July 9, 2015

938 words 5 mins read

Yesterday was my last day at Okta

oktalogo
As many of my friends and colleagues know, yesterday was my last day at Okta. It’s been a wild ride; it’s been a fun ride and now it’s time to close that chapter of my life. Any departure from a company one has been at for a decent amount of time is bittersweet. Even if you’re not happy at work or “hate that guy”, there’s always a flip side: the successes, the hijinx, and good times. Those high points are what you’ll remember for the longest. The workaholic in me is looking forward to getting a good vacation in for the first time in 3 years. The pragmatist in me is looking forward to getting some of the procrastinated chores around the house done. The sentimentalist in me is sad that I won’t get to see my coworkers on a daily basis; my coworkers that after three years, I call friends. All good things must come to an end, and this is my epilogue.

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My time at Okta started in May of 2012 after a 6 week break from my previous job. It was an interesting time for the company since they were moving to a new office space during my interview process, so I actually interviewed at both locations. I started working for the Director of Technical Operations, an interesting character by the name of Adam. In my tenure there I would end up working for 2 more bosses (and 3 pseudo-bosses) and learning a whole lot while I was at it. Starting with Okta I also picked up the habit of starting a new Evernote sheet for each week — I ended up with 441 notes in that folder, meaning I generated ~10 notes of data every month.

One of my biggest regrets during my Okta tenure was not taking more time to blog about all the projects and fun things we got to do there. It is an amazing company that will continue going places. While I will be sharing some of my favorite public projects from the last few years in subsequent blog posts, I wanted to take some time mention some of my favorite stories, paired with some quotes that I wrote down over the last three years that are worth sharing.

What happens in Vegas….
  • A few months after I joined the company, a large contingent of Engineering (and me) went to DefCon. One of the engineers left his laptop out at the airport, mistakenly thinking it’d be safe with his co-workers.

    AD: What did we learn?

    ND: Not to trust our coworkers!

    The same trip to Vegas was where I watched the same contingent of engineers have an impromptu hack-a-thon in a hotel Suite, rather than party. Those guys are crazy/dedicated.

  • We also drank on occasion in the early days…

AS: I’m really drunk

AR: That’s my boss

  • We once had a problem with a party, relating to our only occasional drinking…

PM: You sorted out the “No pig, more beer” problem?

  • You probably don’t even want the context on this one:

AS: This is my babysitter. She’s much hotter than the picture…

  • Sometimes the oldest gags are the best

AS: Is that a banana in your pocket?

AD: Yes. It’s quite ripe too. Would you like to touch it?

  • Once I destroyed something, I swear there was no dancing involved.

AH: Hello, Amazon. I have a return. It didn’t withstand my wiggle dance.

  • I regularly wore military style fatigues with giant pockets that were the stuff of legends (e.g. MacBook Airs were regularly pocketed).

AN: Don’t give me your pocket cookie!

  • Still one of my favorites in or out of context.

ST: I don’t bake. I just eat.

  • My subordinate, Josh, is a tried and true engineer.

Josh: I’ve got the hardest job of all, I have to look pretty.

  • Lastly we renamed and operated under the group name “Facilities & IT Support” which was refereed to by shorthand as “FITS”. About 6 months later during an all hands:

Executive: What the fuck is “FITS” ?

[
2015-05-02 14.19.38
][4]I'm sure some of these will only be enjoyable if you were there, but as I said in the intro, the good times are what one tends to remember. The trips to London, Toronto and Seattle to setup new offices also stick out in my mind. It was very personally gratifying to me to watch months worth of work and planning come to fruition and go off with minimal hiccups. I learned so much from those trips I could fill a book and who knows, maybe I will (don't worry, it'll be thin, and John will be my editor). [
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][5]As for right now, a well earned and well needed vacation is in order. As I mentioned above, I'm a bit of a workaholic and haven't taken a serious vacation in a few years now. Even when one wants to, in a small company with an IT department of 1 or 2, you never can truly get away (I tried, trust me). I look forward to catching up on my writing (blog and otherwise), reading, and relaxing. I also have some consulting projects to keep me out of mischief. Going forward? Who knows. I'm always interested in new challenges and too much vacation will make me antsy to get back to real work. If you've got a need (or know someone who does) for an IT Guy in the SF Bay Area (or maybe somewhere else interesting, both Toronto and London were lovely places) in a months time or so, you can find out more about me on [JonDavis.name][6], including multiple methods to contact me.