The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast

Craig Rodgers

November 01, 2022 Chris & Zoë Season 1 Episode 14
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
Craig Rodgers
Show Notes Transcript

Hello and welcome to the Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast, where everyone belongs, especially if you think you don't.

Our guest today is Craig Rodgers, a Solutions Architect at Camlin Group.

In this episode, Craig explains to us what a solution architect does and walks us through his day-to-day as one.

He tells us about his career path, which began with him building and selling computers while in middle school and how he was always drawn to technology as a way to solve problems.

Craig spoke with us about what makes a successful team, the importance of understanding that community is about people, and why he thought that getting certifications was the best path for him rather than pursuing a degree.


Engage with the people,

community is ALL about the people. 


Craig's Links:

●    Twitter

●    LinkedIn



Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us at the links below:

You can also find us on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Patreon.

Make it a great day.

The following transcript is machine generated and may contain errors.

[00:00:00] Chris: Hello and welcome to the Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast where everyone belongs, even if you're not sure we are. My name is Chris Grundemann. I'm here with my cohost, the Unsinkable Zoe Rose. This is the Craig Rogers episode, and it is going to be fantastic. Craig is a family guy, a platform guy, a solution architect, and a tech field day delegate.

[00:00:34] Chris: Hey, Craig, would you mind introducing yourself further to the imposter syndrome network? 

[00:00:38] Craig: Hey Chris, how's it going? I am a solutions architect for a company in the tech sector that builds kind of monitoring systems for power networks, railways, biogas facilities, you know, transformers. So we make products around that, and part of my job is just building the solutions to provide the backend for those products. 

[00:01:01] Craig: So it's, it's exciting, I suppose, of working in it from a, a young age, you know, probably building computers about 30 years, something like that. And yeah, it's just, I, I was lucky that I was able to have, do something and, and make a career out of it. 

[00:01:17] Chris: Yeah, absolutely. So, so yeah, thanks for that.

[00:01:19] Chris: And I, I am curious, right, so the company you work for does a lot of, you know, customer facing things and you're a solution architect there. But it sounds like they do more kind of industrial type work. You're doing more kind of network and IT type work. So I'm just kind of curious is, is that solution architect role, are you customer facing or is that more internal facing?

[00:01:37] Chris: Like are you building solutions for teams inside of the company or, or directly for customers, or how does that work?

[00:01:43] Craig: A bit of both. I wouldn't be customer facing in, in this role. Uh, certainly nowhere near as much as my previous experience in a managed service provider at at architect level. Uh, this is more around building the backend systems and the integrations, you know, with services.

[00:01:59] Craig: That we need to do and ML work, you know, and aws, et cetera. So it's, it's more around the, the infrastructure for the company. 

[00:02:07] Chris: Okay, great. So it's like actually architecting solutions versus what a lot of times solution architects do is talk about solutions or maybe draw 'em on paper, but not actually like physically, physically doing it.

[00:02:17] Chris: So, I mean, or maybe you can give us a little bit more about the day to day of kind of what, what your job actually entails. 

[00:02:22] Craig: Okay, I'll go back a bit further then on that. Uh, just to lead into it, I always wanted to be kinda still hands on as much as possible with the tech. And I worked for a managed service provider.

[00:02:33] Craig: You know, they weren't massive. There was maybe a few hundred we grew from, maybe eight, joined there was maybe 60 something employees. We, we went to a few hundred. But at, at that size, I was always, always able to actually stay hands on. You know, I didn't really wanna be the person racking and stacking it, but as soon as it was available in the network, I wanted to be in configuring, you know, And it, it just give me great exposure across storage networks, firewalls, cloud, VMware, you know, just it kinda all of it.

[00:03:00] Craig: So, going into Camlin, they needed somebody to architect and actually hands on deploy, so, So it was good fit. 

[00:03:08] Zoe: Yeah, no, that's a, that's one point that, uh, a lot of people make. And I, I also made a distinction. My job is the more senior I got, the less hands on I got. And it was almost like this, uh, emotional, you know, I had to make the decision, am I okay with not touching the hardware?

[00:03:25] Zoe: And it's, yeah, it's a hard, it's a hard journey. 

[00:03:29] Craig: end date, you do distance yourself from it as you do go up the ladder a bit. And, and that's fair, But I, I've always just made the effort to try stay connected to it in, in, in some way. I think if you, if you leave it and you don't use it, you, you're not gonna remember it.

