The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast

Scott Robohn

June 27, 2023 Chris & Zoë Season 1 Episode 48
Scott Robohn
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
More Info
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
Scott Robohn
Jun 27, 2023 Season 1 Episode 48
Chris & Zoë

In this episode, we feature Scott Robohn, an “internet plumber” -as he likes to be called- with over 25 years of experience in the tech industry.

Scott shares his journey from hands-on network engineering to technical sales and his recent transition to independent consultancy. He opens up about the challenges of maintaining a work-life balance early in his career and how this has shaped his current approach to work and family.

He discusses the importance of continuous learning in the rapidly evolving tech landscape, emphasizes the value of team collaboration over technical knowledge, and shares his experiences navigating through toxic cultures early in his career.

“You can say that you're a great multitasker. And I won't believe you.
You could be very good at rapid serial task accomplishment but there is a cost associated with the overhead of context switching.

Scott's Links:


Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn:

Make it a great day.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we feature Scott Robohn, an “internet plumber” -as he likes to be called- with over 25 years of experience in the tech industry.

Scott shares his journey from hands-on network engineering to technical sales and his recent transition to independent consultancy. He opens up about the challenges of maintaining a work-life balance early in his career and how this has shaped his current approach to work and family.

He discusses the importance of continuous learning in the rapidly evolving tech landscape, emphasizes the value of team collaboration over technical knowledge, and shares his experiences navigating through toxic cultures early in his career.

“You can say that you're a great multitasker. And I won't believe you.
You could be very good at rapid serial task accomplishment but there is a cost associated with the overhead of context switching.

Scott's Links:


Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn:

Make it a great day.

Machines made this, mistakes and all:

[00:00:00] Chris: Hello imposters. Welcome to the Imposter Syndrome Network podcast. This is the network that everyone belongs to, especially if you think you don't. My name is Chris Grundman and I'm here with the Unsinkable Zoe Rose. Hey, this is the Scott Robohn episode, and I think you're going to love it. Scott has spent over 25 years recruiting, developing, and leading technical teams to drive sales and customer satisfaction. During that time, he's held high level positions at Cisco, Juniper, Nokia, DriveNets, and others. 

[00:00:41] Chris: Hey, Scott, would you like to introduce yourself a bit further to the Imposter syndrome network? 

[00:00:45] Scott: I can't meet or beat that introduction. But yeah, thank you for having me here today. It is Scott Robohn like putting a robe on again.

[00:00:53] Scott: That's the catch for everybody and you know, I can feel my family's eyes rolling hearing me say that cuz they've heard it a billion times. But uh, look, I've just been a very fortunate individual in the networking industry. I've had a career that's grown up with a commercial internet. You know, I started out very, very applied hands-on network engineering and architecture roles, TAC engineer for quite some time.

[00:01:16] Scott: And then I kind of got attracted to the sales side of things, technical sales, and uh, that's where I've spent. The bulk of the last 15 plus years working with and developing systems engineering teams. 

[00:01:27] Chris: Great. And I already messed up your name, so thank you for, uh, Robohn, I said "Ro-bone," I think is very helpful to have those little, uh, phonomic reminders.

[00:01:35] Chris: No worries. But anyway, yeah, let's get to it. I noticed on your Twitter profile that the first thing you wrote to describe yourself is husband, dad and grandpa slash bestefar. That struck a chord with me. As I often tell people that I've held many titles over the years, but my favorites are father, friend, husband, brother, and son.

[00:01:54] Chris: So I'm curious about the effect that a family focus has had on your career in technology. Has it held you back at all or has it pushed you forward or something in between or maybe nothing at all? I don't know. 

[00:02:05] Scott: Well, so it's a great set of questions. I would say probably early in my career I did not handle that very well.

[00:02:11] Scott: The balance. I did not keep the balance well and I, I'll fully admit, I probably put too much on career end work and not enough time on family. You know, great way to start out this discussion, but, uh, it's better to be transparent. I've thought a lot about that over the years. Part of what I'm doing now and starting my own independent consultancy is very tailored on my ability to control my schedule.

