Looking Back At 2022
At the end of each year, I take some time for self-reflection. Looking back through 2022 gave me a colossal reminder of how vital teams, communities, and leaders are. Take hockey for instance. You have certain athletes, often referred to as generational players that carry unmatched individual talent and get selected first overall in the NHL Draft.
These players are weekly highlight reels, yet, without the right system, coaches, and team, they will never lift the Stanley Cup. This year, I had the opportunity to learn from great leaders, work with amazing teams, engage with valuable communities, and visit exciting places. Here is a recap of my 2022.
Startup Life With Alkira
My favorite part of working for a startup like Alkira is, making life easier for our customers. Having amazing founders that promote a culture that exemplifies a team of teams, has a way of creating opportunities that translate directly to the product that, in turn, serves our customers. I’m thrilled to be working with the brightest minds in networking as we take a lot of momentum into 2023.
I participated in some incredible community and partner events in 2022. Travel is back in full swing post-pandemic, and it was great to see happy smiling faces again. I got to jointly present with the ONUG Collaborative on the Network Cloud - Whitepaper we finished earlier this year, and also the state of Network Cloud. NYC is nice and all, but you can’t beat the weather in Santa Clara which is where Tech Field Day was hosted. The weather was terrific, the delegates were outstanding, and it was a blast connecting with everyone.
Many large organizations juggle various architectures that were deployed at different times when specific technologies were available. This is why partner integrations are critical for businesses looking to evolve while still managing some of their older design patterns. Often, those older applications are the ones generating a lot of the revenue.
I got to co-present with quite a few of our partners this year, including HashiCorp, Fortinet, and Infoblox. These events are significant because the better together story is grounded in reality. Each of these integrations is there because it solves a considerable customer problem.
Connecting with the community closer to my backyard is always great! AWS Community Day - MidWest was hosted in the Buckeye State, and the sessions were fantastic. I talked about network complexity and digital transformation. I also somehow landed in Kansas City for the BBQ, and stayed for Cloud Security Alliance - KC Chapter. This was a fun bunch with tons of questions and engagement.
AWS Community Builders
Passion culminates in sharing and brings contagious energy to many professionals at every stage of their journey. I’m super excited about participating in the AWS Community Builder program in the Network C&D category. So far, the engagement has been great. I have been able to learn from seasoned experts and also grow new technologists. This is what makes community such a powerful machine.
Sometime in late 2021, the passionate and dynamic Heather Hurley reached out to me to discuss making LinkedIn Learning Content. One gap that was particularly interesting to me was networking skills transitioning to the cloud-era. The need for content that went beyond certifications and approached the problem with real-life scenarios and experiences was needed. Working with the LinkedIn Learning team was a blast, and in September, we released Hybrid Multicloud Networking - Practical Concepts.
Writing About Startups
In 2022, I decided to pick a few up-and-coming startups to write about that I think will be valuable in the future. This year it was Lightlytics, Infracost, and ZeroTier - (I guess ZeroTier isn’t technically a startup anymore, but Mesh VPNs are cool). I plan to continue that trend this year.
Happy Holidays to everyone! Hopefully, many of you can take time with your family and recharge. If you are near the Hartford, CT area, join me at the first (CT)NUG of 2023 on January 19th at Thomas Hooker Brewery. If you are not in Hartford, check out (US)NUA for upcoming events close to your area! Hearing professionals in the community talk from experience and share their collective wisdom is magic and offers some good perspective you can’t get over Zoom. See you there!