Well, it’s 9:15pm and we’ve been on the road around 11hrs now. The kids are getting emotional and the wife and I are just about fried. In case you had (or hadn’t) heard the rumor, yes it’s true, Tweeks is leaving our San Antonio HQ offices and permanently moving to our Blacksburg Cloud Apps (aka “Mailtrust”) offices.
My move east is not something that just recently came up. Lanham can tell you, I’ve been trying to get out to the East Coast (off and on) for the past 10 or so years. I had even (at various points) spoken with the likes of Google and Red Hat about jobs on the East Coast, but just couldn’t bring myself to leave the Rack. I just love the Rack, the people, our values, and, most of all, the impact the average Racker can make on what our company does… Leadership really does try to reach out to the front lines and keep it real with Friends and Family.
Anyway, my last couple of years have been very exciting! Laura McWilliams gave me the opportunity and challenge to help build out Cloud Apps processes and standards for Change Management, Incident Management, Uptime Statistics and Problem Management (root cause) as well as other key Continuous Improvement Initiatives within Cloud Operations. Up through 2010 and with the unification of our Cloud groups (Apps, Sites, Files and Servers), we’ve been standardizing Ops processes and even helping to standardize them across all of Rackspace. Fun stuff!
All this to say, while I really do believe in helping standardize on these industry best practices, I also feel that I have gotten away from my Engineering roots that I so love (I’m an EE formally). Some joke that I’ve become, well, more of a “paper pusher” than a hardcore Engineer. My geek-soul recoils in horror.
Many Rackers know that we really need these kinds of industry standards and best practices/processes to be able to continue to grow in size while simultaneously scaling areas like Support, customer accountability and responsiveness. Still, I feel that I’ve now done my part in helping us improve in these areas. I now want to shift gears and get back to actively perusing some of my Engineering, Open Source and multi-discipline technical interests – not continuing to explore my XLS/spreadsheet and process documentation prowess.
Feeding My Inner Geek:
So when Korey Mercier in Blacksburg told me a few months ago that he had a couple of Engineering positions opening in their Blacksburg Dev offices and wanted me to come out for a visit, I was thrilled. The very thought of getting back into the technical world AND of possibly relocating back East came at the perfect time! Especially after a few of my outage, RCA studies allowed me to work with their Engineers and Devs to solve some real world Linux kernel module problems. I realized that while all this process stuff was helping the Rack grow our process and continual improvement areas, I was not being true to my own geek-self.
After going to interview and spend some time with our Blacksburg brethren, their offices really reminded me of the young Rackspace of 2002 with all of the small-shop, fun, empowering, eclectic, open group-thought type atmosphere that attracted me to the young Rackspace of 1999 and 2000. PLUS, Blacksburg has some really cool Google-style 80/20 development practices!
In Blacksburg, even non-devs are encouraged to work on fun/cool work (or non-work) projects and present on them during their “Shark Week” (which I was lucky enough to also get to see during my trip out to visit with them). I got to see several very cool, fun, (but most of all) uber geeky shark-week presentations. They ranged from software demos for potential new products to hardware hacking/arduino/microcontroller projects. Right up my geek-alley!
New Technical Opportunities All Over The Country!
Many Rackers from our remote offices have migrated to San Antonio, which has caused for a lot of inter-office cross training and the like. This is good stuff. But, on the flip side, we technical San Antonio Rackers have more and more opportunities available to us outside of Texas. There are new Engineering and Dev positions in many of our newer remote offices:
There are currently Dev and other Technical slots open in our San Francisco and Austin offices:
San Francisco – Explore opportunities
Austin – Explore Opportunities
And I’m very excited to hear about the Dev spots currently open in Blacksburg (a big Python, PHP, C#, and Java shop):
To search all Blacksburg positions, click here.
It would be really great to see a bunch of old school SA-Racker Devs and other technical SA-Rackers who want to grow into more technical positions reach out and check into some of these cool new positions coming available in our new remote offices! After all… we’re big enough now that we need to be sure to cross-pollinate our technical cultures to ensure that Rackspace is Rackspace no matter which offices we find ourselves in!
Sad To Leave, But Looking Forward:
Here’s to all my excellent Racker Friends and Family members in San Antonio. With my physical and career move, I’m very excited, but also sad as I leave the growing list of SA-Rackers that I’ve come to see as my second local family since 1999. If we strive to reach out and grow between all of our offices and technical groups, then we’ll never really lose touch. We’ll experience that same warmth of family, fun empowerment, fanatical attitude and “Racker Feel” no matter where we sit down with our laptops for the week, month or year… We’ll be home anywhere within the Rack, as it should be.
Well, that’s about it… It’s late and I’m just rolling up to my first overnight waypoint with my wife and four unconscious kids in our relocation to Blacksburg, VA. Time to unload little bodies and get some shuteye. Maybe I’ll write another piece in a few months from Blacksburg once I’m settled in.
Tweeks (Thomas Weeks) holds a BS-EET/Telecom degree from Texas A&M, is one of the founding Rackers from 1999, and a big Open Source/Linux advocate. He started as one of the first three Support techs at Rackspace in 1999, created the Technical training department (pre RackU), has worked as a product Engineer, helped launch sister company Server Beach, and more recently helped Rackspace Cloud with tracking uptime statistics and heading up problem analysis/root cause efforts.
Explore Opportunities in BlacksburgCategory: Rackers Tags: Blacksburg, C#, Engineering, Opportunities, PHP, Python, Thomas Weeks, Tweeks