[00:02:35] Scott: Engage with my family, especially the grandkids as they keep coming. We've got three so far. We understand there may be more this year. So, uh, we'll see how that goes. I also think it ties directly to, you know, the topic of your podcast, imposter syndrome. I know early in my career, you know, I had this persistent, overwhelming sense of, I don't really know what I'm doing, but at least I can put the time in.

[00:03:00] Scott: And I can show up and I can be on those calls at two in the morning for change windows and things like that. And you know, on one hand it is important to do the time to learn the job, right? Those are helpful things, but you really can't do them to the extent that other things in your life suffer, right?

[00:03:20] Scott: So I think, you know, part of that imposter feeling, Is keeping things like that in check and in balance, especially early in your career, right? No one can know everything. And that was true early in my career, 30 plus years ago. I hate to say that, but it's even more true today, right? Can't be afraid to ask people questions to, you know, go offline and do some homework and things like that.

[00:03:45] Scott: Bestefar is, uh, is a Norwegian word for grandpa. Uh, we kind of stuck with that with some of our kids, so, uh, I try to keep those other parts of my heritage in play too. 

[00:03:55] Zoe: I like the sound of it. It also also sound really cool, so Awesome. I think what I'd like to understand, I mean you've, as you've just said, you've had quite a vast career.

[00:04:06] Zoe: Why did you actually get into tech in the first place? Was that a conscious decision? If it was, you know, was it because you enjoyed certain areas? If it wasn't. I guess, how did you get here? 

[00:04:18] Scott: Yeah, so I mean, early on I gravitated towards, you know, math and science topics. In grade school in high school, you know, we, we just started getting computers in the classroom in the early eighties.

[00:04:32] Scott: You know, I had my own, uh, ti Sinclair four a, I forget what that little, uh, little machine was that I played around with at home. Got to do, you know, stuff on the Radio Shack, TRS-80 and an Apple two in high school. You know, writing, uh, programs for realtime statistics collection for basketball and things like that, that kind of drove me to, you know, a hard sciences or engineering undergrad degree.

[00:04:58] Scott: And I basically only looked at two universities, Clarkson University and RIT both in upstate New York. Clarkson was too cold. RIT was not so bad. And, uh, I ended up in, uh, in an engineering program at RIT. RIT is one of many schools that have what are called cooperative education programs. So it's kind of internships on steroids where um, the program I was a part of was a five year bachelor's degree where you go to school for two years normally, and then starting your third year you alternate, you know, co-op blocks and going to school back and forth.

[00:05:33] Scott: Sometimes you could do two back to back, you know, both for work and school. That just exposed me to a wide range of things that really had a lot of fun getting into. I worked for carrier air conditioning for a while. Learned a lot about big industrial refrigeration and cooling, which who knew how important that would be for data center cooling today. I worked for a simulation consulting firm in Indiana.

[00:05:57] Scott: Did a bunch of different things that were just good exposure and actually in grad school I started doing networking stuff in a lab, our computer integrated manufacturing lab at Penn State. And uh, I kind of got bit by the networking bug. So as I got into, you know, my post-education career, I just found myself gravitating toward projects where I could learn more about networking.

[00:06:22] Scott: I really kind of started with telephony, you know, and see how many people can say that correctly, telephony. And then atm, and I don't mean cash machines, asynchronous transfer mode, you know, that ancient cell-based networking technology that is a, a, a bad memory for many, many of us in the industry. And then I learned about this thing called IP.

[00:06:42] Scott: And, uh, you know, in installing Winstock on a Winsock on a Windows machine, uh, one of my first jobs and was just watching the commercial internet take off, I, it wasn't a master plan. I just, you know, had the ability to, you know, look at this connectivity thing, you know, people to people machine to machine.

[00:07:00] Scott: And I got on the bandwagon and it's been a wild ride. I dunno if that gives you any other questions to ask Zoe, but that's the shortest version I can give you of that. 

[00:07:08] Chris: No, that's awesome. And I agree, right? That experience through co-op sounds really interesting cause we've definitely had several guests.

[00:07:14] Chris: Talk about the fact that e on either side of the coin, right? Some who have gone to college and, you know, most of these are younger folks who were able actually to get like networking or cybersecurity degrees. Those, those infrastructure level degrees didn't exist I think when you and I were of that age.

