Monday, October 10, 2011

My First Year at VCE

Last week was one year for me at VCE. In honor to Jay Cuthrell, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the last year of the rocket ship that has been VCE. Here are some random thoughts in no particular order:
  • Building an organization from nothing is much harder than it sounds.  My first day at VCE consisted of reporting to the "Yoga Room" in an EMC exercise facility that had been converted into cubes for our temporary use.  Luckily we weren't there long.  Conducting job interviews in the hall is fun but gets old quickly.  Once you have a team, then what?  How do projects get on the Roadmap?  How do they get dropped?  What documentation standards will we all use?  We started with a clean slate.  We didn't make all the right choices the first time but we learned quickly how to make course corrections on the fly.  What a great learning experience!
  • Management has been an interesting gig.  For those that didn't know, I accepted a role in Management when I signed on to VCE (hence the reason the technical content on this site over the last year has dwindled but that will be corrected shortly, details soon).  Learning all the management basics (one on one's, team meetings, coaching, etc.) has expanded my horizons greatly but doesn't make for entertaining blog posts.  Over the last year I've hired a team and "herding cats" in the right direction has been an exciting challenge but the rewards have been great.  I have an exceptionally talented team and they make all the difference in the world!
  • The idea of a "job description" hasn't applied.  Our job roles change on a frequent basis and we all dig deep to get it done.  It seems at times my team has done everything except our mission (designing solutions).  Because we wear so many hats, we have become a very diverse team.  The "chaos" has given way to "controlled chaos" and "order" is starting to settle in.
  • All the haters are gonna hate but VCE is doing just fine (better than fine actually).  I had the honor of attending VMworld this year and the crowds at the VCE booth were amazing!  The booth was constantly filled with great customers asking great questions.  The Vblock Infrastructure Platform message is resonating with customers and the momentum continues to increase.

  • The "speeds and feeds" don't matter to me as much anymore. When I first started at VCE, I had a head full of speeds and speeds and lots of technical questions about what made the Vblock Infrastructure tick. Like many of our customers, I found my desire for this diminish over time. Does this mean the "speeds and feeds" aren't important? Of course not. What it means is that some of the brightest folks in the industry work very long hours to make all of that "go away" for you. The Vblock Platform has taken the industry one step closer to the concept of "Utility Computing".

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