Hey, we all complain about work from time to time; we've all had lousy jobs. But before you call it a day and head off to the support group that meets at the bar, here are a few words from an IT pro that loves their work.
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Profession and specialization I am the vice-president of operations for Limelight Networks.
I have spent the last three years running the global Network Operations that support the largest events in the history of the Internet, here at Limelight Networks. There are a wide range of network events that ensure life is never dull here at Limelight. Planning for the scheduled events, such as software updates, media releases, live news broadcasts, and on-demand replays, takes up most of my day. But the fun (and the challenges) really come in for the unplanned events. Those events drives (hundreds of) thousands of viewers to our customers, all pulling the media at the exact same time.
Hobby: Since I work in an intense, fast paced environment that often runs 24x7, when I get some free time it is important to let off some steam. I try to get outdoors, whether its playing golf, hiking or fishing. Being outside clears my mind and gets me ready for the next adventure at the office.
Last book read: The Big Switch: Rewiring the world from Edison to Google by Nicholas Carr. The title and description grabbed my attention. It's a great book for someone that is just starting in the industry. However, if you've lived much of the Internet growth over the last ten years there isn't a lot of behind the scenes you won't already know.
Latest accomplishment: Supporting the 2008 Olympics Games for multiple countries, in multiple formats and for millions of users.
Running a Live and On-Demand event that runs 24 hours a day for multiple days can be not only a great challenge but a test of physical stamina. We have learned what it takes to pull off a successful event at this scale - how to stay sharp, keep things running smoothly, and still get some personal downtime to keep our minds fresh.
Toughest technology lesson learned: No matter how much you plan and test there are always going to be surprises when you go live or when the event starts. It's crucial to have a team ready to respond and react to whatever obstacles are presented. If you have enough visibility into the performance and systems output then you won't be wasting valuable time trying to determine the source and you'll be immediately adjusting to the variables.
Advice to an up-and-comer: Teamwork is vital in the success of any project or event. A fresh set of eyes as a peer review or a well rested engineer coming into a situation is often undervalued. Even the best engineers could benefit from a unique perspective. We try to encourage the sharing of different perspectives by setting up technical verticals that take input from all levels of operations and engineering.
[Know someone who thinks their IT job is awesome? Introduce them to me at debperelman [at] gmail [dot] com.]