Yesterday at the long awaited reboot of the Perth VMUG
here in Western Australia I chaired a vExpert/vChampion Panel that included Alex Barron
, Luke Brown
, Luke Dudney
and Tim Williams
. As a group we collectively felt the community aspect of the VMUGs was missing from the Perth meetings and we pushed hard to replicate other successful VMUGs
around the world by having a Community Session as part of the VMUG Agenda.
The idea of the Panel was to try and get the crowd thinking about their own community involvement and the benefits that it can lead to both from a work and personal point of view. We each introduced ourselves, talked about what we did at our day jobs and then talked a little about our experiences on how being part of the VMware community has benefited us since deciding to become more engaged in community activities by embracing programs such as the vExpert and vChampion Programs…Collectively we each acknowledged that we are better off in our careers due to our involvement.
Apart from the technical benefits in being able to bounce ideas and problems off other technically minded people within the community the biggest takeaway I thought was that the people where able to understand that there is more out there than just the four walls of their offices. Sometimes I feel that IT people are stuck in the late 90s or early 2000s when social media was either non existent or prevalent and there was a “lets keep things close to our chest” mentality. The single biggest thing I love about the VMware Community is that there is more often than not a “share first” mentality…I’m not sure why this is so strong in the VMware community but it’s because of this mentality that there is so much content being created and so much online collaboration happening.
With the help of some prompting by @cswaters1 the audience got into the swing of things and began to participate in the panel asking questions around how we got involved with the community among other things…the discussion around blogging was particularly interesting and even a tongue in cheek comment as to my blogging frequency (and the fact I was concocting this very post in my head during the panel) didn’t detract from a key message around blogging.
In a recent vExpert Spotlight interview I did with @vCenterNerd I talked about how to get involved in community and gave this response:
What advice would you give to others involved in the VMware community who are looking at becoming a vExpert?
For me it’s all about contributing in a positive way towards this great community. If you haven’t started a blog but feel you have something to say then start one. Don’t worry about weather or not you feel your content is worthy of being out in the public, chances are someone, somewhere will find it interesting.
Finding time to tinker in your own home lab or wherever you have access to hardware and software is of massive benefit. Content tends to generate naturally and without effort the more you tinker and play with cool technologies.
The Create, Share and Contribute message was what we finished up on and after the panel was done the five of us all got great feedback on the sessions and we felt an increased sense of purpose with those who we talked to during the networking food and drinks after the meeting had finished…we even committed to starting a local Perth VMUG Slack Group to help member collaborate.
There are a number of examples where people have used community as a launching pad for their career and used it to change direction and career trajectories…and while that’s another great benefit of getting involved you might find that along the way you may develop some great friendships and become mates with a great bunch of people. So even though I am probably preaching to the converted here…retweet/repost this article and lets try and use community it’s self to get the message across!
Community? …Just to it!