It comes round quick, but it is the time to apply for vExpert 2021. Applications are now open and close on 9th January 2021. The blog post announcing this is here: vExpert 2021 Applications are Open!.
In this post I thought I’d explain the program, vExpert PROs, go through how to apply and then show you my application from last year. By sharing my application for 2020 it might help show what is required in an application.
What is a vExpert
The definition of the vExpert program is as so:
The VMware vExpert program is VMware’s global evangelism and advocacy program. The program is designed to put VMware’s marketing resources towards your advocacy efforts. Promotion of your articles, exposure at our global events, co-op advertising, traffic analysis, and early access to beta programs and VMware’s roadmap. The awards are for individuals, not companies, and last for one year. Employees of both customers and partners can receive the awards.
Some people think this is a technical award, but it is not. It is awarded for participation in the community above and beyond your normal job.
If you are thinking of applying but are unsure at all, please reach out to your local vExpert PRO, which I am one off. We are vExperts that can help you apply for vExpert. If you need help completing your application, need some guidance on the program, want some mentorship, etc. please reach out to one of us.
How to Apply
Now, how to actually apply for vExpert. First thing to do is go to the vExpert site and click Apply:
Either Login or Create A New Account. Once logged in you are presented with the Application portal. Click on Apply for vExpert:
You are now at the Apply to be a vExpert page. The first question is the Qualification Path with four options.
- Customer. The Customer Path is for leaders from VMware customer organizations. They have been internal champions in their organizations or worked with VMware to build success stories, act as customer references, given public interviews, spoken at conferences, or were VMUG leaders. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public.
- Partner. The Partner Path is for employees of our partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning through accreditations and certifications and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements. A VMware employee reference is required for VPN Path candidates.
- Evangelist. The Evangelist Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, VMTN contributors, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others with the leverage of a personal public platform to reach many people. Employees of VMware can also apply via the Evangelist path. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public or were in a language other than English.
- VCDX. The VCDX path is for VCDX holders only.
I apply to the Evangelist path so this application will reflect that. There are 4 sections you can complete with your evidence. Lets go through them one by one.
1. Content Creation
This part asks for details on any blogs, videos, books, etc. that you created. This is what I entered in my application:
I have an active blog at https://www.vgemba.net where I am the sole contributor. I posted 25 times in 2019. Some examples of my work:
https://www.vgemba.net/vmware/Workstation-15.5-Install-Error/ This post was my most popular in 2019 with 5.5k views. It was also picked by fellow vExperts and posted in the VMTN when others had the same issue (for example https://communities.vmware.com/thread/618805)
https://www.vgemba.net/vmware/vSphereDSC-Part-1/ This was the start of a four part series on vSphere DSC. This formed the basis for a presentation at the Scottish VMUG and an internal talk at work.
https://www.vgemba.net/vmware/Lookup-Service-NSX-Manager-Error/ This was a post that had great timing. I posted about it and discovered two others in the vExpert Slack were experiencing the same issue. We worked together on the issue - great collaboration!
Provide links and data to help the vExpert PRO asses your application. Applications come in with just a link to a blog. Help by providing details.
2. Events and Speaking
In 2019 I never got to speak at an event so below is my entry from 2018:
I have spoken at events twice this year. The first was at VMworld Europe. I was interviewed for VMworld TV on the vExpert program. This can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1v4pGKxBTg&list=PLBMoYohMQ37fi7xIrL5UTrOeCLb7pCGm4
I also spoke at an Azure/SQL/PowerShell Super Meetup in Glasgow, Scotland. This was on setting up Visual Studio Code for PowerShell/PowerCLI. Approximately 80 people were in attendance. Blog post available here: https://www.vgemba.net/blogtober2018/Super-Meetup-Presentation/
If you can provide a link to a recording that helps a lot and how many people attended.
3. Online communities, tools, and resources
Think of things such as contributing to GitHub Repos for VMware tooling, VMTN participation, local VMUG Slacks, etc. This was my entry:
I cross post on the Scottish VMUG Community Blog and have the most contributions on there. http://www.scottishvmug.com/
I was a beta tester for Vimalin by fellow vExpert Wil van Antwerpen where I provided feedback that made it into the production release of the software.
4. VMware programs
This is something I have never had the opportunity to contribute too. This is aimed at activities like VMUG Leadership, VMware Partner Network, Customer Councils, etc. No examples from my application I’m afraid.
Any other activities
This can be anything else that can help your application. Twitter doesn’t fall into the category above 3. Online communities so I mention my Twitter profile here. I usually participate in Blogtober which strictly isn’t a VMware focussed activity but I like to mention it. Here was my submission:
I am very active in the Scottish VMware User Group Community both at every event and in our Slack.
I am also active on twitter (@cwestwater) and engage with the community there from first timers to VMware to VCDXs
I participated in Blogtober 2019 for the third year (http://tcwd.net/vblog/2019/11/07/thats-a-wrap-blogtobertech-2019-is-in-the-books-here-are-the-results/)
Lastly I am the sole vExpert in the company I work for. I was asked to participate in a select team that is working on the future direction of our VMware estate after a recent acquisition. In that team I am being an evangelist for VMware technology. Being active in the community allows me to know about best practices, new technology, etc and I have used the software available as a vExpert to test in my homelab things we will be implementing across the organisation.
At the end you can also check a box to enter details if a VMware employee is acting as a reference. A use case for this could be if you are applying for the Evangelist path but your activities were not online. Another example is you went above and beyond in your normal job to evangelise VMware but you work in an industry/company that restricts that to not being made public. Often this is in conjunction with VMware so you can have someone help with your application.
The last check box is if a vExpert PRO helped you with your application please tick it and enter the name of the person that helped you.
Some general tips for completing you application. The website times out! The best thing to do is open a text editor and write up your application following the sections and when you are ready to apply cut and paste everything into the boxes in the portal. This also has the side benefit that you can go back the following year to review your application for tips on applying.
Be as detailed in your application as possible. I see many applications with a single sentence in each box. This just makes the voting on your application harder. Provide links, evidence and detail.
Any doubts in applying - contact a vExpert PRO.
Good luck to everyone applying to vExpert 2021!