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Is the Field CTO the evolved final form of the Evangelist? And just how does an off-the-grid sabbatical change your perspective? We ask these questions and more as we talk with Nick Howell, who reflects back on his previous adventures as a technical marketing engineer and new journeys as a podcaster, blogger, and voice over performer. Some of what …
 
How does a geek move into the business, and how many steps does it take to get there? This week we talk with Ed Saipetch, Office of the CTO for IBM’s Bluemix private cloud. Co-host of the Speaking in Tech podcast What does Ed do? Office of the CTO’s role in the organization direct reports and metrics (or not) Ed started as an IT pro in a newspaper …
 
Too much social media kills the golden goose? That’s our topic this week as we discuss a recent article in the New York Times. Our intrepid Geek Whisperers discussed this article from Cal Newport, Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend On It. A couple of points that we make: Yes, you can overdo it. Yes, it is not an end in itself – just being on…
 
How do you start a podcast? We get asked about that a lot. This week our guest is Cecelia Taylor, social media manager for 8×8, who asked us just that. We start with follow-up from Episode 117 — talking about Prescribed Tweets. “Brands cannot scale,” says Cecelia. She thinks even marketers need a little help composing tweets and social media update…
 
What is the value of a technical certification? How do you make the time to get one? We talk with Gregg Robertson, who recently earned the prestigious VCDX certification. This podcast was recorded live at VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas. VCDX stands for VMware Certified Design Expert, and is VMware’s highest-level certification. There are at the time of …
 
Dom Delfino is not shy about sharing his opinions. Now the VP of Worldwide Sales and Systems Engineering for VMware, Dom joined us live at VMworld 2016 to talk about leadership. We touched on assertiveness, building trust, picking your battles, and delegation. We had a good time. Previously on the Geek Whisperers: Be Great Right Now – Episode 85 In…
 
This week Sarah Vela tells us about bringing skills to the table at work, and knowing when to make a change. Sarah’s day job is in social media at Dell, and her recent non-day gig was as a co-host of Speaking in Tech, a role which she recently relinquished. Sarah talked about her social media gig at Dell, how she’s been weaving more video into it. …
 
In a throwback episode to our social media origins, your Geek Whisperers take on one of our origin stories: the prescribed tweet. Prescribed tweets are a method of sharing prewritten content that a colleague (most often marketing) requests you send (most often verbatim). Cons: Duplicate tweets on the same hashtag looks inauthentic Harms your own br…
 
In which we ask the existential question: which would you rather have: an annual performance evaluation, a root canal, or a colonoscopy. Only The Geek Whisperers are brave enough to tackle this kind of cutting-edge question! Our guest is Srinivas Krishnamurti, and on this podcast we try to figure out why the performance evaluation process is so bro…
 
Jill Jubinski is technical recruiting done right. We talk with Jill, Technical Community Evangelist for IBM’s Blue Box. We discuss how she talks to people as people and turns that into value for companies and recruits alike. We get into: Recruiter-ish — she lives outside of the HR org chart Reports up to the office of the CTO (sitting with Evangeli…
 
When is being an evangelist not the right thing to get the job done? This week we talk with Vaughn Stewart about the implications of a title like Chief Evangelist, and why he changed roles (and titles) to VP, Enterprise Architect at Pure Storage instead. Vaughn was a de facto and de jure evangelist in roles in the past, but always secondary to his …
 
This week we recap our VMware User Group experience, where we talked with VMUG attendees about their careers and how to take the next step. This podcast was recorded directly after the Silicon Valley VMUG on April 12, 2016. We had a line throughout the day of people who were interested in career consults. We’re grateful for the opportunity and we l…
 
The Geek Whisperers will be appearing at the Silicon Valley VMUG tomorrow, Tuesday, April 12, 2016 in Santa Clara. In this episode, we talk about what’s going to happen, how we got started talking about geek stories, and as always, Things We’d Never Do Again. Silicon Valley VMUG site and agenda Amy Lewis is moderating a Tech Pioneers panel during t…
 
Glenn Pitchford is an IT director at a small nonprofit. We talked to Glenn at the SpiceWorld 2015 conference in Austin. Glenn talks about mentoring, being a trusted advisor to the business, and living the dream with a career in IT. Some of Glenn’s advice: Don’t get stuck in technology and understand the business. Being able to look beyond the IT de…
 
It’s the end of the year, and as things slow down and the holiday season ramps up, your Geek Whisperers gather an open fire to roast some chestnuts and talk about the year past and what we’re grateful for. Some links: Matt has a new gig with Intel and a new open source telemetry project. The 30 Days of Commitmas 2015 is still going strong. John’s n…
 
We talk about making the rest of your life work well when the work part of your life is busy as we interview Nigel and Heather Hickey. This is another live interview from SpiceWorld 2015 in Austin, TX. Heather’s current job takes her on the road, and Nigel’s IT job does not, so he takes holds down the fort taking care of the house, 4 kids, and 2 do…
 
