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| Carroll Moon

Employee Spotlight – Meet John Kupko

From Math and Science to a Service Engineering extraordinaire! Meet John Kupko, Service Engineering Team Lead at CloudFit Software. His passion for helping others has shaped an incredible career journey, while his love for the outdoors, scenic spots, family time, and games add the perfect blend of balance and joy! Find out more about John below!

What does your career background look like? How did it lead you to where you are now?

I got my start working as a high school intern in biomedical research for the National Institutes of Health. At the time, the field of bioinformatics was just getting started and my interests in math, science, software development, and information systems seemed like a good fit for this new field. It was exciting to help scientists tackle problems that could be solved with what I knew, and I focused on bioinformatics both in and after college.

After a while, I realized that I mainly enjoyed helping people – whether it was in the domain of science or not, and I joined the Air National Guard in Washington because the military tradition in my family had taught me that supporting the instrument of peace and liberty for our nation and peace for our world is a tremendously good way to help people. Very quickly, the new network of folks from the guard connected me with an employer that was supporting the Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) program in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) at the time. The guard did not have time to send me to training before I found myself supporting the effort in Afghanistan, and so my military career transitioned from the guard into contracting.

After working as a contractor for a while, I returned home and found a role developing disaster recovery systems for a global logistics company first as a systems administrator and then as a software developer. Really though, what I was very focused on during this time (besides helping people) was DevOps. The requirements to prepare for running a huge corporation with a small number of people had me going deep into topics of platform automation in the context of disaster recovery, and I found the technical problems of these systems to be particularly engaging.

CloudFit found me a few years later, and after conversations with Mark Miller and Carroll Moon, I was completely floored. Servant Leadership just erases all these traditional notions about management and operations that had kept me vectored towards technical problems. It lowers the cost of helping both coworkers and customers to zero and lets people genuinely invest in each other. I immediately knew that I had found my spot and was able to join the team not long after.

What is your role at CloudFit Software?

I am currently a Team Lead working in Service Engineering.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The people I work with are the most genuine and caring group of coworkers that I have had in all my roles. They manage to also set a new standard for delivery excellence on some of the largest systems that I have seen despite having worked on global scale systems for the last decade. Working with these people is absolutely the best. You should totally try it.

What surprised you most about working for CloudFit?

The thing that blew my mind about working for CloudFit was how we could pull off amazing feats with a tight-knit crew and some clever automation and architecture. The systems we oversee are ginormous and intricate, and we make them hum like a well-oiled machine. We never let anything stop us from giving our customers the best service possible. Not even a meteor strike, a sharknado, or a hurricane (there’s been multiple now). We’re CloudFit, and we’re the ultimate CSP.

What would you say is CloudFit’s biggest strength?

Tight integration with operations. We have a 24x7 ops team that uses an in-house platform that we integrate with every customer who is serious about uptime. Companies do not understand the overhead you pay for the integration of turn-key platforms like Jira or Service Now. It is staggering. Like company-ending expenses if you don’t anticipate the integration cost. By building the software integration into our service offering, we can literally erase that cost. More importantly than the cost, the operations mindset saturates the company because embracing an operations mindset continually shapes a superior product in all the automations and architectures we design.

What’s been one of your proudest moments working at CloudFit?

As a team lead, I love getting people raises. Every time I have had the opportunity to help someone advance in their career and land a raise or promotion it just fills me with joy and pride. I think seeing other folks at CloudFit getting recognized always makes me proud, but getting to take part by being the one to hand over that recognition is my favorite.

What are five words (or a short sentence) of advice for others in your profession?

People are the first principle.

What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?

I like to explore the great outdoors and enjoy getting out here in the Northwest, where there are so many scenic places to visit and discover. I also like to spend time with my friends and family, whether it’s cooking a brisket, playing games, or watching movies. Another thing I like to do is travel; I have been lucky enough to get around the globe at least once, and there is still so much left to see. Traveling also makes me appreciate the diversity and richness of our world and inspires me to keep exploring.

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