How did you get into IT in the first place?
I started off like most people, using computers for fun. I would say that I really got into IT in my first job out of college. I ran the computer labs at Longwood University. It was a mix of managing student employees and managing Windows 95 on about 100 computers. It was trial by fire, and I learned a lot in a short time. From there I climbed the ladder at Longwood University, where I moved into a junior networking position and finally into a Systems Engineer position. Along the way, I've worked with desktops, networking, programming, systems and storage. It turned out that these experiences were all great preparation for moving into virtualization with VMware.
How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?
I immediately started working with VMware GSX in 2006, after a co-worker showed me the software. From there it was VMware Server and ultimately ESX 3. I obtained my VCP3 certification and soon thereafter started participating in the VMTN communities. Since then, I have also become a moderator in the communities and started blogging. I've been a vExpert since the program began, and it has ultimately been my participation in the VMTN communities that has made this possible.
What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?
Always be somewhere close to outside of your comfort zone, and learn everything you can. Always think about how what you are learning right now can be used later. I moved through many disciplines in IT, before I got involved with virtualization. Without these past experiences, I don't know that working with virtualization would have been possible.