Welcome to episode 22 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 discuss Nick’s 1 Year Check-in at VMware, Part 2.
Original Recording Date: 2019-1-19
Topics – Nick’s 1 Year Check-in at VMware, Part 2, John’s Questions
4:04 Extracurricular activities
- How has the new role affected the frequency of and type of engagement in community groups?
- Posting in Spiceworks and MangoLassi when possible
6:55 Transitioning from IT operations to Sales
- Nick was nervous about losing technical skills coming into the role.
- There are some aspects of IT operations he misses.
- Meeting with and learning from customers is fun!
- Are you technical enough? It depends.
- Tailoring the technical level of the conversation to the audience is very important.
- How has carrying a quota affected Nick’s honest opinion? You decide.
13:44 Company culture check
- In past roles…
- Most folks in same department in same office
- Worked with folks in other offices and saw them now and then
- Current Role
- First conversations with people (everyone but manager) were via phone / e-mail / chat
- Face-to-face interaction creates a deeper rapport with co-workers
- John’s aside on Matrix organizations
- Frequent communication is important when working with remote peers
- Some people may work better when in a face-to-face environment
18:19 Training Pace
- Nick’s previous employer had a learning platform Lesson.ly, but it was not as regimented as the quarterly training plans.
- Some of the training must be done on your own to ensure effectiveness.
- Online communities can help you stay relevant as can learning from other customers.
- Nick wasn’t sure what to expect here and had to get past the “walking into the principal’s office” feeling when a manager calls unexpectedly.
- The management style is different than it was when Nick was in an operations role.
- It’s been more like having a coach.
- Listen to our episode on effective 1-1s with your manager
- Managers can give feedback on things you don’t notice.
- John describes a manager as someone to guide you on your journey.
- This was Nick’s first time to work for a manager in a different city. Consistent 1-1s are key.
- Still adjusting to the flexibility
25:02 Skills Nick Wishes He Had Coming into the Role
- Networking – not a routing and switching guy (despite the NetworkNerd community name).
- Containers – need to be deeper on this
- Presentations – do more of them, continue
- Had to ramp on industry-specific regulations
- Is John moonlighting as a developer?
- John cites presentation skills as something that needs to be well practiced. You will be bad at it when you start.
- Gearing the presentation for a specific audience is much like education. The ability to pivot at any given moment is something to master.
31:09 Getting Hired was not the First Time Nick Applied at VMware
- Nick didn’t really know what a SE was for a long time or that it was a potential career path for someone in IT operations.
- Nick cites the Geek Whisperers episodes about the Silicon Valley VMUG (listen to this episode first followed by this episode). Knowing the types of roles that exist as a logical next step from where you are is a helpful first step.
- Nick’s VMware experience was extremely limited when he applied in 2016. His experience grew considerably throughout 2017 after a job change at the end of 2016. Using more of the technology, blogging, and speaking on the technology helped to build a body of work someone else could use to evaluate Nick’s experience more than what is merely on a resume.
35:46 Recommendations for others
- Don’t sell yourself short. See what jobs exist.
- Consider your relatable experience.
- Start building a body of work today. Use online / in-person communities to help you get there, and include these on your resume.
- There is no chance to get a job to which you have not applied. Reach out to peers who do the job you think you want to get their feedback on whether you are qualified.
- John beats Nick to the punch again!
- Contact us if you need help on the journey.
- Path: Tama66 @ Pixabay