Summer Wrap-Up – #VirtualDesignMaster, #HyperV, and more

With summer coming to a close, there’s an unavoidable temptation to look book on what was. This year has been pretty busy, so I thought I’d take some time to look back on my accomplishments.

In February, I started this blog. I set out with a goal of one article per week on the blog. In the last seven months, I’ve met that average for the week even if I don’t write another article (52 articles in 29 weeks), but I also learned that it’s not feasible for me to actually write one article every week. I wrote three series, on PowerCLI, Auto Deploy, and Puppet for the vSphere Admin (ongoing) and managed over 14,000 page views in ~7 months. I have been lucky enough to convince Jason Crichton (@hawkbox) to contribute articles on Hyper-V while I took a summer break, and there’s really no point in trying to advertise new content during VMworld next week. I count the blog as a success and I learned some lessons along the way.

Speaking of which, I am unable to attend VMworld this year. Last year was my first VMworld and I sorely miss the opportunity to go back and to meet all my tweeps. I’ll be watching online, however!

In the area of personal growth, I acquired my VCP5-DCV certification in April and became a vExpert in July. Both were exciting, the certification because it validated my technical knowledge and the vExpert because it validated my community activities. The fact that both came with some free licenses didn’t hurt, either. I plan to put those to good use in the coming months to continue my education! I’m looking forward to being part of these two communities and learning from the other members.

In July, Season 2 of Virtual Design Master (VDM) began. I was one of 11 contestants. I survived round 1 and round 2, but I had to fold on round 3 of 4 due to time commitments. Congratulations to Timothy Patterson (@PcProfessionals) for winning Season 2! I learned a LOT during this competition – taking all the skills I use on a day to day basis as a vSphere admin, what I studied for my VCP, and a number of vSphere design books and applying it to design and engineering, which is not part of my day job in operations. I haven’t done any actual design work in years, and then it was always on a much smaller scale. VDM was challenging, exciting, and scarey. It was also very rewarding. In addition to the technical growth, there was a great sense of community and co-opetition between the contestants and the viewers of the competition. Check out #VirtualDesignMaster on Twitter for some great discussions. There’s some good content about IPv6 and Openstack in particular.

As I mentioned above, I was able to convince Jason to become a contributing editor on my blog. He is in the middle of his own Hyper-V series, which now has its own page. As a vSphere admin myself, I find the content very helpful – the world isn’t all VMware – and I hope that others find it useful as well. We would both love to hear any comments you have on the series and what direction it should go in.

In addition to all of the above, my wife changed jobs in August and we moved from Richmond, VA to Indianapolis, IN. We’re really excited about the new job and home, but we’re both very exhausted, too. If you’re in the Indianapolis area and I didn’t meet you at the IndyVMUG, drop me a line.

Have a great summer, and enjoy VMworld if you are attending!

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