Western PA VMUG Follow-Up

A quick follow-up to my experience presenting at the recent Western PA VMUG.

Hello again, everyone! First of all, I just want to take this opportunity to extend a HUGE “Thank You” to everyone who was able to come out and attend the recent Western PA VMUG! The day was packed full of information, as we got to hear a lot of great presentations about running VMware on AWS, AppDefense, vSphere APIs, and what’s new with PowerCLI. What I like most about these kinds of events is the ability to share, learn, network, meet new users, and catch up with those whom I already know.

As several folks already know, this was my very first time presenting at a VMware User Group meeting. Sure, I was a little nervous at first, but once I got up to present, things just seemed to flow. For me, it was reassuring to know that many in the audience were VMware customers who may have been in my shoes at one time, or perhaps still are. You never know. Although my presentation was mostly focused on some recent PowerCLI scripts I had developed to automate and simplify repetitive tasks, I also talked about my personal journey from avoiding scripting to actually doing it. And in my presentation, rather than just showing lines of code on a screen and explaining what the script does, I highlighted the workflow and thought process behind why I scripted it the way I did.

For me, I’m working on making my scripts a little more interactive for the user. Things such as “What vCenter Server do you want to connect to?”, “What cluster do you want to scan/remediate?”, “What task do you want to perform (choose 1-5)?”, and so on. By doing this, it means the script doesn’t have to be modified each time you want to connect to a different vCenter Server, different cluster, and so on. I’ve also been working on building validation into some of my questions, so if the user is expected to press 1-5, anything else will be an invalid choice and the question will be asked again. (Using PowerShell Switch combined with a Do/While or Do/Until loop).

So, what convinced me to present at this recent VMUG? Well, I was coached by a number of people in the Pittsburgh VMware community. Ariel Sanchez Mora, AJ Kuftic, and Brad Beckman all played a significant role in helping me throughout this entire process. When I was first approached about presenting, I really had no idea what I was going to talk about! I was asked “What are you passionate about? or What are you working on right now that you’d like to share with others in the community?” When I finally decided on PowerCLI scripts and automation, I was worried that it wouldn’t be all that fresh or sexy enough to talk about. It seems that everyone these days is talking about RESTful APIs, upgrading to vSphere 6.5, vSAN, NSX, and a multitude of other much cooler topics. So I wondered who would want to listen to my little presentation about RDMs and scripting with PowerCLI? As it turns out, there were a number of customers in the room who were still working with RDMs and traditional LUNs! Hey, I’m not alone! There are others working with in similar situations and environment, just like me!

As much as we’d all like to be on the latest and greatest, we each have our own set of unique challenges to work with. Whether it’s older hardware, a recent investment in a traditional storage array, internal politics, budget, or something else… it’s what we as VMware administrators have to work with. If you as a VMware user have done something awesome, fixed or prevented a major issue, or just want to talk about your experience with a particular VMware-related product, I want to encourage you to seriously consider presenting at your next regional VMUG. Sharing your knowledge and experiences with others can help the community as a whole. As I mentioned earlier in this post, you never know when someone else in the audience might be experiencing a similar issue or situation. Your presentation might just be the one thing that helps or inspires them to overcome a scenario they too have been experiencing!

As always, thanks for stopping by! If you’re interested in presenting at a VMUG and would like to ask me a few questions beforehand, leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter.

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