Episode 018b: Joseph Griffiths Interview Part 2

Welcome to episode 18b of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two VMware Solution Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode, we have Part 2 of a two-part interview with Joseph Griffiths, Staff Solution Architect with VMware. Part 1 was last week’s episode.

Original recording date: 2018-11-12

Topic – Joseph Griffiths Interview

Joseph goes back to the eye-opening VMworld story

  • People have a fear that they cannot change.
  • Have we become so driven by reactionary behavior that we can’t close our e-mail client and know what we should be doing?
  • Automation often starts with reactionary tasks.  Joseph gives the example of a 17 nanosecond Google outage which was remediated automatically.

John digs into the logistics of automation and “choke points” (or constraints)

  • There is only one constraint in any flow or optimization.  Once you remove that constraint, there is still only one constraint.
  • Consider the value stream (i.e. what is valuable to the company) and their mapping to capabilities.
  • Recommended reading – The Goal, The Phoenix Project

How can people iterate faster when it comes to career?

  • Social skills and emotional intelligence are important to work well with others, which disconnects us from defending technology.
  • Read some psychology books on why people think / behave the way they do.  By trying to understand other people’s motivations, you will better be able understand your own motivations.
  • Listen for John’s book recommendation.


  • Joseph recommended Toastmasters and learning about the people who attend to get past introversion.
  • John’s book recommendation – The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss
    • Warning – the book discusses a subculture which some may find offensive but does well in describing human behavior and reactions.
  • Don’t do anything fake.  The process of learning and getting better over time is an iterative process and takes time.
  • Not everything is about winning.  The best way to get things accomplished is about compromises.
  • Drop the Highlander mentality.
  • Joseph cites parental advice that there is always someone better than you.
  • Joseph cited pursuit of certifications as a way to make himself attractive to a potential employer.
  • Joseph has a mic drop moment about company culture.  Do you agree?
  • Joseph’s Contacts
    • Joseph’s blog is https://blog.jgriffiths.org
    • Find him on Twitter @Gortees
      • Don’t get discouraged.
      • Take one step to grow (i.e. giving a presentation) that makes you uncomfortable, even if it isn’t career related.
      • Don’t tackle too many at once.
    • Joseph is more than happy to help or mentor people.  Twitter is the best way to reach him.  He only responds every 3 days.

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