After discussing the technical side of VMworld 2017 in my previous posts, it is finally time to shift focus to my favorite topic: networking and community.

The real added value of VMworld is the infinite opportunities to interact with peers and build your own professional and personal network. I remember my first VMworld in 2011: I was nobody and I knew nobody. In 2017 I can list the achievements I “unlocked” as a direct consequence of that trip to Copenhagen:

1. I started attending VMUG meetings
2. I became a VMUG Leader and got the VMUG President’s Award in 2016!
3. I became a vEXPERT
4. I landed a job with VMware (although I am not there anymore, that was a life achievement!)
5. I started blogging
6. I became a Tech Field Day delegate
7. I attended VMworld 2017 as an Official Blogger
8. I learned a lot and became a way better professional
9. I met and shook hands with the best minds in the industry
10. I made lots of friends in the community <== This one’s the best!

Going to that VMworld in 2011 on my own money and leave days (my employer at the time wasn’t interested in having me attend conferences) was the best career and personal investment I could do, it all started from there.

Now, attending VMworld only it’s not enough, but at least for me it was the spark that made me crawl out of my cave and start connecting with “others”. Here I am, a living proof of the value and openness of our great vCommunity.

This VMworld is in the books, but you have 12 more months to prepare for that and make best use of the social side of it. Start by checking if there is a VMUG close to you, then reach out to your local Leaders and get connected. Chances are that there is a VMUG meeting in the pipeline and you could attend it or even offer your help to organize it! If there is no Local VMUG yet close to you, why not start one? All it takes is enthusiasm and will to do something for the community. No skills are required, only commitment. In any case start by checking the VMUG website – www.vmug.com or reach out to me for advice or mentoring. I bet that by 2018 you will already be a well known name in the vCommunity!

Still on the VMUG subject, VMworld 2017 was once again a great occasion to meet with other European Leaders like the vVikings Liselotte Foverskov, Eirik Vada and Christian Mohn, los Españoles Javi Larrea and Daniel Pascua, the Brit Dave Simpson, the Dutch Joep Piscaer and so on… The occasions to meet were multiple: hanging out in the VMvillage, attending VMUG meetings, the VMUG Leaders Lunch (where, by the way, the Italian VMUG was awarded the Extra Mile award for 2017!). But besides VMUG, I also had the opportunity to spend some time with fellow vEXPERTs (the two communities overlap often) like Ricky El Qasem, Alex Galbraith, Vladan Seget, Paul Meehan, Ather Beg, Kim Bottu, Alastair Cooke, Paolo Valsecchi, Andreas Lesslhumer, Simon Eady, Frank Brix Pedersen and many others more! I apologize if I may have left anyone of you out but you can forgive an old man for memory faults… Besides meeting all these people around the Fira, as usually the well organized vEXPERT party was a great occasion to share a drink together and catch up!

I also met many of my former VMware Italy colleagues from the Milan and Rome offices: Alberto Bullani, Michele Apa, Andrea Siviero, Enrico Boverino, Gabriele Di Traglia, Simone Di Mambro, Simone Naldi, Fabrizio Amadio, Luca Morelli, Cesare Rossi, Rodolfo Rotondo. It felt like I never left… sempre uno di voi!

While not busy with sessions and vendors, I spent a lot of time in the VMTN Village, where bloggers usually sit to work on their posts and mingle. I was welcomed by Elsa Meyer and Katie Bradley who did an amazing work there and run the VMTN Blog Beat program: if you don’t know yet, Blog Beat replaced the old Planet V12n feed and it is the new VMware Blogger platform where both official VMware and independent blogs are featured. Also, a cross-referencing platform is being built so featured bloggers can promote each other’s quality content. To be featured, you will have to sign up, all the information you’ll need will be available at this page:https://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/tag/blog-beat

The VMTN lounge was also the location of the vBrownBag talks that were broadcasted live featuring great tech content straight from VMworld and delivered from top speakers. I appeared on that stage as well with the rest of the Italian VMUG team to present (in Italian) a VMworld recap to our audience at home.

Finally, I wanted to mention the VMware Code booth: if you write ANY code that you apply to your daily job on VMware you should definitely join the program and share your bits to the vCommunity, that’s the spirit! More info on the program’s official website: https://code.vmware.com/home

Wrapping up this post, once again VMworld proved to be an unmissable occasion for me to keep buiding relationships. If I was able to do it, you can do it too.

Good bye and see you next November in Barcelona!

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