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vExpert Spotlight: Jonathan Medd

Blog URL: http://jonathanmedd.net
Twitter handle: @jonathanmedd

How did you get into IT?

After completing my degree in Economics and Statistics I was getting bored of those fields having studied them a long time and decided that a future in accountancy was not for me. Having enjoyed some IT modules during my degree, including one titled an ‘Introduction to the Internet using the NCSA Mosaic web browser’, I thought a career in IT might be a good idea.

I started out in a helpdesk / desktop support role which was a good grounding in seeing the user side of IT. After about a year they decided to make me responsible for the Exchange messaging system and I spent most of the next ten years in different jobs internally in organisations and as a consultant, mostly carrying out Active Directory and Exchange migrations.

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

In one of those jobs there was an existing VI3 VMware deployment and the organisation sent me on the ‘Install, Configure, Manage’ course for VI 3.5 which had just come out. It was completely different from anything I had done before and I loved it from day one. Since then I have focused more and more on virtualisation and moved away from the AD and Exchange work I had been doing.

A few months before attending the course I started teaching myself PowerShell as I had a need to automate the Windows environment I was supporting. With no programming background whatsoever I had initially tried VBScript for this purpose, but thankfully someone suggested I use PowerShell instead and I never looked back! This naturally led to using what was then called the VI Toolkit, and now PowerCLI, to automate the work I was doing with VMware.

This gave me a newfound enjoyment from my job and I started blogging about my experiences. I began presenting some of this content at various User Groups in the UK and also started the Get-Scripting Podcast where I was quickly joined by my friend Alan Renouf as co-presenter. That led to my being awarded a Microsoft MVP for PowerShell in 2010.

That same year I was invited by Alan and Luc Dekens to help them co-author the PowerCLI book (VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference: Automating vSphere Administration) which was a major factor in being awarded a vExpert for 2011.

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

You have to enjoy learning, since IT is constantly changing and you need to stay ahead. Volunteer to help out with projects that are outside of your comfort zone; you will inevitably learn something new and may discover a new area that enjoy.

I’d also highly recommend getting involved with the community. Either through the forums, Twitter, User Groups or starting your own blog, you’ll find you constantly learn new things. You’ll also develop good sense of having contributed back to that community.

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