I’m going to set the scene for a story. It started in late May 2015. I had just arrived back to Kansas City from a rather impromptu Cisco Live 2015 visit. I wasn’t planning on going, but I got contacted around Memorial Day weekend from someone I knew at Simplivity. It seemed they were looking for some people in the Cisco Champions community with some server virtualization experience to come out to Cisco Live and attend their briefings, along with being able to attend the conference, as a whole. This was a fantastic opportunity. I jumped at the chance (although I did need to get my employer’s permission to do so) since I was neck deep in the middle of my UCS Director rollout to production.
Now, an interesting thing happened at Simplivity’s briefing. I met quite a few interesting people. At the briefing, I met other fellow Cisco Champions, which I’ve come to rely upon for technical expertise, along with friendly ears to chat with. Tom Hollingsworth was there. Most of you know him. He goes by @networkingnerd on Twitter. He was there for a short amount of time and I got to just say “Hello” and introduce myself. It seemed rather innocuous at the time, but it’s starting to looking like the first snowflake that eventually causes an avalanche.
Fast forward through the rest of the event. I had traveled out to Cisco Live with one of my fellow Kansas City VMUG steering committee and wireless enthusiast, Shaun (aka @welles on Twitter). We had met up at one of the Cisco Champion spaces at the convention center and we got to talking about, what I’m sure was, some random topic or something that was happening on Twitter during the conference. Someone had just arrived over by this hang space and Shaun mentioned to me that Stephen Foskett had arrived. I knew the name, having spent time watching previous videos from former Tech Field Day events. I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself, at the time, but I put a face with the name.
A couple of weeks after the conference, I was lamenting not getting more involved with the Cisco Champions, since I felt like I was out of my element. My feelings on Cisco Live, in general, are well documented or at least well heard by anyone close to me. For those not aware, Cisco Live is nearly a 90% networkers conference. I had to search high and low to get any good information related to Cisco software products (since I am a huge Cisco ONE customer) along with Cisco compute (also having multiple data centers full of Cisco UCS equipment). I had noticed, through the virtualization community, that Virtualization Field Day 5 was about to happen in late June. I was excited to see a few people that I had met at previous VMworld’s being delegates to the event. I set aside some time on my calendar and watched the live streaming videos coming from the event. After watching some of these sessions and knowing my thirst for all things community, I made a decision. I marched over to the Tech Field Day website and filled out a Tech Field Day delegate application. There was a major part of me that wasn’t exactly sure why I should do this. Quotes of “It’s not like I’m <insert infamous virtualization blogger name>”. I never really expected much of it.
Following a few weeks, I mentioned to Shaun that I had put forth a Tech Field Day delegate application. Shortly afterwards, I get notifications from Twitter that he had sent messages to both Stephen and Tom, stating that they should follow me and consider me for a delegate spot. Immediately, both of them start following me on Twitter. We interacted briefing, in which I remember stating something about the fact I might have to reduce the amount of “f-bombs” I put in my Twitter timeline, especially since we were in the middle of baseball season. 🙂
The summer continues on and eventually we get to VMworld. It was a fun conference. I got to interact with a ton of the vCommunity members out there and got a chance to sit on an automation panel with ladies and gentlemen that I would consider my unofficial tech mentors in the space. I became even more inspired to share my knowledge with everyone else, even if many others are not in the same exact place I’m at.
Now, why is this all important? Here’s why. Stephen contacted me, via Twitter DM, at some point last week. We had a conversation in which he mentioned to me that he’d like to discuss the possibility of becoming a Tech Field Day (specifically a Virtualization Field Day) delegate in the future. He mentioned that he would like to see me do more writing/blogging. Based on that feedback, I decided to resurrect this blog (which I always said I would eventually have time for, but never really made the time).
Then yesterday, I get another Twitter DM from Stephen. Rather than type it out, I’ll just show you what it is:
Barring employer approval for those days off, it appears I need to inform you all that I’m going to be a delegate for Virtualization Field Day 6, November 17th through the 20th, out in Silicon Valley. I’m beyond ecstatic for this event! I look forward to the challenge of reporting back, through blogging, about this event to others in the community.
Who knew that meeting Tom, at a briefing I never should have been at, at a conference I never should have been at, would turn into this?
UPDATE: Employer agreed for letting me take PTO to attend. Just need to fill out the forms for attending and I’ll see everyone there in November!