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vExpert Spotlight: Tom Howarth

Blog URL:  http://www.planetvm.net
Twitter handle: @tom_howarth
Current employer: Currently working as a Self-employed consultant focused on VMware.

How did you get into IT?

To be truthful accidentally, I was training to be a Lawyer. And took a part time job in a Construction firms planning department to help with finance. I ended up computerizing their process and installing a Novell 3.12 environment for them.

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

It was 2004 and I was working for a Reseller, a good friend introduced me to this magic fairy dust product called ESX and blew my socks off by performing a vMotion, I still get a buzz over vMotion. I took it to my MD who said “yeah, I seen that, it is just a gimmick and will be dead by the end of the year, we are sticking to what we know”.  I left to go contracting and that company is now defunct.

I immediately started to post on what was then known as the VMTN Community website, at first asking more questions than I answered, but eventually that changed. I became a moderator on that site in 2007 and I started to blog on my site PlanetVM.net in 2008.  I have also contributed to a couple of Virtualisation based tech books.

I am honoured to be a three time awardee of the vExpert award, having been granted it in the inaugural year 2009.

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

 Breaking into IT is hard, especially if you do not have an IT based degree.  For me it was be accident, but when I was made redundant for my first position in 1995 it took me over 2 years to get back in.  It was basically persistence and a willingness to learn in my own time that has got me to where I am now.  There is a very valid adage and that is

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

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