My First VMworld as an Employee…
A little bit of reflection…
This is absolutely not a technical post. This is a bit of a ramble post. I don’t have a problem admitting that this is a bit of an emotional VMworld for me.
Many of you don’t realize, that I came from an employer that I was at for almost 10 years. Coming over was a very exciting thing; but not an easy thing. I wanted everything that VMware had to offer - but my previous employer was as close to a family as a job could get. It was time for me to grow; and I was left with this hard to figure out task of figuring out how to manage it.
I’ve always been a believer that most of the time; the only way over something is through it. I look at it as you have to dive in, get beatup, and if you go at it with all your heart, you’ll come out on the other side ok.
So, when I made the decision to go - I started thinking about the bucket list of things I wanted to do as a VMware employee. I was going to throw myself at the job with every bit of me. It was going to be a wildly different job than I had ever had, I knew I was going to stumble and bruise a few times; but I was going to hit it hard.
- I threw myself at opportunities to participate. Products that excited me. Initiatives that interested me.
- I dove hard into the community blogging side of things. I had products I wanted to talk about, share about. I had nerdy things I wanted to do, so I hit it hard
- I wanted to consume as much knowledge as possible - So I started trying to build relationships with the people I’d admired as a customer
This VMworld is a big deal for me; beacuse in 6 months - I’ve started reaching a lot of the initial goals I had for myself. I wanted to touch on a bit of those here…
Note: These are not in a specific order of desire; just an order of what popped into my head
Hands-On Lab Proctor
Each year I’ve gone to the Hands-On Labs at VMworld; It’s been such an impressive thing to me. The amount of time, effort, infrastructure and care that goes into making these labs available for our users is astounding. The fact that anyone can pop in there, and hit a REAL VMware environment for dozens of different scenarios was always so much fun to me.
I’m hungry for knowledge; and I know a lot of the community folk are too. I’ve found so much knowledge as a user playing with Hands-On Labs (I’m looking at you HOL-1725-USE-2 - VMware NSX Multi-Site DR with SRM)
When I came aboard, a good buddy of mine Gabriel Maciel from the Network Security Business Unit mentioned that it’s totally a possible thing to get to go participate. He helped me meet the right people to volunteer.
At first I was passed up; but when they added some more bodies - I was selected to participate.
Come see me at the Hands-On Labs; I’ll be proctoring the NSX labs with some of the best NSX guys I’ve ever met. There are going to be some incredible Labs released at VMworld that’ll really change the way you look at NSX today. Make sure you carve out some solid time to hit them. It’s time well spent!
VMware Hackathon - Monday Evening
I dove into the community pretty hard; both internally and externally. I had a blast doing a few blogs for the internal Cloud Native Apps group around vSphere Integrated Containers, as well as the posts I did on my own blog around them. Diving in, and not being afraid to share some thoughts and get involved paid off big time. I started making some great friendships internally, and started to be able to engage with people I had admired from outside for a long time. Being able to learn, contribute, and teach others has been really rewarding in the short time I’ve been here.
When I published out the content I had done around integrating Amazon Echo with VMware API’s; it really took off in a positive way internally and externally. It led to being able to collaborate with William Lam at the VMware Hackathon, and actually teach a training class on the topic of API’s and Alexa.
My Session - VMTN6653U - Furthering Amazon Echo and VMware Integration
I detailed this pretty heavily in my other post about VMworld; but mentioning it again here.
The above work also led to an opportunity to partner with the VMware Code Community to do a session closing out the Code week on Thursday, where I’ll talk about advanced integrations with Amazon Echo. It’s another example about how diving in, and really committing yourself can have some awesome and unexpected results.
Another thing people don’t usually know about me. I’m not a heavy partier. I know, a sales guy who doens’t party. Weird. I’m just more in my natural habitat hanging around a table with a few friends - talking technology or other nerd stuff. That being said, I was very excited to be able to land both vExpert and vExpert NSX, and I’m really excited to go check out the vExpert Party and socialize with the other people in our community.
Meetups - Networking
It’s funny, there are so many people that I want to meet MORE now that I work here than I ever thought possible. I’m really hoping to be able to grab a drink with a few people who I really look up to, and build on some of those relationships I’ve started to establish.
Don’t underestimate the value of this, even if you are mostly excited for sessions. Remember - The sessions are recorded and available VERY fast after VMWorld. Networking is something that’s a rare thing to be able to pull off, and having so much of the awesome talent in one place is something you aren’t going to find easy. Make some time to mingle! I know I will be!
The general sessions are going to be mind blowing this year. The announcements coming out at VMworld are going to launch us into the future. I’m not going to play the redacted game going around twitter these days; but trust me - You won’t want to miss the general sessions this time around!