• Category Archives vExpert
  • vExpert for 2014 – Three Years Running

    Today VMware announced the vExperts for 2014 on the VMTN blog today. I was proud, honored and humbled to be awarded this for the third year running and even prouder to see my many of fellow Varrowites awarded this distinction. Varrow now has ten vExperts for 2014 as Jason Nash, our CTO and Chief Evangelist at Varrow announced on his blog today. Definitely check out Jason’s post and see who all of the Varrow vExperts are this year. But I thought I would take a minute to talk about the vExpert program and community in general.

    So what is a vExpert – it may not be what you think.

    From the vExpert Community Site

    The annual VMware vExpert title is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. The title is awarded to individuals (not employers) for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion for VMware technology above and beyond their job requirements.

    The vExpert award is not about technical expertise, though many of the awardees are technical in nature. There are many great technical minds that are not members of the vExpert program. There is a wide mixture of folks in the community who share their knowledge in various ways and I think this is a part of the strength of community and allows each person to contribute and raise the level of the community at large with it. There are even multiple paths to achieving your vExpert award, Evangelist Path, Customer Path and Partner Path when you apply so you can choose which method best suits your type of activity or contributions to the community and are reviewed each year so awardees for 2014 were reviewed against their contributions for 2013 across various platforms depending on which path you choose to follow.

    Most of the major vendors have their own community programs but I think the VMware vExpert program is one of the most successful and well known at this point other than maybe the Microsoft MVP program which has been around forever. Cisco now has the #CiscoChampion for different practices such as Datacenter which I am a member of as well. Citrix has their CTP program, EMC has the EMC Elect program of which Varrow has a high number of members proportionally speaking to company size. Even smaller partners and vendors are creating their own programs modeling programs like the vExpert which I believe to now be setting the standard for community programs.

    So what is Community

    I think in this case the definition definitely falls in category #2 above “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” So the VMware vExpert community brings people who have an interest in VMware products sharing that interest creating this fellowship feeling. 

    Being a part of this community for several years, I definitely feel that feeling of fellowship. Some of the people in the community I only know virtually through their blogs and twitter and then we meet and its like we have always been friends. Its funny how that works at conferences and events when you meet folks you only know through the virtual channels like twitter. This happened to me several times recently at our own conference Varrow Madness we just put on where I met quite a few folks in person I knew from twitter. Some of my customers even know me from twitter and even requested me personally (Thank you) based upon those virtual community based interactions.

    Community is important for everyone, here are some examples but by no means inclusive on how each person in the chain may use the community or contribute to it

    • The User – Self service support on how to fix some client side issues, gain information, how tos
    • The HelpDesk – Solve support issues quickly through blog post fixes
    • The Administrator – Support, Scripts, may blog or speak at events themselves, lead or be a part of user groups
    • The VARs or Partner  – Support, Consuming information, sharing information through social media, speaking at events
    • The Vendor – it magnifies their message, products, knowledge of their products which expands their usage 

    Knowledge is power and sharing it expands both your knowledge as well as those seeking it.  Community is immensely powerful and the stronger your community the more likely you are to succeed. Community isn’t just for programs like vExpert its also an important aspect of an employer in my opinion. Varrow has a strong, vibrant community as part of its culture and that is one of the aspects that drew me here and will keep me here.

    If you want to be part of a community and I encourage it whether it be where you live, where you work or things you are interested in such as technology platforms like VMware, go for it. They are immensely rewarding in many ways. I know that these multiple communities I am in personally and professionally have been very beneficial and rewarding to me and others I know as well.

  • VMware vExpert Nominations for 2013 are Open

    Nominations are open for the VMware vExpert program for 2013. There are three paths to becoming a vExpert for 2013. Deadlines for application are by Midnight on April 15th 2013. I was extremely proud to be included in the 2012 group. The VMware community is one of the most open and active technical groups out there in many formats including twitter, blogging and community events such as the vBeers VMUGs.

    Evangelist Path
    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.

    Customer Path
    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.

    VPN (VMware Partner Network) Path
    The VPN 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.

    Recommend that someone apply for vExpert 2013: http://bit.ly/vExpert2013recommend 
    Apply for vExpert 2013: http://bit.ly/vExpert2013application The deadline for applications is April 15, 2013 at midnight PDT.
    The existing VMware vExpert 2012 directory is at http://communities.vmware.com/vexpert.jspa.
    For questions about the application process or the vExpert Program, use the comments below or email vexpert@vmware.com.

    Thanks to everyone who has participated in the program over the years,
    John Troyer & the vExpert Program Team

  • vExpert 2012

    I am honored to be included in the 2012 vExpert list as awarded by VMware. There are just over 400 experts annoucned this year and I am proud to be included in this distinguished list of Experts.

    The annual VMware vExpert title is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. The title is awarded to individuals (not employers) for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion for VMware technology above and beyond their job requirements

    Links –
    vExpert Directory and Information
    vExperts 2012