A Docker Captain’s View of Community with Nirmal Mehta – Episode 134

You could be an attendee at an event or you could do more. What does that extra work do for your career? We revisit this classic balancing act with Nirmal Mehta back at to DockerCon 2017. We start by asking about why he’s a Docker Captain, but his story is far more about being in operations and finding your Community. Nirmal’s story brings us back to the beginning of DevOps and through his journey of passionate hobbies that continue to help him grow.

Some specifics:

  • Difference of finding your tribe around D.C. (less new technology meetups)
  • How Nirmal “always needs to be in a constant state of learning”
  • We discuss the principle of Strong Opinions, Loosely Held (related post from @codinghorror in 2008)
  • Appreciation for the first vMotion like the first docker run
  • Side projects as a tried-and-true method to career growth
  • If you every find yourself saying “I will never be doing that, you will end up doing that.”
  • (☝️ that might be you when it comes to coding as a sysadmin)
  • Attending DevOps Days to keep your skills up
  • Recognizing when you are the best person to introduce a solution to your company
  • How a sense of community keeps us moving forward
  • References to John Willis and his History of DevOps talk
  • Balancing your time and reflecting on whether you have it to offer or not
  • How if you ever feel alone, you need to reach out to see how much people have your back
  • A thoughtful review of burnout prevention (a very moving post by John Willis on that topic)
  • Tribal indicators as a signal of what we care about, not as a sense of identity (identity is more than that)
  • Being part of the Docker Captain program and how it gives Nirmal a sense of connection

We really loved meeting Nirmal Mehta and highly recommend following him a follow on Twitter. You can also find him on GitHub. If you’d like to learn more technical knowledge from him, his 2015 keynote at DockerCon can be seen here:


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