E136 - Andy Lapteff at Juniper Networks

Harry Baily
Andy Lapteff

By Harry Baily & Andy Lapteff

On today’s episode of The Route to Networking podcast, we’re joined by our host Harry Baily, Head of Contract USA and special guest, Andy Lapteff, Product Manager at Juniper Networks and the Co-Founder and Co-Host of The Art of Network Engineering podcast. During today’s episode, Andy talks to us about his journey in the networking industry and his unexpected start to his career. Andy also talks about the importance of soft skills and how he developed those skills over his time in the industry.

A Non-Linear Start…

Andy’s entry into the tech industry was far from conventional. With a desire to join the world of technology, he initially attempted to pursue a computer science path. However, his initial efforts in this direction hit roadblocks, leading him to question his path into the tech field. In his words, he thought, “I guess I’m not smart enough to go into tech.” Andy ended up taking the sales and marketing route, where he gained his interpersonal and communication skills.

A time came for him during this period when he realised it was time for a career change. Still having a strong passion for tech, he contemplated how to merge his skills with his desire to work in the tech industry. Armed with a communications degree, he explored roles that were closely related to communication within the technical space.

Andy took on a cabling role. While in this role, he pursued and obtained his CCNA certification, a stepping stone that paved the way for his career in tech.

With the CCNA under his belt, he transitioned to working in a NOC for two years. Building on this knowledge, he then moved on to a 7-year journey with a global data centre WAN provider. Andy then pivoted again and became a Product Manager at Juniper Networks where he has been for the last year and a half.

Transferable Skills…

His decade-long journey in sales and marketing might appear worlds apart from his current role as a Product Manager at Juniper Networks, yet the soft skills he gained during that time have become invaluable assets that bridge the gap between technology and effective communication. He learned the art of effective communication and active listening. In his current role, this ability helps him to understand customer requirements deeply, resulting in products and solutions that address their pain points.

A Day in the Life of Andy Lapteff

Andy’s role as a Product Manager at Juniper Networks affirms the importance of customer-centricity. He’s not shaping products; he’s shaping experiences, bridging the gap between technology and humanity. He works with his team to work with customers and the experience they’re having with Juniper’s products. They discover their pain points and do what they can to help them and ensure they have the best customer experience.

Taking on a career in the tech industry can be daunting but Andy offers his advice for those who are eager to carve their own paths and thrive in this domain. Andy highlights the importance of finding your people, a community that shares your passion. Connect with like-minded individuals, attend networking events, join online forums, and engage in discussions.

Tune in on the 17/08/2023 to hear the full episode!