Jim Jones is coming to Cloud Field Day 8! This will be his first time as a delegate. I know, I’m shocked too! Jim is the Geek of Many Hats living in West Virginia, aka, the Mountain State. Speaking of, have you been to West Virginia? You should go and whitewater raft some class V rapids!
Jim is a Cisco Champion, Veeam Vanguard, and VMware vExpert. In addition, his certifications include VCP-DCV, VMCE, and CCNAs in Routing & Switching and Datacenter.
What are you most excited about seeing at Cloud Field Day?
I’ve long wanted to be a Tech Field Day delegate, so for the most part I’m just excited to be part of CFD8. I’m excited to see what technologies this great group of vendors are presenting and to work with the tech community to find out more information about them.
How did you get into technology and IT?
A long time ago in a galaxy far away, I was a college kid who had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but thought architecture sounded fun. To go into architecture would require me to transfer universities, and frankly, I was told I need to get my grades up a bit to be allowed to enter the program. I’d always been decent at playing around with computers and electronics, so I started in the first semester of the Cisco Networking Academy at Marshall University. About the time that I managed to fully figure out subnet masking, I realized that this is what I wanted to do with my life and it’s been very good to me so far.
Can you tell us a little about your current role?
I am currently a Sr. Cloud Architect at OffsiteDataSync, a J2 Global Business. In this role, I work both internally on R&D projects and externally with our customers to develop and power Disaster Recovery and IaaS solutions for our customers, using predominantly Veeam, VMware, and Zerto solutions. The fact that I’ve ultimately become an architect, albeit of a different type, is not lost on me.
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
With both my career and my life in general, I like to solve problems and practice continuous improvement.
What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
I’ve really been ramping up my automation skills and practices in 2020. Lots of scripting, especially around Veeam’s APIs for automated report generation and I’m currently working on some secret sauce to automate datacenter builds for my organization.
What are your biggest challenges?
My biggest challenge in being an IT professional is reigning in my scope to make staying current feasible. I’ve worked in the SMB side of the industry throughout my career which has required me to wear many, if not all, of the IT hats. Trying to stay up to speed with what’s new in the industry is almost impossible at that level and I have a great appreciation for communities and organizations such as Gesalt IT and vBrownBag for providing insight on this information for so long.
Where do you see IT going in the next 3-5 years?
I personally think the biggest thing we are going to see in IT over the next few years is more balancing of the hybrid IT pendulum. We’ve swung to all cloud native, back to some on premises focus, and now I think we are going to fully wrap our minds around the fact that our IT infrastructure is going to be everywhere, all at once, with workloads running where they make the most sense.
What was your first computer? What was great about it? What is your go-to computer now?
I was lucky to grow up in a household with parents who bought into the power of the personal computer pretty early, so my first computer was a Tandy TRS-80 which the family shared. I was about 11 or 12. I remember its primary storage was cassette tape and we had it hooked up to a black and white TV as a display.
These days I tend towards portability. I try to mostly split-brain myself with a SurfacePro 7 as my daily driver for work tasks and then an iPad Pro for personal life and blogging.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
For the most part, I think I manage work/life balance fairly well. I am lucky to work for an organization that is work-from-home friendly but still expects you to take care of you. I’m careful to end my day at a normal(ish) time each day.
If you weren’t working in IT, what would you be doing instead?
Probably writing about it or something else, I’m lucky that my career is also in large part my hobby.
Speaking of hobbies, do you have any?
In my spare time, first and foremost, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 8-year-old daughter. Besides that, especially in the summers, we camp most weekends. Then in the fall and winter, we are big into football and basketball, especially games for my alma mater, Marshall University.
Who inspires you?
I don’t know if it is so much who inspires me but the reason for what I do is my wife, Tracy, and daughter, Teagan. I consistently want to do my very best in everything I do so that they can see that I’m all in.
As a child, what did you want to do when you “grew up”?
This is pretty funny, but here in the Charleston, WV area, growing up, we had a daily cartoon show called Mr. Cartoon. Pretty much every group you could be a part of (Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Baseball Teams, etc) would be guests of the show. On 2 occasions, I was there and was chosen to be asked the standard set of questions from Mr. Cartoon; including “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. On those occasions, I answered once a race car driver and the other a weirdo much to my mother’s dismay. It’s nice that I’ve moved on from those goals (or not, depending on your point of view with the latter).
If you won the lottery and could retire, what would you do with your time?
Sit on an island beach, sipping fruity drinks, reading books, binging shows, and watching the world go by.
That’s a GREAT way to retire! Let’s all win the lottery and retire after Cloud Field Day 8, which is happening July 15-17, 2020. Mark your calendars, so you can catch the presentations live!
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Dr. Avril Salter - July 16, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Kyle Jenner - July 14, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Lariana Luy - July 14, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Calvin Hendryx-Parker - July 13, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Andy Thurai - July 13, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – John Deegan - July 9, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Neil Anderson - July 7, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Jim Jones - July 2, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Tony Bradley - May 14, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Pieter-Jan Nefkens - May 6, 2020