Pillar 1

EP003: Luke Misgen About Interviewing with a Director and future-proofing your career.

Today we sit down with Luke Misgen, Director of Technology at zTrip, a part of Veolia.   If you’ve been on a bus, cab, or train – you’ve probably been in a Veolia vehicle.  We talk about innovation with users “Uber-resistant” to change (you’ll get my terrible pun when you listen…) and also leveraging your way up the career ladder.

00:30: We meet Luke Misgen, Director of Technology at zTrip.

08:00: People Skills vs. Just having a degree.

12:30: Meetups, and bypassing the HR ‘filter’ by knowing people.

15:30: Interview Pro-Tips.

27:00: How Siloing is helpful and hurtful, and what happens when you try and break it consciously.

40:00: We talk farming and Pillar-1.

Episode 001: Lifelong Learning with Julian Rodriguez 5x CCIE, CCDE and Master of Alphabet Soup.

In this Episode, I talk with Julian Rodriguez, a friend from many years back.  We talk through his expanding arsenal of certifications, currently including 5 CCIE’s, a CCDE, VCIX-NV, CISSP, Masters Degree, Undergrad and many others.  I circle back through our decade of knowing each other, and I get to fanboy a little bit.

00:00: Intro.

02:00: Julian’s Origin Story.

06:00: Julian’s Main Philosophy.

08:00: Julian Answer ‘WHY’.

17:00: Dealing with Failure (a lot).

28:30: H1B Immigration rough ride.

33:00: An edge for those wanting to immigrate.

36:00: When to Pivot.

41:00: Julian proves he’s a consultant and gives me ‘It depends’.

47:00: When Julian studies/time philosophy.

51:00: What’s next, and programming skills.

54:00: Pillar 6 showing up in Study Groups.

Episode 000: What drives an ultra-high-performer in tech?

Welcome to The Angle Free IT podcast.

Hey, I’m glad you’re here!  In this Episode, we explore all of the ins and outs of having a position within Tech throughout all different types of industries.  The focus of what we do is “How is it that some people get so much further ahead in their careers, and how do I do that too?”.  In this episode I explore the following:

00:00 : My motivation for starting the show.

05:20 : My Hypothesis.

08:45 : I’d Love your feedback.

10:00 : I’m ruining your misconceptions, but giving you the power to build them better.

11:30 : What ‘Angle Free’ means to me.

16:00 : Do what I do, not what I DID.

21:00 : You are Awesome – thanks!

Pillar 1 – Helping people up the ladder is easier than holding them on the bottom rung.

Today we talk about Pillar #1:

It’s WAY easier to help people up a ladder than keep them down on the bottom rung.

I hesitated before even documenting this pillar, but the older I get, the more I realize that people don’t innately get this concept.  It is so important to help other people out. Call me weird, old-fashioned, or too good of a person – but I like helping people. But even I had to learn this lesson.

Screwing someone over is never ever a long-term win.


No matter how much you dislike someone, you have to at least try to help them out, especially when we are in a service area like IT.

By the way – did you know that?  We are in a service job.  I legitimately didn’t consider this until someone pointed it out to me.  We exist to serve other people with our tech knowledge.  Not to say that you are a SERVANT plebian who doesn’t proceed far in your career!  Far from it, I want you to become an SME (Subject Matter Expert).  But that’s the rub.  It’s VERY easy to become cold and calculating the more you know.  I know because this happened to me once.  Let me paint the picture:

I had just been promoted to a new position of authority for networking at an oil and gas company, and I was responsible for all of IT infrastructure in a region.  Kinda.  Sorta – it was weird because I had not-quite-peers in the office, they were junior-to-mid level folks.  There was a skill gap… NOT an aptitude or attitude gap though.

Therein lied the rub.  I felt ever so much superior to my hard working really smart peers.  Why?  Because… science?  Pride? Fear?

Who knows. One plausible reason was that I was a blind-spotted idiot, that’s why. I was so afraid of not being the smartest guy in the room that I built myself a sand kingdom.  Ironically, what happened next was really quite humbling.


That’s right – REPLACED.

Not on paper mind you, but corporate sent out a guy who would ultimately become the architect of the network.  He was going to tag along to ‘help out’.  What I learned next was oh so very humbling.  In order, what I learned was:

#1 – I had done wrong by not empowering the guys in the office more.

Being a control-freak did not help me.  Instead of doing deep dive training, I delegated stupid tasks I didn’t want to do.  Don’t get me wrong – delegation is NOT bad.  But expecting people you work with as a peer and leader to JUST do grunt work is wrong.  I kept all the ‘good stuff’ for me, but there was too much of it.

#2 – I got a dose of what I SHOULD have done when I got mentored.

Instead of sweeping in and telling me what garbage my network design was (and there was room to poke a few holes I think, looking back) – this guy took me under his wing.  We were having a really weird delay with some protocols.  Instead of going ‘Hey jackass, go fix this problem’, no he did it the right way:

1: He walked me through why it was a problem. 

2: Then he showed me how to fix it. 

3: And had me show the other guys how to fix it.

I walked away changed.

Was I a little chaffed at being replaced?  Yeah, I was, but I learned a MUCH DEEPER truth than setting a native VLAN on a trunk port because of random Israeli rules.

I learned ‘Show one, Do One, Teach One’. 

I didn’t have those words, but I got the concept.  And by God, it stuck (thanks Ronnie).  For more about WHY I got replaced, stick around for my explanation on Pillar 5.

So who in your career can you mentor instead of delegating to?

If you can’t think of anyone, who should be mentoring you?

Leave a comment with any insights or experiences.