A little over three years ago I had a conversation with my wife. I asked for her support as I wanted to explore myself professionally and see if I could find my place in the technology community. During that time I started participating live with vBrownBag, attending more VMUGs, blogging, and even joining Twitter. I quickly started feeling like part of the community.
Within a few months new opportunities presented themselves. I had the chance to start leading the Raleigh VMUG, become one of hosts on the vBrownBag podcast, and getting introduced to Amy Lewis. I found I had an aptitude for getting people together, sharing their thoughts, and having fun. I also had a fairly unique comfort level on camera.
Fast forward to 2014. The vBrownBag podcast has grown to 16 members and producing content in multiple geographies, multiple languages, and also producing the live Tech Talks at various conferences. We hear regularly from virtualization professionals that have used vBrownBag to prepare and to grow. Engineers Unplugged is no longer Amy and me trying to convince people to get on Luca’s camera, share knowledge and draw unicorns. Now we have 6 seasons of people with diverse backgrounds and disciplines coming together to share knowledge with whiteboard marker in hand. Who would have thought when I was collecting a few score twitter handles for entry to the first #vBacon that 2 years later there would be over 700 attendees? I’m so incredibly proud of the people that I’m fortunate enough to build community with and those who support us.
During VMworld I was approached and asked “Josh, how do you do all of it? How do you find the time?” We had a good discussion and I shared with him the same advice I’ve given people before when they’ve asked similar questions.
“It’s all about compartmentalization”
“It’s easier if you don’t sleep”
“Find the thing you love and focus on that”
I’m writing this post on an airplane returning home from an amazing VMworld 2014 and holding back a few tears. That conversation helped me realize that I have not been following my own sound advice. As such, I’m now on sabbatical from community building activities. I can see the positive result of all the work I’ve done over the years and it has been good. It’s time to step back and let others lead and build.
It’s now time to dedicate my time back to my supporting wife, my two boys, and our little girl arriving in January. We have a house move coming and I have the kind of job that truly energizes me. It’s also time to have a little me time.
I’ll not be taking on any new projects or action items. I have a little book update commitment which I’ll complete gladly. I’ll still be on Twitter and engaged. I’ll still share my thoughts periodically on podcasts and at events I’m attending for work. I won’t be a ghost by any means, but I do plan to be much less visible, and much less involved.
This community is full of amazing people and I can’t wait to see what you all do next. Make sure to send me an invite and I’ll try to support you like you all have supported me. Like my work sis, Amy Lewis, told me recently “A wise man puts something down to pick something up”. I’m dropping the mic for a while. I’ll pick it back up one day, but I have some family that deserve more of my attention. I truly love you all and thank you for making the last three years more amazing than I could………
Damn mute button.