All posts by Nicole Perry

Welcome, Lisa — Physical Media Technician

Post Syndicated from Nicole Perry original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/welcome-lisa-physical-media-technician/

As Backblaze continues to grow, so does our physical media support team. Our latest physical media technician to join the team is Lisa. She will be helping to fulfill our customers’ needs when it comes to restores and hard drive returns. Let’s learn a little more about Lisa, shall we?

What is your Backblaze Title?
Physical Media Technician.

Where are you originally from?
Bred, born, and raised in San Jose, CA.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
A new, and exciting atmosphere, as well as a place I felt I could grow with.

What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
New skills, as well as what it’s like to work with such a blooming company.

Where else have you worked?
For the last nine years, I’ve worked for a small family (not my family) owned winery in Morgan Hill, called Morgan Hill Cellars.

What’s your dream job?
I dream to one day own a small cafe that sells sweets, cakes, and serves tea. Then I shall retire to my upstairs apartment, where I can sit and read beneath the warmth of my fat cat.

Of what achievements are you most proud of?
I was, and might still be a hot topic on Yelp on the winery’s (Morgan Hill Cellars) page. I also achieved the greatest honor of being referred to as “my favorite aunt.”

Why do you like certain things?
Well, to be honest, I often wonder about this question myself. What is it about a ticking clock that fills me with an unexplainable joy? Why do I find the color green so especially pleasing? Why does rain soaking into my hair, give me such an overwhelmingly peaceful feeling? Truly, what IS it about almonds that makes them so great!? Who are we to question the largest mysteries of the universe? We are merely but dandelion fluff upon a spoon, and as such we shall continue to float along in this world and enjoy all it has to offer us.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Scotland. There’s nothing like the fresh air of the great northern isle to make one feel calm and invigorated all at once.

Favorite hobby?
Kissing my cat’s head — she’d be so angry to hear I told you that. Maybe we’ll say crafting instead. Yes, crafting! I own far too much paper to be considered healthy.

Favorite food?
Takoyaki!!

Star Trek or Star Wars?
To boldly go — and earl grey, hot.

Coke or Pepsi?
Sprite?

Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I am a weaver of tales, a drinker of tea. I am an avid reader, as well as a passionate feeder of friends. By far I am full of flowery words, and lofty ideas, all mixed together with a fervent need to be useful. And above all, I am always, always happy to chat.

Lisa has the best book recommendations for anyone looking for a new, good read! Welcome to the Backblaze team, Lisa!

The post Welcome, Lisa — Physical Media Technician appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Stranger in a Tech Land

Post Syndicated from Nicole Perry original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/stranger-in-a-tech-land/

Silicon Valley Passport Stamp

I never considered myself to be extremely techy. My family and friends would occasionally come to me with computer problems that I could solve with the help of Google and FAQ pages, but I would not go much further than that.

When I came across Backblaze’s job posting for a marketing position, I applied mostly on a lark. My background looked similar to the job description, but I never expected to hear anything from them. When I received the email that I had gotten an interview with Backblaze, my initial thought was, how? Backblaze was the type of company I feared when first arriving in the Bay Area from Ohio. Worry began to bubble up in me about being in a room filled with people who were all smarter or more experienced than me. My family teased me that I would walk into my first day and it would be an episode of Punk’d.

Silicon Valley has a stigma for most everyone who isn’t located in the Bay Area. We assume it will be filled with competitive geniuses and be too expensive to survive. “You may be Ohio smart, but that’s a different kind of smart,” is something I have heard in actual conversations. And I, too, had similar thoughts as I considered trying to fit in at a startup.

Having watched the HBO show, Silicon Valley, my perspective of how my future coworkers would act could not have been more different from reality. The show portrays Silicon Valley workers as smug, arrogant, anti-social coders who are ready to backstab their coworkers on their way to the top of the industry. At Backblaze, I have found the opposite to be true: everyone has been supportive, fun to be around, and team-oriented.

