What’s It’s Like to be a NetCraftsmen: Installment 2 (of a Potentially Infinite Series)

NetCraftsmen®
  • I can only speak for myself but I feel that I am well compensated for what I do.  I was concerned about that when I moved from a Fortune 500 company to a company of less than 30 employees.  I think the benefits and compensation package speaks for itself.  My family is covered with great health insurance and I haven’t yet felt the need to whine or moan when my direct deposit slip showed up in the mail.  You can’t attract, obtain, and retain top rate talent like NetCraftsmen does without being competitive with other industry players.
  • We use technology to our advantage.  As a virtual company, this is a necessity.  We use WebEx Web and Audio conferencing for a large chunk of communication needs.  We even have web cams to integrate live video feed into our WebEx meetings as desired.  I love IM.  This may sound odd coming from a UC guy but I don’t really care to talk on the phone.  Some of us have a favorite IM client and other use a universal client.  In either case, we are only an IM away from each other.  Our mobile phones are also covered as a company expense.  Even though Bill, Andre, and I tear thru some IM sessions, I can’t count how often we call each other to discuss a project, coordinate meeting at a client site, or just take a break from the task at hand.  We make up for not seeing each other everyday by staying in touch.  Personally, I think our team is all the more tight-knit for it.
  • We have fun and make time for face-to-face activity.  Whether it be a UC team happy hour, quarterly meeting/dinner, or holiday dinner, the owners of the company understand that we have to maintain a certain level of personal interaction for the company to be a company…and we do.  FYI: The corporate dinner earlier this year was a great time.  Food was excellent, drinks flowed, and we all enjoyed the success we’ve achieved as a company.
  • We’re growing.  It’s not a hurried growth.  It’s not a purposefully slow growth.  It’s a measured and purposeful growth that, IMO, shows that the leaders of the company understand that there is a fine line between growth for growth’s sake and growth for the sake of accommodating further success.  In our case, we continue to be successful.  We continue to win larger, more complex projects.  Our reputation grows with each happy client.  This means that we, NetCraftsmen, must grow as well.  However, none of us is willing to sacrifice or lower the standards of what we expect every NetCraftsmen to be.  Speaking from experience, this is not always the approach other companies take.  Employees becomes bodies and bodies become dead weight and morale amongst the once valued, hard workers can plummet.  I don’t feel pressured when I interview a UC candidate.  I know that, while we want to expand the team, we can still be selective in the hiring process and not only will my teammates support me but folks like David Yarashus (President of NetCraftsmen) will as well. 
  • NetCraftsmen is comprised of a diverse, experienced group of individuals with skills that range any number of disciplines.  To be honest, I’m surprised (almost daily) by how much knowledge has been amassed by the employees of this company.  And yes, even though we are small – we are a diverse company.  NetCraftsmen come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  We have male engineers and female engineers.  The same can be said of the Sales staff (i.e., Account Managers) as well.  Talent is talent.
  • Being a NetCraftsmen is not a job, it’s a career and a commitment.  The commitment starts with yourself.  It’s a commitment to be the best you can be at your craft.  It’s a commitment to be a vital member of your team.  It’s a commitment to be a vital member of the company.  The second commitment is to uphold the values and tenets of a what we feel a NetCraftsmen should be.  I believe that if you do these things and make that commitment to yourself and your team to be the best you can be, then being a NetCraftsmen transcends simply being a “job” and it becomes a career – and one that may lead to success you wouldn’t have achieved elsewhere.  I’ve said this before and it warrants being said again…I didn’t come to NetCraftsmen to change “jobs”; I came here in the hopes of making the best career move I’ve ever made and work with some great friends as well.  So far, so good.  I’ve learned so much so fast, I’ve grown so quickly (and I don’t mean my belt size – for you NetCraftsmen that may find that funny), and I’ve realized that for as far as I’ve come that I’ve got just as far to go and that I can do that here and make a long career and great reputation doing just that – evolving, learning, committing to excellence.
  • That concludes Installment 2 (aka, Part Deux) of my series on What It’s Like to be a NetCraftsmen.  Again, 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.  Thanks to all my NetCraftsmen colleagues – but particularly Bill Bell, Andre Wright, David Yarashus, and Renee Wagner for being not only great peers but mentors in many ways.

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    Nick Kelly

    Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

    Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.

     

    Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

    CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
    Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

    Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.

     

    John Cavanaugh

    CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
    Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

    John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

    He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.