A Thank You and Tribute to Rachel Berry (@rhbBSE) for Your COUNTLESS Contributions to Citrix and the Virtualization Community!

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It’s not often I write a blog post not directly tied to a technology or lesson learned, but today is special and there are some things that needed to be said about a very special professional. Someone who has truly touched my life in meaningful and lasting ways…

Approximately a month ago Citrix announced its intent to spin off the GoTo business, which was accompanied with a plan to eliminate 1,000 jobs. Unfortunately for many of our friends and colleagues at Citrix, this was the second layoff of the year for Citrix, having just announced and laid off 900 employees in January. Big corporate restructures are always difficult, and it’s sad to see so many lives and families affected by these changes. I, and many of my followers, know others affected by these restructures. And, it’s uncommon that any announcements are made about those affected to properly acknowledge their incredible contributions.

I am saddened to learn that today was Rachel Berry’s last day at Citrix due to the announced lay-offs and corporate restructuring currently underway at Citrix. I know I may never know the full story, and for that reason I hold no ill feelings to Citrix or anyone involved. I partly understand how these things work, but I wish it could have been different with Rachel. She is truly a one of a kind individual, technologist, and in recent years, an amazing Product Manager! As part of the Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) program, we get a lot of exposure to Product Managers, and I know there are a lot of good (and great) PMs within Citrix! This is not to discredit any other PMs or others affected by these layoffs, but Rachel was truly unique and one of a kind as it related to her interaction with the community and specifically the CTPs. The way Rachel would bring information to bear, both internally, and externally was truly inspiring. During her time at Citrix, she personally published 110 blog posts to Citrix Blogs and recently launched her own personal blog earlier this year. Thank you Rachel! I know everyone dealing with HDX-anything has read your blogs!

For those that don’t know Rachel well, here’s a little bit about her, taken from her personal blog:

RachelBerry Rachel Berry (@rhbBSE) joined Citrix from Siemens PLM where she worked as a CAD-architecture engineer, specialising in CAD and PLM joint-product development with Autodesk, Siemens NX, Ansys Workbench, SolidWorks and others. Rachel holds a PhD in Electromagnetic Field Simulation and Image Processing from Cambridge University. Rachel is now Product Manager for HDX 3D Pro Graphics at Citrix. Follow Rachel on @rhbBSE or her deprecated Citrix CAD Virtualisation blog: http://blogs.citrix.com/author/rachelbe/

In 2004 Rachel was awarded the Hamilton Prize by Cambridge University. “The Hamilton Prize is awarded to the candidate submitting the best report embodying research carried out in the University on the theory or practice of the physics or engineering of any aspect of communication, propagation, or signal processing, associated with electromagnetic radiation or wave propagation.”http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/2009-10/special/06/135.html

Wow! What a resume highlight, diverse background and incredible skills!

Rachel has been inspiring and encouraging to many of us with less impressive backgrounds, learning about the ins and outs of graphics and visualization and how important it is for virtualizing apps and desktops. This simple blog post does not come close to expressing how much she has impacted the industry, Citrix, partners, and customers evaluating and deploying high end graphics with Citrix HDX. Thank you for everything you have done for the industry, making the world a better place for customers and partners taking on some of the biggest baddest challenges in our market!

While I am very sad to see you depart from Citrix, I am also tremendously excited for whatever is next in your journey! Knowing your background, I’m confident it will be incredibly remarkable and exciting wherever you go!


Be encouraged! Your next opportunity to share your knowledge with the industry is just a phone call away!

If Rachel Berry has positively impacted your personal or professional life, please feel free to leave a comment below. The comments are moderated, but I will be monitoring them closely, and I’m confident Rachel will be encouraged by reading about how you’ve been affected by her work. As is common in these situations, Rachel will likely be unable to comment about the circumstances of her departure from Citrix.

Thanks again Rachel for everything you’ve done during your time at Citrix. I look forward to seeing when and where our paths will cross in the future!

Take care and be encouraged for your next adventure!

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  1. Dave WeissmanDave Weissman12-31-2015

    A HUGE loss for Citrix and Derek’s team. A one of a kind PM and an all around great person. You’re missed already.


    • Rachel BerryRachel Berry01-08-2016

      I miss you too Dave! Do stay in touch!

