Monday, April 11, 2011

As Time Moves On…

The Beginning
In May 2008 I started as a junior Consultant for a small company in the Netherlands. Main focus for me would be SCOM. Had already worked with the product a couple of times, passed the exam and read a book about it. Not much luggage, but the best I could get at that moment.

When I started I worked together with a colleague, a senior. He taught me the ropes. But questions I had and the more he answered, new questions arose. More complex they were, but questions none the less. 

And soon the moment arrived he told me he had taught me all he knew and that my knowledge of the product already transcends his knowledge and experience.

The Big Switch & Time To Learn
So the pupil became the teacher. But the questions were still there. Soon another colleague pointed me out THE SCOM book, SCOM Unleashed. Wow! I read it twice! Finally a book written by people who work with SCOM on a daily basis. Knowing the ins and outs. The pitfalls, the good, the bad & ugly. And sharing it. Like being in a desert for a long long time and suddenly finding an oasis! I drank it all!

In the same time frame I found some good blogs, run by different people. Like Pete Zerger, Maarten Goet, David Allen, Alexandre Verkinderen, Danielle Grandini and the lot. Awesome.

And these guys were MVPs? What’s that? Soon I learned what MVP meant. That SCOM Unleashed had been written by MVPs as well. Wow! They seemed like higher beings to me. Never ever I thought that one day I would be asked to join their league and to find out they are normal people like you and me but having the drive to know very much about some products and share it.

MOAB (Mother Of All Blogs)
And soon I found THE blog about SCOM. Very detailed and technical. But explained in such a way that it was easy to understand. This blog was run by PFE (Premier Field Engineer) Kevin Holman. I left a couple of comments on his blog and he even answered them.

From that moment on I started to learn real quick. Many questions I still had but couldn’t find the answer, or I didn’t understand the answer. So I sent Kevin ‘some’ mails. And he answered them as well. And again, I learned. Not just a little bit, but with enormous leaps. Thanks to Kevin’s blog and his answers to my mails. I almost spammed him!

Since I learned so much new stuff I wanted to share it with the community. So I started a blog. In the same spirit of the SCOM MVPs and PFEs like Kevin Holman, Jimmy Harper and Jonathan Almquist.

And again I was surprised. I had set myself a goal with my blog. If it would not attract a certain amount of visitors per week after a year, I would pull the plug. Why blogging when no one or not too many people read it? Apparently because it isn’t that good. But within a couple of months I already reached the targeted amount of visitors for a year!

And yes, I made mistakes. But MVPs mailed me and pointed me out what wasn’t good. So I corrected those postings, always referring to the people who assisted me in getting it right. And Kevin did the same. So thanks to him I didn’t only learn but made my blog better as well.

A New Role…
In all those years his blog remained Number One for me. And now his blog will change. Why? Kevin has accepted a new role within Microsoft. As from today he will operate as a Data Center TSP (Technical Solution Professional), covering the Microsoft System Center suite of products: SCCM, SCOM, Opalis/Orchestrator, DPM, and Avicode.

As a result his blog will reflect that change as well. Like Kevin states on his blog: ‘…covering a lot broader range of products, instead of focusing only on OpsMgr. I also imagine that things will get more deployment and design focused, probably not as rich with “early to market” issues and challenges like I have seen in the past…’

Thank you Kevin for all you valuable postings and answers to my mail. I learned a lot from it and has brought me to a level of operations where I wouldn’t have been without it. All the best with your new role. Hopefully we stay in contact.

Me, Myself and I
And for me? My role is shifting as well. Primarily focused at SCOM but with new assignments also moving to the business side of things in conjunction with more SC products like SCSM, Opalis, cloud based versions like Windows Intune and SCA, SCVMM and virtualization based on Hyper-V. Also the organization I work for is changing and offering me many challenges as well. So time is short and besides my work I also have a family with whom I want to spend quality time.

So the blog will keep on running and I will keep on working with it. Still loving it! But the last months I have noticed that the total amount of time available for blogging is under pressure. I am following all kinds of trainings, some technical others organizational and personal. I still have the series of upgrading to SQL 2008 R2 in the pipe line. Posting 1 is already out there for some time and Posting 2 is under production. But the high pace isn’t simply feasible any more. However, I prefer quality over quantity. And I blog not for myself, but for the community. And as long as YOU keep on visiting my blog and keeping me sharp, I will MAKE time to blog.

Thank you all for bringing me so much knowledge, experience and joy. Hopefully we can keep this going on for the time to come.

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