I’m going to divide this topic into two parts. The first will list blogs that changed my career and by extension into my personal life. The next will be info on blogs I currently visit to keep up to date. A lot of bloggers out there think they send their words out into the void, and then nothing really happens. We sometimes forget to make call outs to great content/contributors for the help they give. So I truly want to call out some amazing blogs that may not get enough interest.
Blogs that have helped shape my career:
IT hollow – https://theithollow.com – Eric Shanks
Eric Shanks literally saved my career 4 years ago, and I really can’t say enough about him. I was a guy who had used vRealize Automation, created blueprints/workflows, and was placed in an administrator role. From getting the solution up and running to tips and tweaks to get the solutions solid (as well as some fixes when its broken) this helped me learn to be an administrator. He is now working in the Modern Apps BU at VMware, so he’s “kubee-cuddling” (haha yes, I know, kube-SEE-TEE-ELLL) all day and putting out some great content still in that area.
Virtual Hobbit – https://virtualhobbit.com – Mark Brookfield @virtualhobbit
The same could be said about Virtual Hobbit’s Mark Brookfield. This guy taught me a ton of vRealize Orchestrator and workflows. He also helped me grow my vRealize Automation into vRealize Orchestration, especially for passing variables. Once inside Orchestrator, the world became my oyster. He’s still very active in blogging and doing some truly awesome stuff with vRealize solutions, as well as some Hashicorp, and a sprinkling of others. This guy is a guru to a ton of people that I look up to. So my neck hurts when I look at the guy.
The Humble Lab – https://www.thehumblelab.com – Cody De Arkland – @Codydearkland
This seems like a easy one as well. When I started using a lab for my automation solution, I came from a purely windows based understanding. Cody changed my views on using Macs, and now I use almost everything he stipulated in his blogs for terminal use, as well as other fun apps. Cody is known for the automation skills he possesses as well as the people skills he holds. He also dropped information in his blogs, podcasts, etc. that has helped me past the technical, and into my family life. He’s over at Hashicorp these days spreading the good news on service meshes with Consul, which is still hard for me to grasp on my good days.
vaficionado – http://www.vaficionado.com – John Schulman – @vAficionado
When I met Jon and told him how much his blog helped me, he looked at me as if to say, “People read that?” It’s true he doesn’t post a lot, but Jon is a great guy to know. He’s another guy that moved from VMware to Hashicorp, and his demos are great for learning how to take a preliminary understanding into a production solution. Back when I was working on 7.2 vRA and 7.3, his blogs really helped me understand vRA IDM, APIs and other solutions. Some really good gems that are still viable in vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize 7.x. So it may be dated, but still some great stuff. Also if you love Terraform, Jon’s ya boy.
virtualJad – https://www.virtualjad.com – Jad El-Zein – @virtualJad
Another Dated blog source, but if you met Jad, you know this guy is on a different level. He works in the office of the CTO at VMWare now playing around with AI and ML. If you’re setting up vRA 7.x this guy is where it’s at. ESPECIALLY if you need to troubleshoot a failed deployment, this blog could save your time and effort. He also has some place-holders for blueprints to help you grow if you’re looking for a starting point. Jad also has call outs in other blogs that I’ve listed where he has had an influence on those guys as well.
These are just the guys that defined my career from the past 5 years that I’ve worked with vRealize Automation. I work with it a lot everyday, and it’s really challenging some days, and very good others. There are many other great blogs out there and I’ll get to those in part 2. Part 2 will be the blogs that I frequent that have consistently helped me grow. What are some blogs that changed/helped your career?