Now that I live in Silicon Valley, rather than watching it, I have to say I let the intimidation get to me. One of my favorite quotes that helps me during times of high stress is by the Co-Founder of Lumi Labs, Marissa Mayer, in reference to how she’s succeeded in her career, “I always did something I was not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow.” That’s an important thing to remember when you are starting a new job, adventure, or experience: On the other side of the challenge, no matter how it goes, you’ll have grown. Here are some of the things that I have learned during my first few weeks of growth at Backblaze and living in the Bay Area. Hopefully, they’ll help you to try something you’re not ready for, too.

Nine Lessons Learned

Don’t be Thrown by Big Words

Write them down. Google is your best friend. There may be words, companies, software, acronyms, and a bunch of other things that come up in meetings that you have never heard before. Take notes. Research them and do research on how they apply to your company or work position. Most of the time it’s something you might have known about but didn’t know the correct word or phrase for.

No One Understands Your Thought Process

Show your work. Something that’s hard when it comes to talking to your boss or your team is that they cannot see inside your brain. Talk them through how you got to where you are with your thoughts and conclusions. There are plenty of times where I have had to remind myself to over-explain an idea or a thought so the people around me could understand and help.

You Don’t Have to Know Everything

Own up to your lack of knowledge. This one is tough because when you are new to a position you have the inclination to not lift the veil and reveal yourself as someone who does not know something. This could be something as big as not knowing how a core feature works or as small as not knowing how the coffee machine works. When you are new to a company you are never going to walk in and know exactly how everything works. At the moment you don’t understand something, admit it and most people you work with will help or at least point you in the direction of where and how to learn.

Living in Someone’s Backyard in an In-Law Suite is Normal

Look everywhere before choosing where to live. Moving to Silicon Valley while trying to establish a stable income sounds impossible, and indeed it is very hard. When talking to people before my move everyone would say, “ugh, the housing payments!” This was not encouraging to hear. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t creative ways to lower your housing costs. While living with roommates to drive housing costs down, I found a family that wanted to make a little extra money and had an unused in-law suite . While it’s not owning your own home or having a full-size apartment to yourself, it’s different and that can be fun! Plus, like with roommates, you never know what connections you will make.

Not Understanding the Software Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Get It

You have the experience, use it. I came to Backblaze with a very surface-level idea of coding, no idea about the different ways to back up my computer, and no knowledge of how the cloud actually works, but I did understand that it was important to have backups. Just because you don’t understand how something works initially doesn’t mean you don’t understand the value it has. You can use that understanding to pitch ideas and bring an outside perspective to the group.

Talk to People with Important Titles

They all have been in your shoes. The CEOs, presidents, directors, and managers of the world all have been in your position at one point. Now they hold those titles, so obviously they did something right. Get to know them and what they enjoy. They are human and they would love to share their wisdom with you, whether it’s about the company, their favorite food places nearby, or where they go to relax.

Don’t Let Things Slip

Follow up. If someone said they were going to show you something in a meeting or in the hallway, send them a note and see if you should schedule a chat. Have a question during an important meeting that you didn’t want to ask? Follow up! Someone mentioned they knew of a class that could teach something you wanted to learn? Make sure they send you a link! All work environments can feel busy but most people would rather you follow up with them rather than let them forget about something that might be important later on.

Soak In the Environment

Be a fly on the wall. Watch how the office operates and how people talk to each other. Get an idea of when people leave for lunch, when to put your headphones on, and what’s normal to wear around the office. Also, pay attention to who talks in meetings and what it is like to pitch an idea. Observing before fully immersing yourself helps you figure out where your experience fits in and how you can best contribute.

Know Yourself and Know Your Worth

You can figure it out. It may take time, patience, research, and understanding to stand confidently in a room full of experts in the field and pitch ideas. You’ve done it before. Maybe when you were little and asked your parents to take the training wheels off your bicycle? It took a few falls but you figured it out and you can do it again.

We hope that this was a little bit helpful or informative or at least entertaining to read! Have you ever joined a company in an industry you weren’t familiar with? What are some tips or hints that you wish you had known? Share them in the comments below!

