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vExpert Spotlight: Gabrie (Gabe) van Zanten

Blog URL: http://www.GabesVirtualWorld.com
Twitter Handle: @GabVirtualWorld
Current Employer: Open Line (http://www.OpenLine.nl)

How did you get into IT?

For me it started on the age of 12 with my first Sinclair ZX-81 and before I knew it, I was writing basic programs on ZX-Spectrum, C64 and later on my first 8086. When starting community college I already had a few small companies as a customer for whom I would do their sysadmin tasks. When I graduated, I started as a sysadmin for a printing company where I managed Windows, Dos, Mac, Linux and lots of color printers, copiers and plotters. About a year later I got a job offer from a consulting company and I have worked as a consultant ever since.

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

For me VMware started with VMware Workstation around 2000-2001, followed by GSX a few years later. At that time in my opinion, ESX was Linux based and wouldn't catch on soon. Boy was I wrong. My first project with ESX started where a manager put me on a project to deploy ESX because he thought that GSX and ESX were just all the same. In a few weeks’ time, I got myself acquainted with ESX 2.5.0 and fell in love with VMware. The first step towards vExpert was when I wrote my first blog post about the release of ESX 3.5 and virtual center 2.5:

http://www.gabesvirtualworld.com/installing-virtual-center-25-esx-35/

I remember that at Friday night the download was available and only shortly after I finished downloading VMware removed the downloads again. This meant I had a head start on others in the community and I used all weekend to write my first blog post. At the same time I was also getting more attention within the global company I worked and more often people started asking me to give presentations on ESX for the local teams and before I knew I was asked for presentations outside the company and my first Dutch VMUG presentation not long after that. My first vExpert title was with the start of the program and every year again I get a bit nervous when the new vExpert’s are announced and whether I will be vExpert for another year.

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

When working with VMware products becomes more than just a job but a passion, than you'll quickly grow from being the average guy in IT to the consultant that everybody seems to find when they need answers.

Always keep thinking of what the customer wants and if that great new tech toy you just found, is really any help to the customer.

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