New job, who dis?

...and just like that, my adventure with VMware is over. I joined almost exactly 18 months ago, and in that time I've had the pleasure to work with some of my heroes. Some of the smartest people in the world. Some of the nicest people in the industry. I've had the honour that some of them now call me "friend". I've learned so much. Who knew that Technical Marketing was such a change from my previous life (I did, but I didn't realise just how different it was)? I've travelled the world, visiting places I would never have been able to dream of seeing. I've been able to work with software engineers and product managers who are building out the future of one of my favourite pieces of software. Oh, and I got to spend sooooo much time working with customers and up my public speaking game whilst getting paid to do it. Sadly, all things must come to an end.

It's no secret that VMware reorganises it's workforce at the end of each financial year. I'd hoped that R&D staff would be exempt from this as in previous years, but unfortunately the axe swung and took out both myself and David Stamen from the vSphere Tech Marketing team. David has been my brother in arms for my entire time at VMware, and was in fact the person who referred me into the job. I was shocked that I was cut, but absolutely gutted when I heard about David and all of the other names that I've been following in the community for a LONG time. I'm going to miss them all immensely. I'm also going to miss everyone on the vSphere TMM team, and the wider CPBU TMM team. Y'all have been amazing, and incredibly supportive and understanding. I couldn't hope to have had the opportunity to work with a better bunch of folks, and I sincerely hope that I get the opportunity to work with them again in future.
I found out that I was to be made redundant 2 weeks ago to the day today. I'd just returned home after completing the final 2 VMUG vSphere Roadshows that had been a large part of my work over the past 18 months. The first day was shock. I struggled to comprehend where this had come from. My reviews were always positive. I had a certificate of Outstanding recognition from my Director. I got great reviews for all of my VMworld sessions and Roadshow events. How could this happen to me? Ultimately... it's just business.

So I hit the gym, then slept on it. I woke feeling refreshed and determined to use my feelings in a positive way. I searched for internal opportunities, and applied for a bunch. Sadly my location ruled me out for some, some others were already filled and others were pursued, but ultimately I didn't have the time to make them work. I also put out feelers in my network on LinkedIn and Twitter, and boy were they effective! Soon I was having a lot of discussions with external companies about opportunities on the market. I turned nobody down for an initial chat: I spoke with super-early days startups and massive corporations. I had some face to face chats with a few of them, and continued down the road.

One of the first companies that I spoke with was one I'd been a fan of for some time. I admired their product, but they were still small enough to have a family-like feel to them. The initial role we discussed I wasn't sure about, but after discussions with the CEO and VP of Sales it felt like there was enough scope to give me enough extra stuff to get my teeth into that I really wanted to pursue the opportunity.

And on that note: today is my first day working for Runecast. I'll be running some presales work. I'll be doing some tech marketing stuff. I'll be helping to improve Runecast Analyzer for our customers and who knows what else? I'll certainly be visible in the community, so hopefully I'll be seeing some of you folks at VMUGs, VMworlds and more!

And maybe I'll find time to blog more, as well ;)