A new year – looking forward to 2023
I saw a lot of blogs writing a review of their last year. I thought I didn’t have much to review so it will be just a quick overview of what was interesting in 2022. This post will give an outlook on what I want to accomplish, learn, and the challenges I need to solve.
2022 didn’t start badly for me. I was promoted to Staff Technical Account Manager in January which was on my list for a long time. A big “thank you” goes out to my manager Sebastian who always supported me and pushed me here and there to achieve my goals. I had also the chance to work on 3 certifications as an SME (Subject Matter Expert). These exams included:
- VMware vRealize Operations Specialist exam (5V0-35.21)
- New VMware *biep* Specialist exam (not released yet)
- New VMware Certified Professional *biep* exam (not released yet)
Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I can name the new exams so I beeped it out.
From a certification perspective, I also took the time to upgrade my VCP-NV to 2022 through a course. I also did VCP-DCV, VCAP-DCV Deploy, and VCAP-DC Design 2022 to achieve again VCIX-DCV 2022. At the end of 2021, I bought an upgrade package for the Veeam VMCE 2021 exam. It included the course material in PDF, an exam voucher, 13 days of live lab, and a practice exam. It took me until October to start this project. Thank god I checked the expiration date of the voucher which was Dec. 16th so I had a little pressure on that side. I finally passed VMCE 2021 on Dec. 12th.
I also took the chance and bought a Youtube Premium subscription and I did not regret it. I used it to learn more about containers, Kubernetes, how people are using it in their home labs, etc. Here are some channels I discovered during my learning and can recommend watching:
- NetworkChuck (https://www.youtube.com/@NetworkChuck)
- Chuck is always on speed. Oops I mean coffee. 🙂 He is so entertaining and great to watch. You can learn a lot of things from him.
- Christian Lempa (https://www.youtube.com/@christianlempa)
- Christian has great Kubernetes and Container videos and knowledge. I’m enjoying all of his content and how to configure and deploy stuff. Keep the awesome work going.
- Techno Tim (https://www.youtube.com/@TechnoTim)
- Tim is a master when it comes to non-VMware home labs. His videos give me ideas on what I can additionally run in my lab or what other containers are out there which could be beneficial. Awesome content and great person to watch.
- Novaspirit Tech (https://www.youtube.com/@NovaspiritTech)
- Don is running a pi-hosted series. He tries to put as many as possible containers on a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB. Really cool project and also you get ideas for your own lab and for new containers as well. Great content.
But there are not only technical channels I’m watching. As a Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 player (casual player) I can also recommend the following channels:
- MrLlamaSC (https://www.youtube.com/@MrLlamaSC)
- Alex is THE Diablo 2 god. There is nothing more to say! 🙂 If you are a D2 player this channel is highly recommended but I would guess everyone in this space knows him already.
- Raxxanterax (https://www.youtube.com/@Raxxanterax/)
- Ryan streams Diablo 3 and makes awesome guides on Youtube for Diablo 3. He is also part of the Maxroll team. Great guy, great dedication.
To be honest, I never understood the concept of Twitch or why I should watch people playing games instead of playing them by myself. But it’s just like in IT you can learn from people playing it (in IT using it) and improve in that way your gameplay as a gamer or your understanding of different technologies.
There were also a lot of channels that helped me to design my new office I started in my basement in 2021 and gave me ideas what I should use here and there. I also wanted to start a Youtube channel at the beginning of 2021 but until now it was just an idea! 🙂
2022 was also the year when a lot of vendors went back to in-person events and conferences. I was attending VMware Explore in Barcelona and it felt like ages ago when I was at my last VMworld. It was a great event but I felt a little bit off track when I arrived in Barcelona (headache, my shoulder hurt, didn’t feel well). But all of this changed when I had my first conversation with someone from the #vCommunity. After that I really enjoyed the conference and the great conversations I had during the conference. There were also 2 sessions I attended that moved me in the direction to learn more about Containers and Kubernetes.
- KUBT2977EUR – Get Started with Containers, Kubernetes, and Tanzu
- OSB2534EUR – Unlocking the Hidden Potential of Event-Driven Automation for VMware Partners
As many of you know I’m running the yearly #vBreakfast event at VMware Explore (aka VMworld). This year had a little challenge as our go-to restaurant was not there anymore. When I arrived there the whole complex was a complete construction site. With the help of my good friend Dan Belmonte we found a new location for the event. Runecast was really generous to sponsor this great event again. The new location and the event were again a big success and the attendance was awesome. A big “THANK YOU” goes out to everyone who attended #vBreakfast. You all rock.
Looks like the review was not as short as I would have imagined, it but I hope it was still interesting. Now to the topics I want to change, accomplish, and optimize in 2023.
