In a sea of overloaded terms, it seems to me that the word “hybrid” is perhaps one of the most often used. Whenever we want to convey that we are combining two [or more?] different elements into one, we stick the word “hybrid” in front and call it a day. It all started with genetic cross-breeding – plants and animals – in the biology world. But then the vehicular world joined the fun – hybrid cars and hybrid bicycles. In the last few years I haven’t been able to stop hearing about hybrid clouds or hybrid IT. And not to be outdone, the financial industry is in on the trend – you can of course invest in hybrid securities. (There are even hybrid golf clubs, in case you can’t decide between that 7 iron and your 3 wood.)
As I reflect on my professional past, and in a continued effort to overload the term, I sometimes find myself describing my career in terms of hybrid jobs. (Indeed, I am not the first one to coin this term.) I like to think of myself as a little left-brained and a little right-brained; a little technical, a little business; a computer geek with people skills. I am definitely most happy when I have a job that lets me build things, write some code, and potentially get into the weeds on technical stuff, while also allowing for me to analyze, synthesize, collaborate, and share information with a wide array of audiences from sales people to customers to engineers. I like sitting in that nice spot inside the middle of a venn diagram.
When I last changed jobs after spending so long working in various areas of Enterprise IT, I was very lucky to have found a position that seemed to combine my skills and interests into something that felt like a perfect fit. Even more than the job definition itself, I was able to hybridize my career as I moved from a monolithically slow enterprise IT world to a lean and agile product team in an organization with a startup sensibility.
The growth and knowledge I gained during my tenure there has been invaluable, but the time has come to once again expand on the hybridization of my career. So today, I’m very happy to report that I’ve joined Pivotal as a Product Marketing Director.
There’s something about Pivotal’s mission – transform how the world builds software – that appeals to all parts of me. I’ve lived the problem from both sides. When I worked in enterprise IT, we were constantly challenged by everything related to the development and deployment of software. It just wasn’t a core competency of the company, and things often took too long and required too many people with too many different skill sets. On the other hand, even in a product development organization where building and shipping software is supposed to be the core competency, it was still challenging dealing with the complexities of engineering and large teams of developers who have various areas of expertise and experience.
No matter what kind of organization you’re in, building software is a difficult thing to do, especially as you constantly face the rapidly changing technology [and business!] landscape. Except nowadays, every company is a software company. It’s not just the Silicon Valley startups who need it. Every company these days undoubtedly has a lot of software – whether internal or customer-facing (or both) – to build and manage.
That’s what makes Pivotal’s mission so incredibly intriguing. Companies (perhaps the biggest ones especially) need to rethink and revisit how they design, develop, and deploy software. In today’s arena, that often means they need to be more cloud-native. But it’s bigger than one technology or a single tool – it’s truly about transformation. That’s why I really love how Pivotal tackles it not just with a strong portfolio of products (from the flagship Pivotal Cloud Foundry, to the open source Spring framework, to the more widely known Pivotal Tracker, and even a Big Data Suite), but also through Pivotal Labs, where they partner directly with customers and guide them through the change.
As for me, I’m particularly fired up about that one word in my new title that I haven’t fully experienced in my career yet – marketing. I’m thrilled to be able to work with a truly incredible group of professionals as I discover how to sprinkle that bit of marketing in along with my passion for the technology and my enthusiasm for communicating about it. I’m eager to get started. Let’s do this!