Octovember

I have been meaning to post an entry for a very long time now, but I have been very busy with work and study. I ended up missing the two-year mark of this blog on the 17th of October. Things seem to be settling in with the new job, and I passed the VMware VCP5-DCV class and exam during October.

Since my last post, I have gone through so many different emotions with regards to work and this blog. At one point I considered just taking the blog down. I know that anything I write here should be considered public forever, even if I do remove it. That means that sometimes I need to choose my words very carefully so as to not affect my professional life in a negative way. I’m not talking about anything illegal, of course, but rather the possibility of rubbing my current or potential future employer the wrong way.

So because of that, I felt very constrained with some of the emotions I was feeling a few months ago, and I wasn’t sure how to properly express them in public. I started this blog because I wanted to track my professional development. However, even though these negative emotions could have been considered part of that, I didn’t believe it would do me any good to have them expressed publicly. That made me question whether or not I should even continue posting blog entries.

In the end, I realized that most of what I was feeling was based on not having a very clear picture of the future. I was a few months into the new job, but not yet sure where and how I fit within the overall organization. After all, this is the largest organization I have worked for to date. I was not used to working with so many different people. Plus, until just a couple of months ago, I was kind of floating around the technology department and essentially being assigned to what needed to be done that day.

Since then, I have been assigned to a mostly-permanent location in the department and I received a senior-level promotion. It makes me feel like I am finally a part of something. In addition, I feel like I have gained the respect of most if not all of the people I work with due to the knowledge and experience I have been able to contribute to the department at various times. That is definitely a positive feeling and unlike with my previous job, I often actually look forward to going to work with the knowledge that I am a beneficial part of the team and am able to make positive, meaningful contributions. Also, unlike my last job, I am generally kept pretty busy, which makes my days fly by.

In the past couple of months, I took a break from studying for the CCIE to get the VMware VCP5-DCV. I didn’t need to get the certification for my current position, but the wheels were already set in motion before I even started working here because I was on a waiting list for the VMware course. My experience with that was that the course did very little to prepare me for the exam itself, and I thought it was a big waste of time and money. I honestly have no idea why VMware requires the course as part of the certification. The class was a piece of cake that required no thought whatsoever, but the exam itself was actually pretty tough. I passed, but I didn’t do as well as I thought I was going to.

But now that that is behind me, I have resumed my CCIE studies. Anyone who has ever looked at the CCIE blueprint knows that it is a really large topic domain. I have been taking the approach suggested by Brian McGahan to first gain a basic understanding of the technologies and a basic understanding of how to implement them followed by an expert level of understanding and implementation. As Brian says, in the end you should pass the CCIE lab exam as a byproduct of actually being an expert, and not just studying for the test itself. At this moment in time I feel very much in the position that I actually am in: a person with CCNP-level knowledge studying for the CCIE. That is to say, I have a very good general and overall picture of all of the topics within the scope of the exam, but now my depth of knowledge must go even deeper.

More than two years since the start of this blog, the quest most certainly does continue. 🙂

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