What is your role at Big Switch, how did you end up at the company and what factors lead to you joining the company?
I joined BSN about five months ago as a technical solution architect (SE). I joined because I wanted to be part of a small company that is taking a fresh approach to networking, one that is open, easy, more cost-efficient, and provides out-of-the box integration with other major platforms.
Can you provide some background on what life of a Big Switch SE is like?
In this role I have the opportunity to meet with customers in all industries and all sizes, listen to the challenges they face, and educate them on our solutions. These discussions often lead to a proof of concept, where we stand up one of our solutions in order to show how they can be applied to meet the customer’s particular requirements.
What do you think makes Big Switch unique?
Many things... The technology is certainly unique--the commoditization, virtualization, and efficiency that have happened everywhere else in IT is finally happening in networking. When was the last time “better” also cost less? The people are also impressive--just today, I mentioned to an SE candidate that I’ve never worked with a more talented group. Also the company size--in a small company, your ideas (and your customers’) can have a more meaningful, quicker impact than they would at a larger company. Product managers actually initiate discussions with the SE team on product features, which is a great example of the cross-collaboration among teams throughout the company.
What is your favorite part of your job / team? What do you enjoy about the work you are doing?
I enjoy interacting with people, listening to their stories, educating them about the next-generation of networking, and providing solutions that surpass their expectations. I also enjoy the flexibility and focus of working out of a home office, and the ability to interact with product management on ideas for improvement.
What do you think the biggest challenge(s) for a prospective employee stepping into an SE role?
That depends on a person’s background and expectations. If you’re expecting someone to direct you every step of the way, you could be easily challenged by a small company where you’re expected to take the initiative. Some people don’t like a remote office, or a lack of structure in their day. For me, these are all benefits. The biggest challenge for me is keeping up with the speed of this industry, especially since our solutions actually provide native integration into other IT areas that are not traditionally part of the network silo.
Who would do well at Big Switch? What sort of disposition and experience are ideal for the open roles on the SE team?
Someone who takes initiative, who’s curious, likes to play with technology, likes to learn new ways of doing things, and loves change. Someone who’s had deep experience with networking technology, as well as adjacent technologies. Someone who has experience dealing with all different kinds of customers. And someone who enjoys interacting with people in order to help solve problems and make things better for them.
What does the next 12 months look like for Big Switch? What are you most excited about?
It looks like a fun ride! I like seeing customers get excited by our different approach; it makes the work that I am doing and that our entire team is doing so rewarding. And I like hearing them say, “that looks too easy.”
For a candidate interviewing for an open role on the Systems Engineering team, what advice would you offer them?
Here’s what I did to get to know BSN:
- I started by watching a lot of YouTube videos from Tech Field Day and BSN to understand the primary uses cases.
- I also read through a lot of the recognition that BSN is getting in the press, links to which we provide on our website. I’ve seen cases where a smaller company was challenging the industry status quo but getting no recognition, so this aspect was important to me.
- Finally, I wanted to try the technology for myself, so I spent a lot of time on labs.bigswitch.com. It provides step-by-step instructions that were an excellent way for me to get hands-on experience with our products and their use cases.
- I would also encourage candidates to look through some of the content on our website to learn more about the different use cases for our products and how we’re helping customers modernize their data centers.
We are hiring for SEs across the US, as well as for EMEA, LATAM, Canada and Japan. To learn more about open positions, please go to: http://jobs.jobvite.com/bigswitch and if you don’t see an open position, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to say hello and pass over your resume.