Pivot Point

Several (more like eight) years ago, I started a blog.  I was encouraged by other members of the vCommunity to jump in and start sharing.  There was much encouragement along the way, and I loved the idea of contributing, even if I thought I was an inexperienced voice with little to add.  But as with most things, I discovered that unless one is truly intentional, our “best intentions” end up never really hitting the mark.  Consistency is not practiced and goals are not achieved.  I’ve learned and relearned this lesson many times in life.  I am a life-long learner, but I prefer to learn something once and then move on – not having to relearn my previous mistakes.  In any case, I’m trying to exert some new intention and kick this off blog off once again – with a pivot in mind.

Years ago, I started a journal.  It was just over 30 years ago to be more specific.  I still have every page from that journal of which I was consistent with for part of those first 10 years.  Incredible growth in my life occurred during this time and I had some amazing experiences.  This period of time included my college years, my big adventurous summer in Alaska, my starting (and ending) a small business, and most importantly, my embrace of a deep faith.  I even started my IT career with a software training company during this time.  My first IT role would most certainly become one of the big pivots in my life.  This set me off on a new trajectory in life that would provide some great professional rewards and on a personal level, lead me to my future wife and family.  But with my journal writing, when I had the most to write about, I had the least amount of time to do so, and my writing often waned.

About 11 years ago, when I was still working in Windows Server administration, I hit another pivot point when I discovered virtualization.  VMware VI 3.5 had just been released, I saw the changes it would provide in our day-to-day operations and I was hooked.  I embraced virtualization since the industry was clearly adopting this technology and would soon become the de facto standard for on premises data centers.  A year later, I attended my first VMworld and I came back with my face glowing ready to go all-in on this new phase of my career.  I saw the community at large for the first time, and thousands who were just as passionate about embracing this technology.  I set out to learn as much as I could and had some intention of contributing to the community.  I had lots to write about…

Over the last several years, I’ve had other growth spurts where so much was going on and I had so much to write about, but little time or energy – or simply lack of intention – to write.  Shortly after my previous blog post, I started working for a managed services provider in RTP, NC.  I took on a role as Sr. Virtualization Engineer in an enterprise-scale, predominantly VMware environment.  I had been managing and consulting in VMware focused roles for many years, but the demands and experience of the enterprise environment brought very different challenges within configuration, performance, and management.  Not only did my skill set have to sharpen very quickly to meet the demands of a large environment, they had to downright transform to break from my old habits.  Automation and scripting, extreme performance tuning, massive scale configuration management, and deep forensic analysis were all part of the my day-to-day existence.  Lots to learn and so much to blog about… but, most of my documentation ended up in company wikis, internal technical docs, and emails to customers and colleagues.

This brings us back to now… I’m once again facing what I believe is a new pivot point in my career.  I love virtualization and the world of technology this has opened to me.  It has even provided a spring board to other technologies that will clearly continue to transform our data centers and the way we process data.  Data center virtualization enabled the rapid growth of cloud with its abstraction of pools of resources and provided the ability to place into the hands of customers the power to spin up workloads in minutes.  Coding became the new skill for system admins to learn to manage vastly larger environments that grew out of the enabling technology of virtualization.  And lastly we have a newer technology that has become very popular over the last few years: containers.  The nature of containers has taken this idea of portability and abstraction from the underlying resources to another new level.  Most technology vendors have invested so much into each of these three areas:  cloud, containers and code, and for good reason:  this is not just the direction, but the road itself that our industry is speeding along.

So my mantra these days is “Cloud, containers, and code”.  It sums up the skill set that I’ve embraced as my focus for this next phase in my career.  So much to learn, so much to write about… so… I’ll see you back here in a few years for my next post.  : )  Stay tuned.

 

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