Moving On, Moving Forward to HashiCorp
Let's address this one head-on. Cody going to HashiCorp? Not exactly shocking news. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked if I was going to HashiCorp in the past year and a half, I would be sitting with Tom from MySpace on his private beach. Thats an over-exaggeration obviously, but you get the point. Within HashiCorp, I'll be joining the Consul team, as a Technical Marketing Manager.
As I mentioned before, few people will be shocked about me going to HashiCorp, but the move to work on Consul might be unexpected given my background from an infrastructure automation perspective. If you've followed the stuff I've been working on lately, you'll likely know that I've been shifting my focus to get more closer to the way operators build and deploy applications. In that way, Consul fits really logically. It's a product that has a really interesting implementation journey around it in that you don't need to jump into a full blown service mesh to get some awesome capabilities out of it. Configuration Templating and Service Discovery have very real use cases in todays enterprise environments, and their approach to Service Mesh for simplifying/securing communication between multiple clouds/environments/platforms is a really interesting approach (more on that in future posts, obviously). It's also a product not married to a specific platform (i.e. VM only, Kubernetes only) which is important to me, since I really feel like many customers are on a journey with these technologies and are rarely “all-in” with a given cloud or platform (including Kubernetes in that statement).
On the company side, I've always admired that HashiCorp truly creates products that target solving actual problems. They understand their customer use cases and are genuinely trying to help. You can see this starting from the top of their Principles, all the way into the actual products themselves. They are a company that's totally on a rocket ship in the market right now. You can't really find an enterprise that isn't using HashiCorp products in some way. They are also a much smaller company, which means they have a lot more agility to respond to customer needs. I spent a significant amount of time during the interview process watching the various GitHub repositories for the different products and watching how active the engineering teams are with the community as a whole. I also spoke with a number of trusted people in the partner space around what it's like to work with HashiCorp employees - I was constantly met with positive comments.
Being thankful and sharing perspective
Look, I still love VMware. Every job has its vegetables that you have to eat (not a dig to any vegetarians out there, but if you know me, you know the comment makes sense). Every job is going to have things that frustrate you, or that you question how much it makes sense. That being said, generally, the good outweighed the bad for me. When I look at the doors that VMware opened up for my family over the past 3 years, it's pretty incredible. I saw the world, met friends, dove deeper into the community than I ever thought possible. I was fortunate to have some great leaders along the way, I had great mentors, and I had infinite opportunities to do things that were incredible. I checked off bucket list items, it was a good run. So why move on?
I was talking with Mr Grant Orchard (my goto person for “deep thought” talks) and I hit this thread around the idea that Careers are less about the JOB you are doing, and more the sense of fulfillment that you are seeking in a given time. It's this ebb and flow, season-y, kind of thing. Yes, we all have to make money, and yes, businesses have a direct need from us for a given “job”. That being said, we spend more time at work than anything else we do (not a good thing, but is a reality in many cases). If you aren't drawing some sort of fulfillment out of it then it's going to make your days exponentially harder. When I came to VMware, I felt like I had grown to a place where I wanted to help customers figure out some of the things that I felt I had figured out. I wanted to share the things I learned, and I believed in VMware as a technology and as a vendor - it just made sense. When I went into the Cloud Management Business Unit (CMBU), I wanted to be a part of building a delivering a product. When I joined the Cloud Native Applications Business Unit (CNABU), I wanted to learn more about Kubernetes as a platform and be a part of bringing the VMware vision of it to market. This is where things get complicated…
The closer I got to the role in he Kubernetes team, the more I realized that while I wanted to be in the Kubernetes space - learning more about micro-services and how they communicate - what I REALLY wanted to be a part of growing a company, and a more narrow focus on the platforms inside that company. I wanted to be a part of something small becoming something big. VMware was successful long before me (and will be long after I'm gone), vRA was already up 7.x before I came, and is already gearing up to 8.1. The Kubernetes train at VMware was rolling full speed already and had a number of motions going and while fitting into that was an easy thing to do (INCREDIBLY welcoming group, who want's people to be a part of the team), that motion had already started and was tied to the success of a number of initiatives and platforms inside VMware. The machine had already kicked into gear (multiple Business Unit's already attached and driving their own stories across the ecosystem, etc…)
Tl;dr - I wanted to be a part of growing a thing in a much smaller place - while still staying close to the specific technology I was getting excited about (Kubernetes in this case). I also wanted to be a part of a company that spanned across multiple clouds/platforms - I wanted to be able to touch Amazon, Azure, GCP, and still stay close to the VMware community/platform that I very much still love. It's not you, it's me.
On the topic of Community
People in our “world” move around in-between companies all the time and it's not possible to keep in touch with everyone at every company. It happens. What I don't want to be is that person who moves out of VMware and disappears from the community. I really believe in the community we've grown, and just because I don't work for the “V” in vCommunity anymore, I really hope I'm able (welcome might be the better word?) to stay close to the community overall. I still want to come ramble at VMware User Group's (VMUG's), I still want to hang around the community space at VMworld when possible, and I still want to rant about Homelab stuff on Twitter (amongst BBQ, Code, and whatever other randomness comes along).
Beyond that - I also want to actively find way's to introduce the “vCommunity” to the HashiCorp community as well. We're better communities when we come together to share our individual journey's and help each other! I'm especially excited for this, as HashiCorp has it's own program, called HUG's (HashiCorp User Group) that I'd love to see more of the VMUG community get involved in as well!
Now I just need to get my blog publishing moved out of Code Stream. Hi CircleCI, I see you…