Rick Mur

Limitless Networking

Category: Personal

Why leave a vendor job….twice?

Over the past few months I’ve been working hard on my new start-up company PeakFactory, it’s going really well, but for this post I want to focus on the reason why I chose to leave the companies I used to work for. I thought this was relevant, as many people have asked me why, but also in general there is a lot of discussion how to advance your career in different directions.

Why leave a comfortable and good job at all?

Back in 2013 I was working in a very good position, where I had a lot of freedom in choosing the customers I’d like to work on and was involved in all technical aspects of a project (pre-sales, proof of concepts, implementation and support). Still I had this feeling that I wanted to explore more an different areas for a wider audience. Which is why I decided to start working for a networking vendor. My main reason for choosing a vendor is that I could leverage my experience in the technology and apply it for a wider audience (maybe even worldwide)

Why work for Cisco and Juniper?

In early 2014 I got in touch with Cisco and I left my other job. I was very excited to start learning so much more about the technology and talking to customers across Europe about it. It turned out that adapting to the new ways of working, was very difficult. As a native Dutch person, I tend to have difficulty accepting authority and when you work in such a large company, there are rules to play by. This, combined with a more stricter definition of my job (pre-sales), made me never feel comfortable in the job. I never really decided to leave, until I was approached by Juniper only 2 months in my new job. I made a switch, which nobody really understood. Why work for a smaller company, when you just started working for a larger well respected company? To me it was quite clear. I like working from a position, where I have to convince people to look at alternative solutions to a given problem. You could also say I like working from an underdog position and prove to still win. Either way, I had a great time expanding my experience at Juniper.

Then why leave again? I thought this is what you wanted?

This was indeed what I wanted, but both my dad and granddad are/were entrepreneurs and I always felt the desire to have my own company as well. I’ve always worked as if my job was my own company and so it made sense to pursue this when the opportunity came.

Turning 30

I’ve worked full-time in companies on network infrastructure since I was 19. Turning 30 made me realize that if I wanted to make a switch and pursue own projects, this was the time. Combined with an opportunity to start PeakFactory with others, where I feel that our skill sets compliment each other in all aspects. Starting PeakFactory and working full-time on projects that you are almost solely responsible for is another challenging task that I have never had. Over the past few months I have learned more than ever before, but this time not 100% technology. I’ve learned about myself, how to get from nothing to something, how to sell/market new ideas to potential customers, how much is needed to be able to create a new product or service to the market and so much more. Making the decision to work full-time on my own ideas, has been the greatest jump I have ever made in ‘learning’.

The future

Nobody knows what future brings, but I’m sure I’ll keep looking for new and exciting opportunities to explore new ideas and learn more about anything. Where and how you can do this, depends on which surrounding you need to be able to achieve your goals. To conclude I’d like to say that it is very important to always keep exploring and keep asking questions to yourself if you are still in love with what you do every day.

Rick Mur

The Double Switch

It’s been a very long time since I last wrote anything on my blog. Since that last post, so many things have changed that it’s really time to shed some light on these things. A lot of people have been asking me regarding my recent job changes, so I figured it was time to clearify this a bit.

Every year on New Year’s Eve I set a number of goals for the next year, these are usually business related and not to quit smoking since I never did that in the first place 🙂

This year I set the goal of finding the next challenge in my career, by the end of last year I moved to a pre sales role at a VAR. Since I’ve been working there for a little over 5 years, the role actually didn’t change much about my daily job. I was still supporting a lot of the post sales activities and was involved in support cases, while my role was meant to be something really different. As I was also the only technical guy in the team with Service Provider and Data Center focus I figured it was time for a change. I decided that I wanted to find an exciting new challenge outside of Telindus that gave me a surrounding of equal technical people driven to find the best solution for their customer. I also wanted to be more close to the “source” in my field, which is the reason I started looking at roles at vendors.

Cisco

I found a great role inside Cisco’s Global Enterprise Theater. This team consists of highly skilled sales and technical people around the world serving the worlds largest global enterprises. I got accepted into a team serving only 1 (very big) client. My colleagues were great and I traveled a lot throughout Europe talking about data center solutions. Although I never had the “awesome” feeling. For some reason this job never “clicked”.

