2018 - A Year of Highs and Lows

VMware 2018 2019

Published on 1 January 2019 by Christopher Lewis. Words: 862. Reading Time: 5 mins.

Reflecting on 2018…


The highest of highs this year was the arrival of son 2.0 in May. The little one was 2 weeks early but arrived (relatively) safe and sound!


Anyone who follows me on social media channels will probably know the end of 2017 and the start of 2018 wasn’t very good for me health-wise. This continued into 2018 with the side effects of #sepsis have stuck around a lot longer than I expected. Recurring chest infections and multiple courses of antibiotics have taken their toll and I have had a continual cough that doesn’t seem to want to go. I have recently, however, been given the all clear from the Doctors and I’m ready to get back.


In 2018, I had the privilege of working with some really good people, teams and customers. I’ve visited Barcelona, Copenhagen and various UK cities. It has not been easy (when is anything “good” ever easy?), in fact it has pushed me to the limits on multiple occasions but looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m just grateful for my ever patient fiancee for being there to support me.


Not only did I speak (and overrun by 15 mins) at the London VMUG, I managed to get to Barcelona on a VMworld vExpert Blogging ticket this year. I lost count of the number of tweets etc I pushed out that week and some of my content is still in draft (work has been stupidly busy) but I hope to get that those sorted in January! #BetterLateThanNever

Finally, if you didn’t know, I managed to get a new job! (read more below)

Looking forward to 2019…

2019 is already shaping up to be an epic (or should that be #EPIC2) year in terms of work. After three years at Xtravirt , I’m moving on and joining VMware in February. It would have been easier (relatively speaking) to join VMware PSO and continue with the sort of work that I have been doing for Xtravirt. I did think about it, but I’m glad that I will be taking on a completely different type of challenge by working within Technical Pre-Sales rather than in Solution Design and Delivery. If you want too, you can read more about it here . I genuinely can’t wait to get started.

Targets/Goals for 2019…

The following are my Goals for 2019!

  1. Work/Life Balance - For as long as I can remember this is the one thing I have consistently struggled with. In the past I’ve definitely had a more “live to work” rather than “work to live” ethos. With two young boys growing up fast, achieving a more balanced work/life dynamic is going to be a priority for me. For me, that means working smarter not harder.
  2. Health and Fitness - If I’m totally honest, and in line with the above, I have been neglecting myself over the last year. In part, this is due to the slow recovery from the side affects of #sepsis, but also part of me feels thats excuse. In 2019, there are no more excuses, it is time to be more active, eat healthier and shed that excess weight. It is time to get into the gym, re-start my Wing Chun training and may even consider starting up BJJ
  3. Community Speaking - I have really enjoyed speaking at VMUGs over the last 3 years. I am planning to step up my community speaking in 2019. I already have one VMUG scheduled in and will be looking to add more as dates are announced. I’m already trying to think of ideas for submitting VMworld 2019 sessions…
  4. Certifications / Exams - Relatively speaking, 2018 was a very slow year for me on the certification front. I only took one certification! (which was the VCP6.5-DCV) I aim to change that in 2019. I am planning on taking the following:
  • VMware
    • VCAP6.5-DCV Design
    • VCAP6.5-DCV Deploy (AKA 3V0-21.18: Advanced Deploy vSphere 6.5 Exam 2018)
    • VCAP7-CMA Deploy (AKA 3V0-31.18: Advanced Deploy vRealize Automation 7.3 Exam 2018)
    • vSAN Specialist
    • VMConAWS Specialist
    • Cloud Provider Specialist
  • Microsoft
    • Microsoft MSCA Windows Server 2016
  • AWS
    • AWS Solution Architect Associate
    • AWS Developer Associate
    • AWS SysOps Administrator Associate

That should keep me busy enough! However, if I run out of things to do then I’ll be looking at Google Cloud Platform, Azure and TOGAF.

Final Thoughts / Carpe Diem

In 2018, I definitely had some highs and lows. Unfortunately, not only did the number of lows significantly outweigh the number of highs, the lows where on the far end of the spectrum this meant the differences between the ups and downs were often huge. For the first time ever, that worried me. For the first time in a long time I got stressed about things that shouldn’t matter. I don’t know whether it was becoming a father again that made me feel the pressure/expectation more than usual but a few times during the year I felt a little out of control of my own destiny. I didn’t like that feeling at all. That is why I decided to take control in 2019 and I can’t wait to see where this next wave takes me.

Published on 1 January 2019 by Christopher Lewis. Words: 862. Reading Time: 5 mins.