Well, it has been a year since I joined the ranks of the EMC vSpecialist Team. What a whirlwind year it has been.
I started December out doing a lot of the training and processing that goes along with taking on a new job. Within 3 weeks however, I joined Nick Weaver at a “Preso and a Movie” engagement where Nick talked about EMC offerings, and afterward Tron Legacy was shown.
It was really interesting, coming from a customer role to the vendor side of things, with every new day as an eye opener for me.
Hitting the ground running
When January came, I got my first real taste of getting on the road. I took care of a couple customer engagements, as well as participated in a high profile proof-of-concept. To be honest, it felt like I was thrown in the deep end of the pool. Was I intimidated? A little…
After 5 years of being an Adjunct Instructor for 2 Universities, presenting information in front of people was not really a big deal. After 15+ years of working with software, hardware, storage, and the like, the POC was not really a big deal either.
Immersion, Speak America, & GeekWeek
Team 5 was a really great group of EMC vSpecialists & VCE vArchitects to say the least. We had a good time getting to know each other at Immersion training, followed by an intense deep dive into speaking at Speak America. I really enjoyed the camaraderie we had, and feel as though all of my teammates are not only kindred spirits, but brothers/sisters in my journey with EMC.
GeekWeek was very intense. It basically started with “Here’s your list,” “we want this completed and presented by the end of the week.” It was a daunting list, with things that hadn’t been released yet. We had to figure out how to get what we needed, who to get it from, as well as how to put it together. I wrote about our GeekWeek experiences here: Team05 GeekWeek Review – We Won
EMC World 2011
Many of us were asked to help out with the vSpecialist vLabs at EMC World 2011. I was given some content by some of the Isilon engineers, and had to make a lab out of it. I quickly became very familiar with the Isilon configuration process, as well as how to configure it for use with VMware vSphere. I probably went through the lab at least 300 times, before I was comfortable with it being part of the vLabs.
Arriving a couple days early for setup, I didn’t realize how long the week would be. We deployed lab after lab, talked to customer after customer, and had a great time doing it.
As a member of the vSpecialist vLab Staff at EMC World, I was asked to help with the EMC Lab at VMworld 2011. Again, I focused on Isilon for my piece of the EMC Lab.
Working as a Lab proctor was awesome. I got to meet a lot of customers, see people I talk to daily on Twitter, and most importantly help the VMware Lab team with the VMworld 2011 Labs.
Afterward, we received a wonderful email about our work, as well as pointing out that the vSpecialists had brought a new dynamic to the labs. As with any situation that is highly fluid, there is a certain amount of “hurry up and wait.” This is an all too familiar phrase to me, being a member of the military.
When everyone was told to “Stand by,” Tommy Trogden was always there with a very loud “STANDING BY.” That action alone seemed to charge everyone’s batteries despite everyone’s exhaustion.
Being a vSpecialist on the Federal Team, the third quarter was my busiest. I cannot put into words the amount of time I spent with customers. Whether I was talking about EMC integration with VMware, Vblock offerings, or some of the use cases of VMware products (and how EMC products augment them), I got a lot of face time with customers.
This has to be the most rewarding part of my job. It is really awesome when a customer comes to you and asks “how do we accomplish our goals?” Showing them how to best use today’s technology is rewarding.
Today & Beyond
Is my role changing? I sure hope not. I’m having a great time. I am blessed to be able to do what I do and get paid for it.
Whether I’m talking to customers, working labs at a conference, or being fortunate enough to talk to some students & faculty at UC Berkeley, like I did a couple weeks ago, I truly enjoy what I’m doing.