  2. Sam JacobsSam Jacobs12-27-2015

    Being one of the CTP newbies, I haven’t had the chance to know Rachel as well as most of the CTP’s.
    However, in the short time that I’ve been with the group, she has *unquestionably* been the PM that has interacted the most with us on a consistent basis. The news of her departure sent shock waves throughout the group. She is held in the highest regard by all, and will be sorely missed. Her successor has some big shoes to fill!

    • Rachel BerryRachel Berry01-08-2016

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you so much for the nice words! I know we only met that once in Orlando. I hope although busy I was at least consistent and did let you know when I could help even if it wasn’t always instant!

      I hope our paths cross again and that you enjoy the ctp program, I learned so much from them!

      Have a great 2016!

  3. JK BenedictJK Benedict12-24-2015

    I heard of this on the 20th of December and I was crushed. To those who think “it’s just business, it isn’t personal”, I would ask you to think again. Think very hard about this with consideration to “Work better. Live better.”


    • Rachel BerryRachel Berry12-24-2015

      Hey Jesse, it was very personal in a nice way, geographically PM balancing is tricky and I wasn’t willing to relocate and Sridhar spent weeks finding othe roles I could do but I had such fun doing different things I felt ready for the next step, challenge etc… I got a lot of personal support and could have stormed out if unhappy but it was great planning a steady handover, we got four releases out in the last two weeks, dxva, pi2, android and linux receiver so there was a natural time. Many companies would be terrified of sabotage but there was plenty of goodwill and we got some great releases. A fab new graphics manager trained up. I fell into doing hdx remotely when we couldn’t find a local PM, but now there is one and it is so much better for the engineers and the PM. A good org structure helps engineer quality and fitting roles around people nibbles away at that, if it hadn’t had a good reason that I couldn’t recognise myself then maybe I’d have been peeved but I learned so much that i have loads of options in spite of my desire to stay in a tiny rural town well away from IT jobs. I have to say that I loved working with you and the fact that someone in support decided to rewrite the bits of open source XenServer they didn’t like! I feel honoured to see you bloom from frustrated support to published XenServer author and respected guru! Shows that careers can be winding paths not ladders! Companies are just collections of people and pretty much everyone I worked with was nice, can’t really complain!

      • JK BenedictJK Benedict12-25-2015

        Oh, my — you are still far too kind.

        I am certainly glad things were positive for you, however I am going to miss the hell out of you. As a hat-tip to Mark and Dane, the news of you no longer being with us startled me in personal, professional, and technical ways.

        The mantra of Work Better/Live Better still thrives, but it is so hard to picture it without you, many others, and yes — Mark as well (hope all is well, sir). Sure, my response was more knee-jerk, but despite my own exits under IBM, Scientific Atlanta, MicroMuse, and more, I find what you bring to the table far out weighs what I do.

        Customer Advocacy. Fearless Request for Resources. Endless Testing. Passion for What You Do.

        The community knows you so well that in the end, I know you will always be successful. It just makes my “Tolkien-esque” journey much more lonely.

        I will definitely be in touch as Q4 is almost over: usual rounds of Twitter, Blogging, and insomniatic experimentations with technologies we share such passions for will be back in full steam, but for now…

        I bow to you, hope the Holidays are well for you, and salute you RACHEL BERRY!

        JK Benedict / @xenfomation / The Geek You Saved

  4. Rachel BerryRachel Berry12-24-2015

    Of course I’ll still be involved in the community. HDX is storming and keen to see the plans play out. It’s simply very good tech, it’ll be good for the teams to have PM on site! I saw big layoffs at ibm in the mid 1990s and sometimes major restructuring is necessary before it all gets too crazy, ibm would have died if it hadn’t. It was all very amicable and gives me a chance to look to focus on the bits of stuff I really like. I count myself very lucky to have had the opportunities to do so much at a high level, I’d have never got that in any other company. Citrix really nailed the community really well and hopefully I can do that in the wider ecosystem in the future. Refocus is good for companies and individuals like me!

  5. Mark TempletonMark Templeton12-23-2015

    I’d like to second the comments made by Dane. Rachel made a significant contribution to the Citrix community. No debate there. Beyond that, she is deeply committed to helping others. Selfless. Fearless. Non-PC. Creative. I’m sad to see this caliber of people being hit by the reduction. I hope Rachel will stay in the community, helping to advance it, and continuing her caring attitude toward others. Luck, blessings and THANK YOU, Rachel!

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