Welcome to the latest installment of our ongoing AppDynamics University instructor interview series. In this issue, Kevin Johnson tells us what brought him to the AppD virtual classroom and what inspires him about teaching and life.
HINT | If you haven’t yet already, get acquainted with the other professionals who teach instructor-led (ILT*) AppDynamics University courses: Angela Lang, Faith Atayero, Gurjit Virdee
Please feel free to add your comments and questions for Kevin and our Community moderators, below. We look forward to engaging with you!
– Johanna & Claudia
NOTE | ILT courses are exclusive to our Premium and Multi-User University subscription holders. Visit our site for more information on subscription types.
In this post...
Sometimes multiple monitors are needed for the job
What does work look like for you?
Can you give us a picture of “a day in the life”?
On a typical teaching day, I am driving my two middle school students to school first. When I get back, I like to send a custom welcome email to each of my students about an hour before our meeting, then we commence the learning! We instructors teach in ½ day sessions, so I’ll continue teaching after a lunch break.
How did you get involved with this work?
Back in 1996, I had been working at a consulting company (since graduating in 1991 with a programming degree and software experience) when my wife and I decided to take a journey to West Africa.
In one particular country, Cote d'Ivoire, we became high school teachers, teaching math and science. While there, I was bit by the teaching bug! When we came back to the United States, I was formulating ways to incorporate teaching into my job.
What has fed your interest in your work?
As a remote instructor, you don’t meet your colleagues in person very often; however, I absolutely adore the people that I work with– we all have similar mindsets.
I also love the students that I am teaching, which is a new group every time! There is great fulfillment in raising their understanding of the product and making complex ideas easy to understand.
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What's your AppD story?
What first brought you to the AppD?
My journey to working at AppDynamics was like a deja-vu experience and seemed almost fated. In 2000, I joined a small startup that had recruited me through an invitation. I really enjoyed my time working with them.
Fast forward to 2017, a recruiter from AppDynamics reached out to me in a similar fashion as the last company, immediately catching my interest.
At the time, it felt like many of the identifying characteristics of AppDynamics were identical to this past company and everything felt right. The products were different but the stage of where the companies were at, was the same.
Step-by-step, as I learned more about AppDynamics in 2017, it felt like history was repeating itself. I was later told that me saying “Wow, this product is genius!” during the interview, was the reason I landed the job.
Can you tell us about a positive experience you’ve had while teaching?
There are countless positive experiences I have had while teaching…
In one example, I was teaching 3 students in an intensive 5-day lab training program. We ran into an issue in the lab environment where the students ended up solving the problem! For context, lots of students will come to our training with prior experience using the AppDynamics application. We encountered an error when we initially tried to run this one installer, where a user in the Linux system didn’t have proper authorization. One student was able to address the needs of our environment and it was a great collaborative feat.
What are your top tips for maximizing learning in an AppDynamics instructor-led course?
- We have 5-minute self-paced learning videos available in AppDynamics University that I recommend students go-through
- I also agree with Gurjit’s and Angela’s tips: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We are non-judgmental and patient instructors and treat all questions equally
AppDynamics University instructor Kevin Johnson and his furry partner-in-crime!
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What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
I love to ride my bike!
I live outside of Boston, where the railroad tracks have been converted into bike paths and utilize those frequently. I also love hiking up the mountains, skiing, and engaging in other various outdoor activities.
How—or where—do you find inspiration?
- I find inspiration from good conversations with people who like to philosophize. Let’s talk about your background and what makes you work!
- I love science articles. I remember the first time I saw a picture of a black hole and was awestruck. It was a theory that I could now actually visualize, after learning about it many years ago in school.
- Bird watching with my oldest daughter: We just gifted her a set of binoculars and recently saw an osprey!
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