[SATLUG] Rackspace

Joe null.div.zero at gmail.com
Fri Nov 6 06:35:13 CST 2015

Brad,   thanks for taking the time for all this.   I'm not active in any
open source projects.   I'm not sure I would have anything to offer.?  We
used java in college,  and I've fiddled with Android development a
little.   But,  not in a serious way.  And,  I don't do any development or
scripting in my role at work.   In my mind,  having such limited experience
in coding,  I wouldn't be of much use on an open source project.   The work
I've been doing is server management,  IT analysis, and (most notably)
network communications design and implementation.

I guess that get to the crux of why I'm asking for help.   I'm not sure
what industries want these skill sets. I've been working in under the
blanket sector of "IT"  for 4 years,  since college.   I spent the first 3
years working hard on pipeline operations,  and loved it.   It was
definitely the "deep end".  I was repeatedly asked (or commanded)  to do
things beyond my experience.  And, made a name for myself as the go to guy
for networking projects.   The bad news was that I was on call 24/7 for all
pipeline operations,  and was the only "IT" / network guy they had.   That
was NO FUN!  Then there was a merger.   Our company was the larger of the
2; but,  all of the original managers/owners broke off,  to start new
companies.  They wanted me to come along,  but,  the on-call beatings had
me worn pretty thin.   So,  turned them down; and,  I still think that was
the right move.  Unfortunately,  the newly compiled company,  the one I'm
with now,  is primarily run out of Dallas, and with their old management
and IT department in place.  And,  the IT team up there is not real
interested in sharing their responsibilities.   So,  I'm stuck in a
satellite office,  essentially just doing help desk work.   And,  I don't
see that changing. The group in Dallas is competent,  and doesn't seem
interested in letting any new blood in.   So,  if there's no room to move
up; I need to move laterally.  And,  I don't know which direction to go.
On Nov 5, 2015 6:27 PM, "Brad Knowles" <brad at shub-internet.org> wrote:

> On Nov 5, 2015, at 4:52 PM, Joe <null.div.zero at gmail.com> wrote:
> > All,  especially those of you that work at Rackspace or a similar
> company,
> So, I currently work at VMware and not at Rackspace, but they have
> recruited me several times over the years, when I’ve worked at places like
> UT Austin, at a consulting company working on a contract at Apple, at a
> cloud/devops consulting company headquartered here in Austin working for
> companies like Raytheon, AT&T, Shopkeep, ServiceMesh/CSC, and others.  I
> know several people who work (or worked) at Rackspace.
> Let me give you an outsiders perspective of Rackspace, which is also
> applicable to most other hosting companies I know of, albeit to a lesser
> degree.
> Keep in mind that everything I say here is my own personal opinion, based
> on my own direct interactions with several different Rackspace recruitment
> attempts, and my personal observations of what I’ve seen happen to a number
> of people who work (or worked) at Rackspace.
> I’m sure that there are plenty of Rackers on the list who will violently
> disagree with everything I say.
> Basically, they’re involved in a race to the bottom.  In fact, I submit
> that Rackspace is one of the major players helping to cause the race to the
> bottom.
> Rackspace is heavily stove-piped, and none of the people working in one
> product line know anything about anyone or anything in a different product
> line.  They actively work to pay the lowest possible wages they can for the
> least qualified people they can, and as soon as those people get too much
> experience or start making too much money, they get tossed aside.  That’s
> assuming that the people in question don’t get burned out and leave the
> company first.
> They think that “Senior” means someone who has two or three years of
> experience.  Their most senior technical people in the company have only
> five to seven years of experience.  They are incapable of dealing with the
> concept of someone who has a decade of experience, or more.  Now, none of
> this may be a problem for you personally, but it does tell you something
> really important about the company — they don’t value experience.
> The reason why Rackspace opened a large office here in Austin is because
> they had basically exhausted the supply of people who were available and
> willing to work for them in San Antonio, and so the largest market of
> potential employees that was close by was an hour and a half north.  All
> the people I know of who work in the Austin office were told that they
> would be working up here the entire time they’re employed by the company.
> And then that become four days a week and one day a week that they had to
> commute to San Antonio.  And then three/two, and then two/three, and so on
> and so on.
> The management has actively and repeatedly lied to their employees about
> their working hours, their place of work, and virtually everything else.
> Of course, now Rackspace is finding it harder and harder to get people up
> here in Austin that are willing to put up with that kind of BS.
> If you want to get thrown in the deep end of the pool and see if you can
> either sink or swim, I’m sure that Rackspace will certainly be happy to let
> you do that.  Oh, and they’ll also be happy to give you plenty of extra
> lead weights to take with you on your trip.  But, if you can survive long
> enough, I’m sure that you’ll learn a lot of things very quickly — most
> likely the hard way, and most likely having to do with ways you want to
> avoid ever doing those things again in the future.
> But I’m sure it is a great learning opportunity.  If you can survive.
> Of course, to that degree, AWS is no different, and if you’ve read the
> recent reports, you know that Amazon is actually worse.  Hostgator is in
> the same boat. I don’t know of any large hosting providers/ISPs that are
> good in this area.
> There are companies that are good, but most of them aren’t hiring —
> they’ve got plenty of former Rackspace/HP/Dell/Oracle/etc… employees to
> choose from, and they don’t need to advertise.  Or, if they are looking to
> hire people, they use word-of-mouth through their current people who are
> good and who might know others who are also good and who might be available.
> Where I was at UT Austin was great when I first got hired, but then they
> hired a new manager above me, and the entire central IT Services division
> tanked — of course, these two events may or may not be related.  Oh, and we
> got caught in University-wide layoffs, too.  And my thyroid cancer also
> played a bit of a role.
> The consulting company I worked for when I was on contract at Apple was
> fine, but once the contract with Apple was over, they didn’t have anything
> more for me.  And I quickly learned that Apple just wasn’t the right kind
> of company for me, and the whole Bay Area was just way too bloody expensive
> to stay there.
> The Austin-based consulting company has been good, but then they got
> bought by VMware in November of last year.  We’re still trying to figure
> out if that was a good thing or not.
> > I've been working in oil & gas,  on SCADA networks.   I'm interested in
> > changing directions.   And,  I'd like to do more with Linux.  So, my
> > question is,  what kind of networking prospects are there at a company
> like
> > Rackspace? And,  what kind of experience are they looking for?
> > I have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. I've got
> > subnetting,  dns,  and  routing experience. I'm Network+ certified. And,
> > I've been expanding my Linux experience on LinuxAcademy.com.   Also,  do
> > you think I'm moving the right direction?  If not, what companies, or
> > fields do you think I would be able to contribute,  with this skill set?
> Skill-wise, it sounds like you’re doing reasonably well.
> However, one question I would ask is what open-source projects are you
> involved in, and can we see what your work in that project has been?
> For me, certificates have always been of questionable value.  I’ve always
> been more interested in seeing actual concrete results.
> --
> Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
> LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
> --
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