Last Friday was my last day working as a Network Automation Engineer at Cargill. Words can’t describe how grateful I am for spending 2020 with them. For those who don’t know, according to Forbes, Cargill is the 2nd largest private US company, primarily in the food and agriculture industry. I was asked many times why would they need network automation engineers?
Cargill runs an immense network and as every other network, it needs to be managed properly. I really cherished the opportunities I got to get exposed to technologies I wasn’t super familiar with such as Jenkins and Batfish while, at the same time, mentoring other engineers on Ansible implementations.
I was really impressed with the overall integrity and high level of excellence of Cargill. Even though they are not a tech company, their container platform is the best I’ve ever worked with so far. Additionally, they are really good at agile practices, ensuring developers deliver their best. More than anything, I cherish the incredible connections I made while working there and I hope I’ll keep for life.
This event and other things got me thinking. This year it’s going to be 5 years since I’ve gotten my Master’s degree in Computer Science and 7 since I made my permanent move to the USA. Many things happened in my life recently that deserve appreciation.
In 2014, I’ve obtained my Bachelors of Science degree in Telecommunication Networks Engineering from Brazil, it took me six years to get that degree because I almost gave up on it on my 5th year. That degree plus other experiences gave me a very strong quantitative background. I did not get exposed to as many technologies as I’d like to but I got exposed to many fundamental problems that are extremely relevant to engineering. In hindsight, I value that experience way more than I did a few years ago. More than that, some of the smartest individuals I met in my life happened during that time.
During my Master’s in the US I dove deep in the research area of Software-Defined Networks. Similarly, initially through Georgia Tech, I had the opportunity to encounter individuals who I admire a lot and once thought were legends such as Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, Larry Peterson. It was mind boggling to know these guys were real people. Georgia Tech was the environment in which I was most productive and focused in all of my life so far. It’s a tough school, but every minute you spend at Georgia Tech was worth it for me. While at GT I also worked for ONF, that experience itself could lead to a whole new blog post, so I’ll just admit that I’m neglecting them in this specific post. Work wise, ONF has been the most significant job experience for me, so far.
After that, I directed my career to Network Automation and worked for 3 companies, Verizon, PayPal and Cargill. Right now I feel like I owe Verizon, PayPal and ONF their dedicated posts. I might write another one soon. For now, I’m just going to say that I’m quite happy with where all those experiences brought me and I’m very grateful for all I learned so far.
I’m in the last steps of figuring out where I’m going next. I’ll keep you all posted.