[00:03:45] Craig: You know? And you want to be technical in, in what you're doing. Certainly as an architect anyway. 

[00:03:50] Zoe: Yeah, no, I remember when I used to be able to like subnet without thinking, and then the other day I had to figure out a subnet and I'm like, rubbish. Like, Oh, where's my pen? Yeah. It took me forever. But is there, is there anything that you.

[00:04:04] Zoe: Would consider, maybe you'd want change about your role or you actually quite happy? Sound happy? ? 

[00:04:11] Craig: I'm, No, I'm happy. I'm happy in my role. Obviously once you hit the technical architect, you know you've got a major project focus. As you go to Solution Architect, it's, you know, somewhere in between technical and enterprise architect, you, you have to become a lot more commercially aware.

[00:04:26] Craig: You know, everything has a price tag. An ongoing support cost and, and the business impact has to be considered. I get to do both here. You know, I, I get to look at it from that high level and also muck in and, and build something. And going from an MSP to, uh, a group of companies, you know, it's just that one group of cost companies, you know, those companies are met in, uh, internal customers.

[00:04:50] Craig: If you. So, yeah, it's, it's fun and you get a bit of variety in systems and yeah, it's good. 

[00:04:56] Zoe: Yeah, no, sure. I, I used to own an MSP and I, I liked that world, but it is very different than the corporate, you know, cuz you're the person called in to help things, right. So it's a very different perspective for sure.

[00:05:11] Craig: Yeah. Time sheets matter. Cause that's all revenue generating. 

[00:05:15] Zoe: Yeah. And then figuring out, it's like, uh, how much does this meeting cost? You know, , I've used that. I've used that. So the next one is, um, your Twitter profile. It says, Platform guy. 

[00:05:26] Craig: Ha. Yeah. Good. 

[00:05:27] Zoe: What's that mean to you? 

[00:05:29] Craig: I think sometimes when you say the word platform, everybody thinks of a, you know, a four node cluster or, or something.

[00:05:35] Craig: I view IT requirements, you know, that that's your whole platform. You know, that that's the, the servers that you have running the, you know, your virtualization layer, your, your whole network and how that extends out into cloud. I think that's your entire platform that you're building technology solutions on.

[00:05:53] Craig: And I'd just like to raise awareness and use the term platform guy, Cause I think you should be looking at it all, not just one, one area. 

[00:06:02] Chris: So it's almost like, like saying systems guy, but in a different way. Right? It's, it's like, it's like taking that whole kind of systems view, the whole platform view, looking at the entire enterprise.

[00:06:10] Chris: Not just the switches or just the routers or just the storage arrays. 

[00:06:14] Craig: Exactly. Yeah. It, it's all one platform. It has to work together. 

[00:06:18] Zoe: Yeah, sure. Well, from a security point of view, that makes sense to me cuz everything works together. And if I only consider security in one aspect, all of this is going to cause me major nightmares.

[00:06:30] Zoe: So, no, I like that. I like how you define it.

[00:06:33] Craig: I love security. It just makes my whole life so convenient, uh, every day. You know, I'm thinking thank God for security. It just makes everything easy. You know? 

[00:06:43] Zoe: I think you're the only, the person that has said that , 

[00:06:47] Craig: I jest. Security is, is not convenient. 

[00:06:50] Zoe: What are you talking about?

[00:06:51] Zoe: I'm amazing. 

[00:06:52] Craig: But it's essential. It's essential. 

[00:06:55] Chris: By definition, it's not, it's not convenient, right? I mean, uh,

[00:06:57] Zoe: I will preface that with saying, done properly, done properly, it should not impact and it should make it much easier and much more functional. However, our world does not seem to be designed in that.

[00:07:12] Zoe: So that's where the trouble starts. 

[00:07:14] Craig: The journey to that level is, is far from convenient , but the, the end goal is, is good. Yeah. It's certainly better than the ops. 

[00:07:22] Zoe: We'll agree on that. 

[00:07:23] Craig: Exactly. But this is a journey though, 

[00:07:27] Chris: Speaking of, of getting there together, hopefully. Craig, obviously you've had a few different roles through through your life.

