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Congratulations to #VMTN Community Warrior, @firestartah

Submit a nomination for the next VMTN Community Warrior. In 2017, this program will be recognizing and rewarding 25 users who commit time and energy to engaging in community discussions and capturing the values of VMware Technology Network. Learn more.

Congratulations to Gregg, also known on VMTN as, @firestartah and welcome to the VMTN Community Warrior Hall of Fame. Gregg is an exceptional person, someone who has truly embedded giving back to the VMware community into his day-to-day life.

Not only is Gregg a VMTN Community Moderator, he:

  • Co-hosts the EMEA #vBrownBag podcast/webinar series every Tuesday at 7PM GMT
  • Has been a vExpert for 7 years in a row
  • Holds a VCDX-DVC (#205) – and mentors others to help them achieve theirs
  • Regularly speaks at London VMUG

The list goes on! Gregg – thanks for all that you do.

Check out what Gregg had to say…

K: What is it that attracted you to the VMware community? When did you get involved?

G: When I started learning virtualization and VMware in particular almost ten years ago I did what a lot of people did, and still do today, and that is read some of the top blogs. From reading these, I started following these bloggers and anyone else who was talking about VMware on Twitter. The Twitter community was quite small then and I remember being able to read every tweet all the people I followed each day without much issue which allowed me to really connect with fellow vNerds and learn so much from all of them.

K: I remember those days… How did your involvement evolve from there?

G: The number of people who were willing to help really inspired me so I decided to start trying to give back in any way I could so I wrote blog postings about little things I fixed and whose blogs helped me with it, or I would go on the VMware communities and try to help answer people’s problems. Doing the blogging and communities work led me to become a vExpert which I have been graciously awarded every year since. I have also become a communities’ moderator. I loved doing all of it from blogging, to tweeting, to attending the London VMUG, to becoming part of the vBrownbag crew.

What has kept me involved so long is honestly the people in the community. The benefits I have found not just from a work perspective, but also a friendship perspective has been amazing.

           

 

 

K: That’s great. I know you do a lot of mentoring for certifications and are heavily involved in those communities on VMTN. For community members who are looking to gain more certifications, and maybe even looking to achieve their VCDX, how would you recommend preparing?

G: Certification pages were and still partly are what I’m known for in the community as it was the way I could collate the study resources I was using for my VCP’s and VCAP’s and now VCDX. Certainly, learn NSX and do the VCP-NV if you can as I think you’ll never regret learning about SDN. If you are looking at doing the VCAP’s then there are loads of great resources out there which I’ve listed on my blog and some really good VMware courses as well. The VCAP’s are challenging but are really good to do especially the administration ones if you are working with VMware every day.

I would highly recommend getting your VCDX especially for the journey and the number of things you learn along that journey. Doing the VCDX is a very big commitment and I always recommend people speak to their significant other and let them know you will be dedicating time to getting the certification. I always recommend starting as soon as possible on the VCDX journey and there are loads of great resources out there from blogs, to books to podcasts to VCDX Workshops to help you. Also 99% of the current VCDX’s are very approachable people who are happy to help you along on your journey as long as you are willing to pull your own weight.

K: That’s fantastic advice – I know you’ve taken it to the next level… How did you get involved in mentoring others?

G: I’m not sure really, I think it’s linked to writing my VCP/VCAP/VCDX study resources pages and trying to give back to the community that helped me so much. I have had and still have loads of people giving me advice and helping me grow and pushing me and so I wanted to give that back as well. When I passed my VCDX and actually even whilst I was still going for it, I wanted to try to help as many people along as possible and connect people aiming for it so we could all learn from each other. The VCDX study/mock group I have run for the last few years has amazed me with the amount people have grown and that everyone who benefitted is now helping others. We have seen a pass from every round of VCDX defenses since we started which is amazing!

Wow! Thank you, Gregg – and congratulations again!

To get in touch with Gregg, you can find him here:

Do you see someone frequently answering questions in your favorite forums? Did someone provide server saving support to you recently at a VMUG or over Twitter? Any community involvement counts. Head to the Community Warrior page to nominate a user, or email katieb@vmware.com.