Goodbye 2017, hello 2018        

While I already finished my first blogpost of the year I decided it was time for me to write another one. The kind that I usually avoid like a plague to write: a post looking back at 2017 and forward to 2018. For me these kinds of posts are on the same level as stupid lists: I frigging always hated creating and evaded them! Essentially though my monthly flings posts are lists so why wouldn’t I write a the looking back & forward posts as well?

2017

Presenting

This mentality is exactly something what I started doing in 2016 and certainly continued in 2017: challenging myself to new things. The presenting bit I had already introduced myself to in 2016 but last year I also did my first presentation at a VMUG not in my own country but I travelled to Germany for their UserCon to present three of my favorite VMware flings. After the short vBrownbag at VMworld US in 2016 this was only my second time presenting in English. It also was my first time to exactly hit the spot timewise in the 30-minute timeslot I had.  Luckily the base for the presentation was good since I had done it at the Dutch VMUG UserCon (sorry it’s in Dutch) a couple of months earlier together with my good friend Hans Kraaijeveld. I had ten extra minutes though so instead of showing the slide deck I decided to show the tools instead of boring screenshots. Next time I just need to improve on some things and make a script on beforehand (thank you Johan for the Feedback) on what to do, but since I decided to change this the evening before in my hotel room preparation was suboptimal.

Besides the vmug’s I also managed to find me a spot on the vBrownbag schedule for VMworld Europe. I can’t really say that my presentation was a success, I was tired and just didn’t get into the proper flow for it. I did pick up some extra essential experience doing it though. Beside my own presentation I also had lots of fun on the vExpert daily broadcast.

Community

In 2017, I have started being more active on Reddit & VMTN. Specially reddit can be a flamewar every now and then but there are very decent topics and replies as well. On vmtn it’s really hit and miss about quality, some are decent posts but lots also prove that the ts (topicstarter) totally didn’t do their homework or have had any experience with the product they are trying to use.

The most fun community wise I had at the VMware Code Hackathon at VMworld EU. While our project didn’t go smoothly we had lots of fun and everyone learned at least a couple of things. Next time I will just make sure we have our own infrastructure available to us. And those hippie shirts simply rule.

VMworld itself was an awesome community event for me as well. While I still visited some sessions the hanging around with other vExperts and bloggers made it again an awesome event for me. At the beginning of November, I also visited the Nutanix .Next event and while there where less people over there that I knew I made some friends right away (or not Dugi?) and kept having fun with those selfies after I got some comments on looking grumpy at the first one. It was also good to finally meet some of the other NTC’s.

Events

2017 was a year with lots of awesome events for me. I visited not only the Dutch and German VMUG but also managed to squeeze the Belgium VMUG in my schedule was well. Then again VMworld EU and Nutanix .Next and in December I also visited the inaugural Dutch vEUC Techcon that had lots of great content.

Learning

In the learning zone, I managed more then I planned for in the beginning of 2017. I had agreed with my manager that it would be a quiet year for me an oh boy I did not keep myself to that agreement. First, there was the Certification ME work I did and got the certifications for: vcp-dcv 6.5, vcap7-dtm design and the vca-dbt exam. Ok this is not learning and doing the exam but by creating and checking the questions one can learn just as much in my opinion.

I did two actual exams in 2017: vcp7-dtm and vcap6-dtm deploy. The first one I passed and the 2nd one I sadly failed on, since it was my first vcap deploy I didn’t expect anything else and overall it was a good experience in preparing for the next one. Something certainly needed is an HD monitor and proper amounts of coffee in advance because the you need to stay sharp and time will be an issue.

As side projects in the learning department I also was active as content checker for three Packt videos and one book:

  • Videos
    • Learning VMware App Volumes
    • Designing and Deploying VMware Horizon View 7 and
    • Managing a Horizon 7 environment
  • Book
    • Mastering vSphere 6.5

Again, I learned a lot by working at these projects but they are very time intensive so I don’t know how eager I would be for coming projects.

 

2018

So, what am I expecting for 2018 personally? Hopefully I will be allowed again to speak at the Dutch VMUG Usercon, I proposed one personal session in the CfP and one session together with Hans Kraaijeveld. Also, I would love to extend my personal session and build it out to a VMworld quality and be able to deliver it there as well. Besides VMworld I would like to visit the BE vmug and Nutanix .Next also again this year.

In the community, I want to keep at least as active since my Nutanix NTC is already extended to 2018 and hopefully I will also receive vExpert again in 2018. The vExpert & NutanixNTC slack channels simply rock. Both have awesome vibes with lots of people always eager to help you with any questions you ask.

I only have one real learning goal so far for 2018 and that is to pass the vcap7-dtm deploy exam. Sadly, it hasn’t been released yet but that doesn’t say I can’t prepare for it either. My ultimate goal would be to become vcdx but that’s something I will only start working on this year, don’t expect me to submit soon. As something for fun, I might try my hands on the nsx certifications even though I am not a networking person or maybe something from Amazon since a lot of VMware admins seem to be heading that way as well.

 

For the rest, I have only this to add: Happy New Year and have an awesome 2018!

 

VMworld EU 2017 Day -1

Oooooh what a rush! is a good way to describe monday aka day 1 of VMworld 2017. I started out by waking up early after a night of bad sleep and not feeling well the night before BUT i really felt refreshed and good so I was totally ready to head out for my first ever vcap deploy exam (vcap6-dtm deploy). I failed it with 228 where 300 is required but afterwards I did feel good about it any now have the general idea on how these exams actually go. As others have said before time is a big issue but next time I will be even more prepared for that so I am confident I am going to ace it.

In the afternoon I did one of three scheduled UX feedback sessions for the VMware Design studio. These sessions are not on the regular schedule but you had to know people that knew people who could send out invites, something the vExpert slack channel managed to do! In these sessions they show you mockups of possible User interfaces and you are asked to think out loud about what you would expect buttons to do or where you could find something. I already did a webex session for this in the spring for the html5 client and they really appreciate whatever you say.

The end at the venue for me was a workshop on Cloud foundation where I seemed to be the only one having major performance issues. This made the experience not that good for me but I still got a good general impression of the product.

So the real rush was the Hackathon in the evening. The event was organised but VMware Code was something I was really looking forward to. I ended up with a Dutch team with Hans KraaijeveldIvan de Mes, Niels Geursen Pascal van de Bor and myself. Our target for the evening was having fun, learning new stuff, drink beers and to add some new plugins to the Horizon View vCheck.

One of the scoring points was the amount of empty beer bottles on your table. We drank quite a few of them but they kept cleaning them out so we ended up with this table at the end. That might have cost us some points! I think for the complete team we actually managed all of our goals but because we had major issues getting an environment up and running we ended up creating only two extra plugins and fixed some issues in other ones. We even did two Github pull requests by Pascal and Niels for which Niels actually had to create his account first.

In the end we had a 90 second time slot to present about what we archived. We didn’t do any fancy powerpoint crap for this and just showed the result from the plugins we added to the check and telling a bit about it. Sadly we didn’t get first, second or third place but I did win a judges spot price in the form of an Amazon Echo Dot. That might have been because me wearing my UX design studio shirt and one of the judges being on that VMware team OR it might have been our bribes in the form of stroopwafels. This event I think might be the very best thing I do this VMworld and it hadn’t even really started!