Those who follow me on LinkedIn might have seen an automatic post about my work anniversary. Well, almost nothing of that post is true, but I still consider it to be my real starting date. However, the official date is also impressive: 11.5 years, almost three times the industry average spent at the same workplace.
So, why do I say that the LinkedIn post is not true? Well, because all its major facts are wrong. In reality, the 12 years as open source evangelist at One Identity means that:
I started at Balabit, a Hungarian company. One Identity was born only seven years later, and bought Balabit a year later.
I started as a QA engineer for syslog-ng. My open source evangelist job was born only two weeks later, when I resigned from my QA engineer job.
My current full-time job started only half a year later.
Still, I consider myself to be a part of Balabit (now One Identity Hungary) for 12 years now. I started 12 years ago as a QA engineer. At that time working remotely was not that commonplace as it is now. I had to travel four hours (two hours to and from the office) each and every day. I loved my job, but still it was too much. So, after two weeks I handed in my resignation. Side note: these two weeks were the only period in my whole life when I worked in an office…
It was a Friday afternoon at the end of February. Balázs Scheidler, founder of Balabit and my line manager in the syslog-ng team told me: “Peter. It took you three difficult interviews to get into Balabit. It’s not that easy to escape from here either. I understand your concerns. However, by Monday, when we can do the paperwork, I’ll have another job for you.”. He kept his word: I quit Balabit, but I had a new job as an external consultant: working on syslog-ng Open Source Edition tasks which I could do remotely. Half a year later, I started to work on syslog-ng full time from the comfort of my home. I was the first remote worker at Balabit.
Balabit was acquired by One Identity in 2018. It turned out that sudo maintainer, Todd Miller, became my colleague through the acquisition. Until that – just like most sysadmins – I considered sudo to be just a simple prefix for administrative commands. But then I took a closer look at sudo, and I learned that it’s a lot more: session recording, plugins, LDAP support, and many more. And soon I was spreading the word about the lesser-known features of sudo.
12 years are a lot and I’m bombarded with job offers almost every day. With 20+ years of sysadmin experience, I could easily find something better paying, especially if I accepted one of the many offers I receive from banks. However, my current job is a lot more interesting and a lot more fun than managing systems. I am the public face, evangelist of a well-known open source software developed in Hungary, and for one of the best known security utilities in the Linux / UNIX world. As far as I know, it’s a completely unique position here in Hungary!