In our March blog post, we talked with lifelong learner Steve Bos about his journey of continuous learning with NetApp. His story was so compelling that we’ve continued the conversation with another industry expert—one with an equally impressive level of experience. In this blog post, Scott Gelb discusses why certification matters to him and hear how it’s helped him to learn, outperform, grow, and repeat.
A solutions architect with Enterprise Vision Technologies, Scott Gelb took his first NetApp® professional certification exam more than 20 years ago. As with trying anything new, there were challenges, but initial failed attempts sparked a determination to succeed and a commitment to learning with NetApp that has grown over the years (along with his list of certifications). In turn, Scott began helping to develop NetApp certification exams, becoming the first non NetApp contributor to do so.
Although Scott has never worked at NetApp, he’s helped countless customers solve their storage needs with NetApp solutions. Over the years, his NetApp expertise and knowledge have grown, and he’s become an industry leader. Today, he is known as a “NetApp guy.” Scott is also a member of the NetApp A-Team, a group of passionate customers and partners who evangelize the benefits of NetApp solutions on social media platforms, in blog posts, at industry events, and in their organizations.
In this digital world of constant, rapid change, it’s imperative that technologists like Scott stay informed. “Our customers hold us to a high standard,” he says. “If we don’t stay on top of our knowledge, our customers go elsewhere. Certification enables us to maintain that level of knowledge.”
Scott has spent almost six years in his current role with Enterprise Vision Technologies, a technology reseller that counts NetApp among its largest vendors. Although his role requires him to maintain certain NetApp certifications, Scott sees value in the learning itself. The knowledge that he builds through certification learning leads his customers to trust his expertise.
Today’s customers are highly informed and are asking bigger and more technical questions than ever. With his certification knowledge to rely on, Scott and his team can answer questions with confidence. “Those customers lack the time to immerse themselves in deep learning of new technology solutions,” he says. “Our learning equips us with a level of expertise that is invaluable to them.”
That expertise, combined with the advantages of NetApp technology solutions, also helps to fuel customer performance levels. Scott explains, “I simply don’t get calls from my customers complaining that their NetApp solution isn’t working. When they call it’s because they’re successful, they’re growing, their workloads have increased, and they’re ready to uplevel with additional solutions. We don’t set up our customers to perform. We set them up to outperform.”
These days, Scott finds himself looking forward to learning more about what NetApp is doing in the cloud space. His plans include working toward DevOps, FinOps, and all three cloud provider certifications. On the heels of NetApp’s recent cloud enhancements and the release of even more learning opportunities for all things cloud, he also appreciates NetApp’s ability to continually reinvent itself. “When I look back at what the company was five years ago, it seems almost unrecognizable from what it is today—and that ability to change impresses me. I can’t predict where NetApp goes next, but I can say with certainty that I will stay on my certification journey with NetApp. I’m going to keep right on being ’the NetApp guy’.”
Hearing from established IT professionals about their certification journeys—and their plans for future learning—is the best way to see the value of becoming a NetApp certified professional. NetApp Learning Services gives you the education and certifications that you need to not only succeed in your own career, but to help your customers succeed as well.
We’ve introduced new and improved learning opportunities that support recent cloud portfolio enhancements. You learn everything that you need to know to help bolster security, simplify operations, optimize costs, and lay a solid foundation for working with modern enterprise apps. To invest in the future of your career and your organization, you can start with the Cloud Education All-Access Pass. This flexible education package gives you access to NetApp’s best cloud learning resources—at a price that will make you smile.
To learn more about the certification programs that are available to NetApp partners and customers, see the NetApp Learning Services product catalog.
Vice President NetApp Learning Services
Roslyn has 25+ years of experience in the IT high tech hardware & software global education & certification arena for customers, partners, and employees. Her background includes working for salesforce, VERTIAS/Symantec, Informatica, Brocade, HPE, and Conga. She is extremely passionate about education and serves on the executive board of TSIA (Technology Services Information Association) and CEdMA (Computer Education Management Association).