VCDX – Keep Calm and Embrace the Suck

It’s been almost a year since I’ve started working for Microsoft. You know, when I got my VCDX a few months back, few people from the vCommunity asked me how is that helping me with my day to day Azure life. If you will add to that the fact that no one (well, almost no one) at Microsoft knows what it’s all about, you will get some brain processing.This is not one of those VCDX posts where we explain others what the hell it is and what it represents. For me, the past two years has been very hard, personally and professionally. This has impacted the way I think about the present and the future of my career.

So, what’s the purpose of this post?! Well, I think it’s mainly to get things off my chest but also to share and to get feedback.

As you may have already known, my journey took almost two years. Now the reason I’m saying journey although it is a cliché it’s because it really was. The process of achieving the cert was hard but in a good way. Although it took a lot out of me (and from my wife), the real mental impact sinks in only now. And what do I mean by that?

These days when there are so much industry changes and new trends, technologies and startups are popping everywhere and cloud talks are freaking everywhere, it will be a lie to say we are not feeling a bit (or a lot) scared. The things we’ve learned throughout our career are either fading, become absolute, evolving and change in front our very eyes. This is really happing – I know it and even if you are not admitting it you also know it. Ask yourself the following example questions and you’ll see there is something to it:

Why don’t I open an AWS or an Azure account?
Is the command “docker run” really that scary?
Puppet? Ansible? Chef? “I can barely write a PowerCLI script”
I say that I know what is DevOps but do I?
I can spell API but do I really know what to do with it?

It was Ray Heffer that raise a question on Twitter which can show you, we are thinking about what’s next but the real question is what do we do about it?!

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What that’s got to do with VCDX you ask?! It doesn’t when it come to the tech stuff but there are few things around it with the first one being learning skills. Two days ago, I had a conversation with Fred Hofer around the cert and share with him a bit of my experience. To keep a long story short, every time I talk to someone about it reminds me how the VCDX improved my learning skills. Before that, I was pretty good at teaching myself stuff but now I feel like a real self-learner badass – yeah, it’s a title  🙂

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In the past 2 months or so I helped Mohammed Salem with his attempt on getting VCDX number. While we are still waiting on the results I can already tell you that this experience made me very humble, really. During my career I did some mentorship, I’ve failed, I’ve succeeded and I try to grow. What I’m trying to say is that taking responsibility for teaching is rewarding but it’s priceless if you are the one taking it upon yourself.

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The last point I want to touch on is honesty. In the process of being mentored and prepping for the VCDX, I had the “pleasure” of getting my ass kicked several times.

You think you know something – but you don’t
You think you are this hotshot – but you’re not
You think no should know your weakness’ – but you are so wrong!

The most important thing I gain from this journey are the tools to be more honest with myself. Not just in terms of what I know or don’t know technically speaking, also on what is it that I need to do next in my career. I know this because the VCDX experience really thought me to leave ego outside the room and to be more honest with myself. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I slip but as long I will keep trying I will be one step closer to being a better person, I truly believe it.

To wrap it up, rather it’s VCDX, some other advanced cert or process, all I want to say to you is to take a journey which will be meaningful to you and which will give you the tools to not be afraid anymore or be intimated by industry changes. If you think about it, this post is also part of the process.

At some point, you will need to embrace the suck and then own it!

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4 Comments

  1. Good post Lior. Since I got my first VCDX in 2013 I’ve not had a challenge or journey like it. Not even close. One thing the VCDX does give you is relevance. It proves your skills as an architect and while Microsoft have little knowledge of the VCDX program, it doesn’t take away from the fact you can design technical solutions and take into account many business factors that many ‘techies’ may overlook. This is regardless of the vendor technology.

    As for what’s next, and for those of us in cloud specialities, coding should definitely be top of the list. In fact thinking about it, learning to code UI’s, automation and tools, is the next step of the journey and I’m sure it’ll be very challenging.

    This would make a good fire-side chat!

    • Yeah Ray, spot on. Coding, automation, UI’s and APIs are all going to be there and cannot be overlooked by the hardcore VMware junkies.
      I wish people will realize it instead of thinking just infra.

  2. you said every word in my chest!
    Long hard journey.. so fruitful.. but so hard and long.. I really can feel what you’re speaking about!!!
    Speaking about next step, you should not stop.. I’m not so expert in Cloud things, but I can say that you should either go for Coding (+1 Ray’s opinion) or go for NSX which I might be a good hand for you if you need so 😉

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