[00:07:27] Chris: But, you know, nowadays you, you can get those more specialized learning paths in college, but still, most of them said, I'm not getting any practical experience as soon as I got to my first day at work. I had to kind of learn all over how, how things are actually done and outside of the theory. And in fact, we also talked to hiring managers who say the same kind of thing, which is that, hey, yeah, college is great and everything, but it's not really giving people the practical experience that's needed to understand how to like troubleshoot a network or, or you know, be a sysadmin or any of the things that, you know, we're really talking about in these infrastructure and IT roles, 

[00:07:56] Scott: you know, E Exactly.

[00:07:57] Scott: And that kind of le left its thumbprint on me in terms of paying it forward and paying it back. Right. You know? Looking for opportunities to get early in career folks into the career place. You know, I'll say the following very carefully, but for, uh, some of my sales colleagues out there who may be listening, you know, when you're part of a sales team, which all systems engineers and sales engineers, you are part of the sales organization when you're in that job, and there's one important thing, And there's only one important thing when you're part of a sales team that's driving revenue.

[00:08:28] Scott: So getting attention on, well, how are we gonna get more new college grads in here? Or how are we gonna get other early in career folks in, or get people transitioning outta the military into the commercial world? It's hard to get attention on things like that, but it's definitely something with the support of many other support people, especially my time at Juniper where we were able to do that and I.

[00:08:51] Scott: Kind of forced my team at one point to say, we are taking college interns, what is your next question? But it was a great experience for everybody involved. You know, people who have mentoring skills and coaching skills, new-in-career folks need that. They're looking for it, and it's a good, good way to exercise those muscles for people with a little more experience.

[00:09:09] Zoe: Definitely. I think personally, interns have been probably the greatest part of my career experience because they come in from such. Different perspectives and I think selling it, from my perspective, how I've always sold it is one, getting somebody that doesn't have necessarily responsibilities, so they have the time to do the research and investigate solutions people haven't considered before.

[00:09:35] Scott: Absolutely. 

[00:09:35] Zoe: And two, Diversity is so critical. Especially I work in security, so especially if it's security. So somebody coming in with such a different background is only gonna benefit your team, right? Maybe they're more junior and they don't know all of the principles, but they have ideas and they have different experiences you've never seen before.

[00:09:55] Zoe: So I, yeah, I a hundred percent agree. I think internships and co-ops are the greatest, greatest part of my job personally. So, I think one thing that I think we should probably clarify is what actually do you do day to day? Because that might give people a bit more idea. 

[00:10:16] Scott: Well, you know, I'll, so I'll describe this a couple different ways.

[00:10:19] Scott: The very short answer for, you know, strangers who don't know me, how do I describe myself very briefly? Oh, I'm an internet plumber, right? And there's plumbing in your house. You know the tiny little pipes in the fixtures that come outta your bathroom faucet. Then there's plumbing between reservoirs and cities and aqueducts.

[00:10:39] Scott: I'm the latter kind of plumber, right? That's kind of where I cut my teeth, you know, working for a telco in the nineties, and then just really being part of internet infrastructure since then. That caused me to gimme the opportunity to do many different things around network infrastructure, then network security, then cloud connectivity and automation around networking and cloud.

[00:11:02] Scott: It's been a very progressive add-on over my career of the technologies I've had the privilege of playing with and, and getting to know now that I'm out on my own. I started this in February. You know, I'm an independent consultant. Tech sales is the website. Here's what my day looks like now. I have a lot of historical knowledge and I really have three main lanes of engagement with customers.

[00:11:25] Scott: I do fractional go to market services, and fractional is just a fancy word for part-time. I come alongside companies and can be a part-time se solution architect, architect, or even field cto. I could do part-time biz dev and even pretend to be a salesperson. Not ashamed to do that. I'm my own salesperson now for my services, the whole gig work economy; that's working very well.

[00:11:49] Scott: There are a lot of smaller companies that aren't ready to invest fully in a technical sales team or have no thought of, uh, creating a technical sales team or understand. How to get products to market. So I get to expose it to a lot of different technologies where I have to kind of learn the tech, understand what user roles and use cases are applicable, turn it into a story that'll be part of a demo that's actually consumable by customers.

