Yesterday, VMware announced their list of vExperts for 2016 and I’m both proud and humbled to have been selected for the second time. I’m standing on the shoulders of giants here, as a lot of the people that I have been inspired by and/or helped by over my years in the VMware community are recognised as vExperts again this year, alongside some new faces. Many folks have been vExperts for a long time and their continued dedication to the VMware ecosystem and generosity with their time is rightly recognised. Equally, it’s great to see new names appearing on the list, since this reflects the continued growth and strength of the community and the development of the individuals within that community.
The vExpert program is VMware’s global Advocacy and Evangelism program and has grown from being a small and exclusive band in the previous decade to the current count of over 1300 vExperts. This growth has mirrored the rise in the number of products that VMware have in their portfolio and the number of people who are exposed to those products on a regular basis. I get a kick out of being a small part of a global community and really value the connections that I have made along the way. I’m lucky to be a part of a really generous gaming community in my non-vocational life which has taken me all over the world and provided me with some really solid friendships. The vExpert community (and in fact the whole VMware community) is also exactly like this. I love it!
I think it’s fair to mention #LonVMUG at this point. There are a good number of vExperts who hang out several times a year at the London VMware User Group and that number is growing year on year. It was that gathering in particular which inspired me to get more involved in the community at large and the opportunities for personal growth are very clear - speaking, knowledge sharing, networking, whatever you need. All that brain power in the same place is pretty impressive.
So to all the VMUG Leaders who volunteer to arrange those gatherings, all the bloggers who have written an article that has saved someone time (or saved their bacon!) or prepared someone for an exam, the folks from vendors who do more than just try to hawk their product, the community glue people, those from VMware itself, however you became a vExpert, this one’s for you! You make this community what it is. Enjoy the recognition and keep on doing what you are doing! Finally, thanks to Corey Romero and the entire VMware Social Media and Community Team for all their work in putting this program together.