[00:07:32] Chris: We've talked about a couple of 'em so far. I wonder if you could tell us, you know, has there ever been a really great team you've been a part of? And, and maybe tell us a little bit about what made that team so great?

[00:07:43] Craig: In the previous manage service provider used to work for, uh, it was originally Nosco got bought over by Can Com and is now Telephonica Tech.

[00:07:51] Craig: We had a VDI team that, uh, we rolled out basically VDI systems, you know, a lot of, uh, UCS, Pure storage, you know, great networking. Just everybody involved in those projects was just top of the game, you know, everybody from the PM to the Citrix architect to just service to delivery managers. Everybody was on the ball.

[00:08:12] Craig: And some of the solutions that went out were amazing. You know, VDI deployments that had never went down. Ever, you know, um, full application layer there and just everything documented, everything processed, all the proactive checks full run it was just brilliant. Like, you know, working on those types of solutions with those levels of, you know, when you're working with people who.

[00:08:36] Craig: Are just amazing at their job as well. It just makes it so much easier, so much more fun. You know, it it, some of those people are just on a different level. It was great. 

[00:08:45] Zoe: Well, that's one thing that we touched on with a couple other people is, is that sense of trust, Like that personal relationship, you know, if you work with somebody and you know they do a good job is because you've seen them do a good job and you have that kind of personal relationship with them.

[00:09:00] Zoe: It's not the tech itself, it's. I know this person can do a great job, and so I have the confidence and I work together with them. I suppose what I'm trying to get to is, what would you say defines a great team? Is it that level of understanding between each other or that level of trust, I suppose? Maybe it's something else.

[00:09:20] Craig: trust is, is a big part of it. Team um, dynamics can be very strange. You know, there's people who will look at something logically and assume, right? This is the logical course of action. Everybody else will agree on that, but that's not how people think. You'll not win over people by trying to use logic.

[00:09:36] Craig: You'll wouldn them, be getting them to believe in the bigger picture. You know, it needs to be more of an essence than a fact. Sometimes it, and if you have a team where again, there's that common vision and common belief and, and people are aligned, then I think those are, those are the best teams to work with.

[00:09:53] Craig: Definitely. 

[00:09:55] Chris: So to kind of maybe restate that, I think it sounds like, you know, in your experience anyway, a great team has been a group of exceptional people that are brought together by some shared purpose. Are there, are there other aspects, other aspects to it you think? 

[00:10:08] Craig: Well, they have to respect each other and be able to work together.

[00:10:11] Craig: you know, there, there's the basic human principle that, that, that needs to work. But, uh, if they're being led by somebody who's, who's keeping them, you know, involved, keeping them informed and not micromanaging, you know, trusting them to do their tasks, just teams with a good dynamic, you know, And it's one of those things, you'll know it when you see it, you know, some, some things are very hard to define, but as soon as you see it, you know what it is.

[00:10:36] Craig: Teams are a bit like that. 

[00:10:37] Zoe: Yeah. And also you, you know, when it's not a good one as well. I've been in situations where it's micromanaging. Gosh, you could try as hard as you wanted. It's not going to, 

[00:10:47] Craig: It's so frustrating. 

[00:10:48] Zoe: It's not going to get better. . All right. Well, let's start from a, Let's go, Ooh. The way back in the beginning, how did you get into IT?

[00:10:57] Zoe: Or whatever you consider your role, , why did you start? 

[00:11:02] Craig: Started computers when... I was very lucky. We didn't have much, but my parents got me an Omega 500 for Christmas when it was about 10, and I had it in pieces in bits stripped down within about six weeks on the bed. I just started upgrading and then started building computers, maybe 13 or 14, something like that.

[00:11:22] Craig: Selling computers to teachers in school and just doing that. And, uh, school, I, I'd always known I'd wanted to work in IT. It went up to every kinda a level studies, um, didn't go the degree route. I ended up managing, uh, computer shop. I was already 18 or 19. And then, Wanted to get more into servers and RAID and Windows NT you know what was coming.

[00:11:46] Craig: You had to install TCP/IP to get in the internet. You've upgraded your modem from 28.8 up to 56 k, uh, and just got more and more into servers. But in Novel. Yeah, it's just anything I could get exposed to, I wanted to play with. Really? Yeah, it was, it was, yeah, it was just a passion for IT. That's really where it all started.

