Practitioner Marketing Meet the Practitioner: Vince “IT With a Purpose” Power
Have you ever read a technical blog post and wondered how a developer – a DevOps practitioner – made their way into writing? Are you curious about the backgrounds, inspiration and motivations of practitioners churning out blogs?
For us, it’s simple. We know by experience that our practitioners come from diverse backgrounds. Not every developer wants to write about their work (unless it is code in GitHub). There’s certainly a fear that comes with putting one’s voice out into the world. The DevOps practitioner who is also interested in technical writing, intrigues us. They define our concept of practitioner marketing. So we want to share our practitioners’ stories.
With that, I’d like to introduce you to Vince Power — an IT architect, integration expert, writer, and passionate technologist who wants to help others learn from his experience (including his mistakes). His focus is on cloud adoption and technology planning in key areas like core computing (IaaS), identity and access management, application platforms (PaaS), and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD).
Tell me about yourself. Your name, where you live, where you are from, your job/company, your area(s) of expertise.
I’m a consultant based in Atlantic, New Brunswick, Canada (just north of Maine) doing contract work. I’m also from there. Right now I’m in a contract for Red Hat. My areas of expertise are in everything around the development world. I’ve done work with other companies and integration work. I can develop. I’m not a developer, but I do everything around development. My role is to make people’s IT world easier. As a practitioner, I have an SRE or DevOps role — I’ve been doing that since before it was called that. I started in IT in 1997. I had to do everything from plugging it into the wall, to deploying and troubleshooting.
What motivated you to work in IT?
It’s just the area that makes sense to me. I’ve been on the Internet since before there were pictures of the Internet, so it’s just always been what I do.
What motivated you to start writing about integration?
I like helping people learn. I‘ve had roles like senior enterprise architect at fairly large companies. I like new things, I learn easily, and I like helping to make things useful and get people up and running [with those new things]. I can do the day-to-day maintenance stuff. Technical writing was outside my comfort zone, so it seemed like a good thing.
How did you find out about Fixate?
Through another contributor. He worked for a consulting firm where I worked. He said, “Hey, you should do this.” I said, “That sounds like fun.” Now he’s a marketing manager in Canada at Juniper. I’ve been technical writer for Fixate for two years.
Why do you write for Fixate?
There’s always a topic that is interesting. And it gives me something to do besides my day job. The money is fun money. It lets me buy the tech that I can play with and write articles about.
Can you point to something meaningful that has happened for you personally or professionally as a result of writing for Fixate?
Fixate has a knack for picking clients that show up where I work, so it helps me seem “bleeding edge” compared to my coworkers. Twistlock and CodeFresh show up in conversations with partners — and my customer, I know them, because I’ve researched them for Fixate articles. It’s also nice at trade shows. I recognize these companies that Fixate works with when they come up with other big people. It’s kind of like getting paid to do research for my day job.
What interests you in a Fixate writing project?
Sometimes it’s something I haven’t touched at all, and it makes me dive into the environment so I can write the article. Or sometimes it’s something like security, because I have a lot of experience in the area. I like to help people not make the same mistakes I’ve made (and spend months fixing them).
How do you stay current yourself in terms of your profession?
Besides as a technical writer for Fixate? I’m always reading — everything from TechCrunch and Crunchbase. I’m on LinkedIn all the time finding industry trends and things.
What new technology are you most interested in or learning about right now?
The area I’m spending most of my time on right now is integration, whether it’s voice integration or system integration. How to make them talk. Or when you integrate the two systems, making sure they have the same compliance, all that kind of stuff.
What have you written that you are most proud of and why?
I don’t know. I can’t think of anything that I’m most proud of compared to something else I’ve written. It’s always cool when one of the Chrises (Chris Tozzi, Fixate IO Senior Editor and Chris Riley, Fixate IO Analyst and Co-Founder), says something I wrote was well-written. But, I don’t necessarily keep track of the articles that I write.
Anything else that you want to put out there or want to share?
I can’t really think of anything. I just like using technology and doing all this stuff that helps people do their thing, which is why it is cool. I used to buy technology because it was shiny, and then it sat on a shelf. Now, everything is for a purpose. Right?
Vince has used his love of all things IT to be the developer enabler. He knows how to develop, but prefers to create the architecture that helps developers create and launch. He is passionate about integration. Like other Fixate practitioners, he uses writing as motivation for a disciplined approach to the continuous study of technology. Underlying Vince’s expertise is an admirable humility and generosity that inspires him to be a lifelong learner — one who is always ready to share his knowledge and help out his professional community.