My 2015 Review and 2016 Goals

So, I know I’m a little late with this.  I’ve been told that I have a bad habit of just being slightly behind the times.  Guess this proves it.

What’s the whole point of this particular blog post?  Pretty simple.  I’m going to go through what I did in 2015 and tell all of you how that’s going to shape my 2016.  Let’s start with some of the simple things that I accomplished in 2015:

  • Awarded vExpert status for 2015
  • Awarded Cisco Champion status for 2015

Both of these things prove what we already know.  I tend to be highly active (just not blog active) in these technical communities.  For 2016, I’m going to continue this.  While many I know are starting to lose interest in what these programs do out there, I still consider them to be a good stepping stone for getting involved in my tech communities.  I fully expect to be awarded vExpert and Cisco Champion for 2016.

Let’s recap the vast amount of technology group or technology conferences I attended over 2015.  Here’s my list:

  • Attended the St. Louis VMUG UserCon
  • Invited to the Cisco UCS Director Customer Roundtable in San Jose
  • Surprise invite, via Simplivity, to Cisco Live 2015 in San Diego
  • Attended the Kansas City VMUG UserCon
  • Attended VMworld 2015 in San Francisco
  • Invited and attended Virtualization Field Day 6, as a first time delegate, in San Jose

Many of these stand out, but I want to go over the first one really quick.  I’m sure it could be argued exactly who in the Kansas City VMUG ranks suggested this trip, but a few of us had this wild idea that it was time to start going to over VMUGs close to our neck of the woods and interact with the leaders of those VMUGs.  We chose the St. Louis VMUG as the first one because it was a rather quick drive down Interstate 70.  The interaction with the St. Louis VMUG leaders was fantastic.  They even returned the favor and came across the state to the Kansas City UserCon.  I get the feeling we will continue to go back and forth and attend each other’s events until we get tired of each other.  Either way, I consider Marc and Jonathan to be more than just faces I see in the VMworld crowd.

This list of conferences does remind me that I don’t know if I gave the proper shout outs to people I know at Simplivity for the opportunity to attend Cisco Live.  I’ve already stated just how valuable that conference (well, maybe not the conference, conference, but some of the events I went to while at the conference) was.  More on the event I got invited to due to that conference later.  I do need to give Brian and many other people I know at Simplivity a mention of gratitude.

Strangely, I don’t really have much to say about VMworld this year.  I turned it into a social event and was OK with how it turned out.  Made many new industry contacts and many new people that if physical proximity wasn’t an issue, we’d probably hang out for football games (both futbol and throwball) and toss back beers.  Always a good thing to add, I suppose!

Lastly, the VFD event.  Oh, I was nervous as hell for that one.  Then I did exactly what I told myself not to do, which was clam up and act reclusive.  I’m sure my complete lack of saying a single word on camera won’t do me any favors.  I also am lagging behind, badly, on blog posts following the event.  At this rate, I’m sure Stephen isn’t going to invite me back to any more of his events.  I’m trying to make sure I can justify the spot next time, considering I feel like I’ve dug myself a huge hole to climb out from.

Beyond those events, I struggled to find categories for some of these accomplishments, but I’ll list them here in a miscellaneous category:

  • Took over leadership of the local Cisco UCS Users Group (now Next-Gen Data Center User Group) for the Kansas City area
  • Continued my tenure as a Steering Committee member for the local Kansas City VMUG group
    • I’ve also taken the reigns as the contact within the group responsible for the Feed4Ward campaign (this is to try to get more first time presenters involved with the non-UserCon meetings by the local VMUG chapter)

So, that leads me to 2016…..

What are my goals I want to accomplish this year?  Pretty simple.  DevOps.  I want to understand more of what this movement does within an organization and to a technical degree, what some of the tools that are out there and what they bring to the table.  So, here’s a tentative list of what I want to learn more of in 2016:

  1. Learn more OpenStack
  2. Configuration Management Tools (Ansible/Chef/Puppet/PowerShell DSC)
  3. Versioning control (git/GitHub)
  4. Public Cloud systems (Azure/AWS)
  5. MAS (Microsoft Azure Stack) – likely part of my job at a service provider

This seems like a rather aggressive list, considering my current job status at a service provider that is nowhere near capable of providing these levels of services.  I have a feeling (I know everyone hates opinions without facts, but here we go) that these types of skills are going to be necessary as we migrate away from infrastructure admins (especially those of us with heavy VMware related experience in larger enterprises).  We will all have to start becoming more adept at managing these sorts of platforms instead of worrying about VMware clusters and monolithic three-tier application architectures that have only major worries of the retirement of Windows 2003 support from Microsoft.  More organizations are likely to start taking the plunge on these technologies and I want to be able to provide value in this opportunity for change.

I find it weird, that for the first time, I don’t have technical certifications listed up here.  This could stem from the fact that most of the parts of the industry I was immersed in for so long seemed to be enamored with things like CCNAs and VCPs.  My goals are going to lead me into a track where there are no sheets of paper (at least widely recognized) to show any sort of aptitude in those realms.

Only 50 more weeks to go to accomplish these tasks!

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About snoopj

vExpert 2014/2015/2016/2017, Cisco Champion 2015/2016/2017, NetApp United 2017. Virtualization and data center enthusiast. Working too long and too hard in the technology field since college graduation in 2000.
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