Virtualization Pro of the Month: Marco Broeken
Editor’s Note: The Netherlands’ Marco Broeken is our Virtualization Pro of the Month for January 2014. Marco is co-founder of a Dutch DaaS provider and a virtualization consultant that helps companies design, migrate and implement increasingly complex infrastructure. Marco blogs here on our site and also on his own blog at vClouds.nl. You can follow Marco on Twitter here, and connect with him on LinkedIn here.
How long have you been in the IT industry?
I have been working in IT for 15 years. Since 1999 where I was doing helpdesk work at a travel agency. Before that period of time I was an electrician in the shipping industry I also managed their internal Xenix (SCO UNIX) systems.
After this I was a running my own small IT company managing IT for a small customer base. Where at a later stage I started working freelance and worked a lot with VMware Products and there my interest for Virtualization has started. As from 2006 I started to specialize in Virtualization.
How did you get into IT? How did you prepare?
I always knew I was going to be working with computers. I was raised in a skipper family where we as a family grew up on a ship which was traveling all the time in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. There was nothing really interesting to do on the ship for kids especially in the winter time so my mother bought us one of the first Personal Computers when I was 10 years old. I started with erasing the whole hard drive because that was something I had seen in a book J to be able to install MS-DOS and Windows again from scratch and later on to start programming in Basic, play games and learn about MS-DOS and Windows 3.11 and later on Windows 95.
At school I always was very skilled in Mathematics and they thought I would be good that I would be an electrician. I ended up not finishing the school I was in and started to work at a temporary job as an electrician on ships at the age of 17. I was hired to stay for 3 months but it took me 3 years to make the switch to IT.
So, I ended up teaching myself everything I know, started with Windows 3.11, later NT4.0 and SCO UNIX.
What certifications do you hold and how did you go about getting them?
I wasn’t very interested in certifications until the specialization was started. Yes I did managed to get MCSE on NT4.0 and later on 2003 but this was no fun at all for me.
As from 2006 I started to get really interested in becoming certified on VMware and managed to pass VMware’s VCP3/4/5, VCP Enterprise Exam (v3) VCP Design exam (v3), later on this became VCAP. I’ve also passed the VCAP4-DCA, VCAP4-DCD and VCAP5-DCA exams. So, Included the VCP version 3 Advanced Exams and all the VCAP’s, I’ve sat 7x 4,5 hour exams which made me tired enough not to take any exam for the last year…
Two years back I also managed to pass all 5 exams to become Microsoft MCITP Server Administrator. I must say the certification spree is addictive. It’s very good for your career to prove you can actually pass the advanced exams.
What is your current job?
After being employed for 3 years by a great Dutch consultancy firm. As from June 2013, I started my own company called vSpecialist Consulting where I help enterprise companies with designing, migrating and implementing their complex infrastructure.
I am also co-owner of a brand new Dutch DaaS provider called XtraDesktop, we are still in stealth mode but you can expect to hear from us soon!
How do you stay current?
I use twitter and read a lot of blog posts to keep myself up to date (which is basically impossible with having 2 small kids J). There are also a lot of advantages of being a vExpert, the best thing is definitely the free training from PluralSight (former TrainSignal)
Also the vBrownBag podcasting series are a must to follow to get yourself educated to the highest level.
I was also very lucky to be invited as a delegate for Storage Field Day 2 and 3 where storage start-ups present themselves in a one hour session where they deep-dive into their technology. This helped me a lot last year to be kept up to date in the storage space.
What do you do when you’re not working or playing in your home lab?
I have a very busy social live, Often we meet up with friends for a nice diner or drinks, Couple of times a year we spend a short holiday with a small group of close friends somewhere in Europe.
I try to spend as much time possible with my kids, when they are in bed at 7, 3 nights a week I’m back at my laptop working or try to produce a blog post. In the weekends I never try to work or touch my laptop. Weekend = Family time!
Married, kids, pets?
Not married (yet), but I do live together with my girlfriend for a while now, We have two beautiful children: boy: 2,5 year old and a new baby girl: 4,5 month old who keep us awake at night…:)
Favorite technology product or tool?
That would definitely be my iPhone, can’t live without the thing. I try to leave it alone at night but that seems to be impossible. I did remove a couple of apps which made me use the phone a little less during the evening.
In the next year, what are you most excited about?
I am definitely looking out for Desktops as a Service. VMware Acquiring Desktone last year was basically saying we might be on the right track starting a brand new DaaS Provider in the Netherlands.
Also the storage space is very fun to watch. Lots of flash and hybrid startups doing great telling me 2014 is going to be an awesome year for them.
Hyper-Convergence is still high on my attention list, Nutanix, SimpliVity and also VMware VSAN are ones to watch!
Anything else you’d like to add?
My blog vClouds.nl is being neglected for the last 6 months because of the new baby girl in our life and the new companies I started.
Expect a lot of blog posts from me this year. Also on VirtualizationSoftware.com where I’m going to do some guest blogging.
For everyone reading this: Love this community like I do, It’s awesome to be in. Start a blog and you will learn a lot about the things you write about. Don’t mind other people’s opinion about you. Try to be fair and contribute. You will find yourself being awarded in many ways.