Audio on this one is pretty terrible, but it’s worth turning up the volume. What is the next job move when you co-found a company that’s grown to be a huge success? You have the option to stay and the option to transition out. This happened to Scott Abel, CSO of Spiceworks, who we talked to this week on the Geek Whisperers. This interview was recor…
 
This week we talk with the mind behind #CloudMinds: Amy Hermes, program director of this IBM program. #CloudMinds is a program that brings together cloud thought leaders, both online and offline, to do that smart thing when smart people talk to each other. In this episode, we talk about What is marketing, anyway? And marketing vs influence marketin…
 
This week we had channels and platforms on the mind. No guests, just the three Geek Whisperers talking social media channels and platforms. Are private channels replacing public ones? Do podcasts replace blogs? Does Slack replace Twitter? Listen on. Are private channels replacing public ones? Sometimes, you can’t say what you need to say in public.…
 
The Field CTO is a title that we see more often these days, but what does a CTO actually do? Michael Letschin, Field CTO at Nexenta Systems, tells us what the role entails. Mike was the Director of Product Management at Nexenta, so he had the product knowledge already. But he had also been a consultant and sales engineer in the past, so he has the …
 
This week it’s all about us as the Geek Whisperers do a status check on their own careers. One thing that stuck out is that we are all doing more face-to-face events these days. Social media, which is where we all got our start, is still there, but it’s implied as a tool we all use. Matt is spending his days talking to, teaching, and learning from …
 
Sales engineers are a self-admitted strange breed. They’re technical, yet they make their living working with people. What makes them tick? Is this a job for you? This week we talk with Dom Delfino, VP of Worldwide Systems Engineering for Networking and Security at VMware. The SE is the conscience of the sales force. (Or the jockeys of the sales fo…
 
This week we talk about listening to your customers and using that to figure out what your job should be. Three years into her job as Director of Technical Publications, Rachel Perkins,gave a full year’s notice that she was going to quit. Now, almost eight years in at the same company, she’s the Senior Director of Community. She doesn’t have a job …
 
What do you do when you know something is important for your company, but your management doesn’t agree? For our guest Jeffrey Snover, building PowerShell was so important he took a demotion at Microsoft to do it. Now PowerShell is arguably one of the most powerful and effective tools to empower administrators across IT using tech from Microsoft to…
 
How do you end up as a VP and Security CTO at Juniper? Chris Hoff doesn’t know, but there he is. This week we talk with @Beaker about hackers, faking an aneurysm, building compelling presentations, and finding what you’re passionate about. “Hey, hey, hey, hey-now. Don’t be mean; we don’t have to be mean, cuz, remember, no matter where you go, there…
 
This week we bite off perhaps more than we can chew, but we go ahead masticate anyway on the topic of social tools and authentic engagement until it turns into something tasty. Can you use new social tools and stay authentic? What implicit and explicit expectations are there with different social channels? How do you keep up a relationship with tho…
 
Josh in his podcasting lair Josh Atwell is a man with a plan. We talk with Josh about agile career development and the way Josh navigated the steps in his career from an undergraduate in aerospace engineering to an enterprise architect, and what he has mapped out for the future Picking your goals Choosing your path Navigating your path Little Josh …
 
Nick Weaver has a full stack beard Nick Weaver is the Director, SDI Labs at Intel. He has written a lot of demos in his time. How did he get from IT geek to exploring cloud management and automation for Intel? Nick is so awesome our show notes can only consist of transcripts of things he said on the podcast: 2:01 You make dumb decisions and then yo…
 
Jonas Rosland, Developer Evangelist How do you get developers interested in your product? This week we talk with Jonas Rosland, a developer advocate for EMC’s new CODE group. Listening vs Talking How does working with Developer differ from working with Sysadmins? Why are developers “weird” if you’ve been talking with Sysadmins? Emphasizing creativi…
 
Shaggy Dave McCroryCorporate Dave McCrory This week we talk with serial entrepreneur and alpha geek Dave McCrory, CTO of Basho. We talk about his career, transparent management, being a leader, and keeping up with new things at any age or level. Basho makes a distributed No SQL database, which we don’t talk about at all in this podcast. Disclaimer:…
 
Big company, small company – does it matter when you’re trying to sway people with community and influence marketing? Since influence is earned, does it really matter if you work for a giant church of technology or a small startup? Will people drive miles for the best chai? John says that he had a harder time getting people to pay attention when he…
 
Is your Employee Ambassador Program just creating a Clone Army? What expectations do companies have about their employees participating in social media? Has it changed from ‘tacitly allowed’ to ‘mandatory’? This week, it’s just the three Geek Whisperers, and we discuss employee ambassador programs, social media training, and “Expectations for Emplo…
 
Whitney Carnes This week we talk with Whitney Carnes about how IT departments can connect with their users and about running a managed service provider that works with small business. Whitney is the president of Serenity Computer Consulting, an MSP in Dallas and Atlanta. Recorded live at SpiceWorld in Austin. Thinking about your users – overcoming …
 
Matt Simmons, @StandaloneSA This week we spoke about IT tribes with Matt Simmons, university sysadmin, blogger, subreddit moderator, and LISA program committee member. How do people pick the IT Tribes they are a part of? Why didn’t Usenix and LISA (Large Installation System Administration) take over the world? “Large Installation” has really change…
 
Stu Miniman on a panel at the vBrownbag Opening Acts at VMworld 2014 We talk with Stu Miniman, research analyst at Wikibon, about the daily practice of being an analyst. Some of the topics we covered: Financial analysts vs research analysts Journalists vs analysts – no suit vs suit? Analysts provide tools to figure out how to adopt new technology. …
 
Smilin’ Scott Hanson This week we talk with someone who uses Twitter and social media to form relationships with their customers. Scott Hanson, @CiscoServerGeek on Twitter, is a unicorn who uses his super powers as a pre-sales SE for Cisco’s data center products. Social selling (and selling in general) is about customer service Scott has always bee…
 
Jill Rowley This week the Geek Whisperers talk with a sales pro who gets it. Jill Rowley was a sales star at marketing software provider Eloqua – which was then bought by Oracle. Now she trains salespeople in how to have real relationships with their customers — in other words, social selling. Here are some choice Rowleyisms from the podcast: I don…
 
All the Geek Whisperers have changed jobs recently. We basically invented the new roles ourselves. How did we do that? This week we talk about using the force to create a new job and about our career journeys. Amy recently was promoted from a manager of Influence Marketing in the Data Center group at Cisco to a remit that spans all of the corporati…
 
Symon Perriman, Microsoft This week we talk with Symon Perriman, senior technical evangelist from Microsoft, about evangelism, career change, MVPs, user groups, org charts, performance management, business value, and more. It turns out unicorns come from Redmond, too. Moving from engineering to evangelism The Microsoft MVP Program Career effects of…
 
Do you have to be nice on social media? This week we talk with Joe Onisick, technical marketing engineer at Cisco, infamous for his acerbic demeanor on Twitter. He’s a cocky bastard who backs up his bluster with technical know-how. We talked about: Authentic marketing voice Yes, And… as a rule of improv Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Y…
 
John Troyer in his normal podcasting getup IT pros gather in tribes surrounding vendors. Are open source projects like OpenStack driving more mixing of the tribes? Are vendor-neutral communities on the upswing? This week we talk with fellow Whisperers John Troyer about his new independent IT community, TechReckoning, and with Amy Lewis about her at…
 
Howard Marks wears many metaphorical hats Howard Marks wears many hats. He’s primarily an analyst these days, with a full lab where he can actually test storage equipment. He’s also a journalist who has written for Network Computing for years. And finally, he’s a blogger and podcaster. He can wear any hat that helps him get the job done. This week …
 
Do technical evangelists, like rock stars, burn out early? So you’re a technical evangelist. Where does your career go from here? This week we talk with Brian Gracely about career paths, working remotely from the corporate headquarters, and surfing the waves of change within the tech industry. Brian makes the point that a technical evangelist (rock…
 
Lisa Caywood When you engage with influencers, you get a perspective from outside your own building. We talk with Lisa Caywood, product marketing manager, about the emotional component of buying behavior and the communities surrounding companies, the rewards of engaging with external influencers, and the role of the product marketing manager. Lisa …
 
Daryll Swager This week we talk to an IT Community OG, the founder of the VMware Community, Daryll Swager. We talk about community forums, being customer-centric, and about Twitter forcing brevity as a communication style. Daryll, who by his own admission has no brevity within him whatsoever, now leads a customer engagement team at an enterprise so…
 
This is your CTO, Jason NashThis is your CTO ice fishing In what may be our best podcast yet, Jason Nash, CTO of technology solutions company Varrow, gives us his frank views on the value of social media and technical evangelism. For Jason, the value is clear. Employees engaged in the technical community help drive the business while they grow pers…
 
This picture of a baby and a waterfall has very little to do with this week’s podcast. We continue our discussion about content and surviving the content crunch. The metaphors fly thick as we talk about being personal trainers for content creation, being agile bicyclists vs building a waterfall-driven space program, and something about roulette whe…
 
The Geek Whisperers talk with HP’s Calvin Zito about bringing bloggers together and the risks and rewards that ensue. We also hear how Calvin and Matt first met and how that almost got them fired. Over the course of the hour of this podcast we talk about Transitioning from marketing to this thing we call social Transitioning from marketing-sized bu…
 
Employee ambassadors are an important part of a social media strategy. The right kind of employee evangelist is like a Unicorn: very hard to find. Unicorns can also be disruptive to an org chart when their social media footprint starts to overlap with their day job. This week on the Geek Whisperers we discuss Unicorn Husbandry. What are Unicorns? W…
 
Is demand generation the clone army that can’t-hit-the-broadside-of-a-bantha when it comes to social media? That’s the question we tackle on this week’s Geek Whisperers. Demand Generation, in Enterprise-speak, is the practice of drumming up potential business — some of the cruder ways are scanning your badge at a conference or having you trade some…
 
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