Changes

by Brian Katz on March 20, 2015 · 2 comments

I was driving to work this past Wednesday and it hit me; I was only going to make this trip 2 more times. Every morning I get in the car, switch to Waze on my phone and it pops up a message asking me if I’m going to work. Of course, I hit yes, and at the same time hope that it tells me it will only take about ~50 minutes…that’s just enough traffic without being stuck in a parking lot. Yet today, I am removing the Sanofi office from my work location, as it’s my last day there.

Wm17M4sI’ve been at Sanofi for what seems like a lifetime, longer than I thought I would be at any company. Like any job, it has had its ups and downs, but it certainly has been a heck of a ride. Some people measure their rides by how many times they made it to the destination. I am pretty proud to say that I’ve done it a few times at Sanofi. The first project, my baby, we built in less than 6 months and my team and I stewarded it through over 14 generations before we turned it over to a new team. We built a kickass automated server build that was light years beyond what anyone else had and we even gave some of the tech away to major vendors. It was orchestration and automation before people knew it existed. It’s still being used today and a new release is due out any day from the new team.

The best part of that first journey wasn’t the project or even the satisfaction of rolling out a completed machine but the awesome people who helped us build it. There was the immediate team of architects and designers who toiled along side some brilliant developers, to the internal customers who constantly demanded more and pushed us to give them our best. I learnt more through that project about myself, managing people and delivering a product than I had ever before. You need to build a great team, and then give them the ability to fly.

The second half of my journey at Sanofi was comprised of my passion, mobility. Again, we built a plan and met deadlines that we shouldn’t have been able to. We architected, built and deployed a solution to the entire company that has enabled Sanofi to start to tame the mobile beast. Again, it came down to the team of people who put it all together. It wasn’t one person, but an entire group of people who worked together.

I finished my journey at Sanofi doing a bunch of smaller side trips to a lot of fun destinations. Yet, it always came down to the same thing, it’s not how well you know your stuff but the team of people you work with that helps define your journey. Sanofi has some absolutely tremendous people who it’s been my honor to work with and that I will truly miss. They aren’t just team members but lifelong friends.

Yet, in the words of David Bowie:

Turn and face the strange

Ch-ch-changes

Just gonna have to be a different man

Time may change me

But I can’t trace time

 My journey’s come to an end here and it’s time for me to face some very cool new challenges. I am unbelievably excited to what’s coming in the next few weeks but still sad to say goodbye to some old dear friends who have made work worth coming to at Sanofi.

 Ground Control to Major Tom

Commencing countdown, engines on

Check ignition and may God’s love be with you

Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Lift-off

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alessandro Festa March 20, 2015 at 11:32 am

Good luck for your new adventure Brian!

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amykim March 28, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Congrats and good luck in your new adventure!!

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