[00:12:08] Chris: Where do you think that comes from? Is that like, I mean, is there like an innate drive? Is it like, is it things being logical or things being, you know, component based or, I mean, is there something, do you think it, uh, makes technology attractive to you? 

[00:12:23] Craig: It's building a solution for something and fixing a problem, you know, or solving problem.

[00:12:29] Craig: Seeing the outcome, seeing the end goal, you know, building fit for purpose solutions. There's satisfaction from doing that well. If you do a good job and it works and it doesn't, doesn't cause an outage and you know, it, it's, it's, you get a bit of pride over your solutions as well. It's just a, a general.

[00:12:49] Craig: Just like building things with IT. 

[00:12:51] Zoe: Yeah, no, I can relate to that. I aimed myself into it, mainly to get away from people. Eventually I realized that I actually needed people and actually that's how I was more effective. But the original goal was to get away from people and to hide in the, you know, server closet. Cuz it was not a data center, it was a closet, Um, . So, no, that's, that's, I can relate to that one. 

[00:13:14] Zoe: You mentioned you didn't do the kind of, um, College route, did that affect your confidence? Like I, I know for me personally, I did get a certification or um, a college degree because I didn't have the confidence.

[00:13:28] Zoe: I was IT manager before and then got the degree to give myself the confidence of somebody else validating me. But do you ever feel like that kind of affected your confidence or ability? Present yourself? I suppose 

[00:13:40] Craig: Not, not from a confidence perspective, no. I, I never felt wary of, of saying that I don't have a degree.

[00:13:47] Craig: I ended up obviously going quite deep into certifications and got a bit, I think I've, I dunno, 18 on LinkedIn I've more, just haven't put them on. The certifications I found personally for me, were more relevant for what I was doing at the time. I worked with colleagues with degrees and some of them wouldn't have went as, as far, you know, the A degree is a, it's something it does stand by you though.

[00:14:14] Craig: I've been frustrated by not having a degree because HR won't put your application through because you didn't spend three years looking at computers and get a bit of paper. Whereas you've researched all this experience and they literally will not even let you apply for a job. That has been frustrating at a couple of times, but I never, I never felt knocked by not having a degree.

[00:14:38] Zoe: No, that's good. That's good. Cause when I do job, like, um, I recently put a add out. I was hiring somebody and I make it very clear in that they're not required, but you are correct. There is a lot of situations where it's not the actual techs. Interviewing the techs, It's just getting past the HR process. Yeah, 

[00:14:57] Craig: yeah.

[00:14:57] Craig: No, I've provided training to a lot of people with degrees . You know, for me it's, if you know how to do it, you know how to do it. Um, if degree taught you how to do that, great and you've got experience, great, but it's not the, the be all and end all of being able to, to do IT. You know? Certainly when you go the MSP route the shear, variety of functions you have to be able to perform and you know it, it's varied.

[00:15:21] Craig: You know, working in one company, you see one company, one network, one set of servers, You know, everything's done one way, you know, a decade of managed service providers. And you get to see a thousand companies. It's a lot more varied, which is fun. 

[00:15:34] Zoe: Yeah. And they could have the same setup, but use it slightly different, slightly different use case.

[00:15:39] Zoe: And it's. 

[00:15:40] Craig: Exactly. Yeah. But the, the, the exposure is great. You know, managed service provider work is hard. Time sheets matter. Your time's billable, but on, on the, the upside of that extra effort and investment in yourself, you, you do get a lot more exposure. 

[00:15:55] Chris: So speaking of the kind of degree versus certification, you know, not conflict, but, but you know that, that, that pairing of things you can have with your name on them that say you're smart. You've gone down the certification path, you have a ton of certifications, and I assume a lot of that comes from maybe partnership requirements at MSPs and things like that along the way.

[00:16:13] Chris: So is there anything else from that? I mean, did you get them just because you needed the partner agreements or, I mean, did you learn stuff along the way? Do you think they've advanced your career? Would you do it again if you didn't have to? 

[00:16:24] Craig: Yeah, The, the, the first three I got were, uh, Cisco certified administrator, Cisco certified advanced Administrator and VMware, VCP.

[00:16:34] Craig: And I paid for those myself. That that was a, a personal investment. I could not get a company, you know, Northern Ireland back then. It wasn't as far along on, on the tech side of things as, as where it is now, which is banging up to date. So I, I paid for those and treated it as a personal investment in me, you know?

