vExpert Applications now open – how the community has helped during lockdown.

The vExpert Programme is now open to applications for the second half of 2020, so if you haven’t already applied, go do it now! You’ve got till the 25th June 2020! =)

https://blogs.vmware.com/vexpert/2020/05/31/vexpert-applications-are-open-dont-miss-out/

So I’ve written quite a number of blogs about how and why you should get involved in the vExpert community, so I’m not going to write about that this time…. plus a lot of other vExperts have written about this topic already so I’ve decided to write about something else – how the friends I’ve made within the vExpert community have kept me sane through lockdown!

In March this year the UK went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in fact a lot of countries around the world were forced to introduce pretty drastic measures to try and control the spread of the deadly virus! Little did we all know that 3 months later we’re all still in partial lockdown with life not seemingly going back to normal for a long long time!

Without social interaction such as grabbing coffee with work colleagues or meeting friends for drinks, life has been a bit monotonous… you wake up, switch on your laptop and pretty much jump on zoom calls from dawn to dusk! Work days have become longer and your work life balance has become a blur as you struggle to draw a line between work and family life! Me personally, I’ve never been so busy! My days are full of back-to-back meetings as I try to juggle the 50 odd partners I have across EMEA! I’ve had to resort to blocking out hours in my calendar just so that I’m spending meal times with my family, and also so that I can spend some time with my kids during the day!

But what’s also been a huge welcomed relief is that I can occasionally take a short break from work and just catch up with fellow vExperts in a WhatsApp group that was started over 2 years ago – back at the first VMware Empower. Over the years the group has grown to include people we’ve meet at various VMworlds and now I consider the 16 other people in the group as my confidants.

To be honest, the group was originally started to share our love of free swag which we used to hoard from VMware events… but over the years it’s become a good sounding board for everyone in the group – whether asking for career advice, to sharing funny video clips, to moaning about work and life, to asking for help in solving some VMware-related work problems. Everyone should have a group like this!

What I find is great about this mini group of vExperts is that whilst we all come from different walks of life everyone is humble and treats each other with respect. When people are having issues with work, everyone is happy to jump in to help…. When people are looking to just let off some steam, everyone is happy to listen…. When people decide they need a career change, everyone is willing to give advice!
The group has seen people change jobs, get married, and even have kids – but the one thing that still stays the same is our engagement with the VMware community (I’m fortunate that the group includes both VMUG leaders and vExpert Pros).

I’m not going to name names as I don’t want to embarrass anyone, however one thing I will say is that this group of vExperts have helped me keep sane through lockdown…. I don’t just value them as vExpert peers, I value them as friends!

And to think… if I didn’t originally take that leap of faith and apply for the VMware vExpert program, I would never have met these guys!

So what are you waiting for? Take that leap and apply!

https://vexpert.vmware.com/

Best of luck……

VMware vExpert Community – 2020

Like many vExperts, waiting for the announcement for 2020 has been a little nerve-wrecking. 2019 was a very busy year for me, got made redundant from VMware, welcomed my 2nd child into this world and then joined CloudHealth by VMware in an EMEA-wide role, and then pretty much kissed goodbye to my free time as I was busy juggling nappies with learning about AWS and Azure…. as a result this blog got de-prioritised and I was a little worried my lack of blog content would affect my vExpert application.

Well, thankfully not and I’m proud to say that I’ve been re-accepted as a VMware vExpert again this year – my 6th consecutive year! =)

https://blogs.vmware.com/vexpert/2020/02/24/vexpert-2020-award-announcement/

Congratulations to all who have be chosen as vExperts for 2020 and welcome to all the new vExperts this year! Today there are 1,730 vExperts from 40+ countries, so it’s great to see a growing global community!

I’m not going to write much about the vExpert community as I did that last year, and I’m just going to relink to my blog entry. It’s definitely a good read for anyone looking to join the vExpert Community

VMware vExpert Community – Get Involved…

vExpert 2018 Award Announcement

So last Thursday/Friday the vExpert slack channel was awash with lots of nervous energy as people were eagerly waiting for the announcement to see if they had been accepted back into the vExpert program for 2018…. Strange, but to me it seemed that everyone was a little bit more nervous this year then previous years!

On a side note – my newly favourited key stroke on Slack is Shift+Esc which clears all unread messages and notifications! =P

What probably didn’t help the nerves was when someone posted up a tweet by Eric Nielsen (who helps run the community alongside Corey Romero) showing that 1366 were accepted into the 2018 vExpert program, 305 were rejected and 183 deferred!!
Definitely made me a bit more nervous when I saw that…. >_<”

I think some people take it for granted that they’ll be re-accepted, I for one am always nervous and never take these things for granted because I see a lot of other people around me who blog a lot more than me or help out in the community a lot more than me.

Nerves were finally settled close to midnight on Friday, just as I was getting ready to go to bed…. an email pinged through with some welcoming words:
vexpert

I’m obviously glad and honoured to be considered part of this amazing group for the 4th year running. =)

The new vExpert portal looks brilliant and the directory has even updated our profiles:
vexpert-profile

For those who don’t know, the VMware vExpert program is VMware’s global evangelism and advocacy program. It’s a select group held in high regards within the VMware community as a bunch of IT professionals who ‘give back’ to the community whether by sharing their VMware knowledge by blogging or by helping within the community forums.

 

As always, much thanks has to go to those in the background who help run the vExpert and VMTN communities…. Eric NielsenCorey Romero and Katie Bradley (to name just a few… apologies if I’ve missed anyone out).

 

Finally well done to all the new and returning vExperts for 2018.

https://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2018/03/vexpert-2018-award-announcement.html