2016 – How did I do?

Me on a panel discussion at the Veeam User Group held in Las Vegas at VMWorld 2016
Me on a panel discussion at the Veeam User Group held in Las Vegas at VMWorld 2016

About a year ago, I wrote a self-reflective post about what stood out to me in 2015, and what I had hoped to accomplish in 2016. Reading through it, I have to say, that I did not accomplish two out of the three goals I had listed. With regards to the ‘networking’ goal, that just didn’t happen, although it is still something that I might try and pursue in 2017.

As for the exercise goal, that petered out as well. I’m still about the same weight, maybe three or four pounds heavier, but my jogging was derailed by some reasonably serious health issues at the time. Maybe with the cold weather I’ll hit the treadmill again.

WAS 2016 A BUST THEN?

Considering I missed two-thirds of my goals, on paper it would seem like 2016 was a bust. In fact, it was the complete opposite as it was far more successful than I could have ever dreamed. My first goal was related to ‘community involvement’ and how I wanted to increase it. I’m going to take a cue from my good friend Ariel Sanchez for a moment here, and not be humble. 2016 was a stellar year for me – here are a few reasons why:

Although I only earned one certification in 2016 (my VMCE), I still learned an absolute ton of information. Even more so, I have been very fortunate with regards to meeting so many of my peers, many whom I would consider friends now. Although community made up just one-third of my goals, it has definitely shown to be the most valuable area that I worked on.

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR 2017

Good question. One thing became clear to me during 2016 though: I love doing vCommunity stuff. This includes things such as presenting at user groups, organizing user groups/meetups, and especially attending these functions. I’m not sure how that will translate into goals, though. I definitely plan on keeping my Veeam User Group going – I haven’t had to present since the first one, but I might pencil myself in somewhere again. I also thoroughly enjoyed doing my VMUG talks, as well as a short vBrownBag Tech Talk at VMWorld.

At a larger scale, I’m part of a group of Veeam Vanguards that have submitted a panel talk for VeeamOn 2017. With any luck, we’ll get accepted – it would be great to present at a larger conference such as that. So, ‘more’ or maybe ‘continued’ vCommunity involvement is definitely one goal. I’m not sure how I’ll quantify that yet, though. Let’s say at least 3 presentations …. And I don’t know … maybe a webinar or podcast.

ALWAYS BE LEARNING

One of the gotchas with my job is that I am a customer, this means that I don’t play with every technology under the sun like some consultants do. That makes it tricky to pursue some certifications, as they can very much be a ‘use it or lose it’ type skill when it comes to retaining the knowledge. For example, I don’t hold a VCAP, mainly because there is no business need for it, and I would forget most of that stuff from lack of use. My VCP is set to expire later this year, though, so something likely will need to be done.

I’m somewhat turning my attention to Horizon View, and possibly the VCP6-DTM certification. I recently completed a small Horizon 7 deployment, and it really sparked that curiosity in me. The last time I worked with Horizon was 5.0 and I found it was a mess to work with at the time (although a lot of that could easily have been me not having a great skillset). When I went to setup Horizon 7, I feel like I flew through the process, and it is been running like a champ for a few months. So, the sticky thing here is do I wait for V7 of the exam, or do I study on 6? Either way, if I go this route, I’ll need to do some upgrading in the home lab.

Veeam Certified Engineer - AdvancedThe other certification that I want to strive for is the VMCE-A, Veeam’s Advanced certification. I was fortunate enough to get early-access training in London earlier this year, and it feels like much more of a scenario-type certification. I am much more of a fan of the ‘do it vs. tell me how it is done’ style. The VMCE exam was tough, and talking to peers, a lot tougher than most of us thought it would be. But I’ve conquered that one, so time to push myself further.

I also have a strong desire to look into AWS – I did pick up the ACloud.Guru bundle when it was on sale for Black Friday … We’ll have to see on this one as it isn’t as practical for my day to day needs when compared to the other two.

TAKEAWAY

I’ll end this off with one big takeaway from this past year: if you aren’t pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you are missing out on growth.

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