[00:16:54] Craig: Any other guys going out to the pub? I saving the money to pay for the, the certs. I think it stood by me very well the first, the first three, having those opened doors because I didn't have the degree, but nearly all of the rest of them were purely around partner requirements, you know, to, to get pricing and discounts or.

[00:17:10] Craig: Or maintaining partnership levels. The CCNP switch exam though, that, that one I wanted for myself. Actually, I didn't have to do that. I wanted to see could I do the, the switch exam. So that was a fun one. Yeah. 

[00:17:24] Chris: You said the first three were really kind of the ones you wanted and the ones that, that did drive your career forward perhaps where Maybe open some doors.

[00:17:32] Chris: What were those first three certifications? 

[00:17:34] Craig: Uh, vcp, uh, and then, uh, Citrix Certified administrator. And Certified Advanced administrator. I haven't been so much near the Citrix side of things. Uh, I think maybe the last five, six years I've been working with Citrix teams, but I've focusing on the platform.

[00:17:50] Craig: I've built the platform for you. You put the Citrix on top, that type of thing? Yeah. Worked well. 

[00:17:56] Chris: Yeah. So now when you say platform that way, now I'm thinking of like infrastructure. Right? 

[00:18:00] Craig: Exactly. Yeah. You need to get platform to build anything on and you know it's your foundation. You know, that's, I dunno, it's just the way I think of it.

[00:18:08] Zoe: Yeah. That's how I view security. You have to have a good foundation when it comes to doing things. And it's mainly, you have to know what bloody hell you have in the environment to be able to secure it. And asset management, configuration management. These don't sound sexy, but they're so often overlooked.

[00:18:26] Zoe: So I think we're all on the same page there. Foundations, we talked a bit about the, the kind of schooling background, experience, background, the different careers. I wonder, has there ever been a situation where you were like, this is a really interesting learning experience. Maybe it was super positive, maybe it was, uh, more of a mistake and you learned from it.

[00:18:50] Zoe: But was there ever a situation that really stood out to you that you were like, Okay, this is gonna change how I, I dunno, pursue my career? I suppose. 

[00:18:57] Craig: Early days in joining, uh, Novosco that, that same role, I could always network in the sense that, you know, I knew what a VLAN was, I knew what to ask the network team for, to say, to roll out a VMware deployment for counselor, whatever.

[00:19:12] Craig: But I, I, I was never the person setting up the firewall, setting up the switches. And coming from places that had separate teams for that. You didn't get the exposure, uh, once I moved to Novosco I was given the opportunity of, you know, here's a really large network, you know, across multiple countries, you know, 150 sites.

[00:19:33] Craig: Do you want to see if you can pick up the network in there? Cause it was one of my customers that I managed other things for and I took it. It was just fantastic having, you know, a data center with 80 Cisco bits in it and you could jump through, build the maps, map it out in your head, and that did change everything.

[00:19:53] Craig: Learning, networking, changed everything. 

[00:19:56] Zoe: I, you're speaking, you're speaking a language to me. I love that. Networking was my background and it's just so brilliant. I love it. Yeah. 

[00:20:05] Craig: When you get to play technologies, you know, in full acp, Ecmp, bgp, multi-path routed stuff, you know, it's all highly available, multiple routes, taking decisions.

[00:20:13] Craig: I don't wanna go into the tech obviously on this, but it's nice to see it done Right. You know, where there's no static route anywhere, , you know, it's a proper dynamic network. Mm-hmm. , it's, it's, it's fun when you get to play with stuff like that. 

[00:20:24] Zoe: Yeah. That would be lovely. 

[00:20:26] Chris: Yeah. For sure. Well, and because I think, you know, part of that, at least to me anyway, I didn't realize it at the time, but I mean, networks are inherently distributed systems, which is just a really fun, cool area to, to get exposed to and to work in.

[00:20:38] Chris: And so I think before there was a lot of, I mean, I don't know, At least I didn't see them. I think that there's a lot more now where if you're like working as a developer or DevOps, there's a lot of roles where we're looking at, you know, systems oriented architectures and distributed systems. And, and a lot of the things that we've been doing in networking are now possible in, in, you know, in straight up like application design and things like that.

