VMware Experts Talk Career Growth

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In IT, there’s no shortage of career opportunities. How do you take the degree you earned, the certification course you completed, or the skill set you’ve acquired and turn that into a sustainable IT career? We’ve put together some tips from experts to help put you on the path to IT success.

So many IT disciplines, so little time. From network engineer to cloud solutions architect, the technology field is rife with possibilities. If you’re just starting to consider pursuing a career in IT, it might help to hear first-hand from those working in the industry today.

We believe the best way to grow and develop in the IT industry is to listen to the recommendations of those who have already gained important experience and advanced in their career. 

That’s why we asked two of our Certified Experts in VMware—Andrew Hancock, VMware Consultant and Architect at Cyrus Computer Consultants Ltd. and Mohamed Asif, a Technical Department Head, to discuss career advancement opportunities, problem-solving skills, and work-related challenges.

Getting started in IT

IT is an ever-evolving field with seemingly limitless specializations that are in very high demand. While it’s ideal to start the learning process early, you can pursue a career in IT at any age. Even if you don’t have any formal tech training, your past experience and skill set can be extremely valuable in your new role. From online courses to internships, there are many learning opportunities that you can start taking advantage of today. 

Take Andrew’s humble beginnings, for example. “I have always had a passion for computers, but I was reluctant to turn my hobby into a day job. I did not want to be a computer programmer, but unfortunately, after graduating from college in the early 1990s, the Cold War had ended, and many of the defense companies were closing down in the U.K. A senior lecturer at my university mentioned to me that he knew of a small local start-up that was looking to bring on a student for the summer. It was a software publisher and software developer company in the commercial and leisure marine industry. I was hired full-time in September 1990, and the rest is history!”

Making career decisions can be extremely challenging. Overall, Andrew identifies his best career decision as choosing VMware as the vendor for virtualization in 1998, while Mohamed emphasizes that sticking with the Experts Exchange community has been one of the best decisions for advancing his career! 

Essential characteristics for IT professionals 

Being familiar with technology is a critical first step to a long and fruitful career in IT—but there are also several personality traits that will ultimately impact how you approach the industry and find long-term success.

For one, versatility is key. In a bind, IT professionals should be ready and willing to tackle any tech problem.They also need to be able to describe complex tech concepts in general terms. Additionally, Mohamed emphasizes vendor certifications as an essential qualification for an IT career. 

As a seasoned consultant who has successfully managed teams and assisted numerous clients, Andrew has identified good communication, problem solving skills, and listening as key qualifications and personality characteristics for this career. Additionally, he values IT professionals who have the ability to adapt to rapid changes, function under pressure, and gain knowledge and experience. 

How to problem-solve

IT professionals are always expected to know how to troubleshoot all kinds of technology problems as they arise in day-to-day operations. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to technology, having a problem-solving strategy in place provides a framework for getting to the root cause of an issue before it starts depleting your time and resources.  

Problem solving for VMware vExpert, Andrew Hancock, begins with research and project planning. In a recent episode of the Experts Exchange podcast, Conversations with Tech Experts, Andrew elaborates on his methodology for learning and solving problems. He reads the relevant vendor documentation, but he encourages professionals pursuing a career in VMware to get hands-on experience by building Proof of Concept lab environments. Listen to his perspective in Episode 5 - Career Growth and VMware

Similarly, Mohamed takes one of three different approaches. He either uses a structured, step-by-step investigation to solve problems, conducts a simple search on Google, or collaborates with the Experts Exchange® community whenever applicable.

Foster continuous learning

Technology is a dynamic field, and continual learning is an indispensable tool for every IT professional. Not only does it help you acquire the critical-thinking skills needed to keep up with an ever-evolving industry, but it can open the door to other career opportunities down the road and lead to upward mobility in your job. 

To remain competitive, it’s important to stay current by consistently refreshing your technical skills. Mohamed and Andrew agree that the best way to continue learning is taking new courses, attending seminars and conferences, and participating in any relevant vendor training. 

The future of IT

Over the years, the primary focus of technology has shifted to empowering businesses to deliver innovative products and services faster than ever before. In order to tackle these challenges, process-driven IT departments need to focus on boosting their responsiveness and agility to remain competitive.

While it’s tough to pin down exactly what the future of IT holds, Andrew anticipates that “more services will migrate to cloud containers. On-premise and staff will need to adapt to managing less hardware and more software-based services. And as an industry, we will need to develop SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) skills to better manage software services.”

There you have it! Hopefully, these insights from Experts Exchange Certified Experts have provided a good starting point so you can steer your IT career in the right direction.

Learn more about IT career advancement when you join the Experts Exchange community

Experts Exchange allows you to engage with our global community of vetted

technology experts who have years of experience and are willing to share their knowledge. Using our collaborative platform, you can learn and transform the way you solve IT problems. In addition to joining a professional community of peers on Experts Exchange, you’ll also gain access to unlimited online courses and a library full of other tech-related resources.


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