A Renegade Blog

A Renegade In Quarantine


The Long Goodbye

This post if one for my Cisco folks. After 7.5 years at Cisco I am moving on.

Crossposted on Medium and LinkedIn.

I hate saying, “Goodbye.” There are a few reasons why I don’t honestly believe that while we are walking the earth, we should say goodbye. There will always be a time in which we should tell our real Goodbyes. These are the times that define us because we are losing someone or something. Instead, I want to talk about Journeys, paths, and experiences.

I walked into a Cisco Building for the first time as an employee, and technically, it was near the end of their yearly shutdown. It was Jan 2, and I had no concept of what that really meant. What it meant was that no one else would be in the building. I got set up and was off to the races. I leave, almost 7 1/2 years later, when we cannot go into buildings. Strange times right? I would say, don’t be sad or unhappy. I loved my time at Cisco. Maybe it’ll be the first time or perhaps not, but I do understand what people say about a set of folks who have had their careers changed by working at Cisco. It is a truly remarkable place with remarkable people.

While at Cisco, I learned what it took to make a product scale and what it really takes to make hardware and software fit in these incredibly complex and broad environments. I also learned quite a bit more about the true-isms in life, which is that not everything is what it appears on the surface. Those products you felt had some better widget, switch, whatever, each had their own faults. Interoperability took a new meaning. The other fascinating thing was to see how much the landscape changed while working on some fairly complex problems. I walked in with the internet wrestling with deploying TLS, and I walked out with the internet shunning non-TLS connections.

I feel that we are all in a broader, larger community in the security space, and that is a subset of the broader technical community. Truly lasting impacts and changes are marred by what you can do in that community that impacts the larger earth. That is my mantra. With that in mind, I’m going to go tackle a new set of challenges. I will miss the folks at Cisco that I was able to interact with; they truly made me feel that we had accomplished things honestly, with integrity and with ownership. Say what you will about products or services at Cisco. I saw more commitment to make customer engagement succeed than not succeed. You should always know what bad looks like and what good looks like. That will have a profound impact on your life and work ethic.

I hope that I will get to see my friends at a future conference in person one day, whether that is a generic technology summit or an information security summit. If you do see me at a Con, I would be saddened you didn’t come up and say hi. Thanks, friends, no goodbye’s required because I am hopefully still walking the earth. See you all around, probably not in digital space!

-M