vExpert Spotlight: Erik Scholten

Blog URL: www.vmguru.nl
Twitter handle: @scholtene & @vmguru_nl
Current employer: Imtech ICT in the Netherlands 

How did you get into IT?

As most people I started using computers for fun. I started as a 12-year-old boy with a MSX, Commodore 64 and later on an Amiga. During high school and college, I got my first experience with PC's, programming and 'professional' networking. After school, I applied for a job at an IT service company and during the next 14 years, I climbed the ladder from Helpdesk Employee, Support Engineer, Systems Engineer, Consultant to Solution Architect. During my career, I've worked with desktops, servers, networking, programming and storage.

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

In 2005, I experienced VMware GSX and ESX at a customer site and since then the love never stopped. My first large scale deployment was at a customer site where I migrated the complete back-end to a VMware ESX 2.5 infrastructure. This was the true start of a long and happy VMware relationship. Not long after that, I took my VCP3 exam and soon after the release of vSphere4, I upgraded it to VCP4.

When, in 2008, I needed a new URL and webhoster, I also registered vmguru.nl as a joke. When working with some colleagues/friends on a large VMware implementation we decided to use this URL for a web based knowledge base for our own use. This quickly grew into a public blog with 0,5M visits in 3 year’s time. Because of my efforts on www.vmguru.nl, VMware awarded me the vExpert award in 2009. 

Because of continuing efforts, combined with presentations and other VMware evangelism I also received the vExpert accreditation in 2010 and 2011.

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

Most important of all is that you enjoy and love what you do. My recent job change taught me that this is THE most important of all. 

Find a company that can help you grow and enjoy the work that you do. When you find that company, get involved, share, collaborate and constantly push yourself to learn more, achieve more and push the boundaries.

Second, keep up-to-date. The IT landscape is changing rapidly and it is crucial to follow the latest trends in your area of expertise. Reserve time to study and partner with companies like VMware!

And my last point: Try to talk solutions and solve functional issues. One of the pitfalls of a regular IT employee is to take a technical approach when starting with a (new) client or project. Sure, you need to know how technology works, but the key factor is to fit the business objectives and solve functional issues.


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