What’s It’s Like to be a NetCraftsmen: Installment 1 (of a Potentially Infinite Series)


With that said, here is what you can expect from my “Potentially Infinite Series” on What It’s Like to be a NetCraftsmen.  This won’t be a one and done top ten list.  Instead, I plan to approach this as a stream of consciousness  blog series that highlights various thoughts I have about the company.

Without further ado, Installment 1:

  • The work, particularly for the UC team, is challenging.  We are a small company with a big reputation and we get good work.  I thought I was smart when I got here but only now have I begun to realize how much I truly had to learn before I came.
  • We are rewarded for hard work and achievements.  So far, my favorite example of this is the last quarterly dinner.  Along with my colleagues, I was awarded an Amazon Kindle and leather case for working a little extra to put together templates that improve the UC practice.
  • I came here to work with two people in particular.  One is Bill Bell.  I consider Bill to be my mentor as well as my peer and my friend.  The other is Andre Wright.  Like Bill, Andre has been a mentor, a peer, and a friend.  Now I don’t mean work friends.  I mean “real” friends.  We take ownership in the UC team.  We look out for each other.  We look out for our team members.  None of us will let another fail, period.  This is indicative of one of our core values – a NetCraftsmen is always willing to lend a helping hand.
  • Working with Bill and Andre will always be a reason to stay here.  However, I didn’t know that before I even started that I’d find another.
  • This company gives me a feeling of confidence.  We have some of the best talent around and several are essentially legends in the field of networking.  If I delve into something out of my comfort zone and need some help, I’ve got colleagues like Dr. Peter Welcher, Terry Slattery, Marty Adkins, Rob Chee, Bill Bell…and others to turn to.  The list goes on.  It’s great to have that kind of talent “in your back pocket”.
  • I can be independent but also part of a team.  No micro-management.   I know the projects at hand and what needs to be done.  No one gives me a hard time if I need to run a personal errand or go to the doctor on short notice.
  • If you need something and it’s justified, ask for it.  For example: “David, I need some lab equipment so that I can test UC apps and such.”  “Ok, Hailey – can you run most or all of your apps in VMWare?”  “Yes, the important ones for sure”.  Voila!  I have a server running VMWare, a 2811 ISR, a 24-port PoE switch, and multiple IP phones all staged as a lab in my basement.  It has proven to be invaluable and I never have to leave the house or schedule time or worry about breaking something someone else did.
  • Take ownership in the company because it’s yours too.  Seriously, it’s like that.  If you have an opinion on something, say it.  If you can make a business case for what you feel is right, the Board will vote on it and it may well be approved.  When I came here, I received emails everyday saying “Need bridge at 9AM” and I thought, “Oh my god, what have I gotten myself into”.  I brought my case for a more professional web and audio collaboration tool to David, researched it, and we’ve been using WebEx ever since.  I once told David that our website (old one) was terrible and why I thought  so.  We now have a nice new website that looks modern and allows us to blog which has really started to take off in popularity for us.  You can make things change here if you’re willing to speak your mind and do some legwork.  I’ve never been anywhere like that before.

That concludes Installment 1 of my series on What It’s Like to be a NetCraftsmen.  There are many thoughts to come, I’m sure.  If you happen to stumble upon this blog and are interested in working at NetCraftsmen but have specific questions about our culture and such that I haven’t yet addressed, please feel free to drop a comment and let me know.  Coming to NetCraftsmen has, by far, been the best career move I’ve made yet and I’m proud to work here and to be a NetCraftsmen.

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