Taking calculated risks

How I saved my company $1 million

Miguel A. Calles · Serverless CISO
Nerd For Tech

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Photo by Eunice Lituañas on Unsplash

Questioning assumptions and being willing to deviate from your boss’ instructions can be scary.

It was about ten years ago, and the director of engineering took a chance on me. She assigned me to work on a mega-multi-million dollar program. This program also had several million dollars in incentives if the project achieved milestones ahead of schedule. This project was a big deal, and I was assigned to be the first team member of the networking engineering team.

The team only had the manager and the technical lead. The team needed to build a large multi-site and resilient network for this important customer. I had never worked with these two leads before. Yet, the technical lead told me I would be responsible for designing and building the voice over IP (VOIP) phone system.

I had never built a VOIP phone system before. I was still relatively new to networking engineering too. Now another person was taking a chance on me.

Usually, I would have been too afraid and chickened out. This was a big responsibility with a lot at stake.

I did not realize at first that this customer relied more on the phone systems than on the computer systems to do their work. The phone system had to be more resilient and better designed than the…

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Miguel A. Calles · Serverless CISO
Nerd For Tech

Author of Mastering AWS Serverless · AWS Community Builder · Specializing in CMMC, SOC 2, serverless & engineering.