Virtually an expert?
The VMware vExpert program offers many benefits to those who participate the in VMware community. If you are a VMware administrator, a pundit who reports on VMware or a company that partners with VMware I strongly encourage you to apply. The deadline to apply for the VMware vExpert program has been extended to midnight PST, April 22, 2013, but that’s right around the corner! I have; let’s take a look at why.
What are vExperts?
According to the official vExpert 2013 blog post, vExperts are those who have “made some of the most important contributions to the VMware community. These are the bloggers, book authors, VMUG leaders, speakers, tool builders, community leaders and general enthusiasts. They work as IT admins and architects for VMware customers, they act as trusted advisors and implementers for VMware partners or as independent consultants, and some work for VMware itself. All of them have the passion and enthusiasm for technology and applying technology to solve problems. They have contributed to the success of us all by sharing their knowledge and expertise.”
That’s a pretty broad brush, so let’s try to narrow this down a little. A vExpert is someone who knows a fair amount about VMware, VMware’s products or VMware’s community. They have in some way contributed to that community; either by advancing the community itself or by cheerleading for VMware and/or her products.
Customer Path: This could take several forms; contrary to some common misperceptions, fighting the good fight internal to your organisation counts. If you’re the red tape warrior who downloaded ESXi onto your home network to learn how it works, did your research and went to tilt at windmills to get it deployed they you are a great candidate for the vExpert program.
Evangelist Path: You don’t have to be a systems administrator to be a vExpert either. There are plenty of bloggers and pundits who would be excellent candidates for the program: individuals who have researched, learned, reviewed and discussed all things VMware. If you are someone passionate about technology who sees the value that VMware can and does provide, then you should apply. Have you presented at a VMUG, discussed VMware at a Spicecorps, LUG or other user group? Have you spoken at VMworld? Do you blog about VMware, give interviews and spread the word on twitter? If so, you sound like a VMware evangelist and you should probably apply.
VMware Partner Network Path: VMware partners are candidates as well; nothing advances VMware and her community more than getting the products into people’s hands. Do you build VMware into your widgets like Nutanix? Create a kernel-module that revolutionises the capabilities of the VMware datacenter like PernixData? Or are you building a VMware-aware simulation system like Cloudphysics to ensure we can use proper science instead of guesswork to design the datacenters of the future? All of these individuals are candidates to be vExperts.
What are the benefits of being a vExpert?
The biggest benefit is that of recognition within the community. VMware administrators, partners and pundits recognise the designation “vExpert” as someone who goes above and beyond. They are recognised as knowing what they are talking about when it comes to VMware.
This has benefits. Vendors seek out vExperts to get their opinion on new products. The press seek out vExperts as technology experts in general and VMware experts in particular. You get invited to all the right virtualisation parties and get to meet all the cool people.
You also get a fistful of free licences for your testlab; the better for you to learn and further evangelise. You get access to betas, early briefings, an exclusive vExpert community as well as additional reference materials.
That’s all sideshow, however, as the biggest advantage to being a vExpert is that you are accepted “into the fold” at VMware. You become one of the inner circle of individuals who gets to see what’s coming down the pipe with VMware and the first opportunity to have your voice heard regarding these pending changes. Instead of simply applying or reporting on the technologies on offer, your insights and ideas will help shape the very products that define the datacenters of tomorrow.
Have I piqued your interest? I sure hope so. I’ve applied for the evangelist path myself! I’m excited by the possibility that I might be accepted into this community and I will continue to report on the progress of my application (and hopefully my journey through being a vExpert) as events unfold.
If you know someone who should apply to be a vExpert, recommend them here.
If you yourself want to apply then please do so here.
Questions about the vExpert program? E-mail the vExpert Program here.
You should also follow John Troyer, VMware’s head of all things community here.
Good luck, and I can’t wait to see new people on the vExpert Directory for 2013!