No Man is an Island

The phrase “No man is an island” is attributed to John Donne, an English poet who lived in the late 1500s and early 1600s. The phrase comes from his Meditation XVII, and was borrowed later by Thomas Merton to become the title of a book he published in 1955. In both cases, the phrase is used to discuss the interconnected nature of humanity and mankind. (Side note: the phrase “for whom the bell tolls” comes from the same origin.)

What does this have to do with IT? That’s a good question. As I was preparing to start the day today, I took some time to reflect upon my career; specifically, the individuals that have been placed in my life and career. I think all people are prone to overlook the contributions that others have played in their own successes, but I think that IT professionals may be a bit more affected in this way. (I freely admit that, having spent my entire career as an IT professional, my view may be skewed.) So, in the spirit of recognizing that no man is an island—meaning that who we are and what we accomplish are intricately intertwined with those around us—I wanted to take a moment and express my thanks and appreciation for a few folks who have helped contribute to my success.

So, who has helped contribute to my achievements? The full list is too long to publish, but here are a few notables that I wanted to call out (in no particular order):

  • Chad Sakac took the opportunity to write the book that would become Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and gave it to me instead. (If you aren’t familiar with that story, read this.)
  • My wife, Crystal, is just awesome—she has enabled and empowered me in many, many ways. ‘Nuff said.
  • Forbes Guthrie allowed me to join him in writing VMware vSphere Design (as well as the 2nd edition), has been a great contributor to the Mastering VMware vSphere series, and has been a fabulous co-presenter at the last couple VMworld conferences.
  • Chris McCain (who recently joined VMware and has some great stuff in store—stay tuned!) wrote Mastering VMware Infrastructure 3, the book that I would revise to become Mastering VMware vSphere 4.
  • Andy Sholomon, formerly with Cisco and now with VCE, was kind enough to provide some infrastructure for me to use when writing Mastering VMware vSphere 5. Without it, writing the book would have been much more difficult.
  • Rick Scherer, Duncan Epping, and Jason Boche all served as technical editors for various books that I’ve written; their contributions and efforts helped make those books better.

To all of you: thank you.

The list could go on and on and on; if I didn’t expressly call your name out, please don’t feel bad. My point, though, is this: have you taken the time recently to thank others in your life that have contributed to your success?

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  1. Matt Vogt’s avatar

    Well put, Scott. I’ve been reflecting a lot over the past few weeks on the same thoughts. I 100% would not be where I am today without the community. It’s inspiring.

  2. Will Huber’s avatar

    Scott,

    The community as a whole, and me personally for sure have to thank YOU and all the others you called out above for making us successful as IT pros. Your contributions to the community through books, blogs, presentations, etc. got me started with VMware technology and your success and example inspired me to be one of the best and to go down the VCDX journey.

    So thank YOU for being awesome. Probably without even knowing it you’ve had a huge impact on my career.

    Will

  3. slowe’s avatar

    Will, I appreciate that, but I’m happy giving back to the community and helping others. It is good to hear that I’ve helped you in some way!

  4. Arun Raju’s avatar

    Well, my VCAP5-DCD cert is dedicated to folks like you, Duncan Epping, Paul McSharry, Frank Denneman, David Davis and last but not the least, Jason Nash.

  5. Duncan’s avatar

    Thanks for the mention and a big fat +1

  6. slowe’s avatar

    Duncan, no need to thank me, I’m merely giving credit where credit is due. Thank you for all your great work as a technical editor!

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