E109 - Jay Guros at Palo Alto Networks

Antonio Costa
Jay  Guros

By Antonio Costa & Jay Guros

Our Senior Vice President, Antonio Costa, was joined by Jay Guros, a Systems Engineer at Palo Alto Networks. Jay specialises in cybersecurity, networking and cloud and is heavily focused on solving problems faced by large enterprise customers. Over his career, he has collected a fair number of certs and talks to us about his journey in completing those alongside his recommendations.

Jay’s career took off in 2010 when he started his first job in Networking in a Helpdesk position. He liked having that background in front-line support because of the skills he took from it and still uses it today. The Helpdesk role helped him understand the frontline and customer support side of Networking. For him, this role was to help him get his foot in the door. He needed experience and just having certs, in his opinion, wasn’t going to get him a job. People will look at your resume and want to see that you’ve done something, especially if you’re fresh out of college like Jay was. Once you have something it’s a lot easier to progress into senior roles.

During that time, he started taking a couple of courses in community college that helped him get his CCNA. This is where he fell in love with Networking so when he reflected on his Helpdesk role, he decided it was time for a change. He moved to another role which at first was Helpdesk support but was promoted to Network Administrator and was exposed to Routing, Switching and Firewalls. Once he got his CCNP, he decided to go work for a small VAR, was there for 10 months but wasn’t a good fit for him. He learned a lot about consultancy but wanted a change. He landed another job at a much larger VAR, and he spent a lot of his career there, changing roles multiple times from a consultant to a senior consultant at that time. He became a technical lead and thought is this where I want to be for the rest of my life? The answer was no, so reflected on what he had behind him and that’s when he decided to jump to Palo Alto Networks.

For him, jumping into that Helpdesk role was crucial in the progression of his career. For someone fresh out of school, he recommends trying and getting some sort of internship. If the school you want to go to is running a volunteer program, do it! Something you can put on your resume will benefit you greatly when you are moving into the world of work.

Changes in the industry?

When asking Jay what the biggest changes he’s seen in the industry since he started out in his career, there were two interesting ones that I think many people can probably agree on. Back in 2014/15, he listened to a podcast where they were talking on the subject of SD-WAN, and it came across as this scary thing back then. Nowadays, almost every company out there has an SD-WAN solution or is looking into getting one and has become a standard. Another change he’s seen is a lot of Network Engineers are learning Python and scripting languages and has become a case of them needing to adjust and learn scripting skills and the benefits it’ll bring to their day-to-day role.

Jay discusses some of the technologies that he thinks will have a negative impact on the future as well as some of the technologies he’s heavily focused on. Tune in now to hear the full episode!