Skill transfers are closely related to skill updates but more on a personal note. So you can really categorize (cause that’s what I tend to do 🙂 ) them into two types:
- Skill transfers with a study group
- Skill transfers with a friend/college/mentor/anyone with expert level knowledge
Skill transfers in a study group is based on an idea from Rene Van Den Bedem about VCDX Skill Matrixes. I’ll let Rene explain that here: http://vcdx133.com/2015/04/15/vcdx-skills-matrix/. Now that you’ve read Rene’s post the main focus is a specific person in the study group is a host and ask the other ones questions on a specific subject that they believe they have expert level knowledge on.
The topics themselves can be technology (Compute, Storage, Network) or architectural topics. And this of course can go the other way study groups asking the expert in the group about a specific topic. Not only does this help with skill transfers it helps by practicing articulating on a specific topic.
Skill transfers with a friend is all about finding your weaknesses and then asking the friend to teach you how a specific item works or about alternatives of that feature. Here a whiteboard is you main friend since in 1-to-1 sessions everything can be explained on the whiteboard. And coffee. Always coffee.
Lets say networking is your weakness. You could make three lists, one containing vSphere related topics one containing general networking topics and one containing architectural topics. Here is an example:
- vSphere Topics
- Distributed Switches (NIOC, Netflow, Mirroring, Health Check, Egress traffic shaping, PVLAN etc)
- Common vSwitch topics (Ingress Traffic Shaping, Load Balancing, Security etc)
- vMotion (Multi-NIC vMotion, Traffic Shaping, LACP and Multi-NIC vMotion, Maximums etc)
- STP impact on vSphere networking
- VXLAN (in vCloud/vRA using vShield/NSX)
- VCD-NI (Mac:Mac translation mechanism)
- NSX specific topics
- General Topics
- Dynamic vs Static LAG (LACP etc)
- STP (STP impact on ports, why STP etc)
- VXLAN (IGMP and PIM, L2/L3 layout between sites, common layouts with pro/cons etc)
- Routing Protocols (OSPF, BGP, ISIS etc)
- Jumbo Frames
- Architectural Topics
- STP impact on availability
- Jumbo Frames considerations for performance
- Using QoS methods to fulfill performance and availability requirements
- VXLAN supported layouts (vCNS or NSX)
This list can of course be so much longer and it really depends on each person where the skill level is at the time. Also the topics from the skill updates are something that can be addressed here as well.
But the general topics are more easily addressable with 1-to-1 sessions since they are more general that than the vSphere specific ones. I know a lot of networking guys that haven’t had time to think about the virtual networking side but are skilled in the common datacenter topics.
From that a template of things that need to addressed with some help from a friend or a study group can be created: