And what a year it has been! Personally as well as professionally I have managed to improve and surprise myself on multiple levels. On some occasions I wasn’t even capable of spelling ‘comfort-zone’ correctly, I was so far off. The best thing is, I already have some great prospects for 2017 as well, but I’ll (have to) save that for a future post, not to long from now. 2016, like 2015 before that was again packed with community get-togethers’, mostly in the form of conferences, some small (er) some big/huge, but all fun and it truly never gets tiring, presenting included. Ok, let’s reflect for a minute, shall we…
- In 2015 (late November) I decided to write a book about the Citrix FlexCast Management Architecture, and so I did. As some of you might know writing a book is no small matter and I thought about quitting more than once. In the end I pulled through and I was able to (self) publish my book just before Synergy mid May 2016 (this took some additional efforts, I can tell you). Something I’ll never regret doing!
- While I started working on my book, again ,in late 2015, I also submitted two presentations for Citrix Synergy 2016 taking place in Las Vegas. The plan was simple, if I get picked than great, but tons of (extra) work to be done, next to finishing the book, if not, that would be ok as well. I wasn’t a CTP back than and I just figured it might help in becoming one in the future — little did I know.
- In the middle of the writing and researching process I got word from Citrix, twice actually. Both of my presentations were selected for Synergy. What? I couldn’t believe it. I though that if I was to be selected it would be for one session tops, not both. And so the planning and preparations started. In the end I did one so-called theater session and one breakout session together with Wilco van Bragt. I have mixed emotions on both, but in the end all that matters is: I/we did it!
- On top of that, and shortly after the Synergy presentations announcement, the CTP program managers over at Citrix, including the CTP group (they/we have a vote as well) decided that my time was come to join the illustrious group of Citrix Technology Professionals — what a great honor, and completely unexpected. Sure I had hope, but that was about it. Technically I was only in the game just short of three years at that time, and this was going to be my second Synergy ever so my expectations weren’t that high. Although I did had a great run during those couple of years, enjoying every minute of it. This also meant I had to get to Las Vegas a couple of days earlier for the two-day CTP meetings, which I did without complaining.
- In between all this (March) I was also asked to speak over at the VCNRW — Virtualization Community NRW, in Germany Cologne. Which of course meant, preparing another presentation. Organized by Helge Klein and Timm Brochhaus, It was their first full day event. Needless to say I had a great time. The people, the conference, the presentations, the food and beer, I mean what’s not to like?! I presented on the FMA, by the way (while still working on the book).
- After Synergy I also attended E2EVC in Las Vegas, though I didn’t present. Sleeping in, drinking coffee, enjoying great steak diners (thanks again Nutanix) and taking it easy for a couple of days.
- At the start of 2016 I became one of the myCUGC forum moderators, something to which I will dedicate more time in 2017. I am also a member of the myCUGC content working group together with a handful of other community minded folks and a couple of Citrix/myCUGC Employees — have a look here for some more information on the people involved, including some of the 2016 achievements.
- 2016 also marked the year that Citrix introduced the CTA program, or Citrix Technology Advocate in full. I was lucky enough to be among one of the so-called founding members — and guess who came up with the name CTA? That’s right :-) The program sits in-between the CTP program and the myCUGC platform and is meant for, well, Citrix enthusiasts/advocates, check out the above link for some more detailed information. Unfortunately the program didn’t got the attention and recognition it should have gotten and deserved (at Synergy, for example). Here I should also mention that CTP Shane Kleinert and former Citrix employee Laure Cetin put in most of the effort in making this program possible to begin with, so a big thank you to both of them! Luckily Citrix listened and 2017 looks promising for the CTA program going forward, to be continued…
- Almost directly following Synergy was E2EVC in Dublin, the Epic edition as Alex liked to call it, and it was. No presentations for me personally, but as always we had a great time!
- After Synergy and Dublin it was time to relax a little, so me and my girlfriend went on a vacation to Portugal. When the plain landed and we were on the bus to our hotel I got a DM via Twitter from Marius Sandbu, asking if I was interested in speaking at the Norwegian Citrix User Group in October, uhm… let me think for a minute… YES I AM! So there I went, on a cruise ship from Oslo to Kiel and back, presenting two sessions while at sea, a very special experience for sure! A great event, and the people were amazing — made lots of new friends.
- In November it was time for E2EVC in Rome. Again, no presenting, but relaxing and enjoying the presentations of others and just having a good time.
- I am also proud to mention that in 2016 my Nutanix NTC (Nutanix Technology Champion) community award got renewed for the third time in a row, and I also became part of the Atlantis ACE (Atlantis Community Expert) program/family. So I have lots of interesting (tech) developments to look forward to in 2017.
- In October of 2016 I held/launched my first online online survey, titled: The state op public cloud services – the community edition – consisting out of 35 questions in total. I had a total of 142 participants, you can view/download the final results in the form of .PDF report here. I got some really nice feedback, including a bunch of tips (lessons learned) for the 2017/2018 edition. The accompanying blog post can be found here.
- My blog/website is still doing great as well. While I decided, or better said, I had to write a little less throughout 2016, because of all the presentations and traveling, including the writing that went into my book, I still managed to publish over 28 articles with a couple of really well viewed posts near the end of 2016. Something I will continue to do in 2017 as well, but I guess that goes without saying. My Blog statistics were again up from last year with over 10% nearing 320.000 page views, which I still think is amazing!
On a more personal note:
- 2016 also marked the year that I managed to run my second best 10K ever, I finished it in 41:32 (my personal is 41:22) — not to shabby for an (almost) 38 year old, right? :)
- I got braces – something I really needed, and still need to get used to.
- I am diagnosed with the disease of Crohn (a type of inflammatory bowel disease) a so-called autoimmune disease, which in the case of Crohn means that your colon and/or small intestine is constantly infected (certain parts, not as a whole). It is also chronic, meaning non-healable — treatable though. I started my medication a couple of weeks ago. I guess I’ll just have to learn to live with it. Unfortunately the medication I am taking will probably influence my athletic ability in a negative way — it potentially slows down the production of red blood cells, amongst other things.
- Going forward — as mentioned I already have some interesting events planned for 2017, but more on this in a couple of weeks time, I hope.
So much can happen in just 12 months, it hard to believe. I whish everybody a healthy, happy and successful new year/2017 — threat each other well and just be/stay awesome!
Thanks for reading.