For One IT Professional, Fear of Failure is Not an Option

Within the NSX Mindset, roadblocks on the path are temporary.

Wade Holmes sees failure and adapting to it in a positive way as a constant–and necessary–process for an IT professional.
What doors has NSX opened to you in your career?

NSX is a rapidly growing technology that is solving some major challenges from a networking and security perspective. It has opened opportunities in looking at how networking and security across clouds and containers are going to be handled. It has become the glue between these different capabilities and deployment models.

How much of your career has been reacting to change vs. driving it?

It’s always a combination. Unforeseen events are always going to happen, and that pushes change forward. At the same time, you have to be able to recognize those changes as an opportunity to reinvent yourself. For example, when I saw that network virtualization was the last piece of the agile data center puzzle, I went all in with NSX.

Failure and adapting to it in a positive way are a constant processes within an IT career.
How does failure lead to success?

Failure and adapting to it in a positive way are constant processes within an IT career. It can be something as small as failing to successfully implement a product or solution proof of concept in a lab environment on first try. It can also be something as large and complex as an entire project or program failing after months or even years of investment.

I’ve drawn positive learning experience from both. Ideally, you want to fail fast, assess why you failed or hit a temporary roadblock, and then move forward.

But at times, even the best-laid plans of longer projects can be stymied due to unforeseen external factors. At those times, you have to draw from the experience you gained during the project, assess the current state of affairs, and see how parts of failure can be leveraged to become a success in the new state of affairs. In the rapidly evolving world we live in, failure is not failure–it is only a temporary roadblock towards the eventual path to success.

What does NSX Mindset mean to you?

NSX Mindset is the ability to adapt to the changing landscape within the industry and shift the approach to networking and security to a software-defined model.

What does a united IT strategy mean to you?

Breaking down silos across teams to facilitate enhanced IT productivity. The biggest hurdle is making sure an organization has both the tools to allow a unified strategy (i.e., NSX for networking and security) and making sure people have the mindset to change usual processes to a more efficient and collaborative model.

NSX Mindset is the ability to adapt to the changing landscape within the industry and shift the approach to networking and security to a software-defined model.
What are some practical steps you took to get your VCDX-NV?

As a very early VCDX holder, there were not any of the boot camps, books, or resources like there are today. I took a very methodical approach to meet all the prerequisite certifications and to prepare for the defense.

I used a design I implemented and knew end-to-end to make preparation much easier and faster. In submitting my design, I made sure all design decisions were thoroughly explained and that I understood the pros, cons, and potential caveats for each choice and alternate choices.

Finally, I practiced defending my design by mentally going through all potential questions I could think of. As there were no other VCDX mentors at the time to practice with, I did all of this on my own. For someone who is preparing to obtain their VCDX-NV today, I recommend reaching out to a mentor who could help them prepare for the defense portion of VCDX-NV.