[00:12:17] Scott: And there's some definitely old dog new trick stories in there that it's been really refreshing for me to, to get into that as I've, you know, struck out on this new venture. So that's the whole fractional go-to-market services side. The second lane I pursue is, you know, I can still do SME work, especially in networking and network security.

[00:12:37] Scott: I'm not afraid to roll up my sleeves and get my fingers on keyboards. And then the third lane is that coaching, mentoring, advising function for technical sales teams and bigger teams. You know, I've been part of some great teams. I've been part of some not so great teams. I, I've contributed to both of those in positive and negative directions in the past.

[00:13:03] Scott: You know, I've made some good calls. I've made some bad calls. You know, let me help you learn from my mistakes. I like the idea of a feature called Mistakes were Made, you know, coming from a, at least the Nixon administration in the US where nobody admits any wrongdoing. They can say that mistakes were made.

[00:13:22] Scott: I really have a passion for helping helping teams do that. In particular, for vendors, you really have these silos, right? Teams that tend to operate independently, like sales and even ses within sales, product management. Engineering, marketing, customer success. I much prefer a model called the customer team model that gets everybody on the vendor side working together for the better of the customer.

[00:13:52] Scott: A friend and mentor kind of taught me this years ago. And, uh, I think it's a nice holistic approach for just making it easier for customers to deal, deal with their vendors. My day-to-day, I'm, you know, in the morning I'm writing content, I'm working on deliverables for customers. I'll do some of that while I walk around my neighborhood or around whatever hotel I'm staying at on a given week.

[00:14:13] Scott: You know, I use my mornings to, to write. That's my best time to actually generate content. I do a lot of, you know, I have an idea and I'll sketch, you know, seven bullet points down in an Evernote note I'm an Evernote guy, and then I'll come back to it and flesh it out probably three or four times before it's even close to being ready for publishing.

[00:14:31] Scott: So I'm not on as many calls as I used to be, which is totally awesome. I actually get to think and do stuff now. So that's a, a, a little slice of my day, if that makes sense. 

[00:14:44] Chris: Yeah, that's excellent. Thanks for the insight there. That's, uh, a really good window I think in into the world. And one of the last things you said that really resonates with me, I remember seeing, I dunno if it was an XKCD or somewhere, somebody, I mean it may have been an X C C D, but there was a comic.

[00:14:56] Chris: That said, you know, like, why shouldn't you be including developers or, you know, technologists in random meetings that they don't need to be in? And it showed like a calendar window, like a kind of like a little like you would see on, on somebody's calendar, little rectangle of space. And in the middle there's this like 30 minute meeting for some, you know, Crap that probably they don't need to be on.

[00:15:13] Chris: And then there's this period of like 45 minutes before that half hour where they have to wind down the work they're working on and write everything down and save tabs and like make sure everything's ready to start up again. And then there's this 45 minute period after the meeting where they have to wind back up and get back in the head space and start working on stuff again.

[00:15:29] Chris: And whether you're writing English or another language or programming language or configs on a, on a device, whether it's a server or a switch or a firewall, I mean, any of those things all kind of follow that same pattern. Which is, I mean, I look at technology as a very creative pursuit and so I, I, anyway, that resonates with me a lot.

[00:15:44] Chris: I've actually done the same thing in moving to being more entrepreneurial in that I do my very best to only take meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I reserve Monday, Wednesday, Friday for deep work, big blocks of time where I don't have an end a stop point. Right. I, I can work until I fall asleep if I need to.

[00:16:02] Chris: It's just not that I always work that much longer, but just not having the stop point lets me kind of really get into the flow and, and just travel down that path and, and see something through to completion, which I find amazingly powerful. Uh, for my own productivity. 

[00:16:16] Scott: There is a cost associated with the overhead of contact switching, period.

[00:16:20] Scott: You know, you can say that you're a great multitasker and I won't believe you. Uh, you could be very good at, um, rapid serial task accomplishment, but it, you have to maintain state to move between context. Right. And that takes up memory. There's transition time, you know, it's, uh, slower for some of us than others, but yeah, you're spot on.

