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vExpert Spotlight: Matt Liebowitz

Twitter Handle: @mattliebowitz

Blog URL: http://www.thelowercasew.com

Current Employer:EMC Consulting 

How did you get into IT in the first place?

I started with computers pretty early as a kid when my family bought a Commodore Amiga.  I eventually moved on to the Windows world and building/assembling my own PCs.  I have to say that it's funny when I think back to my days on the Amiga and what really got me excited.  The one thing that stands out most of all was running x86 emulation software so I could run DOS/Windows 95 on it.  I loved the idea of being able to run two different operating systems at the same time and was hooked on the concept from there.  I eventually went to college and studied Biology but never lost the interest in computers and after graduating, I decided to go into IT.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

I first saw the original VMware 1.0 product when I "borrowed" a copy during college and thought it was great and really useful.  I was first exposed to ESX with version 1.5 back in 2002 and remember thinking initially it was a bad idea for production workloads.  I quickly came around and have been hooked ever since, using the products from version 1.5 all the way through the latest release.  It's been really interesting to be involved so early and see the evolution of the software and how the industry started adopting it slowly at first and much quicker recently. 

As for the vExpert award, it means a lot to me because it rewards those that give back to the community and I think that is really important.  The VMware community is one of the best I've ever seen so to be rewarded for trying to help them and grow the VMware message is really meaningful to me.  Not only has the vExpert award helped me in my career, it also helps me get tables at crowded restaurants, skip to the front of the line at hot night clubs, and get my own line of premium champagnes.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

First and foremost you need to love what you do.  If you view IT as just a job you go to then it is harder to learn, grow, and appreciate advances in technology.  In the consulting world, you need to be able to speak confidently, have a wide range of knowledge, go from meeting with a network engineer one minute to a meeting with a CIO 10 minutes later, and be able to wear multiple hats at once.  It's a great field and is always challenging and different each day.  In general, there is still so much opportunity in the virtualization space so if this is your passion then don't be afraid to pursue it.