My New Home is SJ Technologies

I am very happy to announce that I have a new job. I am now a Senior DevOps Advocate with the esteemed SJ Technologies, Inc. The great job search of 2017 actually ended in 2017. The good folks at SJ Technologies put together my offer letter in the last week of 2017. This allowed me to take a deep breath over the New Year’s weekend and decompress. I am truly thankful to everyone for getting the offer together in what was likely your down time. It means a lot to me and my family.

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You might ask, “Why SJ Technologies, Chris?” I’m glad you asked! As I mentioned in my 2017 recap, my job hunting was done through established or even loosely established connections. As an organizer for DevOpsDays Raleigh, I had the opportunity to meet John Willis who had recently started at SJ Technologies. John had nice things to say about SJ Technologies and the work he was doing. After my Dark Side of DevOps talk, John flagged me down to let me know how much he appreciated it. I to quote the text to my wife, Julie, after John’s feedback:

O... M... G... I just got flagged down by John Willis and he told me my talk was great. He loved it! I got goosebumps.

I looked into SJ Technologies after getting back to Detroit and added it to my short list of places I would consider working should the opportunity arise.

Fast forward to DevOpsDays Detroit, where John and I met again. After my DevOps README.md lightning talk, Barbara Bouldin approached me, gave me a glowing review, and asked for a copy of the slide deck. I was flattered given the fantastic talk Barbara gave during DevOpsDays Detroit. To quote another text to Julie:

Barbara Boudin of SJ Technologies ran me down to ask for my slides.

I took down Barbara’s e-mail address and sent off a copy immediately. John Willis also had very kind things to say about working with Barbara during DevOpsDays Detroit. If John says nice things about you, my ears are going to perk up for sure.

When the time came to look for a new position one of the first people I e-mailed was Barbara Bouldin. We spent over an hour talking about my experience. For the first time since I can remember, someone genuinely cared about my military service. Barbara wanted to hear more about what I did in the Air Force. That meant a lot to me. Then I spoke with SJ Technologies’ CEO, Karen Lawton, and was pleasantly surprised that Karen wanted to hear more about my Air Force experience as well. When coupled with my experience in the DevOps space and greater open source community it seemed like a great fit.

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Then I was asked to spend some time talking to John Willis. If you ever want to know what impostor syndrome feels like work in DevOps and be told you need to talk to John. All my self-doubt came rushing in. Then I remembered how nice it was talking to John in Raleigh and Detroit. I realized this was going to be a conversation I needed to pull out all the stops for but didn’t need to worry about. The talk went well. These are some out of context quotes from the call I wrote down:

  • “Decouple tech from process.”
  • “Service model immune to tech changes… Improves but doesn’t require labor changes.”
  • “Rising tide lifts all boats.”
  • “Fearing change.”

The discussion was like many I had before with folks trying to latch on to DevOps in their own environments except there were answers. The call made me realize SJ Technologies would be an amazing opportunity. I look forward to doing great things!

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