My road to vExpert

vExpert: wow that guy works for VMware and must know it all. 

When I first started seeing and hearing the term vExpert in the different community virtualization events, podcasts, webinars and on people's Bio's on LinkedIn and Twitter, I thought it was a selective distinction for a very few, top product specialists within VMware; I believed it to be some sort of certification for its employees.
Later on, I noticed how others outside VMware also called themselves vExperts; but these individuals were known bloggers and virtualization community heavyweights; then I thought, maybe they get the privilege since they are so well versed in the technology and have proven it with their presentations, blog posts and even books. 

I didn't bother to look at the requirements for that "certification" or what it really meant, instead I just kept focused on VCP and VCAP just assuming vExpert was out of reach.

It wasn't until I started engaging more in the Boston VMUG and with the vBrownBag and LATAM crew that I realized the vExpert recognition was for the Community, for enthusiasts and evangelists of the technology. Even then, my assumption was that it would take an enormous amount of dedication, commitment and actual high technical expertise to become one.

My interest in attaining this award grew as I became aware of a key benefit: being able to use VMware products in a Home Lab; What? Have the ability to practice in your home gear without reinstalling every 60 days? Great, I needed to start putting the effort and pursue this recognition from VMware; I enjoy virtualization and this will only allow me continue learning and growing in that space. That benefit by itself is huge, the other perks are also very valuable, I'm not underestimating their value.

Found my mentors: Ariel Sanchez y Los Muchachos de vBrownBagLATAM 😊

I personally met the leaders of vBrownBagLATAM for the first time in Las Vegas
during VMworld 2016; it was there where I saw how passionate and dedicated these guys are with the community, how receptive they were with me and other users they never met before and didn't know much about. From day one I was engaged and helped out behind the cameras for the recordings of the "Focus on the Expert" that Ariel was producing, then as one of those recordings ended, Ariel said: "Okay Jorge it's your turn" - I declined at first stating my inexperience in front of a camera, but I was "methodically persuaded" and influenced into the recording seat. It wasn't as bad as I imagined after all and it felt nice to participate in the group where I was always at the receiving end; even though that first chat wasn't technical, it was a good start. 

Right after that experience, Ariel provided excellent advice in the direction to follow to achieve the vExpert status, he continued to motive me and others as to what needed to be done; increased participation in the vBrownBag weekly presentations, creating a blog, presenting at local VMUG events, etc. 

Almost all of the things that were advised to me, I did, and although this blog had just been created when application for the vExpert program was about to close, it was once again Ariel and the vBrownBagLATAM gang who convinced me to apply. With some doubts in my mind and 1 day to spare, I submitted my first ever application for the vExpert program.

Congratulations, vExpert 2017 Awarded!

What a nice email to see! The vBBLATAM guys saw the announcement initially and texted me with the news; I couldn't believe it at first, but it was true, my name was listed there among so many of the guys I follow and look up to for technical stuff. 
It is an honor and a really cool feeling to have achieved this award; now the real effort must commence. I'm a busy guy but my willingness to participate in the different community events is always there. It's remarkable that some many vExperts not only say Yes when they're invited to present, many actually look for opportunities to offer knowledge and that's is something I admire very much and is kind of contagious.
I will do my best to offer what my skill level and time permits, even if I'm not a SME in particular subject, I've learned that when sharing something you may partially know, the questions and feedback from others in the discussion, teach you a lot too. So, I'm looking forward to make it more often as presenter/provider of content and mentor others that may want to become vExperts.

No comments:

Post a Comment