2017 Year in Review

2017 has come and gone but my journey to improve my I.T. career began in 2016 and I’m very thankful to the #vCommunity. Without their support, none of this would have been achieved in such a short time but all thanks go the man above for providing me a wonderful family, good health and a supportive I.T. community which includes many individuals (which I’ll get to later in this post).

I’m relatively new to VMware products (1-2 years) but I’m fascinated by its potential as it applies to both the company I currently work for and my career going forward. In 2016, I made a commitment to myself, family and colleagues that I would pursue each of the VCA6 certs and pass them successfully. With the proper study materials, HOL’s and the support from everyone around me, I am happy to report that I successfully passed each of the exams (5) in 2016. This was only the beginning and my goal for this current year is to pursue and successfully pass the VCP6-DCV certification. With advice from folks in the industry (Dave Davis & Josh Andrews) and VMware employees (William Lam, Prabhu Barathi & Jad El-Zein) whom I’ve gotten to know via Twitter and their respective blogs, I decided to enroll in a VMware approved training course (ICM 6.0) which began in May of 2017 and concluded on July 19th. I was able to successfully pass the Foundations exam shortly thereafter and I’ve now moved onto pursuing the professional (VCP6-DCV) exam with hopes of receiving a passing score before the end of January 2018.

For the remainder of this post, I’ll focus my attention on my accomplishments in 2017 and my goals for 2018.

Professional Accomplishments for 2017:

  1. Passed the vSphere Foundations Exam (2V0-620)
  2. Passed the Linux+ Exams (LX0-103 & LX0-104)
  3. Attended VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas (Thanks to Jorge Torres (@J_Kolkes) & William Lam (@lamw) for providing this opportunity. Additional details can be found here: https://goo.gl/szKLdm
  4. Entered and won the VMUG NV Package (Contest details can be found here: https://goo.gl/GEyNj8). Thanks to Chris McCain (@hcmccain), Brad Tompkins (@vmug_ceo) and the VMUG (@myvmug) for providing this opportunity.
  5. Applied and accepted as a DC VMUG Co-Leader (@dcvmug) and coordinated a DC VMUG meeting in December of 2017 with the assistance of my fellow DC VMUG leaders which includes Mammo Tesfaye (@mtesfaye), Joshua Townsend (@joshuatownsend) & Michael Letschin (@mletschin).

Going forward, my professional goals for 2018:

  1. Pass the VCP6.5-DCV exam
  2. Pass the VCP6-NV exam
  3. Pass the AWS Solutions Architect – Associate 2018 exam
  4. Coordinate and plan additional DC VMUG meetings
  5. Applied (December 2017) to become a VMware vExpert and hope to be accepted when the announcements are made on February 18, 2018
  6. Contribute to the VBrownBag Community in the form of a Tech Talk
  7. Contribute to the Level Up Project lead by Yadin Porter de Leon (@porterdeleon)

None of this would be possible without recognizing the following individuals/groups (in no particular order and I hope I didn’t miss anyone):

  • Jorge Torres – TAM (Technical Account Manager) at VMware. Jorge was kind enough to create the contest for the VMworld pass
  • Ariel Sanchez – Senior TAM (Technical Account Manager) at VMware
  • Prabhu Barathi – Staff Systems Engineer at VMWare. I’ve known Prabhu since he and I worked at GMU nearly 15 years ago while he was a student
  • Corey Romero – VMware vExpert & VMware Community Manager at VMware
  • Jad El-Zein – Principal Architect at VMware
  • Chris Williams – AWS Solutions Architect at GreenPagesIT
  • Dave Davis – Senior Data Center Architect at Eastern Computer Exchange
  • Katie Bradley – VMware Technology Network Community Manager at VMware
  • Joshua Andrews – Senior Data Center Architect at Eastern Computer Exchange
  • Karl Widmer – IT Systems Engineer\SwissGerman VMUG Leader
  • Rawlinson Rivera – Chief Technology Officer at Cohesity
  • Ryan Cosentino – Federal Sales Director at Cohesity
  • Chris McCain – Director of Product Management at VMware
  • vBrownBag Community – a community of people who believe in helping other people.
  • VMware User Group (VMUG) – The VMware User Group is an independent, global, customer-led organization consisting of more than 100,000 members worldwide.
  • Madison Soave – MyVMUG Business Development Coordinator
  • Brad Tompkins – VMUG CEO
  • Katie Lyons – VMUG Marketing Coordinator
  • Danielle Ford – VMUG Events & Marketing
  • Cody De Arkland – Senior SE at VMware
  • Duncan Epping – Chief Technologist at VMware
  • Alan Renouf – Sr Product Line Manager API/SDK/CLI at VMware
  • Jonathan Frappier – Dell EMC
  • Ken Nalbone – Solutions Architect\Indy VMUG Leader
  • Matt Callaway – Full Stack Solutions Engineer
  • Nick Scuola – SE at Zerto
  • Joe Houghes – Infrastructure Engineer
  • Jodi Shely – Principal TAM (Technical Account Manager) at VMware
  • Niran Even-chen – SE at VMWare
  • Charles Adams – Backup Admin
  • Doug Dorr – Engineer at Columbia Outerwear
  • Azarya Shaulov – Sr. Virtual Infrastructure Engineer
  • Paul Braren – VMware Systems Engineer
  • Thom Greene – vExpert\Lexington VMUG Leader
  • Heath Johnson – Senior TAM (Technical Account Manager) at VMware
  • Pete Flecha – Technical Marketing for VMware’s Storage and Availability products. Host of the vSpeaking Podcast
  • Adam Eckerle – Tech Marketing for vCenter at VMware
  • Emad Younis – Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at VMware
  • Elsa Mayer – Blog Program Manager at VMware
  • Edward Haletky – Virtualization and Cloud: Author, Technologist, Analyst
  • Noell Grier – CloudCred Community Manager
  • William Lam – Staff Architect II at VMware R&D
  • Mostafa Khalil – Senior Technical Architect at Cloudsimple
  • Josh Townsend – Technical Marketing Architect at VMware
  • Mammo Tesfaye – Virtualization Engineer at Dimension Data
  • Yadin Porter de Leon – Lead Advocate at TechLevelUp
  • Scott Lowe – Engineering Architect at VMware
  • Crystal Lowe – Founder of Spousetivities
  • Julia Klaus – Social Media Manager
  • Jorvin Martinez – Manager\Infrastructure Engineer at Deloitte & Touche
  • Elaine Morris – Sr. Marketing Manager at VMware
  • Scott Driver – IT Manager at NorthCountry Federal Credit Union
  • David Stamen – Senior Systems Engineer at Avast Software
  • Mike Martino – VMware Expert at International Integrated Solutions Ltd
  • Anthony Spiteri – Global Technologist\Product Strategy at Veeam
  • Zach Schaffner – Virtualization Evangelist

Finally, THANK YOU!! Without your support and kindness, none of this would be possible. You’ve been very inspirational and I will forever be grateful for everything you’re provided!

2018 is OUR year and we’re going to do bigger and better things going forward!

“For fate has a way of charting its own course, but before one surrenders to the hands of destiny, one might consider the power of the human spirit and the force that lies in one’s own free will” Lost/The Final Chapter 2010.


Al Rasheed (@al_rasheed)



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