On Monday this week, I joined the Interoperability team at Citrix, based in Cambridge. I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on my first week here, and talk generally about what I’ve witnessed.

When I join a company, I try to understand what they do, how they view themselves, and what they want to do. That then arms me with the ability to make decisions about where to focus my energies and my time, with the aim of helping the business.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve seen in just 5 short days:

Citrix has vision.

I have to admit, before Citrix and I started talking, I wasn’t overly aware of the extent of their full product suite, and what their overall vision was. It seems like they didn’t, either. Until recently. The new CEO, Kirill Tatarinov has done a good job at sharing what his vision is for Citrix and, by extension, what we need to achieve as Citrites*.

That vision is very clearly (to me, at least) to enable Apps to be hosted anywhere, and delivered anywhere to any device.

I can’t share Kirill’s internal strategy document, but here’s some useful resources:

  1. This 2-minute “What does Citrix do?” video is a good start.
  2. CTO Christian Reilly‘s 4-minute vision around Apps delivery is here: The Application Delivery Continuum.
  3. If you have the time, it’s worth checking out Kirill’s Synergy 2016 Keynote.
  4. An extended version of the Application Delivery Continuum with other CTOs at Synergy is here:  Citrix CTO Perspective: The Application Delivery Continuum. It covers cool stuff in Netscaler and Octoblu.

*Citrites is what employees are called at Citrix. Cute, huh? :))

Customers really matter.

Everywhere I walk, on almost every wall, there are metrics, case studies, and surveys that focus on customers. Everything I’ve read, has the customer in mind and aims to improve what Citrix are offering to their customers.

Self-improvement matters, too.

One of my favourite finds from wandering the halls, was a series of posters dedicated to showing how the Engineering teams have dramatically improved a particular product’s quality by acknowledging there was a problem, analysing what was going wrong, taking steps to fix those root causes, and completing the feedback loop to make sure the steps being taken are having a positive effect. There’s also no shame in failing, and always a desire to see if things can be done better next time.

Another self-improvement anecdote: The Interop team take on year-long Interns around this time every year. As part of this intake, Interns have to stand up an entire Citrix stack of products and get them working. This isn’t just a learning exercise – it’s viewed as a chance for “outsiders” to provide product feedback from a fresh pair of eyes, untainted by knowledge of a product’s idiosyncrasies and known workarounds gained from years of experience. All with the aim of improving the product.

Culture.

I’ll touch on this more fully another time, because this post is already a bit too long. One thing I did know before I joined Citrix, was its culture: famed for excellent work/life balance through flexible working. One thing I did note during the standard “onboarding” meeting, was that the cultural tenets were reinforced many times, and a key theme was that we succeed by cooperating and collaborating. Two things that I firmly believe in.

So, what am I doing?

Well, I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing yet. I’ve only been here a week! 🙂 What I do know, is that I’m keen to help the Interop team help the whole of the Citrix team to make some great products that customer’s love. As I said when I announced I was joining Citrix, I’m super happy to be involved more closely with an actual product, rather than purely supporting those working on a product.

I’ll try to do some more blog posts as I delve deeper into life as a Citrite 🙂

Written by Phil Wiffen

Phil is an IT Professional working in Cambridge, England. He generally blogs about useful solutions that he comes across in his work/play.

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