After an amazing 10+ years in Cisco Systems, I have decided to move on. I have joined Google’s cloud division. I thought its a good time to reflect on my learnings in Cisco and what I am looking forward for the next few years.
Before joining Cisco, I worked in few startups in US. I joined Cisco after I moved back to India. I worked in different development engineering groups in Cisco spanning carrier ethernet, service provider and data center products. I played different roles including Software Engineer, Technical lead/architect, Engineering manager. Cisco is a great company and it has given me lot of good opportunities.
I had a great set of managers in Cisco. I would like to especially call out 2 managers who helped me shape my career. First is Ritesh Dhoot, he is a charismatic leader who helped me understand the business value in everything we do. Second is Bhaskar Jayakrishnan whom I admired for his all-round skills and the tenacity with which he takes the opportunity and runs with it. Both of them gave me lot of freedom to plan/execute work in my own way and also encouraged me to pursue my interests.
I had a great set of colleagues and teams in Cisco. I got the opportunity to lead UCS switch team in Bangalore and saw the team grow pretty fast from 5 folks to 25 folks over a period of 2+ years. I was very humbled by the love and affection that I received from my team and especially the very warm farewell. Following is UCS Bangalore switch team(few folks are missing..) that I am very proud to be part of:
Considering that things have been so good, folks might ask why I left Cisco… Following are some reasons:
- I had been in Telecom/Networking industry for the last 16+ years and I wanted a change away from this.
- I have been active in Open source communities over last 4 years. I am an active techno blogger, author of “Mastering CoreOS” book and also a Docker Captain. I found it difficult to match my office work and personal interest.
- I have been doing development roles all through my career and I wanted to try out roles close to customers.
- Cisco has been great to survive downturns and reinvent itself many times. I was not convinced about Cisco’s adoption of cloud and the changing Cisco’s strategies in this area.
After I decided to look out, I had a choice of trying out startups or big companies. I did get few opportunities in startups. Even though I had dabbled in the cloud area for 4+ years, it was not at the professional level so I thought it will be good to work in a bigger company to understand the breadth of cloud technologies.
What better company can I ask for than Google. I have always admired Google for their super cool technology and the pace at which they innovate. In the cloud area, Google is lagging behind AWS and Azure and that’s primarily because Google started late in the Cloud domain. Google currently has a lot of focus in the cloud domain and I am confident that Google will catch up to Azure and AWS soon. Following are some reasons why I am very confident about this:
- Google’s cloud products are already used by Google’s products. All Google’s products like Youtube, Maps, Photos runs in Google’s cloud and the same technology is exposed to end customers through Google cloud products. Each of the above products has 1+ billion users, this makes Google cloud products already proven at scale.
- Google is a leader in open source technologies like Kubernetes, Tensorflow, Mapreduce and these technologies are incorporated nicely into Google’s cloud products. This gives Google a head-start in areas like Machine learning, Big data and Containers.
- There are a lot of integration possibilities between Google’s cloud products and Google’s other products and that can provide lot of benefits to consumers on either side.
I started as a Partner Engineer in Google cloud’s Bangalore division. My primary responsibility is technical enablement of Google cloud partners and create appropriate solutions for Google cloud customers. I am hoping to understand customer issues, create solutions and evangelize cloud and Google’e products along the way. Even though this role entails a breadth of Google cloud technologies, I will try to have some focus on Docker, Containers, Kubernetes and GKE considering that I am also a Docker captain.
Even though I started only 6 weeks ago in Google, I feel that its been a long time. I already feel that I am in the best place and that there is a lot of learning for me to do. In the short span of time, I have attended 3 conferences, did container presentations, met few customers and partners along the way. I have also passed the “Google cloud architect” certification.
It does feel weird that I am starting on a tangential path compared to my previous background at this stage of my career. There are quite a few challenges that I need to overcome like getting used to a pre-sales role(been in Engineering all along), understand breadth and depth of cloud technologies and finally, prove myself in this new role. I am hoping that this will work out good.
I am looking forward to writing more blogs in the Google cloud and Containers/Docker areas.
Google cloud is hiring. If you are passionate about cloud with relevant experience and interested in creating and selling cloud customer solutions, please reach out to me.