Welcome to our Coffee Chat series, a place where we sit down with a delicious cup of coffee and get to know one of our ThousandEyes team members. Today, I’m joined by Michael Green, a customer delivery engineering leader based in Australia. Grab a fresh brew for yourself and watch our coffee chat, or read along below, as we dive into what it was like to establish the ThousandEyes team in Australia, and what it’s been like working in customer engineering.
What led you to ThousandEyes?
After studying Computer Science in University, I joined Cisco as a senior support engineer where I was supporting enterprise customers. I worked closely with the escalation team, made a good impression and later joined them. After 10 years of working on that team, I decided to leave Cisco to do something different to get some different experience, so I became an IT manager in a school environment. After a year and a half, a friend at Cisco reached out to me asking if I wanted to help expand a team in Sydney. While I wasn’t looking to change positions at the time, I looked into ThousandEyes and thought that the technology was really cool and the company values around prioritizing customer success aligned with my own—so I joined the team.
What excites you about coming to work everyday?
A couple of things are important to me about enjoying where I work. First is being on a good team with high performance. I don't want to be the smartest person on the team, and I like to learn from other people. It helps me push myself to be my best. Second, I need to have a purpose and feel like I am adding value and contributing something. At ThousandEyes, we are really adding value to our customers and helping them to troubleshoot complex network issues in their environment. Through my previous career experience at Cisco, I worked on escalations and critical customer situations, so it is important for me to work at a company that has customer focus ingrained in the culture.
What moments have you found personally satisfying?
When I first joined, I was employee number three in Sydney and number one on the support team, and so I was taking the burden off of the US team, who would otherwise be working nights. I created a personal goal of being independent and building up the region so that the US team would not have to stay up at night to help customers in our region.
Joining a new technology company also involved a lot of learning and asking lots of questions. After a few months, however, we started to settle into a groove. My team was happy with how we were aligning, and it was really satisfying to accomplish that personal goal and become independent. We built our region from scratch, and now we are our own independent region.
What project has been a highlight for you?
I’m transitioning into a management role, and one of my priorities is growing the team in the region and growing the support and services capability, which is really exciting. I was one of the first employees in the region, and now I am building it into a team—which is still an ongoing process.
Another highlight is our semi-annual Hack Day, which is truly part of our innovative culture. The definition for the projects is fairly broad, and so it is not just about the expert coders; it’s about bringing together the whole company to create teams and work on projects. I’ve personally learned a lot from all three of the projects I’ve worked on. It’s a unique period of time in which you get to meet and work with other people that you wouldn't have had the opportunity to otherwise.
What does a day at ThousandEyes look like for you?
It varies. A lot of the time is spent collaborating with customers and helping them work through issues or helping them understand the data so that they can get the most value out of the platform. Our team works closely together, so if there is a tricky or unique issue we will all work together to brainstorm solutions. With our team growing, there is a lot of training, mentoring, and new technology to learn—so training is a large part of my job, as well.
Some days it’s a bit more fast-paced. Recently, there was a large Internet outage that affected a large number of large banks during the day here in Australia. There was a lot of excitement, and we jumped on a call and dug into the platform to see what we could find and share with the rest of the team to help these customers restore service as quickly as possible.
We’re hiring in Australia, do you have any advice for our new teammates?
We have a really good team here, so we set the standard pretty high. There are a few cool things that we are looking for, like people who are really passionate about technology and have strong network fundamentals. They need to have a passion for the technology they will be working with everyday. Someone who is creative and willing to investigate a problem and get to the bottom of it. A large part of our culture is being customer-focused. We have a reputation for providing a good support experience to our customers, and we aim to protect that. We want to retain the customer experience as we continue to grow.
Come Join Our Award-winning Workplace!
Getting to know firsthand what it is like to work here reminds us why ThousandEyes is continuously recognized as a great workplace by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work. The analysts look at more than 60 elements of ThousandEyes team members' experience on the job, and here are some stand-out stats:
- 99 percent of employees agreed "our customers would rate the service we deliver as 'excellent.'"
- 99 percent are appreciative that "people celebrate special events around here."
- 98 percent said "management is honest and ethical in its business practices.'"
- 98 percent believe "people care about each other here."
- 98 percent felt "when people change jobs or work units, they are made to feel right at home."
Read more about this award at http://reviews.greatplacetowork.com/thousandeyes. If you love to solve complex problems daily and be a part of our incredible team, check out our Careers page to see open opportunities.