[00:16:43] Scott: On the creativity, uh, component of what you just said. I have a great imposter story there. So I have always had the personal opinion that, uh, I'm not very creative. I, and I think there's data to support that. However, I had a team member of mine years ago, tell me, Scott, that's not true. You know, you don't write code.

[00:17:03] Scott: Um, but you usually come up with interesting organizational ways to deal with issues. And, uh, that was an se named Nancy. I won't, I won't use her last name just in case, but that's like always stuck with me, right? Either creativity comes in many different forms and it's necessary in, in everything we do here.

[00:17:22] Scott: No question 

[00:17:23] Zoe: that, that's the point. I, I've also felt like I'm not very creative, but then I've figured out I'm really good at making mistakes and causing problems in creative ways. So I still think that counts 

[00:17:35] Chris: gotta be a form of creativity, right? 

[00:17:38] Zoe: I mean, Everybody's gotta be good at something, isn't it?

[00:17:41] Scott: There you go. You've got that one mastered. Uh uh. So by your own admission, right? Not on my observation. Just to be clear, 

[00:17:48] Zoe: uh, I was interested cuz you mentioned a few really interesting points, um, in your last little, a ramble before, uh, we asked another question. That sounds like, I don't mean a negative thing 

[00:18:00] Scott: all good.

[00:18:00] Scott: It was, it was a ramble. I'll own that. That's okay. I gotta be who I am, so. 

[00:18:04] Zoe: Exactly. I love rambles. Um, you mentioned one, you had a really good mentor that give you quite a bit of, um, points and kind of what I assume is you, they influenced you in your career, so I'm curious. Did you, throughout your care, do you feel like you had quite a few mentors or was it been, um, you know, you have this one very specific person that you can think of, or maybe there's many, and also were those situations where you actively searched for somebody to mentor you or inspire you, or was it something that just kind of came around naturally?

[00:18:37] Scott: Yeah, I, I actually have four examples of people who were very effective mentors for me throughout my career. I think a lot about this from a leadership perspective, cuz they're all very different. You know, one was a pure sales leader, one was kind of a technology, you know, mobility luminary. One was a technical sales leader, an SE leader, and one's an entrepreneur.

[00:19:07] Scott: And they all have done things differently, but they've, their leadership models always stuck out to me as well. There, there are different ways to get this done, and more often than not that bringing together your team or your posse or your crew, that's way more important than the technology that you're dealing with.

[00:19:31] Scott: That was a big aha moment for me in my career. 10, 15 years ago, where as someone with an engineering heritage, I always gravitated towards the tech and kind of making that the focus point and it, it became clear to me, you know, what's more important is bringing the right people around you to, you know, work together as a team and move the ball down the field for, for you American football fans, there's so much about tech that can be learned.

[00:20:04] Scott: Or you can bring in the right people for the bits and bites. But having that mix of people that work together well and have common respect for that leader, that's really what makes a difference. So it's not an imposter story, but it's definitely a learning point in my career along those lines. 

[00:20:23] Chris: Yeah. So, so speaking of that, of of kind of the imposter story, which I guess is leading, but you know, you've been doing this, you said, you know, over 30 years in technology.

[00:20:30] Chris: You've gotten to some pretty amazing heights, right? I mean, you've been a CTO you've been vp, you've been chief architect, like, I mean, you know, really the pinnacle of a lot of folks' careers and you've done it multiple times already to the point where now you feel confident to go out on your own and kind of do this entrepreneurial thing to give yourself some more time.

[00:20:45] Chris: So in kind of the, you know, maybe the shadow of all that success, do you ever feel like you're not smart enough? 

[00:20:51] Scott: Always. Yep. Um, you know, I think very early in my career, I. Probably for the first 10 or 15 years. That was an overshadowing. How did I get here? And let me, let me be clear. I've always felt very fortunate to be where I am.

[00:21:11] Scott: And I think I was listening to one of your previous episodes where you had a conversation with your, your guest about, We don't, you can't say you feel lucky or you feel fortunate. No, I feel lucky and fortunate I also worked hard. Right. And it's a combination of those things that get you into, you know, any given situation in your life and career.

