New job, new life

Recently I started a new job, in some ways coming back full circle to how I started out. As a fresh graduate, I started work for HP as an IT Consultant. My main focus was network management systems. Rakesh Patel started work at HP at the same time. Coincidentally, we both left HP around the same time, taking different directions. While I went off down the networking and security path, Rakesh continued working in the Service Management field. Not long ago, Rakesh asked if I would like to join him in the company he started, offering consulting and implementation services for Service Management. Admittedly the timing was not quite ideal, with the other things I’m trying to do this year, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

A few weeks ago I started this new role. I’m working as an IT Consultant, mainly in systems and service management. Oh. 10+ years, and you’re doing the same thing all over again. Nice going Lindsay. See, that career hiatus meandering about the world really did stuff you up. Well, not quite. Previously I was the junior, doing what I was told to do. Now I’m the senior consultant, working with other consultants to work out what we’re going to do, as much as the how to do it. I get to do some pre-sales, some consulting, some design, and some implementation. Hopefully very little operation. Exciting times, working with range of different customers, all well-known companies, helping them with complex problems. The company is growing very rapidly, and there’s a lot of work coming up ahead of us. Very busy, but very exciting times!

During my career, I have acquired a reasonably wide range of skills, covering networks, systems, applications, security, management . Some of that experience is reasonably deep, some is spread thin – but it does mean that I can talk about a range of topics without sounding like a complete knob. When it comes to system and service management, generally you don’t need to know all the right answers – you need to know the right questions to ask instead.

This doesn’t mean it’s all easy though – far from it. Some products have changed significantly since I last used them in depth. Other products haven’t changed much, while some have just had a face-lift. This means that I’m desperately trying to get back up to speed, devouring manuals and training videos, running demo installations, reading all I can. This is all within my capabilities, but it makes things very intense. No slacking off at work for me! A lot of people have placed a lot of faith in me, and the last thing I would want to do is let them down.

As an aside, it also turns out that my typical work-wear is in compliance with EtherealMind’s recent lecture on fashion for male engineers, apart from the absence of a belt-clip. Lucky that. (Side note: Read rule #8 – I’m not the only one who believes in the simplicity of having all socks the same). The upshot is that I think that I can look and act the part in front of customers. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ll turn into a sales-droid. My role is still to act as the truth police.

We’re also in the process of moving this week. Anna is being absolutely wonderful, organising pretty much everything. She’s been far too nice to me, ensuring I’ve got time to study, while she does most of the running around. But still, there’s been a bit of stuff I can’t avoid, moving stuff around, etc. The rest of our stuff will get moved on Saturday, but there will be work happening around building fences for Samson, working out where everything goes/is, and generally getting used to the new place.

So yeah, I’ve been a busy boy.

Just to top it all off, I’ve recently started writing a couple of blog posts for Packet Pushers. This is a (generally) highly technical site, which I expect will only be of interest to about 2 of my readers. I’ll understand if I don’t see you there. My next article on SNMPv3 will be published in the next couple of days. I’m hoping to write a series of posts of network management systems over the next few months. Just in case I get sick of work/study/everything else going on.