Dear Reader, I figured introducing myself as my first post would be an appropriate thing to do. My name is Yevgeniy Geyfman, I am a father of two middle school girls and I currently live in San Francisco Bay Area, but will be moving to Orange County later next year. I am very excited about this move since it will allow me to be closer to my twin brother and his family.
I have been lucky to be working in information technology for nearly 20 years. I stubbled on information technology by chance, since at that time I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. There is actually an interesting story about how that happened. I went snowboarding in lake Tahoe with a bunch of friends and feeling overly confident (my first time doing it) I decided to take on a fairly advanced route. A few moments later I realized it was a mistake and had no idea how to stop or slow down. Before I knew it I found myself in the air and landing hard on my head on packed icy snow that felt like cement. I got a minor concussion and no choice but to spend the entire day in the sky lodge waiting for my friends and drinking hot chocolate. This was also a rear opportunity to just think without any distractions. I started thinking about what I was going to do with my life. I recalled that there was new Cisco Networking Academy that just opened in my school and I made a decision to go on Monday and speak with one of the instructors to see if I can enroll.
I showed up on Monday and discovered racks of equipment with students running around connecting their laptops and looking at random characters on black screens. What is going on here? I didn’t think that was for me. I almost turned around to leave and then I heard a voice. The voice belonged to a head of the academy Mark McGregor. An extremely busy, energetic and passionate individual, who is normally doing about a 1000 things all at the same time. But he ended up talking with me for almost one hour. He later told me that for some reason he instantly felt I belonged there even though I knew nothing about information technology. The last thing he told me was this: “If you do what I ask of you and I will ask a lot, you won’t have a job your will have a career for life. I was excited and enrolled the very next day. I have to be honest it was a rough start and I had a lot of catching up to do, since I knew nothing about compute science or anything anything related to technology. A couple of times the thought of quitting did cross my mind. But I never did.
After a while I began to understand and it was amazing. I was actually getting this. I understood the fundamental principles of networking and how internet worked and I became obsessed. I’d show up to the academy as it opened its doors at 8 AM and would not leave until 9 or 10 pm. I would get home and I’d read and get ready for the next day for hours. Within about 3 months Mark asked me to work in the lab to help with setting up the equipment and help other students. There was a group of us working in that lab and we became very close friends, united the similar goals, aspirations and passion. I passed a number of Cisco certifications and started working of an internet service provider called North Point Communications. They had an exceptional new hire education program, and the instructor of that program I’ll never forget. To this day, he is by far the most passionate and enthusiastic individual I have every met. The company didn’t last very long as it got sold to AT&T and I lost my job, but while there for a very brief period I learned a lot.
After that I started working for Pacific Bell Internet (PBI) and my first task was to build their Cisco Lab. After that job was done, I transitioned to their Network Operations and Provisioning teams. I have met amazing colleagues and friends there. I then moved on to work for Cisco, Verisign, a startup called Vyatta and later to Google. During that time I kept adding to my understanding and experience with building and troubleshooting networks and also completed my BS in Computer Science from a local State University (California State University of East Bay)
While in Google I enrolled in a program at Stanford called Stanford Advanced Project Management. This opened my eyes to the amazing science and art of project / program management and I was hooked. I always wanted to be in a place where I can make a big impact, while balancing technology and business needs. I found where I belonged.
I went on to complete my PMP certification and made a transfer to a Technical Program Management position in Google. In May of 2020 I made a transition to Salesforce, which is by far the best company I have every worked for.
I hope to share my experiences with you. To learn and grow along with you. And most importantly to help in your journey towards your goals in any way I can.