Happy belated Thanksgiving to all of you! We’re officially one day post-Turkey Day. I hope the day, food, and time with the family was as great for you as it was for me. We have a tradition of going to this state park that is about a 30-minute drive from the house after dinner because they host a drive-through Christmas light show, which the little ones love. We carried it on through this year. Great stuff! It got me thinking about what traditions other families follow for Thanksgiving. Hmmm….
Anyways, you didn’t click on this article to read about how delicious the two plates of food that I ate were so let’s get to chatting about this vExpert thing.
What in tarnation is a Vexpert? (No, sir, it’s v…Expert.)
If you don’t spend a lot of time around VMware or its community you probably don’t know how big it really is. Outside of the forums, user groups (VMUG), and things like the VCDX communities, there another major contributor – the vExpert program. This program consists of approximately 2,500 men and women of superior strength and omega level mutant abilities…or maybe it’s 2,500 men and women who really enjoy helping, raising awareness and informing, teaching, and giving back/paying forward? Can’t remember exactly which one it is, but I think it’s the former.
What has it done for me?
I’m not even going to pretend. 2021 is the first time I applied for vExpert and also the first time I was accepted. Did it get me a hefty pay raise or bonus? No, but I did get a nifty logo to use.
Did I get invited to the White House to meet the President? No.
Did I get to lift the Stanley Cup over my head and shake and spray champagne bottles all over the locker room? Kind of, but that wasn’t because of the vExpert program. That was just called Saturday night.
Did I get to make a cameo appearance in an upcoming, highly anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe movie? Not yet, but every day I wait outside at the mailbox for the mail man because I KNOW that the contract is in the mail (they haven’t gone digital yet, apparently).
Have I got to meet a bunch of other individuals who are dedicated to their craft and look to help others out, even if it isn’t really VMware-related? You bet!
I sit in a Slack channel with hundreds of others and randomly pop off questions about certain technologies to see if anyone has any experiences with them to get feedback from others. It’s an awesome resource pool to have in your tool belt. You get software keys from different vendors to use for a non-production environment. You get some swag, yearly vExpert parties with giveaways (I didn’t win this year, but I would’ve settled for a damn high five or something 😀 ), a little bit of that recognition sauce, and more. Most importantly, for me, you get that opportunity to give back and help the next IT professional. I wasn’t always in the position that I’m in now or have the skillset that I do. I grew into these shoes and if I sat here and even pretended to tell you that I did it all by myself then I’d probably burst into flames. It took time, dedication, relationships, mentoring, and a cornucopia of other things to get me here. The vExpert program helps me take all of the these things that were given to me to help me grow and provide them to someone else.
How do you vExpert up?
There’s really only one mandatory thing that needs to be done and that is to apply. You can sign up here to be notified when the application process opens. Once they open, you have a little bit of virtual paperwork to do showcasing your contributions to the IT community and stating why you think you should be accepted into the program. Then, after a few weeks, applications are closed and they are voted on. Shortly after, you may receive an e-mail saying that you’re the coolest person in the world, or one saying what could help you become that person. There’s so many different ways that you can contribute to the community. Some people blog, have YouTube channels, take part in social media, speak at events, do podcasts, have Github repos, and on, and on. All of these are how the individual vExperts like to give back to the IT community. Personally, I write technical blogs and informational posts on different social media platforms. A YouTube channel is in the works, but there’s other personal priorities before I take that on.
If you’re interested, hit me up! Let’s have a talk and I’ll see how I can help you get on the path to becoming a vExpert. You can reach me at any of the provided social media outlets that you see in my author profile at the end of the article. If you don’t want to talk to me, that’s cool too. There’s an elite bunch of vExperts called vExpert Pros and they are literally there to help people like yourself out. Don’t get the wrong impression either. You don’t have to sit in front of your computer for an additional 40 hours a week making content, writing code, or whatever.
As I mentioned, 2021 made me a first-timer, but you better believe I’m applying for 2022 and years to come. Aside from the “goodies” that you get, it’s a pretty great feeling when you get that comment on the forums saying that you solved someone’s problem, or that message on LinkedIn saying that they appreciated the effort you put into a blog post because it saved them a bunch of time. Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed the post make sure you check us out at dirmann.tech and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!
Paul Dirmann (vExpert*), VCIX-DCV, VCAP-DCV Design, VCAP-DCV Deploy, VCP-DCV, VCA-DBT, C|EH, MCSA, MCTS, MCP, CIOS, Network+, A+) is the owner and current Lead Consultant at Dirmann Technology Consultants. A technology evangelist, Dirmann has held both leadership positions, as well as technical ones architecting and engineering solutions for multiple multi-million dollar enterprises. While knowledgeable in the majority of the facets involved in the information technology realm, Dirmann honed his expertise in VMware’s line of solutions with a primary focus in hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) and software-defined data centers (SDDC), server infrastructure, and automation. Read more about Paul Dirmann here, or visit his LinkedIn profile.