The other day, someone on Twitter called a frienemy, because I was having a friendly conversation with someone who still works with my previous employer.
By now everyone knows I left EMC to come over to Dell Storage. I still live in Massachusetts, in the town next to Hopkinton (where EMC is headquartered). I also have lots of friends (not to mention a husband!) who still work for EMC. So what happens to all of those connections when you move from one employer to another in the same industry? Do we have to see these friends as enemies if we cross over to another side of the playing field?
I say emphatically NO.
First of all, I’ve worked in the storage industry for most of my career. For those of you in this industry, I want you to really think about the size of our industry. And by that I mean people who really understand storage, from the user through the network to applications and databases on virtual machines on servers and through the storage network to the storage array all the way to disk. How many people really understand what it takes to architect, build, manage, replicate, protect, and restore all of those elements?
If you really think about it, we are a relatively small community.
Now think of the importance of what we do as a community. We make sure that the world’s data is committed to disk, and that the data is retrievable and usable. Some of this data will be retrieved 100, 200 years from now. What we do collectively as a storage community will impact what data survives to be retrieved. If you really think about that, it makes all this frienemy talk seem pretty silly and trivial.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely playing for a new team. When it comes to the night of the big game, I’ll suit up in my colors and compete. But I have made too many friends and connections at all of my previous jobs (not just EMC). These friends are still the same smart, technical, innovate people they were when we were all on the same team.
It all comes back to my mantra: Connect All.
Here’s the way I see it: the connections we made as storage professionals should transcend any business affiliation…..our societal responsibilities mean we have to work together as an industry.
What do you think? Am I crazy to feel this way? Am I being naive?