note: header image shameless stolen from XKCD. Credit where credit is due
Once upon a time - as any good story is supposed to begin - people were working in IT. They were doing the same thing as you would in any other job, except with more computers and extremely liberal dispensement of coffee. At some point however, people working in IT diverged from what most people would call a normal job. And this is where our story begins..
About 15 years ago, I started working in IT. First as a SMB sysadmin, then moving towards the University as a linux operator, onto more senior operations roles and project based work, and then into consultancy.
I've been in the consultancy game for a while now, and as you go along you pick up contacts and meet people. Earlier this week i was talking to someone who was in consultancy as well, but in a completely different (non-tech related) branch. And during that conversation a thought just struck me; The uniqueness that is the social community built around IT and tech. Not just the VMware community, or the vExpert community, or any specific vendor's social media marketing machine - the greater tech community as a whole.
Over the last years i've met a ton of people through work and community related events, but an even larger amount of people i've talked to i've not met yet, and most likely the majority of the people i've talked to i'll most likely never meet. Still, despite being thousands of miles apart, i've had intense communications with digital avatars representing actual live people on Twitter, IRC, Slack, LinkedIn, phone, email, you name it. I've helped - and been helped by - other people troubleshooting some obscure issues, presented webexes about some subject i'm passionate about, been supported by people i've only talked to over email with my VCDX certification, did reviews of other people's VCDX designs and mentoring over email or phone, and communicated with a far greater amount of people than i would have in any other job.
And it doesn't just stop with your primary specialisation or job description. I've had twitter chats with people in completely different fields about a variety of subjects, from software development to IOT to home automation. We've even had a splitoff from the vExpert Slack community to form our own Slack centered around politics. The people in there are absolutely amazing, and i'd say i know them as well as i would most people i've actually met, even though they're 8000 miles away, and 12 hours behind so we've got a completely mirrored day-night schedule.
I've had help from so many people in the tech community, and learned more than i would've ever done by myself. So for that, thank you all for being such an amazing group of people from all professions and walks of life.
But as most stories actually have to end, i'd like to leave you with the closing thought that - even though sometimes we take these kind of things for granted - the technical community as a whole is truly unique and one of its kind. Everyone is willing to help eachother out, and we are all doing it for free, as everyone helping others out makes the community stronger as a whole I don't think there are a lot of job profiles where you get to communicate with people around the world, both for work-related as well as personal subjects, and for me personally it's one of the major factors of what makes tech so much fun for me.