For 25 years, Extreme Networks has been helping customers to advance their digital transformation efforts and deliver progress like never before. As we reflect on our 25 years in business, there’s a lot to both celebrate and look forward to. To tell that story, we couldn’t think of a better way than to talk with our employees who have been along for the ride. Over the last year, we’ve been talking with some of our incredible employees that have been with Extreme for 2+ decades, and next up is Senior Principal Software Engineer Ed Rovner.
Ed’s journey with Extreme started in 1999 when he came to Extreme from IBM with a few other members of his team. He has stayed in the same role since he started, which involves developing networking gear as a software engineer and technical contributor/lead. Learn more about Ed’s journey from our Q&A below!
How did you come to Extreme? What has your journey been like?
I was lucky enough to be one of the 10 original members of the North Carolina engineering site in 1999. We came from IBM and joined Extreme as network gear developers and had a great team dynamic – and still do 22 years later. Today, I have continued with the role I love as a software engineer and technical contributor/lead. I love that I get to utilize and build upon the skills I learned back in the late 80s at Carnegie Mellon in today’s world; even though so much has changed, many skills remain relevant!
The RDU site, formerly called the “RTP” (Research Triangle Park) site, has grown from the original 10 engineers I joined Extreme with back in 1999 to 75 engineers today. In the early days of the site, 10 engineers had to take turns using a single phone line to connect to the internet or our HQ in Santa Clara, CA. Someone figured out that a second internet connection was available by propping open the building’s elevator and running a very long phone line from their desk PC to the elevator’s emergency phone!
What has been your favorite memory at Extreme?
In 1999, when Extreme’s software schedules were particularly aggressive, our team was working long hours at the office and we had morning team meetings. It was not unusual for me to try to sleep for a few hours at the office before our morning meeting. Sleeping under my desk, with a phone book as a pillow, was not great because sunrise would wake me. Then I found the ideal spot, on the floor of the IT equipment room, where our networking gear was located. (Nice and dark, with white noise!) One morning I was awakened by our sales manager and a potential client who entered the IT room to see the Extreme gear, not expecting to see an engineer asleep on the floor. I apologized profusely and explained I had been working late. The sales manager later told me the client was so impressed with our engineering team’s dedication!
What makes Extreme different from other companies?
Extreme is different from other companies because of how much the employees care. Our employees are always willing to lend a helping hand to one another and our customers. Everyone I have worked with here has always been more than willing to support one another in any way they can. The culture at Extreme is so supportive and welcoming, that truly sets Extreme apart.
What has been your biggest achievement or success at Extreme?
I am proud to have been a part of a small Extreme team in 2001 that delivered a custom software and hardware solution for streaming music and video services, both live and on-demand. We were way ahead of our time with this project, so it was cool to be creating history, so to speak! We took on this project for a large customer who bought around $30 million worth of Extreme gear and required high scale streaming redundancy and new functionality every few weeks ready for production. It is fun to think that Extreme had several early patents on music and video streaming 20 years ago since that has become so ubiquitous today.
How would you describe Extreme in three words?
Helping others succeed.
The generosity our employees give one another distinguishes Extreme from other workplaces. Everyone here will selflessly share our expertise and time with others to help Extreme and our customers achieve success.
25 Years Young and Still Growing – Join Ed and the Rest of the Team!
Visit our careers page to explore opportunities in engineering as well as the many other roles in which you can advance and help Extreme drive effortless networking experiences for enterprises worldwide.