..and other vExperts.
During VMworld Europe, I was invited to present on VMworld TV for the second time (god knows why) and had a two-fold mission: put a spotlight on some of the vExperts and ask them why the VMware Community (#vCommunity) is important for them and ask them for advice for people wanting to become a part of it.
The reason is quite simple; when I was pulled into it by some people I looked up to, around 7 years ago, I discovered an immense community of people learning and moving forward together. Everyone was very keen on helping each other (no matter if they were in competitive companies or not) and doing good things with technology.
I’m not exaggerating by saying that I owe a big part of my current career to the vCommunity. The projects I was able to execute at my employers is mostly because I had a good support system, many of which were in the vCommunity. I’m currently at my dream employer doing awesome things, because of the people around me guiding and teaching me.
Years ago, I was a newbie and had no clue where to get started with the vCommunity, if not for my real-life mentors. In the past 2,5 years (while working at VMware), I’ve been talking to a lot of people that are at the same point as I was all those years ago. Those conversations are the reason why I wanted to join the vExpert PRO program, in order to be available for more people that want to get started.
Those conversations were also the reason for my VMworld mission. I caught up with a bunch of awesome people that are pillars in the vCommunity. Below are 6 interviews where we ask why the vCommunity is important for them and have them provide advice to people wanting to get started.
Just in case you don’t want to listen to my voice (understandable!), I’ve summarized my key observations in these interviews below:
- The vCommunity helps you learn and build a career.
- You can even find a new job via the vCommunity!
- Simply following existing vCommunity members on Twitter or another platform can give you a lot of good information.
- To keep a good balance, it should be a give and take system. Make small contributions to solve questions of other people, if you can.
- VMUG meetings should be your off-line starting point. Attending is (usually) free and you have the opportunity to ask questions, without them being permanently being printed on the interwebs.
- Knowledge sharing on a VMUG meeting is being made easier and easier. From standard hour-long breakout talking session to very short lightning talks (15 min) with a simple topic. Ask your VMUG leader for advice, based on your level of comfortableness with speaking and crowds.
- Technologists are mostly all introverts (I know I am) and we all are uncomfortable. But it’s worth it!
- Start blogging for yourself, documenting your own issues for reference. Other people will run into the same issues and you’ll be able to help them.
- The relationships that you can build in the vCommunity are extremely strong and people will stand up for you and be there for you, even in your personal life.
- vBeers can be a very fun way to get to know vCommunity people. Casual atmospheres, couple of people getting drinks.
- The vExpert Slack holds some awesome conversations. One of the biggest reasons to grow towards being a vExpert.
- You don’t have to become a rockstar speaker (unless you want to!) to become a part of the vCommunity. Small contributions will get you recognized as well!
- We should call it the vFamily instead of the vCommunity. 🙂
All in all, the opportunity to drive this during VMworld was an amazing experience. I hope this is useful for anyone and please don’t hesitate to reach out!