What Would You Say, You Do Here?

I talk to the engineers…

I began working for a Startup Software Vendor in February of 2012. When making the decision to join a startup, one of the key considerations for me was the role I would play.

In addition to a desire to be challenged I wanted to be certain in my role I would have the opportunity to contribute significantly to the success of our company.

As the case may be at most start-ups, roles and titles tend to be fairly fluid.

On any given day it’s likely I might wear five or six hats.

I regularly spend time as our internal infrastructure manager for both production and test/dev hardware and software. This includes managing storage arrays from multiple vendors, physical servers, internal FLASH and SSD storage components, networking equipment along with myriad of VMware infrastructure to support development and operations. This part of the job is similar to what I’ve done for various past employers.

What’s new and exciting for me… and admittedly a challenge that I’m enjoying are the new areas I get to work in.

In addition to “IT SysAdmin” duties, I do a fair amount of research for our development team. This usually involves accelerated deep-dive technical learning followed by quick and dirty deployment of what are often complex solutions for validation of our own product’s compatibility or to simulate a particular use case or end-user environment. It is just as likely that I’ll completely tear down this new implementation once validated as it is that it may become the platform upon which another project hinges. In this area I’m strengthening my automation and scripting abilities to rapidly and consistently deploy modular components in repeatable process.

I talk to the customers…

Working with our Salesforce team I review leads and send out a new evaluation entitlements to potential customers and decision makers.
Often I will interact with these same customers as a Sales Engineer on scheduled pre-sales call or webinar.
Again if these current and prospective customers require support I will field those inquiries.

The role I most enjoy is when I get to put on my Customer Advocate and Product Management hat. As a virtualization specialist and domain expert on VMware I get to shape our product, including contributing to high level design decisions, UI/UX, architecture, deployment and maintainability.

You see, in addition to handling the technical logistics

“…I have people skills!”

( If you didn’t catch the Office Space references throughout this post, please watch this clip. It may help explain how I’m not quite as crazy as you might otherwise think… Then again it may confirm my lunacy 🙂 )

BTW: if you haven’t watched Office Space (as any good geek has), fear not the cure is immediately available for streaming on Netflix. I know, awesome huh!



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