How did you get into IT?
That’s some time ago, since I was a child I always was interested in to computers, but I guess it all started when my cousin got one of the first Sinclair ZX 81 back in the eighties. When I was a teenager, my parents bought me an Atari 512ST. First, I was playing games, but later I started writing small programs in Basic and composing some music with my keyboard hooked up to the Atari with the MIDI interface.
In the nineties, I bought my first PC from the money I saved from working as a paperboy. From that time on things went really fast. I was playing with DOS/Windows, breaking, fixing, reinstalling and upgrading my PCs and servers. In that time, I also started an IT education at a regional school and worked as a System Administrator at a call center in the evening hours. After graduation, I continued to work there for more than four years. Bored with system administration, I realized that building an infrastructure was far more interesting than administrating it so I applied for a job as a System Engineer.
I stayed at my next IT company for about two years, mostly building Windows networks for different customers. I felt that this job was not challenging enough and at that time I came across my current employer. I applied for a job as an Infrastructure Specialist and was hired. I have been working there ever since. My job consists mostly of designing and implementing virtual infrastructure solutions based on VMware and Microsoft products. This includes storage and storage networking and of course virtualizing physical machines.
How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?
First time I heard of VMware was back in 2001 when the VMware Workstation was released. At that time I didn’t realize its potential so I never really picked it up and played with it. The first infrastructure I implemented was based on ESX 3.0 back in 2006. Since then, I was sold.
The vExpert award was really a surprise for me this year. I didn’t expect it at all. I started blogging three years ago with the idea to share my knowledge and providing solutions to interesting issues that I came across during the projects at our customers. I also joined the Dutch VMUG and I am frequent visitor/poster on VMware’s’ VMTN forum. I really enjoy it and I’m very glad we have this big active virtualization community in the world. There are a lot of great people on the blogosphere and twitter and they are a real inspiration to us all.
What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?
First of all, don’t do it because you have to. Do it because you are passionate about technology, be open and share your knowledge through a blog, twitter or on a forum. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, there are a lot of people that will gladly help you. Build a home lab, play with the products. Test, break and fix them. This way you’ll build your knowledge and this will come in really handy on your job.