Vladan Seget is the man behind the very successful ESX Virtualization site. As a hands-on IT admin for 20 years, and an IT blogger since 2008, Vladan has a wealth of experience which he shares freely online.
Chances are if you read about virtualization online then you’ve come across Vladan’s site before, so we’re delighted to be able to put some questions to him and read more about his fascinating life.
How would you describe your background? Could you also talk about where you live as well, because we don't know many people who ended up on Reunion Island!
In fact, the whole of my life I’ve been on the move. I left the Czech Republic in 91 after the velvet revolution, to work in an American company. We travelled across Europe, South America, South Africa for the next 7 years.
And now it’s not so different. I’ve already said goodbye to Reunion Island, after 17 years there, during which we explored the near and far regions such as Mauritius, Rodrigues, Seychelles or Australia. Now it’s time to explore France further, because I’m half Czech and half French. It’s a welcome return to continental Europe and a summer time change!
As for IT, I came to it quite late, but it was always my passion and I was always playing with computers. It was only when I settled in France back in the late 90s, that I went back to school to get some qualifications to prove my computer skills. Since then OS, application, networks and then virtualization have always been my passion. Virtualization led to technical writing for my blog, which took over after 15 years in the IT industry as a systems engineer/virtualization admin.
Thanks for introducing yourself. Now let's dig into your work and passion, what’s the most exciting part of your job?
Nowadays I’m more or less working as a technical writer. Over the years while writing on ESX Virtualization I learned a lot about SEO, keywords and ranking or demand generation, so those form the largest part of the everyday tasks I do. Either I write for my own blog or for the blogs of my clients. I still keep in touch with the latest technology and trends, but less as a production environment where I was personally in charge of the maintenance and updates. The good part is that I can work from home, remotely. So, I don’t have to waste any time travelling to my workplace. The bad part is that there are tons of distractions, so one has to still maintain focus on the day’s goal, which is usually to finish an article.
You run a website that is a great source of relevant technology news for so many people. How do you keep yourself up to date about current and future technology trends? What would be your top 3 recommendations for our readers?
The first reason for me to start a blog a while ago, was the desire to have my own space. Not something that belonged to Facebook, Linkedin or Youtube. Even though I use social media for sharing my articles, having something that belongs to me, makes me proud as a creator, as a builder.
Keeping updated on technology has never been easier. Back in the day, there were only a couple of bloggers and people sharing what they do and how they do it. Today, you have tons of YouTube videos for free, you have VMware Hands on Labs where you can explore and play with new products without even having your own lab. So, it’s up to you what you want to learn or discover, whether that’s a technology or product.
This leads me to my next recommendation, and it is a lab. While it is not mandatory to have a physical lab any more, I’d still recommend having one (if you can). I currently have a “beefed up” PC with a 16core AMD CPU and 64GB of RAM allowing me to spin a small VMware cluster and work as I would in front of a physical lab. I’m using VMware Workstation Pro with a license provided by the VMware vExpert program that I’m still part of.
What kinds of challenges do you face, specifically related to Technical Writing and readers’ varied levels of understanding?
In the past I had some guidance from other bloggers. For example, when I follow a blog article where the author uses poor quality images, which you can’t make bigger, or the article isn’t clear enough for the beginner’s level. This gave me the idea to shoot top quality screenshots with the right details, where I put arrows or highlight particular areas so it’s visible straight away. It’s particularly important to have good quality images because “an image says a thousand words”.
That’s also why some of my articles are perhaps “too simple” for the experienced admins. But they are not difficult to understand for newbies or for those just starting with the technology.
Many times, I was surprised when I wrote a quality article, but the technical level was too high and the views were very low. And another time I wrote a “poor” technical article (in my eyes) but got shared and retweeted on social media and is now trending high on Google SERPs.
So, at the end, you are never sure about the success of your article ahead of time. All you can do is to optimize your keywords, SEO your images as well as your titles, sub-titles and the whole structure of a post and then cross your fingers.
I like one of your statements where you said “Learning every day scares you? That’s a necessity.” What skills do you think are necessary for your job and how do you deal with being scared?
At the end of the day, it seems that virtualization technology as such, has matured. Some of the changes to storage are quite amazing, with the speed and number of IOPs we have. This was a dream when you think, just a couple of years back we had physical spinning disks.
But the bases are the same, such as high availability, vMotion etc.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working or playing with technology?
We do some hiking, travel around with our trailer on discovering Europe, or simply enjoy life. If some day I settle down somewhere, I might grow some organic vegetables.
Thanks for having me -😊.