Bill Gets a New Job

Oh sit right back and hear the tale, the tale of a fateful ship...

Well it has been a long difficult journey. Here is the sad tale of my end at DataCore...

First, let me say that DataCore has an incredible product and wonderful people. We had our differences and there were some "interesting" times to say the least, but I look back on my DataCore days fondly. Although my tale makes it sound like DataCore is gone, it is not. They hit very tough times, but they are still fighting. The founding team had to make some difficult business decisions to keep the company viable. They have reinvented themselves a bit and I think that it is working for them. I wish them luck and hope to see them succeed.

If you don't know what DataCore is or what I did there, here is the scoop. DataCore Software, based in Ft. Lauderdale, makes vitrualization software. In short, their software allows you to manage large storage devices from different vendors and makes it better than the storage you originally bought. This is no small feat, but a lot of talented people worked there.

I was the manager of worldwide corporate training for DataCore. I worked with the best people and was able to visit some incredible places. I had the privilege of visiting Tokyo five times and Sydney twice. I also had numerous visits to south Florida. Let's just say that I had pretty good status on American Airlines!

My Days are Numbered

Most of us saw the decline of DataCore coming, but tried our best to put on our rose colored glasses. We believed in the product and hoped for the best. We stayed on because DataCore was worth the gamble.

In late March 2004 I go the news that DataCore would be shutting down the California office (as well as a few other remote locations). They were also cutting back the head-count (the entire training department worldwide was cut. Although I saw this coming, I was confident it would not be until the summer at best. So, the announcement caught me by surprise.

The most difficult thing that I have ever done was to have to announce to the wonderful people that worked for me that we would be letting them go... all of them (including me). It was a tough time, but I had the good fortune to work with professionals. We all had work to wrap up and instead of jumping off of the sinking ship, we ended with dignity and left when our commitments were complete.

My end with DataCore did not go as smoothly as I would have hoped, but I will not let the actions of one person ruin my fond memories and good times. Although I gave my heart and soul to DataCore, I feel that I took away much more than I gave. I had the privilege to work for one of the most incredible bosses in the world. I learned more form her about managing, leadership, being fair and level headed and the way to get the most out of your people than anyone I have ever worked with or for.

Searching for A New Job

The job market in Silicon Valley 2004 has been getting better, but it is still difficult. I was out of work for over four months. There was no big severance package from DataCore to help us out. It took most of the summer before I had any bites. I interviewed at a few places that were looking for consulting with the goal of creating a permanent position, but nothing panned out. By the end of the summer my three best possibilities were: The MathWorks (based in Mass), Apple Computers and Juniper Networks.

Finding the Right Fit

It was a difficult decision process. The MathWorks took themselves out of the running (and I still do not know why). I was left with Apple and Juniper. Juniper wanted me badly, but I have always dreamed of working for Apple. I thought that I had nailed my Apple interview and the offer was a sure thing. I know that I did well with Juniper and had multiple conversations and interviews. It was going to be a hard choice, but if Apple and Juniper were close in compensation packages, I would go with Apple.

Trouble in Paradise

Well, after my Apple interview, I left with a strange feeling about the group that I would be working in. After some side conversations with people I met there and some information from people I know inside of Apple, the group seemed a bit dysfunctional. That happens everywhere, so I put it in the back of my mind and dreamed of my offer letter. Well, that letter never came. After weeks of back and forth and with he help of some new friends that I made within Apple during this time, I found out that my manager-to-be was intimidated by me and my qualifications. He believed that I would be after his job. It is sad that some people are so insecure, but there is nothing that I could do about it.

My Decision is Made

Throughout the late summer, Juniper kept on me. Although they were not my first choice, I think that they were the best choice. Things always have a way of working out for the best with me. This time was no exception. Juniper is presenting its own challenges, but it has been a good fit. I am in the Internal Training department which has 1 1/2 members (counting myself). Juniper has needed to revamp its internal training for some time. There is a lot to do, but it has been fun.

Juniper has had its share of frustrations, but I am happy there. There are great people to work with and the company is top notch. I am gaining a lot of new skills and experiences. I am soaking it all in and taking advantage of every opportunity to learn. Many times in life your first choice does not end up being the right choice. This was one of those times for me. I didn't settle on my second choice. Juniper was not my first choice, but it was the right choice.

My Contact Info

My new Juniper information:

Bill Bates
The Training Guy
Juniper Networks
1194 North Mathilda Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(408) 936-4329
bates @

Posted: Sat - December 18, 2004 at 01:31 AM        

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