The post Stranger in a Tech Land appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Welcome Kim — Senior Engineering Manager

Post Syndicated from Nicole Perry original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/welcome-kim-senior-engineering-manager/

Joining to help manage our amazing, ever-growing team of engineers is Kim. Kim’s background with companies like Microsoft and Salesforce.com makes her a great addition to the team. Let’s learn a little more about Kim, shall we?

What is your Backblaze title?
Senior engineering manager.

Where are you originally from?
I was born in Vietnam and came to the United States when I was 11 years old.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
I worked with Tina Cessna back in Salesforce.com and she told me this is a great company to work for, surrounded by smart and friendly people.

What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
I expect to learn more about backup and restore business and technologies.

Where else have you worked?
I worked for Salesforce.com for 7 years and prior to that at Microsoft for 10 years.

Where did you go to school?
I graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S in Business Accounting.

Of what achievements are you most proud of?
Having two beautiful kids.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
I have too many places. To name a few: Italy, Croatia, and Japan.

Favorite hobby?
Racquetball.

Favorite food?
Good food! I work for food.

Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Wars.

Coke or Pepsi?
Water and coffee.

In an office full of foodies, we feel like you will fit in great here at Backblaze Kim! Welcome aboard!

The post Welcome Kim — Senior Engineering Manager appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Welcome Vincent — Business Development Representative

Post Syndicated from Nicole Perry original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/welcome-vincent-business-development-representative/

Backblaze business backup continues to grow and so does the department. Vincent has recently joined the team to help bring new clients to Backblaze! Let’s learn a little more about Vincent, shall we?

What is your Backblaze Title?
Business development representative

Where are you originally from?
Born and raised in San Jose, CA

What attracted you to Backblaze?
The solution, the culture of the company, and the great opportunity for growth with a company that is still growing.

What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
I expect to perfect my sales skills, become better at prospecting, and eventually move to a closing role. Beyond that; I would like to pursue a leadership role.

Where else have you worked?
I was previously a business development representative at Panzura, selling their Hybrid-Cloud NAS solution. Before that, I was a renewal specialist at Barracuda Networks renewing a wide range of networking solutions.

Why do you like certain things?
I like things that force me to be creative.

Favorite hobby?
I’ve been boxing for the past 8 years. I’m hoping to compete soon. My dad has been playing lead guitar in a band since his high school days, so naturally music has always been a part of my life. I’ve been producing music since 2005/2006: everything from hip-hop, R & B, to smooth jazz. I’ve been DJing for a number of years and am always looking for my next gig.

Favorite food?
Too many to name.

Star Trek or Star Wars?
Haven’t seen either. I know, I know. You can’t believe it.

Coke or Pepsi?
Whiskey

Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Hard work. Dedication. Everyone wants to be successful; no one wants to put the work in.

Welcome to the team, Vincent! We may need your DJing skills at our next event!

The post Welcome Vincent — Business Development Representative appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Welcome Mike — Senior Systems Administrator

Post Syndicated from Nicole Perry original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/welcome-mike-senior-systems-administrator/

The data center keeps growing, with well over 500 petabytes of data under management, so we need more systems administrators to help us keep track of all the systems as our operation expands. Our latest systems administrator is Mike! Let’s learn a bit more about him, shall we?

What is your Backblaze title?
Sr. systems administrator.

Where are you originally from?
San Francisco.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
The culture of the company.

What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
Speed and reliability of the Backblaze products, and how to make beer.

Where else have you worked?
Yahoo, Google, Dialpad, GrandCentral, Standard & Poors, Care2.

Where did you go to school?
Mission College/San Jose State.

What’s your dream job?
To watch and report the daily surf forecast on the south side of Maui.

Of what achievements are you most proud of?
Being the best dad in the world.

Why do you like certain things?
If it makes me smile then I will like it.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Japan.

Favorite hobby?
Dreaming.

Favorite food?
Pizza.

Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Wars.

Coke or Pepsi?
Neither.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I don’t sleep.

Welcome to the Backblaze team, Mike! We are excited for you to learn about the speed and reliability of our products and how to make beer — both are very great skills to have working here!

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