Episode 45 – You Need The Ability To Learn with Christian Posta

 In Podcasts

Christian Posta is a Chief Architect of cloud applications at Red Hat and is well known in the community for being an author, frequent blogger, speaker, open-source enthusiast and committer on various open-source projects.

Christian has spent time at web-scale companies and now helps companies create and deploy large-scale, resilient, distributed architectures – many of what we now call Microservices. He enjoys mentoring, training and leading teams to be successful with distributed systems concepts, microservices, devops, and cloud-native application design.

In this episode Christian Posta tells us why the ability to learn is of higher value than what you know, why you shouldn’t be afraid to introduce new concepts, new technologies or question the way you did things in the past. And why companies recognise that I.T. is their greatest differentiator.


Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:54) – Phil introduces Christian Posta

(01:41) – Christian explains that he works for Red Hat and helps their customers to build for the cloud

(02:13) – “The cloud is here, and here to stay”

(02:16) – People are moving their applications to the cloud and building applications for the cloud is different from the past

(02:40) – Christian explains that Red Hat is an Open Source company that build their products from the innovations that they drive in the Open Source communities

(03:01) – Red Hat gets deeply involved in these communities, from Linux to todays’ technology such as Docker and Kubernetes as well as security

(04:00) – Christian talks about the freedom people now have to innovate and try things out


(04:28) – Unique Career Tip: Christian says that it’s less about what you know than the ability to learn

(05:24) – The ability to be able to learn and to pick up new things given the pace of change in technology

(05:39) – “Don’t be afraid to introduce new concepts, new technologies or question the way you did things in the past”

(05:56) – Christian says that you can either pick the easy things and work forward or you can take the hard things and work backward


(06:35) – Worst Career Moment: Christian talks about joining a small, Open Source company as a consultant

(07:10) – Christian recounts visiting a client to find that the client knew far more than he did

(07:57) – Fortunately the client was very understanding

(08:27) – The worst part was that because the client knew so much more, Christian had a very difficult time just understanding what he was being asked

(09:06) – Christian found it hard going into this situation not being able to provide value and help the client


(10:26) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: Christian tells us that we shouldn’t get too comfortable

(11:02) – Christian says that he decided that he wanted to become a committer on Open Source projects

(11:18) – Another objective was to become a speaker, taking Christian completely out of his comfort zone

(11:40) – Christian also decided to do some public writing, author a book or contribute to a book

(11:48) – All three of these took time and a lot of hard work to accomplish


(12:15) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? Christian says that I.T. keeps changing and becomes more and more interesting

(12:39) – “I.T. is becoming the way companies differentiate themselves”

(12:45) – “Their ability to compete has become rooted in their ability to be very good at I.T.”

(13:25) – “You can be financially successful and do what you love”


(13:30) – The Reveal

(13:47) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “When website and HTML came out”

(14:13) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “If you wake up in the morning and you care more about making money or closing a deal then go into sales. If you wake up in the morning and you feel like you want to be challenged by technology, want to solve hard problems then stay in technology”

(14:42) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”I’d do the same thing I did but would pick one of the hard, emerging, difficult technology areas”

(15:21) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “Continuing to learn … and helping companies & people”

(16:25) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “Public speaking”


(16:48) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: Christian says that there’s so much access to technology

(17:11) – There are so many free resources online and you can get involved in Open Source communities

(17:22) – These communities include some of the smartest people in the world and in most cases want to help


3 Key Points:     

  1. To be successful in I.T. it’s more about the ability to learn than what you know
  2. I.T. is becoming the way companies differentiate themselves
  3. Open Source communities include some of the smartest people in the world


Resources Mentioned:

  • blog.christianposta.com – Christian Posta’s blog
  • LinkedIn – Christian Posta’s LinkedIn profile
  • @christianposta – Christian Posta’s Twitter handle


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