VMware Expert 2013 – My journey and thoughts


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!

11 thoughts on “VMware Expert 2013 – My journey and thoughts

  1. Hello,

    Well said, I was irritated about those Tweets this morning as well because a lot of people worked hard and spared a lot of their spare time to dedicate it to this community.

    Thank you :).

  2. You make some good points here,
    1. I don’t think the badges are worth it, we are all vExperts for our participation in the community as a whole.
    2. True the size will grow and the more people apply the larger the number, maybe internally VMware will cap it off because of the benefits allotted to the members of the community.
    3. People need to understand it is about the community plain and simple, what you do for it is truly amazing and i hope one day i can attend a london vmug.

    • Luigi, you are always welcome at any of our London meetings, or indeed the national user conference in November!

      • Luigi – GO! Jane & “gang” pull off a fantastic venue! I was honored to have the chance to attend #LonVMUG last month.

        And Jane…totally agree on your post. I thankfully didn’t see the negative tweets, but it seems some may still be holding on to the beginnings of the vExpert recognition when most (my assumption there) people thought the recognition was something similar to a VCDX, and of course it is not.

        It’s a fantastic recognition for the contributions we all have invested our personal time in giving back to a community that is so worth giving to!

        All the best…

        • Thanks Shane, it was awesome that you celebrated your birthday by coming to our VMUG meeting in London, it was our pleasure to host you!

  3. Great post Jane! I think: be proud! You are such great inspiration for all of us VMUG Leaders, and I know the effort you put into (co-)running London VMUG. I hope to see you at VMworld and congratulate you in person at CTO reception.

    • Thanks Liselotte, we are all inspirations to each other, as we can all learn from each other’s best practises, not just in using VMware, but running our VMUGs 🙂 Am so proud to be part of this amazing community and you too are a special inspiration to me #geekchicksrock! Hope to see you at one of this year’s VMworlds

  4. I too am very honored to have been awarded vExpert status this year. Frankly, I am amazed to be accepted into the same program as folks such as you, Jane, as well as all the other VMUG leaders, Bloggers, Experts, etc. To be counted among such great contributors gives me great incentive to strive to do more for the community so that I may feel deserving of such an honor. I may never truly feel worthy of the title, but I will always do my best to continue sharing and contributing to the community. I just want to thank everyone who’s helped get me to where I am today including all of our fellow bloggers, co-workers, VMUG leaders and participants, and especially Tim Oudin, Amedeo Minutolo, for sharing their extensive knowledge over the years and my dear wife Amy for putting up with all of the extra time commitments associated with community participation. As for the negative comments; I say try not to judge them too harshly, sometimes human nature drives us in that direction but hopefully we learn that it’s not very productive and move on to a more positive outlook.

    Paul – @sysxperts

    • Hey Paul, kudos to you and thanks for the comments. The sum of us all is greater than the whole; meaning we all play a part and my husband will relate to your comments about your wife Amy – he too is very patient with my ‘extra curricula’ activities of VMUG duties! Happy weekend!

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