[00:20:57] Chris: But that wasn't always the case. And so I think it's, it's really interesting. There was like, you know, people working on super computers and, and universities and stuff doing distributed systems work, and then there was networkers and now it's kind of become more mainstream. I mean, we didn't call it that at the time.

[00:21:10] Chris: We didn't think about it that way, but I think that's what's fascinating about it personally. 

[00:21:13] Craig: Yeah, for sure. DevOps is the funny one. You know, it's come along and it's attracted people from both sides. You know, obviously DevOps is the bridge between developers and ops, and you've ops people upskilling on their script and going into DevOps, you know, and you have developers upskilling on.

[00:21:29] Craig: Ops, you know, somebody has to monitor this and, and maintain it, and it's produced an eclectic breed. You know, there's such variety across DevOps people, but some of the things that do, you know, small teams is phenomenal. You know, small teams. Uh, I know of, uh, cloud provider, the 44,000 ESXI hosts being managed by a team of 12.

[00:21:53] Craig: When you get people here just that capable at scale, you can do some wonders things. 

[00:21:58] Zoe: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . I guess it kind of changing the topic slightly cuz I'm very bad at staying on one topic, . My brain doesn't think in straight lines. Um, I was thinking of. Actually, everybody on this call is a tech field delegate.

[00:22:14] Zoe: Yeah. We all are. So . We all understand the value of community, but um, I'd love to hear your kind of experience as a delegate. 

[00:22:23] Craig: My experience as a delegate has been fantastic. Steven has put together, uh, such a bunch of knowledgeable, nice people, and I, I, I love I do I love going to events like that. I love being part of, you know, online communities, tech field day experience, you know, remote , obviously during covid, you know, wasn't as fun, but, but when you go over and you go to an event, you know, granted it takes you a day to get to silicon valley.

[00:22:51] Craig: But whenever you get there, it's just, it's amazing. You know, he, he does everything. You know, he, he picks you up, he brings you there, he feeds you, you know, everything doesn't cost you a penny, and you get to listen to the top teams coming from all the vendors. You get to hear the latest and greatest. You get to challenge them on what they're saying.

[00:23:10] Craig: You know, which is, which is half the fun of it. And, um, yeah. Then you get to talk about it and discuss it after with them, you know, yourselves. The private conversations are fun. It's just, it's a brilliant experience, you know, such a resource. I, I used to use Tech Field Day for research for years before I got involved.

[00:23:28] Craig: You know, I ended up getting invited in by, uh, a few, a few mentioned it to me and. It's just, it's been brilliant. Yeah, absolutely brilliant.

[00:23:37] Zoe: Yeah. I love, I love the community around it, so it's, you get to speak to the techs, like the, the actual companies. You get to speak to the actual people making those changes.

[00:23:47] Zoe: But also you get to speak to other people that are so much more impressive than me, and I don't know why I'm sat beside them, but I'm sat, sat there, like, I'm gonna learn everything from just listening to you ask questions. You know, I think that's just absolutely brilliant. That's what I love about it.

[00:24:03] Craig: Same for sure. You know, yourselves, it is a, it's a great community. It is. You can reach out and ask about anything and there'll be somebody, there'll be a tech field day delegate. They'll just be able to tell you exactly how to do it. , you know, Cause they've done it 10 times, you know, it's help each other.

[00:24:19] Craig: It's good. 

[00:24:19] Chris: It's a good, it's a really good community. Maybe you're not participating anymore, but I know you've been a part of the Veam Vanguard community and the VMware V expert community. I think it might be interesting, you know, not everyone knows what those are. Um, maybe you could give us just a little snapshot of kind of what those communities are and maybe even a little bit of like, you know, how you got involved or why you'd be involved in one of those, you know, vendor kind of based groups like that.

[00:24:43] Craig: Okay. Uh, the, the Veam Vanguards, I, I, I used to do a lot of backup systems as well. And I researched Veam got into Veam started talking to other people about Veam realized there was a bit of a community going on. Uh, became a member of the Veam user group UK. Chatting there with people. Turns out a few of those were vanguards.

[00:25:05] Craig: And uh, a couple of 'em made a recommendation for me to join the Vanguard program. Um, and there's about 60 say, worldwide Vanguards, and that was just awesome. That's another fantastic community full of brilliant people. And you know, Veam really engaged with them, you know, got us in front of the actual product developers flew out to Prague.

