The Beginning: Crawl

I started with ServiceNow back in 2010. I was fresh out of college, and was offered a job at SunGard Higher Education (now Ellucian) maintaining their Multi-Tenant ServiceNow instance. It was trial by fire: my first task was to develop a set of reports for Key Progress Indicators — before the out of box KPI reports existed. These weren’t your typical reports though — they required the taking of snapshots – – so it was a customization in every sense of the word. I worked hard on it for two weeks — after which I promptly deleted my update set, without having backed it up. It would be accurate to say I learned the hard way.

I had some help — being surrounded by Dave Shuman and Stacey Bailey certainly benefited me.  Of course, both went to Knowledge 2010 in San Diego during my first week on the job. So, they were help after I’d picked up the basics.

Notice the things I didn’t mention? Admin 101? Sys Admin Certification? The class didn’t exist yet that I know of, not sure about the certification. At any rate — I wouldn’t get to take either of them until the next phase of my ServiceNow journey.

At Ellucian I cut my teeth on Incident, “Generic Request”, a custom version of Ticket, and a homegrown Problem implementation — since the standard one didn’t exist yet.

In the fall of 2011, after a year and half of teaching myself, I followed my boss Stacey Bailey over to Fruition Partners, which had less than 100 employees at the time. The crawl part of my journey was over — it was time for me to walk.

Stacey and I were the sole warriors in the “MSP Division”, working on one domain separated instance after another. I eventually worked on non-msp implementations as well, rising from Junior Developer to Senior Technical Consultant and finally to one of the five Architects in the company. I worked with major restaurant chains, top retailers, one of the largest beverage companies in the world, major airline companies, European telecommunication companies, and even another division of SunGard. I learned Change, Service Catalog, SDLC, Event, Discovery, CMDB, Project, and more. I finally got my System Administrator cert, earned my ITIL v3 Foundations, and got the chance to get my Certified Implementer certification during the first few weeks it was offered. I helped write the Domain Separation curriculum and became one of the first two certified teachers of it.

Before I knew it, three years had passed. I was an Architect, and I was ready for a new challenge. I picked up my pace, preparing the “Run” part of my journey. I joined Cerna Solutions in the beginning of 2015 — about six months before Fruition was acquired.

At Cerna, I was employee number three, and the first billable employee. I worked 80-hour weeks to help pull in revenue to build the consulting practice. I became the Manager of Consulting Services — still working directly with customers, but also doing everything from pre-sales calls, SOW writing, customer service, managing all the consultants, project management, interviewing, hiring, firing, forecasting, resource management, and strategic planning. I got to learn HR, CSM, Facilities, Vulnerability, and the basics of Security Incident. I cut my teeth on CMS and Service Portal, and got into custom application development. I obtained my App Dev Certificate, and had the experience of managing 10+ employees at once during my two-year tenure.

As 2017 ended, I looked at what I’d help build — a 3-person company to 30+, and everything that I’d learned — and I knew I was ready to challenge myself once more. I was ready to start a new journey.

I begin to crawl once more. This time as Finite Partners. Starting with just me, and the experience I have thanks to the mentors who helped me along the way. I’m excited for what the future may bring — but I start this journey humbly, and recognize I have a lot to learn.

I think the welcome statement in the Finite Partner’s Employee Handbook is best description of my goal for the company:

Above all we’re focused on ensuring that we provide quality services to our customers while maintaining the respect and appreciation that our employees deserve. In our industry, people are both the product we sell (our time and services) as well as the entire reason for even embarking on this business adventure (to make money to enjoy life). We work hard to remind ourselves every day that the former is pointless if we lose sight of the latter.

There’s so many of us on our own ServiceNow journeys, each of us at a different phase of our adventure.  Most of us are looking for the same thing though — a stable career to provide for our families. We want to be respected for our talents, and acknowledgement of the long nights and 80-hour weeks we willingly work. Finite Partners looks to make a safe environment for those likeminded individuals.

Our customers will deserve the truth from us, as well as our best work. By providing a supportive environment and holding each other accountable, we believe that we can provide a superior quality product.

So, here’s to Crawling — the first phase of this new adventure.