After the keynote I went to staff the VMUG booth in the Hangspace but after having been full in the morning it was very quiet, guess everyone went to their sessions. The VMUG booth was co-shared with TAM Services and I spent sometime chatting with Doug, a TAM from St Louis. The VMUG booth in the solutions exchange was very busy though and our London VMUG Chair, Alaric Davies, was rocking the spin the wheel game 🙂
After catching up over lunch with my old friend Verron Martin I spent a bit more time on the VMUG booth and then headed over to the Women of Purpose session in the Marriott. This is a great initiative run by Sonal Patel of VMware. There’s a LinkedIn group and I encourage any women in virtualization to subscribe to this group.
WoP was started 4 years ago and the first meeting had around 40 attendees, yesterday there were 400 in the room – impressive growth! Robin Matlock opened up the meeting and introduced the keynote speaker from Catalyst, who shared some interesting stats on women in business. The panel was made of up 3 VMware customers, Diana Bolden from Teradata, Carla Moradi, Walgreen Company and Margaret Shorten, TD Bank. It’s always inspiring to hear how these women progressed their careers in IT and the challenges and support infrastructure – both personally and professionally – that have enabled them to achieve their success. The key takeaways for me were ensure your network is broad as well as deep and keep it relevant and up to date. Some of the discussions we have after the panel (we were on tables with a table host to moderate the discussions) left me a little disappointed to be honest. Someone mentioned to me it felt a little like a support group and all a bit ‘touchy feely’, which I have to agree with. I really don’t consider myself a woman in tech, I consider myself a person in tech. While I really do want to see more women in tech – and I think the current generation in education will realize more entrants into our world – I don’t really like the overall gender focus. Perhaps the group will evolve over the coming years and I would personally like to see it on the agenda in VMworld Barcelona. It was then a wrap up discussion over a glass of wine with my friends Kasia Lorenc, Lauren Malhoit, Liselotte Foverskov and Susan Gudenkauf.
Next was the VMUG Leader reception, where I was so pleased to receive my new VMUG leader shirt – they’re pale blue not green, no longer will I be mistaken for working for Veeam!! Mariano, President of VMUG, welcomed us all and thanked us for our dedication and helping VMUG to grow to over 80,000 members currently.
Finally, I went to the @CXI party for a few drinks and a curry with the lovely Mr and Mrs Mike Laverick.
Now I’m sitting in the Day 2 general session, more on that later!