The second round of applications open June 1st and close on June 20th, with the announcement of the awards on July 17th. There’ll be many social media posts about encouraging submissions with advice on what to focus your application on. I want to cover in this post my own personal experience and journey of being a vExpert for my tenth consecutive year. I hope you enjoy the read and find some tips or encouragement for your own submission.
Back in 2010 I become a leader of the London and UK VMUG. In 2011 an industry friend, Tom Howarth, suggested I apply to become a vExpert as the other members of the committee were designated vExperts for their contribution to the community. (Tom was one of the original first minted vExperts back in 2009 – it was a very select group back then of around only 300!) I hadn’t even contemplated applying, as I’m not super technical and only a mere Fusion user. But with Tom’s encouragement I submitted an application and, in doing so, realised how much time and effort I was contributing to the community in my role as a VMUG leader.
My application was successful as has been my subsequent 9 applications, culminating in this being my tenth consecutive year as a vExpert. No longer a VMUG leader, my contribution now isn’t as ‘visible’ as before, but I am still involved with VMUG as a member and supporter of my local group and the UK national yearly event. I have helped other groups secure sponsors, given my extensive network of vendor community contacts. I’ve also spoken at the national UK VMUG events. Whilst my contribution can never be technical, I’ve spoken about getting the most out of social media and also your own personal brand. Both subjects can certainly help in attaining the coveted vExpert accolade. And I’ve been on the selection committee for the VMUG Board of Director submissions.
As you can see, there are many ways to take part – it’s not just about technical blog posts. It’s about contributing and giving back to the VMware community. And the community is unique! I’ve been involved in other user groups and there is always a passion and dedication to the relevant technology. But I can honestly say the VMware community is unparalleled in its fervent commitment to the platform. Over the years I’ve made many contacts, some of which are now great friends. But what I’ve enjoyed most about ‘being involved’ is seeing the progression of some of those friends in their respective careers. Witnessing how being part of the VMware – and VMUG in particular – community has helped to elevate their visibility and resulted in fantastic career opportunities, some within VMware itself.
My involvement with VMware started back in 2002 when I joined as VMware EMEA’s Marketing Director. My involvement now is very much on the ‘periphery’ but I still have that undiluted passion and dedication to the company and its solutions. Being recognised as a VMware vExpert is something I’m very proud of for many reasons, but the two main ones are: I’m one of a few female vExperts and possibly the least technical one!
As the program has grown exponentially since its inception in 2009, some have argued its ‘exclusivity’ has been diluted. But, firstly, it is NOT exclusive but inclusive and, secondly, to address those concerns VMware has instigated specialist tiers (the sub programs), including NSX and EUC. So, as ever, the community speaks and VMware listens and actions!!
So, what are you waiting for! Put your submission together and apply here:
If you’re in need of support or advice prior to applying, you can contact a vExpert PRO who will help and guide you. You can see a list of them here: