Our “Pepperdata Profiles” series shines a light on our talented individuals and explores employee experiences. This month, we talked with Kirk Lewis, a Pepperdata field engineer. Kirk discussed what is unique about the Pepperdata product, and he explained how Pepperdata helps clients make sense of performance data.
Hey, Kirk. Let’s start at the beginning. How did your journey in the IT industry begin?
That’s a cool career arc. What did you do for AmEx?
My work centered around very large distributed systems, systems administration, systems architecture, storage administration, network administration, those sorts of things. It’s all the things you need to be able to move bits around and crunch data on a large scale. Because before it was big data, it was just sort of high-performance computing distributed systems; basically, how do you get multiple computers to work on one job? I spent over a decade with the technology division of AmEx.
Then, after AmEx, I moved to California to take a job with Jabil who was launching a division focused on creating and selling big data appliances. They had very large clients. A lot of cloud vendors bought machines from this company, and I was brought in as a design and automation architect.
That was fun while it lasted. But no one bought big data appliances, so it ramped up quickly, but died quickly, as well. I spent about 19 months there before I saw the writing on the wall and realized I was in a sales division that wasn’t selling anything! So I started looking around. And by that point, I was in the blessed position to be able to choose from a few different positions.
And this is when you found Pepperdata, right?
That’s right. It became a high priority for me to find something that I thought would actually be useful, especially after that last experience of making a bunch of things that people didn’t buy. Pepperdata ticked off all the boxes in that regard.
At that point, I talked to Sean Suchter and Chad Carson (the co-founders), and I also did a bunch of reading, watching YouTube videos, and learning whatever I could find about Pepperdata.
And I realized that the big data performance monitoring technology was something I would have loved to have had in my previous roles, as I was managing these systems and trying to keep the lights on. That’s really what brought me in the door.