How I landed on SiliconANGLE TV's theCUBE at VTUG Winter Warmer 2015 to talk about virtualization home labs and blogging

Posted by Paul Braren on Jan 16 2015 (updated on Jan 22 2015) in
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    I've never been all that comfortable with public speaking. Which is why I try to face my fears and tackle user group presentations, podcast guesting, and Hangouts on Air somewhat regularly. I know I can teach a group of up to 10 IT Professionals comfortably, having done numerous VMware Jumpstarts in the late 2000s. But larger crowds always tend to get me a bit nervous.

    How did I wind up on TV? It may have had something to do with lunch at the VTUG (Virtualization Technology User Group) yesterday, where I was joined by friend and Hyper-V superstar Rob McShinsky @VirtuallyAware. We quickly shared a peek at each other's latest gear, then got into the weeds, comparing and contrasting VMware and Hyper-V. I had been recently noticing VMware's rather clumsy way of reclaiming disk storage space in my home lab. For my massive 5.6TB Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials VM, it involved shrinking my NTFS disk using Disk Manager, shutting it down, then using PuTTY to run some vmkfstools stuff. I'll be doing a proper write-up on that soon. Of course, Rob showed me how Microsoft Hyper-V gets it all done, on his laptop, faster and easier of course. Good to know, and one of those magic, fun learning moments that such events are so good for.

    Shortly after that delightful free lunch where we both barely remembered to eat, Rob found me and said that he and Dawn Harney, event coordinator, had me invited to be a guest on theCube. Rob is seen pictured above-right, and on video here.


    A few tweets and a little while later, there I was, getting mic'd up, helping with my lower-thirds, with the glare of LEDs shining on me.

    I had somehow got it in my head that the entire thing was going to be merely pre-recorded. Just before the cameras were rolling, the producer said something like "you're live in 20 seconds." Suddenly, I realized this really was going to be live, it cranked up my fear of "messing up" a few notches. Sure got my months and years confused, $1000 of electricity per year, is what I meant to say, oh well.


    Welcome back to the VTUG, here at Gillette Stadium. My name is Stu Miniman, I'm with Wikibon. We go out to all the big enterprise IT events, helping extract the signal from the noise. Joined in this segment by Paul Braren, who is the Founder of TinkerTry...

    Stu Miniman managed to expertly calm my residual fears by asking me to talk about what I love. He sure is good at knowing just what to ask, and how to ask it. See for yourself what motivated me to start back in June of 2011, and what's coming up next in 2015. With vSphere 6 and Windows Server 10 finally arriving, it's going to be a good year!

    The rest of the day was terrific as always, with so much to learn, and so many new folks to meet. These events are not just about learning what latest and greatest cool thing vendors in the virtualization industry are up to, but also about networking, career growth, and making new, trusting friendships. I have a stack of business cards where I scribbled action items on the back. Those extended relationships are incredibly helpful. People tend to trust people they've actually met, in person.

    I thoroughly enjoy getting out once in a while, now that most of my time is spent working from home. Well worth taking days off from work to get to such events. It's great living in central Connecticut, less than 2 hours from both Boston and New York City. I recently attended a half-day Hartford VMUG just a few miles away, super convenient. Last summer, I got to meet the friendliest bunch of New Yorkers ever, when I was a guest speaker last summer, talking about rolling my own secure and free VPN solution using VMware and OpenVPN appliance. Sure wish I hadn't had conflicts preventing me from actually getting myself to the November 2014 special presentation by Scott Lowe and Frank Denneman. But those new friendships with fellow IT Professionals in metro NYC are valuable to me, and TinkerTry, so of course, I'll be heading back to the New York City VMUG later this month. Looking forward to it!

    PS: Why the giant elbow pic behind me? Yeah, I could see the Patriots practicing on the field when walking from the West to East suites. Guards (and plastic sheets) prevented the typically not-quite-as-strong* IT Professionals from taking pictures or videos of their secret plays. Just imagine the strength of their laywers.

    *Chris Colotti is a noteworthy exception ;-)


    See also

    See also on TinkerTry