Looking Forward to 2017

It’s a very common sentiment that 2016 was a bad year. If you pay attention to the news and pop culture this seems accurate. Many of the celebrities I grew up watching and listening to passed away. The election cycle was filled with mud slinging and people on both sides seemed to lose their mind. There were many people in my extended social circle who experienced personal tragedies.

I was one of the lucky ones. 2016 was a very good year for me. I was promoted at work. I was recognized as a vExpert, I facilitated five great VMUG meetings, I passed three VCAP exams, attended my first VMworld, and was confirmed as a delegate for Tech Field Day 13. I have more friends than ever before and have grown in confidence. I presented a vBrownbag tech talk and a VMUG presentation as a community member.

If I want to top that in 2017 I have a VERY steep hill to climb. I’ve been thinking about my goals quite a lot in the last week of 2016. For the past 10 years my goals have been a checklist of the certifications I hope to achieve and the technical skills I want to learn. 2017 is a bit of a departure from that. I still have a cert or four I want to pursue. I also think I need to develop some skill outside of the 0’s and 1’s of technology.

There are three main considerations for my goals. First, what do I need to develop to succeed with my new job responsibilities? I’m going to be interacting with upper management much more often than I am accustomed. How do I “skill up” to do this? Second, in what ways am I going to keep my technical skills relevant? VMware isn’t going anywhere but it isn’t the end all technology anymore. Lastly, how do I want to continue to participate in the community?

I like bullet points so here is how I answered those questions:

  • Take a work sponsored leadership training - this will put me on equal footing with the people I am interacting with. They did these courses
  • Develop skills in the cloud - I am actively working on an Azure certification and then plan to pivot into AWS.
  • Continue to mentor upcoming technicians and contribute blog posts throughout the year.

My plan is more detailed than that but I wanted to give a 10,000 ft view of where my head is at. This year is shaping up to be the year of “There’s more to tech than VMware”.