I’m a vExpert PRO! Now what?
This year, I have decided to apply for the VMware vExpert PRO sub-program. My reason for this is that I sometimes run into colleagues and IT enthusiasts that talk about wanting to become a vExpert, but don’t know how to start. I want to help individuals with that. But, for me it’s not just that. Becoming a vExpert can be part of a larger or broader goal.
In this blog post I will describe the benefits of becoming a vExpert, how I think I can help you become a vExpert and/or help you with things such as improving your soft skills and public/community visibility.
What’s a vExpert
The VMware vExpert program is VMware’s global advocacy program that recognizes individuals for contributing their VMware knowledge and experience back to the global community.
For many, that may come in the form of blog posts, speaking events, VMUG leadership, and a variety of other ways. Being accepted as part of the VMware vExpert program is one of VMware’s ways of saying “thank you” to these individuals.
How I became a vExpert
It was early 2017 that I decided to aim for becoming a vExpert. I choose to do blogging and help others in the VMTN Community forum. It was something that I felt comfortable doing and was easy to start with. I created a series of blog posts around VMware Horizon, App Volumes and Dynamic Environment Manager (which was still called User Environment Manager at that time). The combination of blogging and helping others made me become a vExpert.
It got me extra motivated to continue with what I was doing for the community and last year I even decided to do public speaking at events as well.
I also became a leader within the Dutch vEUC Tech Conference leadership team. We organize a yearly event for the community, by the community that focuses on everything VMware EUC related.
Benefits of becoming a vExpert
Here’s a comprehensive list of vExpert benefits copied over from VMware’s vExpert web site:
- Network with over 1,400 other vExperts
- Opportunity to apply for 9 Official VMware Business Unit lead vExpert sub programs.
- Invite to our private vExpert #Slack channels
- vExpert certificate signed by our VMware CEO
- Permission to use the vExpert logo on cards, website, etc. for one year
- Exclusive gifts from various VMware and VMware partners
- Private & technical deep dive webinars with VMware and VMware partners
- Access to private betas (subject to admission by beta teams)
- 400-day eval licenses for most products for home lab
- Private pre-launch briefings via our bloggers briefing pre-VMware Explore (subject to admission by product teams)
- Featured in a public vExpert online directory
- Access to vetted VMware & Virtualization content for your social channels through VMware Advocacy
- Yearly vExpert parties at both VMware Explore U.S. Europe events or Gifts for vExperts attending VMware Explore
How I think I can help you
Everybody needs a little help sometimes. This applied and still applies to me as well. That’s also the reason why I wanted to become a vExpert PRO. To help you and to promote the vExpert program and sub-programs.
So what can I offer you?
- Honest opinion and advice (see next chapter for a non-exhaustive list of advice).
- I will not beat around the bush. 😉
- Help determine your personal roadmap (towards vExpert).
- Reviews of content creations (either written or oral content).
- Help with advertising your contributions.
- Help with your vExpert application.
Advice is something personal. Just use the advice that you think that applies to you.
- Choose a topic that you really like
- It helps choosing a topic that you really like. You automatically get enthusiastic about the topic that you talk or write about.
- Choose a topic that you have a lot of experience with
- It helps choosing a topic that you have (a lot of) experience with. You automatically feel more comfortable talking or writing about it.
- Choose something original
- It helps choosing something original that no one has written or talked about yet. The changes are that you output will get more attention.
- Choose something that has value
- It helps choosing something that you think has value. It doesn’t necessarily have to be very original, but it can make things easier for your audience. For instance by simplifying certain steps for an implementation, decision making, troubleshooting, etc.
- Start with one or more things that feel comfortable to you
- Some may feel comfortable writing about things in a blog post. Others choose to talk about it in a podcast, video or at a (community) event or conference. Just start by choosing what feels most comfortable to you and start from there.
- Choose one or more platforms to advertise
- Choose a platform that advertises your contribution, like Twitter, LinkedIn and others.
- Help others
- There are many ways of helping others, like the ones mentioned before. But there are also other ways of helping others, like providing help with (technical) question on the VMTN Community web site.
- Reach out to a vExpert PRO (!)
- Now, this may not be a full comprehensive list of advice, but just reach out to a vExpert PRO to have your specific questions get answered, or to get help with your specific challenges!
vExpert PROs around the world
Many times, you may find a local vExpert PRO in your country or region. You may find them here.