Transition and Transformation: How Getting Nutanix Certified Enhanced My Career in IT
There are some people who learn as a means to an end. Whether their goal is to pass an exam or to deliver an effective presentation, once they learn enough to accomplish their goal, they quit studying and move on.
Then there are the lifelong learners, the people who constantly strive for improvement and self-actualization. These people treat education as a gift and are eager to absorb new knowledge whenever the opportunity presents itself. They are also keen to share their learning experiences with others.
I am a lifelong learner. My commitment to learning has served me well over the years, and it’s made a big difference for me personally, as well as for my career in IT.
Planting the Seeds for a Lifelong Career
I was a gardener before I started working with IT, and my boss (at the time) decided to replace his daughter's computer. He asked me if I wanted the old computer, and I said yes immediately. Even though I didn’t have any computer skills, I knew I could figure it out. A month later, I used all my salary to pay for IT courses.
I eventually became a volunteer computer teacher, and the program coordinator gave me the opportunity to interview for a role at a large multinational corporation. I was still new to the industry, and I didn’t pass the practical tests. Despite the negative result, the company gave me an opportunity to join the team and learn on the job. After one year I won the highlight of the year award and that was nine years of great learning and dedication.
In 2014, I started a new chapter as a contractor for TechnipFMC. TechnipFMC is a global leader in the energy industry, operating primarily in three key business segments: Subsea, Surface Technologies, and Energies. I eventually became a full-time IT analyst at TechnipFMC, and I’ve been here for the past five years. Today, it’s my responsibility and pleasure to manage Nutanix, VMware, SCCM, and Windows Server (AD, GPO, Fileserver, etc.).
The Role Shift That Changed Everything
About a year ago, my team underwent a reorganization. I was invited to join a new team, which was an exciting new opportunity—but it also made me a little nervous. I was good at my existing role and had been commended for my work on my existing team, but I wasn’t familiar with any of the tools regularly used by the new team.
My transition was complicated, and I felt doubts and insecurity throughout the process. The whole process took about six months, and in the span of those six months, I went from working with a variety of solutions to working solely with Nutanix. About 80% of that work is using the system in an administrative capacity.
I initially struggled to see how I could make a difference on my new team when I wasn’t familiar with their technology at all. There are only six of us, and if I wasn’t carrying my load, the others would be greatly affected. I also wondered whether this change would positively add to my career or professional development.
During team meetings, most of the discussions centered around Nutanix—which made sense as it was the dominant technology used by the group. At first, I didn’t speak much in meetings. I wanted to absorb as much information as I could, but I didn’t have the knowledge to contribute. On top of that, English is not my first language, and the language barrier was a big deal when it came to picking up new information. I consistently felt lost and regularly found myself thinking, “What am I doing here?”
Despite these challenges, I wanted to seize this opportunity to learn something new and contribute to my new team in a big way. And it turned out that the answer I needed came from Nutanix itself.
Pursuing Possibilities and Learning New Languages
Seeing Nutanix at work opened my eyes to possibilities I’d never imagined. I wanted to be able to use and understand it to the best of my ability. So, even though it wasn’t mandatory, I decided to pursue two certifications within the first month of joining my new team: Nutanix Certified Professional (NCP) and Nutanix Certified Advanced Professional (NCAP).
Nutanix has a portal dedicated to independent learning, called . It offers increasingly difficult courses, with tiered titles according to your level of knowledge. The NCP certification, now known as Nutanix Certified Professional–Multicloud Infrastructure (NCP–MCI), ensures users can demonstrate the skills and knowledge to manage Nutanix AOS nodes, blocks, and clusters in the data center. It validates the learner’s ability to deploy, administer, and troubleshoot Nutanix AOS, which means you need to prove the mastery of key concepts from VM management to lifecycle operations.
The next level up is the NCAP certification, which is now known as the Nutanix Certified Master–Multicloud Infrastructure (NCM–MCI). The NCM-MCI measures your ability to perform more complex administrative tasks on a Nutanix cluster. It also ensures you know how to optimize both virtualized workloads and infrastructure components in an AOS deployment.
The entire certification process required self-driven study. As the Nutanix technology was already implemented in our environment, there was no broader training available. All training sessions were located and conducted through the Nutanix portal. I know that to succeed in life, we need to strive beyond what we think we’re capable of. There is no victory without a fight, and when you reach your goal, every moment becomes worth it.
A Guiding Hand
In addition to pursuing my certifications, I also decided to ask other team members for help. I began to notice that one analyst knew all the answers. Everyone looked to him for advice, and it was clear that he knew Nutanix inside and out. So I asked him a simple question: "Can you teach me?" Just like that, I gained a Nutanix mentor.
While I continued to study for the certifications, I was challenged by my mentor to complete an entire upgrade process in Nutanix. I accepted the challenge, completed the upgrade, and created the procedure for the team.
Two days later, I received a gift voucher along with an incentive to study more and further apply my newfound knowledge to my daily routines. Sometimes, all it takes is one person to believe in you to help you keep your motivation. I have Ricardo Mesquita to thank for believing in my potential.
It took me about two months to go through these comprehensive Nutanix certification courses. When I finally received my certifications, it became a source of pride for both myself and my entire team.
Developing a Deeper Understanding of Nutanix
Thanks to Nutanix University, I have a broader and deeper knowledge of Nutanix technology. I’m making a difference in improving our IT environment, and I contribute so much more to my team. I’m no longer silent in meetings; I now have more opportunities to collaborate with colleagues on various projects and I can better identify opportunities to improve our network. I genuinely feel I’m a more integrated professional within the team.
My goal is to specialize entirely in Nutanix technology, so it’s critical that I understand its inner workings and explain it to others. This is particularly helpful when it comes to following discussions and contributing to conversations in , which is Nutanix’s customer influencer portal.
I love Xtribe because there’s always so much to learn about Nutanix and how other users are utilizing the platform. Nutanix is also constantly evolving, so Xtribe helps me stay informed on new features and developments. I open Xtribe every day.
Keeping up to date with the latest technology is important for me personally, but it’s also important for all IT professionals. Our industry is constantly shifting and evolving, and if you don’t keep up with the changes, you will fall behind—maybe even permanently. If that happens, it’s not just your career that suffers, but your users will be disadvantaged as well. They rely on us to support them by understanding the systems they’re using and how they’re using them.
The Professional Is Personal
I was driven to pursue professional development because I could see the potential return on my investment. It turned out to be a personal transformation as well. At 34 years old, I am no longer a teenager, and I cannot stop time, but I’ve proven that I can still study and learn more and more—and still have so far to go!
The good news is that the Nutanix support team is excellent. When I open a case, I’m always impressed with the level of insight and guidance the team provides. They often send me tips or tricks, which I can then use to level up my skills.
When you commit to lifelong learning, upskilling and reskilling isn’t a chore; it’s a privilege. Having gone through this experience, I’m much more confident in not only my management capabilities but also in myself. I went from being unknown to being a valuable member of my new team.
Professional growth is a journey. IT is constantly evolving, and your growth is your responsibility. Just like a garden, it’s important to nurture your growth and get support from the right mentors and community so that you can reap the rewards that come your way.