia and once in the US – I came close in Europe but couldn’t crack the code to get the audience to earn it.
I’ve flown over 400,000 miles, almost all in Economy, mind you - :) - to meet customers, partners and the Cisco field teams.
I also, with the help of my co-authors, updated the 2nd edition of the CiscoPress NX-OS book and recorded a video LiveLesson series which will be available in late December of 2014. I started and maintained the @CiscoNexus7000 Twitter account and helped spread the NX-OS gospel there as well. That journey alone allowed me to make some incredible friends and acquaintances and I’ll miss the TweetUps at CiscoLive. I had a great time recoding podcasts with the @PacketPushers team and presented at Network Field Day.
I’ve interacted with hundreds of customers, thousands of SEs, answered bajillions of questions via email, phone call, Twitter, FAQs and documents. I’ve forged so many great relationships and sad to know that my chances of meeting some of them again face to face is very slim. I’ve enjoyed working with each and every one of you and hope the feeling is mutual.
For those of you who like to speculate on conspiracy theories as to why I am leaving Cisco, it’s quite simple. I’ve climbed this mountain and it’s time for the next. I like expanding my horizons and I’m not leaving Cisco because I hate them or being forced out (I was just promoted as a reminder). This has been a tough decision but I’m confident that I’m making the right one for me and my family. I love Cisco and appreciate all they have done for me.I can look back on my time with Cisco and feel satisfied and not feel I am leaving work unfinished. Thank you to all of the great people I worked with and the friends I’ve made. I’m sure many of our paths will cross again because as Disney likes to say “It’s a Small World.”
As the song implies, it’s time to turn the page. (For those wondering, I’m a big fan of the Metallica version). This next chapter promises to be exciting as my new employer, VMware, is bringing a compelling set of capabilities to the data center and I am going to be joining a team with tons of potential and the opportunity to help customers move into the future. It’ll be a wild ride I ‘m sure as I shift from my CLI history to a new way of doing things. I have a lot to learn and I’m happy I’ll be joining a team that already is setting into motion a training path to help me be successful. I’ll be starting in a role I know well, as a Systems Engineer in the Networking & Security Business Unit (NSBU) as a field resource.
Now, it’s time to enjoy the Christmas and New Year’s holiday with my family and re-charge my batteries to hit the ground running in January.