Skip to main content

10 Years at Palo Alto Networks

206 James Blog And Social Blog Header V03

Author: James Holland, Sr. Principal Engineer, Software

I’ve just completed 10 years at Palo Alto Networks, which is a great time to reflect on why I’ve enjoyed that time so much and why I continue my career here.

As Palo Alto Networks has grown, so have the career opportunities. I started as a systems engineer covering a regional area in the North of the UK; over time I progressed through the ranks of Systems Engineering to work with larger customer and partner organisations, then further onwards to working with some of our largest global and multinational clients. Those six years went by very quickly, but I learned a huge amount along the way, including technical skills, building confidence in presenting to larger audiences, and working on increasingly bigger projects which spanned across the world.

Through my time as a systems engineer, I became very interested in the potential for automation and orchestration within our industry. Working with the guidance of my management, I was able to create time and space to learn more about this topic, was able to work on some side-projects, and eventually was able to use internal mobility to move into a consulting engineer role, focusing specifically on security automation. 

I enjoyed this topic so much that I wanted to steer my career into getting more hands-on with Palo Alto Networks’ automation capabilities, so after two years in consulting engineering, I was again able to use internal mobility to move into the Product organisation, specifically into the team which created and delivered many of the company’s automation tooling and open-source projects. This team is very dynamic, and is able to pivot quickly to focus on innovating rapidly, and on the latest topics in the industry, and I’m enjoying the challenges that arise every day.

In 10 years, I’ve worked across sales, consulting and product development, and that’s been possible due to the variety of opportunities at Palo Alto Networks and the culture of internal mobility. I truly believe in the company mission and the company values, so it’s been great to be able to grow my career as Palo Alto Networks has grown.

My success has also been possible because I’ve been able to simultaneously pursue my own personal goals outside of work. All the roles I’ve had here have been flexible enough for me to find a great balance of family life and work life, and for me to also dedicate substantial time for sports and exercise. This included training for multiple marathons, and most recently taking up a coaching position with my son’s football team, both of which are time-consuming activities. To train for a marathon you’re required to run a large number of miles per week, and coaching for kids requires preparation and delivering training sessions, as well as organising the team on matchdays. I actually over-achieved my professional objectives during the same period I was training for the marathon, and I achieved my sub-three hour marathon objective too! I think regular exercise helps my ability to focus on objectives in both my personal and professional life.

Related Posts