Look before you leap

Aug 27, 2014

Today my teammates gave me some presents as a farewell gift. And a couple of them pressed me to give a speech. Since this was just a group of friends, I coudln’t exactly give the speech I have planned for the actual, official farewell. I demurred several times but they kept insisting, so I gave in against my better judgement. I’m sure they were expecting me to narrate a humorous incident, but non-situational humor is not something I’ve historically been very good at. As such, I ended up giving them some unwarranted advice about how they should plan their careers. None of it was bad or inflamatory; I basically told them that if they wished to stay in the networking domain, Infinera was the best company to work at. However, if they were interested in working purely in the software industry, they might be better served by moving to different company once they’d spent a couple of years at Infinera. The reason for this being that software is - in my opinion - not the main focus at the company.

This is something that most of the people I’ve spoken with agree on; Infinera is mainly a hardware-focussed company, and as such all software simply exists to enable the hardware. As long as our boxes power up and customer traffic is not lost, nobody really cares about how much of our code is unit-tested and whether we follow industry best-practices while writing it. I just hope that my managers at Infinera will take my statements in the right spirit whenever they end up hearing about this.

I feel tempted to lay all the blame on the fine folks who pushed me into giving the speech, but the bulk of the blame lies on me: I should simply have known better. Maybe I should’ve just cracked a “knock knock” joke.