So I joined NetApp

Those of you that know me will know that I’ve spent a long part of my career as a customer, partner, and even advocate of NetApp technologies. So finally, the time has come where I’ve joined the mothership and taken a full-time position with them. In this post I want to cover a little about why I decided to take a full-time job with a vendor, what I will be doing, and what you can expect in terms of future content from me.

Why NetApp and why now?

The last few years I’ve worked for myself doing contracting, consulting, and providing independent analysis and commentary throughout the IT industry. It has been a great adventure and one that I didn’t really think I would leave, but a good friend of mine showed me an open door and the opportunity was too good to pass up.

We had our first child just before the pandemic hit in 2020, since then I have spent most of my time working from home, various lockdowns and restrictions meant that travelling, holidays, and even working in an office was all off the cards. This had some unusual side effects for someone that works for themselves, the amount of work I was doing spiralled out of control. Taking holiday took a back seat, why stop billable work to just sit in the same four walls. It wasn’t until all too late that I realised I was probably leading myself to burnout. We have a second child on the way and when this opportunity presented itself, it was a good time for me to re-evaluate a few things.

But more than this being a good personal development, I was offered the ability to work in an area that I am passionate about, Kubernetes. The role puts me in a great position with the Astra family of products. Allowing me to share my knowledge of modern cloud applications and using my years of industry experience around data protection. NetApp have done an amazing job of proving that they are more than just a storage company and the Public Cloud Services side of the business are key in driving that change. Working with this team, this set of products, and at this time in my life, it all just clicked into place, and it was a real no-brainer decision.

What will I be doing?

Officially my job title is Technical Business Development Manager – Astra. It’s a mouthful and it works, but it really doesn’t get to the core of what I am doing, for that we will reference a Venn diagram, surely a fan favourite!

My job in a Venn!

These are the areas of the business and wider world that I will be working with, either directly or indirectly. My role is somewhat of a conduit, working with all the right people to gather information and provide it to the relevant parties in a way that it can be understood and consumed.

Customers & Community

Any good product needs to get airtime, that’s where this part of my job comes in, I will be performing demos, working on Proof-of-Concept deployments, taking customer meetings, and gathering that all important feedback and results. From a community standpoint I want to continue to raise awareness around Kubernetes and especially the increasing need for data protection solutions in this space. Not everything is stateless!

GTM & Enablement

With any new product you need to get the right information out to the right people and in the right format so that they can use it to do their jobs. Sales and technical teams throughout the business and within the partner community need support and a way to get the latest information on product developments and use cases. The wider go to market and marketing teams need collateral to use in campaigns and digital marketing. I am to provide as much as a I can to enable Astra to shine throughout the business and the industry in general.

Product & Development

Working with the product and development teams will be the final but key area I focus on, getting that all important information from our customers and reception in the market as well as wider industry experience, pulling in the same direction as the users, making sure we have the right use cases nailed and we are providing what the industry needs. Turing all that into the right information for development to prioritise and work on will be a great challenge. Better brush up on my user story definition work!

Now that I think about it, I’m kind of the human equivalent of a DevOps loop, and that is something I can really sink my teeth in to and be happy with! Having spent a lot of time over the last few years levelling up my skills and dusting off some older skills around programming, I am in a position where I can leverage expertise in software development lifecycle, DevOps/Automation, application modernisation, and containers/Kubernetes all in one place.

What to expect going forward?

The site here hasn’t seen much action throughout the last couple of years, I don’t think that really needs much of an explanation. However, that is going to change. My new role allows me the freedoms to work on content and I couldn’t be happier about bringing these two aspects together under the same roof.

I want to get something out there on a more regular cadence, it won’t all be work related, I want to cover broader topics still and maybe even branch out into some of the things I tackle in my free time. I think the first things I want to cover will be some primers on Kubernetes, DevOps, and Data Protection in the modern application stack. Then from there, who knows, we will see how it goes!

Thanks for being on the journey with me and if you want to know anything more about Astra, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or LinkedIn, always happy to talk shop.

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I am a seasoned IT professional with over 20 years experience. Currently focusing on Kubernetes and Cloud-Native technologies. My aim is to help others along the journey I have taken and continue to travel. Going from traditional infrastructure to modern cloud application deployment, and whatever the next big changes might be!