In case you’ve not seen the Twitter stream on #vExpert 2013 awardees, the list is here: http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2013/05/vexpert-2013-awardees-announced.html
I’m honoured to be awarded the accolade of vExpert for the third year running. I was originally nominated back in 2010 by Tom Howarth and Mike Laverick mainly for my contributions to the London VMUG. As a volunteer co-leader and steering committee member (along with Alaric Davies, Stuart Thompson and Simon Gallagher) I spend a vast amount of my personal time ensuring the community has a great experience as a member of the London VMUG and, for our sins, we also arrange the UK National User Conference. Anyone else involved in being a VMUG leader knows the amount of time it takes to not just stage the meetings, but to arrange speakers and sponsorship, liaise with VMUG HQ on the invites, keep the VMUG workspace updated with relevant content, posting the presentations, etc. etc. So receiving the recognition of our efforts as VMUG leaders by being awarded the vExpert accolade means so much for me personally, perhaps more than most in the community. Why? Well, I’ve worked for and with VMware since the early 2000’s and, while I call myself a technologist (or as Mike likes to say techknowlogist!), I am not an uber-techie like, I’d say, the other 579 vExperts. I’m also in another minority – female! So combining these two minority factors makes me even more proud to be a vExpert 🙂
But, sadly, the negative comments are creeping into my vExpert Twitter stream this morning about higher numbers devaluing the program, changing the selection criteria, the comments go on. For me the bottom line is this, if you don’t see the value, don’t nominate yourself. This is about community and as the community grows it is logical that the number of vExperts should grow. The number of awardees this year is only 580, a very small percentage of the overall VMware customer base, let alone the user base. Should the vExpert award change to reflect ‘competencies’ such as, in my case, a VMUG ‘badge’? Yes, I think probably this evolution would make sense. But that is for John Troyer and VMware to decide, and I know they will listen to the community, but let’s make the comments constructive guys, not bitching and whingeing.
In conclusion, congrats to all the vExpert 2013 awardees, you will get out of this community what you put in. This is still THE best community in my opinion in today’s tech world – enjoy!