VMware opened the vExpert application process on the 1st June 2020. I’d like to highlight my experience of the vExpert program and why I love being part of this special community. I am also a vExpert PRO which I will also talk about below.
The vExpert Program
The ethos of vExpert is recognising people that go above and beyond in giving back to the VMware community. A common misconception is that it is a test of technical knowledge but that is incorrect. Some ways that gain vExpert status are:
- Attending VMUGs
- Becoming a VMUG Leader
- Speaking at events
- Writing a book
- Contributing to VMware projects on GitHub
and many others. It seems a lot to do but it soon adds up if you consistently do little things each week.
What are the benefits to this commitment? There are many! Some highlight are:
- My favorite - access to vExpert Community!
- Private Slack Channels for the vExperts
- Free annual VMware licenses
- A complimentary Pluralsight subscription
- Free software from various VMware partners
- Opportunities to join subprograms such as NSX, vSAN, etc.
- The excellent vExpert party at VMworld (in 2021 hopefully!)
Out of the ~1800 vExperts worldwide there are 90 vExpert PROs which I was honoured to be awarded this year. What is a vExpert PRO? We are the advocates for the vExpert program. My primary goal is to locate, mentor and advise people on how to become a vExpert. It’s the next step in giving back to the community by helping expand the vExpert community.
Myself and the rest of the vExpert PROs are here and willing to help anyone that is even thinking about applying. We are ready and willing to help you by talking about the program, reviewing your application, advising activites to help get there, etc. Please contact either me or your local vExpert PRO if you want to know more. The current vExpert PROs can be found here:
My Experience of vExpert
I’ve been a vExpert for four years. Why do I spend all that time blogging, speaking at events, doing PRs in GitHub, etc? Easy - being part of a special group of people! I have met so many amazing people both in real life and online through vExpert it is incredible.
Sure some may look at the ‘freebies’ you get but that is really not important. The community spirit and the feeling of being part of something special is way better. On one occassion I was 10 hours into a data center move and hit an issue at 2am with some VMs. I posted on the vExpert Slack and immediately had people willing to help and actually found a fix to my problem. Now the Slack channel is no substitue to opening a case with GSS, but my fellow vExperts are always willing to help.
vExpert opens so many opportunites both for yourself and to help the community. Helping people with a blog post (love getting emails thanking me for a post), appearing on vBrownbag, getting an all expenses paid (trip to VMworld), appearing on VMworld TV, even getting a (new job)! All of these things and more were a direct consequence of doing the work to becoming and being a vExpert. I’ve had such a blast doing it all - and so can you!
I implore anyone that even has a tiny idea int he back of their mind about vExpert - please reach out to a vExpert PRO. We can guide and mentor you in becoming part of this club. It is a great place to be.
Application close on the 20th June 2020. Apply here: https://vexpert.vmware.com/apply.