it’s a great honour, having dragged myself out of my lonely existence to embrace Twitter, Linkedin and all other forms of Social Media back in mid-2013, to have been added to the list of VMware vExperts for 2014.
For me this is a real personal honour as I get a lot out of the VMware community. So being recognised in ANY way makes all the effort that goes into blogging, as well as interacting on LinkedIn and Twitter very worthwhile. And that is a huge amount of effort both doing, planning and thinking about what you might write or say.
However it doesn’t make people Gods – it’s a recognition of expertise and effort, just like in any field.
Here’s the full list of 754 vExperts.
I have to be honest, up to last year I didn’t have a lot of time for any of the social media. It/They didn’t seem important at the time. Funny how things change – if Twitter went away it would be like having my arms chopped off.
Firstly, becoming more active in these forums was a direct consequence of my plan 2/3 years ago to work towards VCAP and VCDX VMware certifications. That’s when I started to come across other blogs and noticed amount of selflessness involved in the VMware community. I think it’s probably ahead of the other ones but I can’t be 100% sure of that.
We all benefit from the club
I started this Blog mainly to try and do my bit to give back – We all know that it’s certainly not going to do us any harm – I think there is almost a competition to come up with the best stuff for the community. Guys writing 15 posts on one topic that then becomes the reference that everyone uses. It’s almost like a competition to put the gnarliest content out there and leave a marker in the sand – and be the default stopping post for all things <ABC>. And isn’t it great that most times you don’t read the official VMware documentation, but go to a blog of someone you trust, be them VMware or not. The same applies to third parties too.
So being in the club is a great thing. I’m sure it’s exactly the same for Microsoft MVP which I’d love to be a part of too, but that’s some way off.
Are we independent ?
So let’s accept that being in this or any other club has massive personal and professional benefits, and ultimately VMware is selling software. And having read Lindsay Hill’s thought provoking post here: http://lkhill.com/vendor-clubs-watch-your-independence/ it did make me question my own independence.
To counter that, the community is made up of a huge amount of very nice and helpful people.
I use them regularly to get bits and pieces of software I don’t have. I heavily rely on them for peer review. Eventually Twitter lines you up with people you respect and are of the same mindset. it’s an AWESOME resource to have as a consultant – knowing who you can go to in VMware, who specialises in A, B or C. You just can’t compare that to anything.
Indirect Support by Twitter
It’s easier for me to contact Twitter contacts sometimes than VMware support, such is their level of knowledge and ability to answer a question there and then. If it’s related to Storage/Backup/DR I hope someone might think that of me too. I have to send a shout out to Frank Buechsel for his advice and help recently in relation to an SSO/SSL problem I was having. It was entirely unofficial, but he stood up a scenario in his lab and then blogged it for future reference in relation to a problem I had on a site. That right there for me represents the mindset and power of this community and is about going above and beyond.
I suggest you follow Frank here @fbuechsel.
So being in these clubs is rewarding and ultimately you get involved with them because you either enjoy/like the technology (hopefully), or just happen to use it regularly. So it’s directly related to your day job. If we’re in the community we want it and by association us, to be successful. So VMware has done a very smart thing and I have experienced equality between VMware people and non-VMware staff in most cases.
There are a few well known VMware rockstars. We all know who they are ;-). The way I look at some of those guys, is that some of us have much more varied product and customer experience, with much better hands-on knowledge, particularly from an integration and operational perspective. So Big yourself up as those guys are just like you and me and in some ways could not compare with the breadth of YOUR experience.
And ultimately we all want to be part of a community – whether related to IT or not – so for me being a vExpert is almost more rewarding potentially than VCDX, as it recognises the effort on a personal rather than technical level that we all make. Although I’m probably just saying that, just in case I don’t pass VCDX 😉
Long may it continue…..