A New Year, A New Chapter - Surely Not ANOTHER new job post?


Published on 11 December 2018 by Christopher Lewis. Words: 873. Reading Time: 5 mins.

TL;DR - I’m going to be joining VMware as a Senior Cloud Management Specialist Systems Engineer in February 2019. #BeyondExcited

From humble beginnings…

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Lao Tzu

My IT career started whilst still studying for my final year at University working for a major UK retail bank. I was happy there but not really fulfilled. Within 5 years I was TUPE’d into a large Service Provider. On day one, I remember the team being told by our new boss that we shouldn’t get any “grand ideas” about moving around the company because our skill-sets were not transferable outside the bank. That comment was taken with a pinch of salt and within a year, I got promoted from a** Lead Technical Specialist** to become a** Solutions Architect** (jumping 2 grades in the process). Six months later I was on a different account and I never looked back.

In the following 6 years I had so many changes in management I couldn’t honestly list them all. Although I was classed as a consistent “High Performer”, the constant change in management meant being passed over for promotion time and time again. Eventually I got a chance at the promotion panel and successfully secured a promotion. My feedback was great, and included the statement “You exemplify what a solution architect should be and you’re a true ambassador for this company”. I worked there for another 2 years in a Pre-sales capacity before hitting another glass ceiling in my progression and decided it was time to move on to new and better things as career progression has always been a driving force for me.

I joined Xtravirt in October 2015 as a Senior Consultant specialising in VMware SDDC and Cloud Management and Automation. The reason for me joining was because I missed architecting solutions and then delivering them. It was time to prove to myself that I still had it. Within a year I was promoted to Lead Consultant and I have spent the last three years as part of a team who consistently strive to do more. I have managed to keep progressing and keep myself busy over last 3 years picking up multiple (six) advanced level VMware certifications along the way. (Do not get me started on the VCAP6-CMA Deploy or VCAP6-NV Deploy exams…)

Working at Xtravirt introduced me to the wider #vCommunity, encouraged me to start my own blog , and started my social media journey. I had actually never been to a VMUG before joining Xtravirt and now I have presented at two and will continue to attend and share the knowledge! All of this has led me to become a 3x vExpert . I’m certain these are all things that I don’t think I would have done if I hadn’t been working there. I definitely wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go to three VMworld Europe’s in a row. For all those opportunities and more I will always be grateful.

It was at VMworld Europe 2018, where I was lucky enough to attend a session by Joe Baguley and Amanda Blevin about Achieving Happiness: Building Your Brand and Your Career ( LDT1907BE ). This was hands down the best session of the conference for me, technical or otherwise. It made me re-evaluate myself, where my career was heading and whether that was the right direction for me right now. I started to ask myself two key questions: what makes me happy and what makes me unhappy. Most importantly, it made me understand that it was finally time to move on.

All good things…

So like all good things, and the main purpose of this post, my time at Xtravirt is coming to an end. I have tendered my resignation and I’m currently working my notice period. Under the guidance of Gavin Jollife , I have watched the team growing from strength to strength over the last three years. It has been great to be a apart of that team. I wish them the very best of luck in the future, but it is time for me to move on and continue my journey elsewhere.

So finally… #DrumRoll

It's been a long road, getting from there to here, it's been a long time, but my time is finally here.

Faith of the Heart, Diane Warren (Theme from Star Trek: Enterprise & Patch Adams)

Over the last four years I have helped (through pre-sales, design and delivery) numerous customers (of different size, complexity and ambition) on their journey to embracing the Software Defined Data Centre. I am really excited about how VMware’s Cloud Management and Automation offerings and the whole VMware Multi-Cloud strategy has continued to develop and is fast becoming a viable alternative to on-premises deployments. I’m really excited by how VMware just keep the innovation coming. Therefore, when an opportunity presented itself to me (in the form of a job advert), it was the right time to pursue it.

Starting in February 2019, I will be joining VMware as a Senior Cloud Management Specialist Systems Engineer. Joining VMware is a culmination of a 18 year journey in IT. Everything has lead to this point and I can’t wait for the new adventure to start.

Published on 11 December 2018 by Christopher Lewis. Words: 873. Reading Time: 5 mins.