A lot has changed over the past ten years:
- I became a father again with the birth of my youngest, Rylan, on July 18, 2011
- I became a grandfather with the birth of my first grandchild, Lizzie, on November 18, 2018
- I lost my remaining grandparents
- I moved across the country to Dandridge, TN (becoming a full-time Work From Home Racker)
- The original leadership from the early days at Rackspace are now gone (Graham Weston, Lanham Napier, etc.)
- Rackspace was purchased by a private equity firm and became a privately held company again
Out of the original group of Rackers that started in, or before, the year 2000 there are only 5 left that have more seniority then I do. As of this writing there are 6,971 Rackers globally. That fact completely boggles my mind on a couple of levels. A) I can not comprehend how large this company has become, especially when I look back at where it was when I began my journey. B) I am hit with a profound sadness when I think of all the Rackers that I have known that I have lost touch with over the years, or even the few that I have known that have passed away.
The Rackspace that exists today is a stark contrast to the Rackspace of yesterday. The changes in the economy and technological landscape over the past twenty years have required it, and Rackspace wouldn’t have survived had these changes not happened. All in all, I’m still proud to call myself a Racker, and I’m still proud of the company that we built over the last 20+ years. I wouldn’t change any of it.
When I started with Rackspace, I told myself that it would be impressive for me to make it to three years based on my previous work history. I never imagined making it to twenty years. Looking back, I was just a kid when I started. At twenty-four years old, I was nearly half the age that I am now. So many of the experiences that make me who I am today happened while being a Racker. It will forever be intertwined with me. How much more time will I have? Who knows. It could be one year, or twenty more. Nothing is guaranteed, especially as you get older. I will be grateful for whatever time I have left, no matter how long or short it turns out to be. (For the record, I have no plans or intentions to leave as of this writing, but life sometimes has other plans.)
Here’s to twenty years!