- On November 6th, 2018, I joined Juniper Networks as Director of Open Source Strategy.
- At the threshold of 2020, a new CTO started at Juniper Networks.
- On May 27th, 2020, Juniper Networks laid off its entire open source team (myself included), who had reported to the CTO.
Changes in leadership typically come with collateral damage, both in personnel and in strategy. Our team was a regrettable victim of both and it was not enjoyable. That’s all I’ll say about my work experiences these past few months.
Despite an overload of tasks, too much travel, and a lot of stress induced by same, the majority of my time at Juniper was great. While it has its flaws, like any company, overall it’s a great place to work. Of all the large corporations I’ve worked for or with, Juniper had its shit the most together. Decent internal comms, an intranet that actually worked, leadership that tried their best to do the right thing for the employees. Their IP/Legal team is one of the best I’ve worked with and I’m particularly sad to leave them behind. As a company, I hold nothing against Juniper and am grateful for the time I spent there.
A large reason for that gratitude was Randy Bias, the now former VP of Technology & Open Source Software and my teammate. Sure, he’s brilliant and innovative, but you’d expect that of someone with his reputation and skills. What I didn’t expect was to work with someone so open, collaborative, loyal, helpful, and empathetic. Randy is a damn good human being, and that means a lot in this messed-up world of ours. I can’t thank Randy enough for the chance to work with and get to know him. As colleagues (and friends) go, he’s a keeper. I’d work with him again in a heartbeat.
So what’s next?
UPDATE: After a couple of intense months of back to back interviews, I finally recognised that a large part of the reason I was feeling so exhausted is that I was burned out and hadn’t ever given myself the chance to recover. While I’m still speaking with companies about interesting opportunities, I’m mostly resting up. I expect to put the job hunting machine into high gear in Q1 of 2021. Please do drop me a line if you’d like to get the jump on all the other companies.
For starters, I’m hanging out my shingle and am once again available for corporate and community open source strategy. This stuff is hard to do right, and even harder to do right while also turning a profit. My email is pretty easy to find. Please use it to send me your questions. While I’m starting to freelance again, this is not my long term preference. I’d rather join a company where I can lead their open source strategy and team. I want to commit to a company and make a difference, creating a strategy that I get to see through. Do you know of a place that needs my help? You probably do, whether they realise it or not. Send them my resume. Drop me a line. Let’s talk. Aside from that, I have plenty to keep me occupied. I have several projects that I’ve been working on. Some need maintenance, others need more thought, and one is just about ready to announce. I hope to do that in the next week or so. My editor (whom I adore) has brought up the subject of another book, so I might start talking to him about that. Speaking of books, I have a large pile of them waiting to be read and now no longer have 4-6 hours of meetings most days. Catching up on some professional development while sipping iced tea in the back garden doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend some of those recovered hours. However pleasant that sounds, I’d rather be doing what I love: helping companies and organisations be successful through free and open source software. Let me do that for you.