The vExpert Program Just Rocks!
This week when I returned home I found a very nice gift package from VMware for the VMware vExpert Program which included a vExpert laptop bag, luggage tag and certificate. This was a very nice gift from a wonderful program and I thought I’d take a quick moment to think about the significance of the vExpert program.
One vantage point is to compare the vExpert program with other communities and programs. I’ve been working with Microsoft technologies for over well over a decade, and while Microsoft did have an MVP program, it seemed (at least at the time) largely based on offering advice on forums. Many vExperts do this as well, but in my opinion the vExpert program is a dynamic and thriving group that quite simply seems to be far more engaged (especially via social media) than I have seen with other technical communities. I’ve never personally met another vExpert, but with this thriving community, sometimes it feels as if I have. Between blogs, user groups, speaking engagements, social media and much more, I just can’t recall having seen a technical community with quite so much passion, energy, expertise and of course – impact. In my opinion, the VMware and vExpert communities are really something special, and this reflects very favorably on VMware, the community and those who were instrumental in cultivating and developing the community (and I can’t finish that sentence without also mentioning John Troyer for his instrumental role in developing and fostering this community). I simply can’t think of another IT-technical community that is even close to being as engaged and kinetic as this one is.
The vExpert program of course has rewards that go well beyond being a part of a community of so many inspiring and great people. Some of my personal favorite perks beyond the community itself are the ability to access VMworld presentations and especially VMware trial licenses so that I can expand my learning and exposure in my home lab (and sometimes blog about it).
What about you? The simple reason that I had the privilege of being a part of the vExpert community is because one day I decided that I had experience, knowledge and thoughts that I wanted to share, and I went out to start a blog where I could do just that. Perhaps you have some valuable experiences, ideas and thoughts as well that can promote the community as well as yourself in the process. Get involved in your VMUG, start a blog, or whatever community activities that are available to you to share your experiences and expertise. You’ll never know what could come of it unless you try.
I was very humbled to have been accepted into the VMware vExpert program in 2011 and I’m hoping again to be considered for the honor again this year. As some of you who watch my tweet stream know, I haven’t been very satisfied with either the quality or quantity of my blog posts this past year. Being on the sidelines for a significant period of time, denied me access to experience as well as technology and it left me with a bit less to blog about (especially on products I wasn’t able to gain much exposure to beyond lab experimentation). I also had several “big idea” blog posts and/or presentations that I simply never got around to, ranging on topics from converged infrastructure, to private/public/vCloud trends, presentations and much more. On the bright side perhaps I can find the time to work on a few of these old ideas as well as some new ideas now that I’m no longer on the sidelines. I hope that in the coming week and months I’ll be able to be making contributions which will both be of value to the community as well as something that I will find satisfaction with.
In summary I think the vExpert community is really something special and I’m looking forward to more great people joining the vExpert community and hopefully increasing my own contributions as well. If you think you may have something to offer, I’d like to encourage you to step up and share your gifts, thoughts and experiences. Perhaps one day you can join the ranks of the vExperts as well!