2014 Year in Review

By | November 25, 2014

I had some time to contemplate the past year, it felt like a great year professionally, so I wanted to take the time to track my development to understand where I can go next year.

2014 Virtualization related Activities

  • Silicon Valley VMUG user conference and Feb Meeting
  • Met and interacted with a lot of new people on twitter (thanks to Virtual Design Master)
  • Passed VCAP-DCA
  • VMworld 2014
  • Started new blog (blog.chrischua.net) that has been stalled for 3-4 years
  • Failed VCAP-DCD
  • Joined Google+ VCAP-DCD study Group
  • Passed VCAP-DCD

2014 Work related projects

  • Major VMware Site Recovery Manager design and deployment
  • Participated in multiple VMware Beta programs
  • Consulted with various groups around the company on deploying VMware technologies
  • Traveled to the Middle East to discuss Disaster Recovery with a group there
  • A lot of work around designs, staging and executing a brand new datacenter
  • ESXi 5.5u1 Roll Out (and working through various issues)
  • Log Insight 2.0/2.5 (and all of the betas)
  • Survived a Re-Org (this seems to occur every 3-4 years in my company)

I excluded my personal stuff, but I’ll just say that having twins means there is not a dull moment. It is also very difficult to do extra work from home and participate in social media since my kids deserve my attention when I am with them.

I started the year attending VMUG meetings and such, but by the time April came around,  work was just so crazy that I could not step away. I am hoping that I will have more time to attend these meetings. I find a lot of value in breaking out of my corporate cube walls and listening to other technologies and perspectives. I was actually invited to be on a Log Insight Experts Panel at VMworld but I couldn’t get it cleared by Legal. My boss wanted me to submit a session for 2015 but after going through the Legal process, I don’t know if it’s worth the hassle.

In terms of certification, I barely passed the DCA, barely failed the DCD then passed the DCD. Most people I talk to are on there way to VCDX, but I don’t feel I’m ready skills wise or time wise. I don’t want to come off as selling myself short, but I have spent my entire career in enterprise IT and have pieced together the skills to support my areas (as I have moved from group to group) but it’s far from a complete picture. I know the basics of storage and networking, but beyond the DCD design aspects, I couldn’t configure a switch or array from scratch. I know that’s not really necessary, but there are a lot of intricacies that I don’t know about. Maybe next year I can deepen my knowledge and re-evaluate if I want to dedicate myself to pursue a VCDX.

Edit: My boss has expressed support to obtaining a VCDX, even mentioning that he could get support from his manager and our division manager. I still have to think long and hard about this…

I did apply to be a VMware vExpert this year, but didn’t make it. I chose the “Customer” path which seems to only get you in if you are a really highly visible VMware customer. I bet if you act as a customer reference you get bumped to the top of that list. Fat chance of that happening with my company, that wouldn’t get passed Legal. I am applying again but under the normal “Evangelist” path, so hopefully I have a better shot at that.

The blog and the social media connections have been rewarding. I have met some nice people who help each other and share common interests. have a few ideas for next year (for the blog) but I hope that work will inspire me with new challenges to solve and share with the community.

Work-wise , I mentioned that I survived a re-org. Some positions were eliminated but in my area it was basically a management consolidation and team shuffle. I will report to the same boss but the focus of the team may change. Not sure what that entails for me. My hope is that I can close out some of the projects from this year and learn something new. I’m not a big fan of travel either, but I hear that some groups are looking for consulting in regards to Site Recovery Manager, so that may pop up as well.
Here’s looking to you 2014, you’ve been good, but I’m glad that you are over. To anyone who actually reads this thing (I know there are a few of you), Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.


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