A couple days ago a received a call for content communication from the one and only Corey Romero around the vExpert program. While I try to keep my thoughts away from my blog to focus on technical content, I also acknowledge everything the vExpert program brought to me and it wouldn’t be right to oblige and write a quick piece about it.
What is the vExpert program ?
For those who don’t know what the vExpert program is, it is a global evangelism and advocacy program that benefits both VMware and the vExperts, it is comparable to Microsoft’s MVP program. You can become a vExpert if you participate in the community in a number of ways, it could be through blogs, talks, local community events, webinars, VMTN heroes, you name it.
The point is to be active in the community and participate in the global VMware marketing effort as a whole. The title is delivered on a yearly basis and you need to manually apply to remain a vExpert.
There are many benefits in being a vExpert which I won’t list here but you can find all the details on the vExpert Application Portal.
What it means to be a vExpert
I got into the vExpert program in 2016 and renewed it every year ever since. I was so chuffed about it that I wrote a short piece about it. In fact I believe that is what really set me on my virtualization journey.
The benefits that go along with it are great and all but I would say the sense of belonging to this community is more meaningful in that you get to connect with a plethora of likeminded geeks. You get to learn a lot from your fellow vExperts and share your experience with them. Everyone in the community is benevolent, goodwilled and you will always find someone goes out of his way to help you out when you ask a question on the vExpert community slack channel.
Now I also wanted to point out that getting the vExpert award does not necessarily mean that one is an “expert” per se, however it shows someone who is passionate and goes out of his way in his professional career. And while being a vExpert isn’t a testimony of my technical skills, it has always been a big plus when applying to jobs or taking on a new mission as employers give a lot of credit to this program.
The evolution of the program
When I first got the award back in 2016, the vExpert program had already been around for several years (not sure when it started exactly). While it was a well oiled machine, Corey Romero and his team have been working hard over the years to get it off the ground and keep improving it.
- There is now a vExpert portal where you find all your licenses, product downloads, badges, access to the Slack channel, invitations to exclusive events such as webinars… A great location to consolidate all this stuff.
- A vExpert directory has been put in place to legitimize your belonging to the community. Hey that’s me.
- Sub-programs have been created for those specializing in specific areas such as vSAN, NSX, EUC…
- vExpert Pro, a network of vExperts around the world who are willing to identify and recruit new vExperts in their local communities and be mentors for these new vExperts.
How would I go about wrapping up this piece now? I will say that being a vExpert does not give bragging right. in fact it is quite the opposite, it requires humility as you need to be 100% sure of whatever you say online (at least the technical stuff) since people will take your vExpert word for it.
I think the takeway of all this is that the vExpert program is a great initiative to grow the VMware community, improve product advocacy, help people starting or cruising through their virtualization journeys and overall meet great people and sometimes friends!