The application season is here, and being in my third year, I’ve had some time to reflect on my experience of being a vExpert. But first….
The vExpert program is an evangelism and advocacy program designed to promote individuals that contribute to communities with their expertise in VMware products and services. The award is given for one year and is given to individuals, not companies across the globe. The four paths for qualification paths are customer, partner, evangelist, or VCDX. In short…..you DO NOT have to be a VMware employee to qualify. If you are still asking what’s in it for you, here are my Top 5!
Connections – For me, I have really enjoyed the bond that comes with meeting other vExperts. We are all passionate about VMware’s vision and technologies and it’s been great to share in this common bond. In today’s remote work environment, it’s been great knowing there are others I can still connect with no matter the distance between us. My circle continues to grow and it makes attending events even more fun as I run into people I don’t get to see very often but the vExpert bond is there. Which leads me to ……..
Community – This is what it’s all about! I have been able to leverage this community to grow professionally. The vCommunity gave me the tools I needed 16 years ago to learn more about products like ESX, View, and VSAN and give me the hands-on experience I needed to deploy ESX “for real” at customer sites. This was the beginning of my VMware journey. As a vExpert, I have been able to contribute to the VMware Technology Network (VMTN) by posting blogs as well as answering questions. While you don’t have to be a vExpert to contribute, it’s one way I have been able to stay active in the community. The vCommunity is AWESOME and what better way to spend time with the community than at…..
Conferences!!! – Who doesn’t want to spend time with the likes of Pat Gelsinger, Michael Dell, Sanjay Poonen, Raghu Raghuram and others?!!! The vExpert party every year (san COVID) is always a great party. As a vExpert, you get the VIP treatment!
In addition, I found that if you like to present at Regional and local UserCons, VMUGs, and other events, being a vExpert can increase your chances as the vExpert Program gives you opportunities to build your brand. This can also lead to a…..
Promotion!!! – In my experience, being a vExpert has allowed me to dig deep into topics I am passionate about such as cloud computing, career development, and mentoring to name a few. My management teams have taken notice over the years and I have been able to leverage my vExpert interactions and experience into being promoted as well as changing roles. That being said, it’s important to OWN your career progression, no one will do it for you. Also, another type of promotion available within the vExpert program is that they will also promote your contributions if you blog, publish books, videos, etc. Lastly, the vExpert has given me some pretty great…..
SWAG!!! – Otherwise known as “Stuff We All Get”.
- Licenses!! As a vExpert you get 1 year licenses for most of VMware’s products for use in your lab environment
- VMworld vExpert SWAG. Every year is different but the vExpert program as well as several partners such as Cohesity, Veeam, Datrium (now VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery) and others provide T-shirts, Raspberry Pi, and many other goodies for you to enjoy!
- vExpert branded items such as Polo shirts, sweatshirts, hats, socks and more via a “pop up” shop
Take time to put together an application, and make it as detailed as possible. The more you enter, the better your chances. The people reviewing and voting on applications are also vExperts that have gone through the same application process. The application is done through an online form found at the vExpert site.
The key for your application is to detail what have you done in the past year in terms of “giving back” to the community. Things that count could be blogging, videos, public speaking, VMUG contributions (i.e. VMUG leadership), book authoring, forum activity, and more.
If you need help or guidance on your application, reach out. There is a vExpert PRO subprogram that consists of a special group of vExperts who can guide aspiring vExperts with their applications and the first steps after becoming a vExpert. Feel free to reach to me as well.
So, what are you waiting for? Apply now! I am!!!!