Juniper

On my second day at Cisco I got a call from someone I know inside Juniper. He happily told me that he was the SE manager for a newly formed team inside the EMEA North organization of Juniper. He felt that I was a perfect fit for the role as it consisted of hosting/cloud providers, local ISPs and large enterprise data center customers. Of course I just started at Cisco so I thanked him for his interest. After months he contacted me again that they were not able to find a suited candidate for the role. After a long thought I agreed to meet with the team. As soon as I walked into the Juniper office I somehow felt home. I met everyone on the team and had interviews for 6 hours straight. My manager told me that I would hear from him about the outcome of the day. When I was driving home he already called me and told they were going to send me an offer as soon as possible. That was an amazing feeling of course. I immediately felt connected with the team and was so excited!

First few weeks

I’m writing this blog after being at Juniper now for a few weeks and I have to say it’s one of the best experiences ever. It’s exactly what I would’ve thought of it! I’m dealing with great projects at major customers. I’m developing a demo setup on about every new piece of technology both in software and products Juniper has and I’m dealing with a super flexible organization that requires some self learning, but also gives you so much freedom in choosing the work that you pursue as long as your customers benefit. I’m currently typing this on a flight to San Francisco for my new hire training in Sunnyvale and I’m so excited to meet a lot of the smart people that I’m already in touch with discussing solutions for my customers.

Quick

Moving away from Cisco after only a few months was a really hard decision. It really turns out to be one of the best decisions of my career. The reason I still decided to do it, was that I followed my heart. “It somehow already knows what you want to become, have the courage to follow it” is one of Steve Jobs’s famous quotes and that is exactly what I did in this case.

Blog

Apart from a brand new design and hosting the blog again. Be prepared for finally some technical blogging again! It’s been ages since I last did that, but in my current role I’m able to work on solutions that translate very well into blogs. I’ll be blogging on exciting Data Center evolutions, features and technologies that I’m working on. That of course will have a ton of SDN, NFV and DC Fabric goodness in it!

Stay tuned!

What about 2013?

Happy new year to you all! I truly hope that all your dreams for 2013 may come true and maybe even more.

For the first time I didn’t really made a to-do list for 2013, but in my head I’m still working on things I want to have accomplished by the end of the year. I wanted to discuss in short a few of those topics.

House

Just at the end of December I bought a house in Utrecht, Netherlands. This is going to fill up a lot of time for me in 2013, where I literally need to buy everything and arrange a lot of things.

Of course the fun part of designing my home network, automating my house as much as possible and designing my little office if already in progress 🙂

CCIE Data Center

The CCIE Data Center is also taking up a lot of time in 2013. Besides that I’m studying to pursue the title myself. I’m also writing the CCIE Data Center Lab Workbook for IPexpert. This is an amazing opportunity and I really love to work on it. I really hope you like using it when you purchase. Otherwise I’m more than happy to help you with your studies for the CCIE Data Center.

IPX_workbook

Amazing networking projects

I have a couple amazing projects coming up! Involving all latest and greatest hardware from both Cisco and Juniper. Besides that I’m working a lot with the high-end customers we have in the Netherlands, which make me a very happy man! 🙂

A quick list of hardware that are involved in the projects

  • Cisco ASR9000 with Typhoon line cards
  • Juniper MX960 with MPC4 100GE line cards
  • Juniper TXP-3D (T4000 in Matrix configuration)

The projects involve some of the following technologies

  • Core/Edge routing
  • Carrier Grade NAT (NAT64 and DS-Lite)
  • LTE roll-out
  • 200GE bundles
  • BNG/BRAS on MX in Virtual Chassis
  • FabricPath enabled datacenter network
  • IPv6 roll-out

And many many more things.

Actually this entire list should be finished in the first half of 2013 🙂 I have no idea how I’m going to do that in terms of time management, but we’ll see.

I’m loving my work and everything I do at this moment!

Stay Hungry…Stay Foolish!

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