[00:25:26] Craig: The, you know, we got to ask go and developers whatever questions we wanted, and you got a bit of inside track knowledge as well, you know, under nda, which helped cuz you knew what was coming six, 12 months down the line. It was a nice wee advantage for an architect. Yeah, just fantastic. Uh, on the VMware side, the VMware v experts is what about 8 17, 1800?

[00:25:49] Craig: It was maybe 2000 now. And that was just VMware given recognition around community contributions in VMware. Um, obviously it had been the same and Veam, you know, writing about it and talking about Veam at events, that type of thing. So yeah, it, it's the, the extensions of companies and, and their communities that, that will cover Veeam Vanguard and FM VMware v expert.

[00:26:12] Zoe: Yeah, that point you made about, you know, you get insights before other people. I've never been part of a Veeam the Veeam community, but I am part of this, Cisco champion community. And one thing that I notice for me personally is, um, I think that there's certain things that I get out of it, but I feel like there's more I could do.

[00:26:29] Zoe: You know, there's more I could do for that connectivity and there's more I can make use of. So what would, I suppose my thoughts to you are, what kind of advice would you give somebody that's kind of in that sort of, Community to make the best use of it. 

[00:26:44] Craig: Engage with the people, the other people in that community, you are sharing that experience, engage with the people.

[00:26:51] Craig: It's all about the people. People, communities are all about the people. 

[00:26:54] Zoe: Mm-hmm. . Oh yeah, a hundred percent. Security's all about the people. It's just, we're pretty rubbish at doing that. 

[00:27:00] Craig: Being people, our security , 

[00:27:02] Zoe: we tend to blame people instead of, you know, saying, Oh, what do you need? Let me make your life easier.

[00:27:08] Zoe: We tend to say, You're not listening to me, so I'll take that one 

[00:27:13] Chris: if that's cuz they're not listening to you. 

[00:27:16] Zoe: No, but I feel like if they're not listening to me, that means I've failed along the route because I've clearly not listened to requirements per play. But, uh, but no, I like that community is the most important.

[00:27:27] Zoe: I think humans in general, we need community. We need collaboration. Um, and if we want to be effective, we've gotta bloody listen. 

[00:27:35] Chris: All right, That's a great note. But I'm afraid that's, uh, about all the time we have today. 

[00:27:41] Chris: Thanks for joining us, Craig, and for sharing your story with the Imposter Syndrome .Network. Much appreciated. 

[00:27:45] Chris: To everyone out there listening. We know that your time and attention are the most valuable things that you have, and we really, really appreciate you spending them with us. Thank you. Don't forget to subscribe so you can catch the next episode when it comes out on Tuesday. And uh, if you haven't already, please feel free to join us on LinkedIn. We have a group for conversations about all things related to our careers and lives in technology. 

[00:28:08] Chris: But Craig, before we go, I do have one more question. If you could look back over, you know, the past couple of decades, what would you change about your career so far? If you could. 

[00:28:19] Craig: Learned networking sooner.

[00:28:21] Craig: Yeah, learning networking sooner. Um, it, it adds a whole other dimension to, to everything you're doing in IT. 

[00:28:29] Chris: I love it. I mean, my background is as a network engineer, so, uh, I'll take that one as a personal win. Uh, but yeah, I think networking is pretty fundamental to everything we build on top of it, so it makes a lot of sense to me as well.

[00:28:38] Chris: Yeah. Are there any projects you're working on or involved in that the network should be aware of? 

[00:28:46] Craig: Yeah, I, I do some, I'll do some writing work if, uh, if you do, if you Google me, uh, I'm trying to build upon some of the great connections made through Tech Field Day and work with other companies to help them launch products, you know, um, raise awareness and services, that type of thing.

[00:29:03] Craig: So yeah, anything around the creative writing. Yeah, it's exciting.

[00:29:09] Chris: Cool. How can folks connect with you, like Twitter, handle LinkedIn? Where's the best place to come and find? Uh Craig. 

[00:29:15] Craig: I'm at Craig Rogers MS on Twitter. My blog is Craig Rogers dot Co dot UK, and you can find me on LinkedIn as Craig Rogers.

[00:29:26] Chris: Awesome. We will add links to the show notes so folks can find those things easily, and we'll be back next week.