Achievement: VMware vExpert 2020

I’m happy to share that I have received the award of VMware vExpert 2020! This marks my fourth consecutive year as a vExpert and I can honestly say that I’m just as excited now as I was four years ago.

What is a vExpert?

vExpert is a designation awarded to an individual by VMware for their contributions to the community. Those contributions span a wide variety of different mediums and can include blogging, social media, forums, speaking at events, volunteering at VMUGs, and even more. If you’re sharing your knowledge of something in the VMware product portfolio, you’re heading in the right direction.

Most of that description is paraphrased from the vExpert website. My personal take on it is very similar. If you’re helping provide opportunities for growth for people in the community, you’re a good candidate to become a vExpert. It’s simple: Become a part of something, learn, and do great things. There is something that you know right now that many others do not – share that information with the community. Share your story (using whatever medium you’re comfortable with – blog, public speaking, forum, etc.) about your rise from Help Desk to Lead Architect and someone will connect with that story. Have you been approached with an interesting use-case and come up with a just-as-interesting solution? Share that in a blog post. See a question on the forums that you searched for answers for and only recently learned? Register for the forum and share your knowledge! With enough effort, these examples could earn you vExpert 2020 in the second half of this year!

Why am I excited to be a vExpert?

There are a ton of different perks of being a vExpert – check out the vExpert Program Benefits from the website for a list of all of them. Here’s a quick top-three of those perks for me:

  1. VMware recognizes me and  my efforts. Sure – I’m evangelizing VMware’s products and, overall, you could argue that I’m an extention of marketing for VMware. The company has over 500,000 customers. There are probably over a million individuals using VMware’s products. The company recognized me and that feels nice!
  2. vExpert evaluation licenses for the home lab! I’ve only recently acquired a homelab that I felt was powerful enough to simulate Production use-cases. As a vExpert, I’m awarded the use of licenses for nearly the entire VMware product portfolio for one year – which makes writing blog posts easier by giving me the ability to generate content. Aside: If you didn’t make the cut for vExpert yet, check out VMUG Advantage.
  3. Rubbing shoulders with other vExperts. This is huge to me! Being a vExpert gives you nearly endless opportunities to engage with other vExperts. Whether it’s the vExpert Slack, the private forum, webinars from vendors, or even the vExpert Party at VMworld, there’s always great and challenging conversations happening. To be fair – there are also conversations that are… well, not great or challenging. I only chime in if I have to, though.

What will I do to ensure I’m awarded vExpert 2021?

I want to double-down on my efforts this year and I sincerely hope that I’ll feel as though I have the freedom to do so. I want to write on the blog more – setting up the homelab and getting a few more resources for storage should put me in the right place to do that. I also want to start thinking about whether to make a run for VCDX and blog about that experience in detail, but I’m not positive I’m ready to tackle it from a life-preparedness perspective. I want to learn something new and maybe blog about that process somehow.

Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), I want to figure out how to VMUG better. If it weren’t for VMUG, I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career. I am primarily responsible for the Boston VMUG having fallen short on meeting count over the last year or more. I should have done a better job providing opportunities for my local community. I want to get better at it. As a VMware acqui-hire, I’ve had to re-position myself within the Leadership team but will still be providing support and guidance to others on the team. It’s important to me for VMUG and for my own growth.

Looking at what I’ve got there for vExpert 2021 doesn’t feel all that different from what I aimed to do for vExpert 2020. What do you plan to do to earn vExpert 2021 (maybe for the first time!?)? What can I do to help you earn the award?

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