E58 - Jeff Edstrom at AccessIT Group

Harry Green
Jeff Edtrom

By Harry Green & Jeff Edtrom

On this episode of The Route to Networking podcast, our Head of Enterprise USA, Harry Green was joined by Jeff Edstrom. Jeff has over 20 years of experience in the Networking industry, starting off as a Network Administrator at Excalibur Technology back in November 2000. Since then, he has worked his way up the ladder, with numerous different roles at some impressive companies, now being the Director of Infrastructure at AccessIT Group. Harry and Jeff discuss hiring and the importance of always seeing the bigger picture and what does and doesn’t make a good employee within the tech space.

Jeff got into his career in IT because he recognised the relationship between troubleshooting, which could be troubleshooting mechanical items, troubleshooting electrical, technical, and all of it! When he was young, he liked cars and all things mechanical. He’d take broken items around the house, take them apart and reassemble them.

Taking his creative thinking and actually turning that into IT was down to learning by doing and just jumping straight in He’s always had a very active mind and passion for solving problems. For him, he doesn’t see the difference between what he’s doing now to repairing a car. Throughout his career what has brought him a lot of success is the tie to reality in terms of how his mind works. He doesn’t believe in magic, when something goes sideways, he starts minimising his variables and works back from it. So how did he end up going through? Honestly speaking, it paid well, and it wasn’t hard work in terms of comparison to other things he found displeasure.

When you’re young there’s no reason to not take risks and not pursue a generous income because you will run into X, Y and Z when you get older that’ll stop you from taking those risks. The key is to make those moves when you’re young. As you mature in your career, money isn’t everything and you will question if the large wage packet is worth it if it’s causing problems elsewhere. At this point, Jeff asks himself ‘Do I like whom I work for’? And ‘do I like whom I work with’? If the answer to those questions is yes, then he is happy.

Experience vs. Certs?

The age-old question in the Networking industry is what is the best route into Networking? Coming from a background in experience, Jeff says that certifications are just another financial revenue stream for these large companies. He thinks they are good to have but what made him successful isn’t the brevity of knowledge, even though it certainly helps. If he had to hire someone who had certs over someone who was heavy on something else, what would that something else be? And what would he prefer? He’d rather be someone who has an active, hungry, engaging mind. Someone who has parallel interests that reflect a technical background.

Our final section of the podcast is always an interesting one, we see more of an insight behind the technical guys and see more of who they are as a person. Jeff shares his background on his ‘odd life’, buying race cars in Italy bringing them back to Sweden, travelling around the world and learning Swedish Iranian.

His work life is built mainly around relationships, which is essentially what he enjoys most about working at AccessIT.

To hear more of his great answers in the quick-fire round, make sure you tune in now!