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Thursday, August 24, 2017

VMware Community Involvement

I have been very blessed to have many mentors that have given me sound advice in my career. They have seen my desire to learn, and given me advice on how to grow via skill set and other means. Mentors have helped to continue the learning process to help me grow my career. One of those means has been getting involved in VMware and VMUG communities.

Last week I am honored to share that I was awarded the VMware vExpert VSAN award for my contributions to the community around the vSAN product. Thank you to Corey Romero and his team for all they do to support this community! I have to say this wouldn't be possible without those mentors! They gave me the push I needed to apply for the program and succeed. I have done a lot of promotion of this product through twitter, doing VMUG presentations at local meetings and USERCON events throughout the Midwest. These presentations were based upon my production install experience with VSAN. This will be a short post but I wanted to give some mentoring advice of my own based on my experiences.

The first thing I would have to say to any aspiring vExpert or anyone looking for career growth for that matter, is to put yourself out there and step out of your comfort zone! Get involved in a local VMUG, start attending meetings, get to know the leadership and the membership! You will be surprised by how willing to help everyone is in the community, and how much the leadership will appreciate having someone that wants to step up and participate. One thing they love is people willing to do Community presentations at Quarterly meetings. It doesn't have to be a long talk sometimes they can fit you in time slots as little as 15 minutes until you get comfortable, they have tools and advice that can help get you more comfortable with public speaking as well.

Start a blog! I was encouraged to start this blog by several of my mentors and it has been a lot of fun. Even if I don't get a ton of readership it's rewarding to try to help others with things I have learned and get those thoughts down on paper. I can't tell you the number of times I have seen bloggers refer back to their own articles as reference!

Start a podcast. It doesn't have to be anything fancy and it doesn't have to be deeply technical, it can be whatever you want it to be. Just try to be as accurate with your information as you can and learn from the experience. I am currently Co-Hosting a podcast with my longtime friend Britton Johnson and it has been really fun, and we learn from each other as we discuss certain VMware product lines that either of us have more experience with.

I have learned so much from my experience on the job, but the VMUG community is an amazing resource that you don't want to miss out on. I appreciate all the information I have gleaned and all the relationships that I have made through both the vExpert and VMUG communities. I am looking forward to meeting many people that I have only known through twitter at VMworld in a few days.

Bottom line is don't be afraid to put yourself out there! You will be amazed what happens once you step out of that comfort zone and be an active participant! Thank you to all of my mentors out there, you know who you are! Cheers and thanks for reading!

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