[00:21:30] Scott: So I wouldn't say I, I had, uh, overshadowing feelings of being an imposter. But again, that first 10 or 15 years, it was, it was definitely, yeah, I don't, I'm afraid of the next question I'm gonna get. Right. And I'm gonna have to say, I don't know. There's a very specific experience that I had as a TAC engineer where that was an incredibly educational role for me.

[00:21:57] Scott: I had transitioned from being a trainer, and when you're a trainer, you get to talk about how things are supposed to work, and when you're a TAC engineer, all you get confronted with are things aren't working the way they're supposed to work. You know, this is broken and you need to figure it out. And there was a.

[00:22:15] Scott: You know, I, I think if you think back to the early internet culture, there's always, uh, people ready to jump on you when you say you don't know, or this person's an idiot. R T F M, go do your homework first. And R T F M of course stands for read the Fine Manual, right? It's not a funny manual, but. My first couple years in my TAC engineer role, I was afraid to send things to the support alias.

[00:22:42] Scott: Cause like I know there's somebody out there that's gonna say, you know, Robohn, you should have gone and looked this up first. I didn't think of it in terms of toxicity at the time, but I think in hindsight, you know, That was, there was a toxic element to that particular culture. I don't think it was limited to that company or just that role, but that's something that I think we can all be doing.

[00:23:04] Scott: Right. To say, Hey, no, it's okay to ask questions. Yeah, you should do a minimum amount of. Basic homework, but it doesn't take long for you to hit a place where, yeah, no, I need to, I need to enlist other resources to figure this out and create cultures where that's okay. Right. And provide coaching. If somebody is not doing enough prep, not.

[00:23:27] Scott: Being educated to the point where they should be, but you don't have to create this meat grinder that people are just gonna be thrown into. And it only hinders productivity, right? If people are afraid to ask questions, it's gonna take 'em longer to resolve issues. So, 

[00:23:39] Zoe: yeah. No, that's a really good point. I think that that's definitely something that's held me back in my career is I always was terrified of making mistakes.

[00:23:47] Zoe: I mean, I suppose I did have. The slight challenge of being a woman, and sometimes people took that as well, you're a woman. That's why you don't know. Not because that's just a topic I didn't know. So I think that stuck with me for longer than it should have. And now that I'm in a position where I. You know, I'm in a good team.

[00:24:08] Zoe: I'm, the culture is not really that negativity. Well, there still exists, but it's not, it's not as prominent I guess. But, um, I think now that I feel a lot more confident in admitting my limitations, I feel like that creates a better culture as well for your other colleagues. Cuz if I admit I don't know something, somebody's gonna feel more relaxed to admit to me they don't know something.

[00:24:31] Zoe: And I think that just builds a better, um, It's better environment to learn

[00:24:35] Scott: on that point in particular, think about the tremendous leveling effect that the internet provides for anybody wanting to get into. Any career field, not just tech. Mm-hmm. Y you know, the way I've couched to my kids, uh, in the past is, the best thing about the internet is you can publish anything you want.

[00:24:54] Scott: And the worst thing about the internet is you can publish anything you want a hundred percent. But the good side of that is somebody like you or I, or any, any of the three of us or anybody listening, you wanna learn about something, it's at your fingertips, you know? And that's even before. Udemy and Pluralsight and uh, you know, free Harvard and MIT classes online, and dare I say it, maybe university education is no longer as important as some people would have us believe.

[00:25:25] Scott: Spoken in hushed conspiratorial tones. Zoe, I don't wanna put words in your mouth, but I think you would agree that's part of what helped you get to where you are because you just have easier access to information. 

[00:25:35] Zoe: Oh, a hundred percent. My, I mean, talking about your career, I messaged Chris privately, your career is about the expense of my age.

[00:25:42] Zoe: Um, I'm a little bit younger. Um, and so it's interesting seeing your perspective and then my perspective, I got into tech by being self-taught and watching YouTube. You know, so I'm used to that investigation, but I a hundred percent agreed with your comment of, you know, you can learn something at a cost of something else.

