Ever had a subject that you wanted to publicly speak about? I have, but I think I’ll blog it first instead. First let me just say, the VMware community is amazing. The amount of continuous sharing of information blows me away. I am extremely excited for VMworld.

I feel like i’ve been lucky in my career. Mind you, I’m 26 and it hasn’t been that long of one yet, but i’ve had interesting work, very supportive upper management and enough rapid growth that its scary to imagine where I would have been if I had stayed working in a technical support role. But the simple fact still remains that there is a whole lot of potential people who share the same amount of enthusiasm that I do, just waiting to get a chance to show what they are worth.

As I’ve progressed, I’ve understood that to move forward in a technical career, sometimes you have to invest a lot more time than you anticipated. You put in the hours, tackle the frustration and muscle through it. In the end, you learn new skills on a platform or hardware that is a useful skill for a career.

What makes the VMware community in my opinion so valuable, is that there are so many people willing to give advice or point you in the right direction, that its almost like a multitude of mentors. Mentors in any technical field are a very valuable thing. Now, you can be a blogger, a coworker, a speaker for VMUG or a manager. Any of those roles can help shape the younger professional’s career, because I think people forget that at its core, you are making the people around you stronger and better.  

Unfortunately, thats not always the case. It seems that people and companies don’t necessarily invest in the younger techies and its honestly a little disappointing. If there is nothing else that I do for the community, I hope its that I help younger techies get in here and show us what they can do.

As I said earlier, I’ve had very supportive upper management. I’ve been given opportunities that still shock me and we should all be helping to do the same for others. Do you work for a company thats refreshing some hardware? Hand the oldies but goodies over to some of the younger staff and see what they can build with it. Give them a chance at designing an environment. Got some spare cycles? Gauge their interest by asking them to “come check out how to use PowerCLI”, or something to that effect. As I’ve talked with people in VMUG, i’ve seen that there is program call Feed4ward to mentor VMUG speakers. I think thats awesome! I hope to see more involvement from my Local VMUG group and reading about it on twitter. I don’t consider myself at that entire level just yet, but hope to be later on.

Now, a word to the young pro’s. Get interested! Don’t make your job about punching in and punching out. While studying for my degree in IST, it was disappointing to see so many people not really interested in the field, and merely taking the degree as an easy . Find a product, platform or solution that you think is amazing and run with it way to better pay. Love the work that you do, or want to do. If you show interest, mentors will come.