Looking back on 2017 and looking forward into 2018
Upon seeing others in the wider community making a blog post like this as a marker in the sand I thought I would follow suit as a way to see what I have learned and goals I would like to achieve in the coming year. 2017 was a good year and a very busy one at that, I got to see a lot of new places on my work travels and met some really amazing, clever and talented people.
Without listing everything, I am quite happy with my progress this year personally and as an IT Professional, keeping myself up to date with current tech where possible and pushing myself to learn new and varied things.
High-lights in no specific order.
- vExpert 2017
- VMware Specialist – vRealize Operations 6.x
- vROps Webinar Series
- Presenting at and leading VMUG some events.
- Found myself a Mentor whom I highly respect and trust.
- Picking up vRA in a more serious way.
- Keeping up (most of the time) regular blog posts here
- Finally got the chance to read the Phoenix Project
- Attended VMworld (Barcelona)
Moving forward into 2018 I have not yet really set any specific goals or targets. But off of the top of my head the follow items would be on my to-do list including the items I will already being doing.
- Become vExpert 2018
- Obtain 1 or 2 more VCPs in (VCP-NV and VCP-CMA)
- Continue the vROps Webinar series with my good friend Sunny
- Carrying on a in leadership role at the SW UK VMUG
- Continue being mentored
- Present at the Nordic VMUG
- Present at other VMUGs (UK or beyond)
- Develop my vRA knowledge.
- Develop my Powershell/PowerCLI knowledge
- Keep on blogging here regularly
- TOGAF is something I am looking into.
My goal really is to just do better each year, get better at what I do and be a better professional and hopefully a better person as a whole.
So here is to a good 2018 I hope and wish yours will be a good and successful one.
Why do IT projects struggle or fail?
I am sure if you ask that question to ten people you will get 10 different answers, or at the very least a wide variety of reasons. The product chosen to deliver the solution was a poor match, the product was implemented incorrectly, the PM sucked, the Vendor gave no support, insufficient training material/resources, poor interoperability, the list goes on and on.
One issue I have observed from time to time on my travels is quite different from the above listed examples. In fact, (and this is my personal observation and opinion) the real issue can be hidden under the reasons listed above.
So, what am I talking about? I am referring to human nature, self-preservation, fear of the known or unknown, preference for another solution/vendor, I think you get my point.
I have seen many projects where it is quite clear the product was not miss-sold, was a good fit, where the support and implementation was solid, the PM was on point and so on. Yet the project limped along for “reasons”, where all the problems, issues or objections that cropped up were simply individuals finding anything that would help justify or protect their position or opinion.
The next big thing…
Just under two months ago I left my role at Xtravirt and started life as a contractor. At that point I was content to live the contractor life for a year or so and see what opportunities came along. I didn’t expect opportunity to come along so quickly!
TLDR; I’m joining VMware as part of the PSO NSX practice!
I’ve seen VMware as the place that I would end up working for a while now, having worked as a customer and a partner it seemed like a logical progression. And NSX is a rocket-ship that is gathering speed and momentum, it’s viewed by many as critical to the future of VMware as the public cloud begins to eat the more traditional datacenter. With so much focus on NSX at VMworld this year, I am convinced of this.
I was really blessed to get onto an early NSX Technical Boot Camp all the way back in June 2014, and I’ve spent the last few years working with vRA and NSX, with the emphasis placed more on the vRA side. This role will see me shift the emphasis onto NSX, but keep the cloud and automation skills warm too. NSX comes alive when it’s automated with vRA, and vRA becomes so much more when it’s automating NSX.
In the past I’ve said that the company that nails cross-cloud connectivity first will win, and I think that NSX is getting to a level of maturity and functionality that means VMware will be that winner. I also said that I believe we will see NSX underpinning connectivity between multiple public and private clouds, orchestrated and managed by vRA as a “broker of clouds”. I think that we’re seeing that begin to happen now with VMware’s Cross Cloud strategy, as NSX underpins connectivity for VMware Cloud on AWS, and they begin to roll out NSX Cloud to other providers.
So, my first day at VMware will be the week after VMworld Barcelona. I am very much looking forward to joining an excellent team in the NSX practice, I know that I have a lot to learn and some awesome people to learn it from – but as a friend said when we were talking about the opportunity – “take the job that scares you most!”