[00:26:03] Zoe: And for the majority of the start of my career, I did not have a life. It's only recently that I've started to realize I was a workaholic previously. And actually becoming a mom is what's allowed me to realize that because I. A child does not care if you want to work, and it well actively sabotage that.

[00:26:26] Zoe: So it's, it's, yeah, it's, it's been interesting. I'm curious, throughout your career, is there a role or, or a position that stood out to you where you feel like you learned the most? 

[00:26:37] Scott: So there's a couple ways to interpret that. Right, and I think, I think my training positions, I was a Cisco trainer for a time and then a Juniper trainer.

[00:26:48] Scott: By definition you have to go and understand all the nerd knobs for many different, you know, CLI commands, which I know is dead and nobody uses the CLI anymore. Of course. Just kidding. Sure, sure, sure. So there's a volume issue there, right? Where I probably learned more details about tech as a part of those roles.

[00:27:08] Scott: I would put that TAC engineer role as a close second learning on internals and how, how systems behave and. Different failure conditions and so forth, but those organizational and people leadership levels or people leadership lessons, that's been much longer in my uptake and uh, more progressive over my career, but are.

[00:27:31] Scott: Just as important, if not more important. And I'm still, I'm a lifelong learner. You know, I have learned in every job I've ever taken, and I, that's an attractor to me. If I'm not learning in a role, I get bored and I tend to find other things to do. Um, I've now created a job for myself where I can go learn about anything I want and I'm loving it, and I don't have enough time to just do the tech research that I wanna do.

[00:27:59] Scott: In some areas that Chris, you and I have talked about offline on certain things in automation, in multi-cloud networking, you know, where is the puck going so I can start skating there. 

[00:28:09] Chris: Well, for listeners who tune in every week, they will know that this often happens and we are out of time. It actually happens every single week.

[00:28:17] Chris: We run out of time. Scott, do you have any projects we haven't touched on that the imposter syndrome network should know about? We also, uh, just to put it out there, we have your tech sales craft, uh, website up for, for your company that you're doing now. Also, your Twitter, your LinkedIn, Instagram links.

[00:28:33] Chris: We've got all those. We'll put 'em the show notes if folks wanna reach out. Is there anything else people should know about you or what you're working on or, or things you care about? 

[00:28:39] Scott: Yeah, I just, from a tech perspective, I really think there's some interesting things going on with, uh, automation and AI and ML tools applied to automation.

[00:28:49] Scott: You know, I'm selfish here because I'm my own consultant now, but I very much would love to help you with anything interesting going on in those, in other areas, or even just coaching and mentoring. It's, it's something I've, I really believe in and, uh, I think I do a decent job of it, uh, with helping people own their careers, but also understanding how they're part of the bigger picture.

[00:29:11] Scott: I really appreciate the time, uh, from you, Zoe, and Chris to be here today. 

[00:29:15] Chris: Yeah. And thank you so much for, for sharing your story with the network, and thank you to all of our listeners for your attention and your support. We have a LinkedIn group for the Imposter syndrome network that we'd love for you to join and get or give career advice, mentorship or just general community support.

[00:29:31] Chris: But before we close out, Scott, I think we all want to know after such a long and illustrious career in technology, well over 25 years of experience going back to IBM in the eighties. If you could today somehow open up a wormhole that let you slip a note to your younger self, just starting your career, what advice would you give to the, the younger Scott?

[00:29:52] Scott: Just relax a little bit and have some confidence. Will you, Scott? I think it's, it's not a false confidence or just beating your chest, but it's understanding where you are in a learning process and, and understanding that. It's okay. You have time to learn and you're gonna need to invest, you know, and do it.

[00:30:11] Scott: But you, you can, you can just take it easy while, while you learn and while you go through different things. That's definitely okay. That's a message I think folks need to hear.

[00:30:22] Chris: I love that. Yeah. Taking your time. And also that like, Actual confidence is the most powerful thing you can have, I think almost better than anything else if it's real.

[00:30:30] Chris: True. Confidence based on experience and knowledge and, yeah, exactly. Awesome. Well thanks again and we will be back next week.