In the last 5 weeks I haven’t done anything because of time constraints, illness, and motivation. I know 2 of the reasons are excuses but I will change this in 2023. My wife started to work out at home during the first pandemic year with a program called Yoga Burn. After some months my wife saw great changes and so I also gave the “Trim Core Challenge” a try. I was really surprised by how hard it was in the beginning but I also saw great transformation after some weeks. My core got stronger, I felt more energized and my back didn’t hurt anymore. And all of this with only 15min a day, 3 days a week. So overall a great program. But I also wanted to get more stamina so a bought a rowing machine in 2021 which I will be using more often in 2023 than in 2022.
For 2023 I have a lot planned for what I want to learn. In the past couple of years, I always said that Kubernetes and Containers are like voodoo magic to me. I also said I don’t know anything about it but over time and after talking to a lot of people I build a foundation about Kubernetes and Containers. Not as deep as other experts but enough so I can talk to my customers about it. In 2023 I will improve this skill set.
I also want to learn more about Hashicorp Terraform, Packer and Vault. When speaking of Kubernetes and Container from my perspective you should also be familiar with VSCode, Git and CI/CD so this is on my list too. It looks like I have a packed year ahead of me including all the other stuff I need for my day-to-day job as a VMware TAM.
I’m still running my home lab as described here, with some minor tweaks here and there to save on power consumption. My plan for 2023 is to extend it to run new services (all containerized), give Kubernetes in the home lab a try, and automate more stuff. William Lam wrote this awesome deployment script for nested environments and it’s working really great. But you still have to do some manual tasks if you want to have DNS records or IPAM entries (if you running an IPAM in your home lab). Therefore I decided to expand his script to support more automatic tasks specific to my needs (blog series in the planning). This will also help me to improve my Powershell and RestAPI skills hopefully.
As I’m starting to learn more about Kubernetes one of my primary goals for 2023 is to achieve Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD). I would also like to upgrade my Veeam Certified Architect (VMCA) badge to the most recent version. From a VMware certification perspective, I’m not quite sure yet what I want to achieve but VCIX-NV sounds like a great challenge.
One of my biggest weaknesses is that I’m a really chaotic person (probably Chaotic Good from a DnD standpoint). I’m always preaching to my customers that they should have good documentation so that everyone on the team knows why certain things are configured that way they are currently. Unfortunately, I don’t have documentation or better said not as good as it should be documentation. So my ongoing challenge for 2023 in this area is to get more organized, and more structured, write things down in a way others can follow, and be more efficient.
As written at the beginning of this post I was promoted to Staff TAM in 2022. I’m now also in my ninth year with VMware as a TAM and I’m still loving the job and the company. But from time to time I’m asking myself if I should stay a TAM forever or try maybe something new at some point. This does not mean switching positions instantly but use something like the TAKE3 first to see if the job I want to do fits my expectations.
TAKE3 within VMware is an employee program where you can work for three months in a different job role. I was always interested in Technical Marketing but when seeing the people actual working there I get little bit intimidated because of all the well-known people there. Maybe I should follow Duncan Epping’s advice he gave in a great webinar for vExperts. Move out of your comfort zone through the panic zone into the learning zone. Maybe not exactly his words but you get the idea. He had also a great graphic I want to share here and what I think is really true.
But for now, my main professional goal is to work towards the Senior Staff TAM promotion and I’m really looking forward to this challenge.
The last topic is my own blog which has been on a downward spiral since the beginning of the pandemic. I was not motivated and had no drive to write anything although I had some ideas for posts or customer issues were others should be aware of. I was writing from time to time but it was not the same as the years before. Here are some statistics from the last years of my blog.
This all changed when I read a post on LinkedIn from my good friend Al Rasheed. He struggled with the same problem I did but he worked through it and now this hard work paid off. Thanks, Al for your inspiring post.
That was also the reason to write this first post in 2023. I have also some plans for the blog and what I want to blog about. One of the plans is to move to a static site which means I need to learn something new like HUGO. Moving to a static site is currently my biggest horror as I don’t know how I can migrate some automated parts of my site to a static site or how to do it in Markdown with HUGO. I was also thinking about self-hosting my blog in my lab. Not sure yet if this is a good idea or not. I will not stop writing about VMware technology but I will also try to write more about Containers and Kubernetes and how I will leverage these technologies in my home lab.
I hope I will not lose my found again drive anytime soon. I’m really motivated and excited and looking forward to how all my plans will evolve and work out. I’m also sorry that you had to read through more than 2000 words. I hope it was interesting. With that said I wish you all a Happy New Year and best of luck for 2023.