November last year, my fellow VMUG leader Christian Mohn, arranged Norways first VMUG meeting in Bergen and we’ve been having 3 meetups after that as well, in Oslo, Trondheim and Bergen (for the second time). Christian recently published a nice article on how to start a VMUG, so I figured I would contribute on that subject and try to dive into some of the values of having a local VMUG community, which is exactly the reason why we finally started one here in Norway!
First of all, let’s not forget that VMUG’s are as social (at least that’s what I think) as they are technical focused. You definitely wish to have some great speakers providing aspects on software and solutions, that are valuable and informative to the audience, but let’s not forget about the vBeers and pizza’s at the end 🙂
Attending a local VMUG community gives you the ability to talk to other VMware users, partners etc that can help you to answer your tricky little questions. There is no doubt that you will find those highly skilled “VMware-nerds” that do have the answers you are looking for. Not only will you find the most skillful ones, you’ll also find the local ones, those with the familiar face that you feel much easier talking to at first. A VMUG meeting often consists of partner employees, and/or VMware staff. As a user, those employees are the people you often know beforehand from other situations, such as presentations, meetings, installations etc.
Here in Norway we always try to have at least one “customer-case” presentation. This gives everyone a chance to tell something good (or bad) from any experience they’ve had in their virtualized environment. Real-life cases tends to be very popular as other users relate to them quite easily, but also to the fact that it gives everyone a chance to have a “show-off” of their own environment as well.
Competence-vise, there is no doubt that you should surround yourself with people that are higher skilled than yourself, simply because you’ll learn a lot from it! Which again proves that VMUG is an important arena if you seek knowledge. Do you want to become VCP, VCAP/VCIX or VCDX certified, surround yourself and talk with others that already have achieved those certifications. Or perhaps you are aiming for a vExpert-title? Doing presentations and hosting VMUG’s is (as you can see) as important for other VMware-users as it is for you.
Not only focusing towards individuals, how about other vendors? What is a better way than reaching out to different VMUG-meetings worldwide to share and present third-party solutions, that are very well integrated into VMware’s ecosystem? Awesome for vendors, awesome for the audience, which again have the benefit of learning new and cool “stuff” that are not coming directly out of the VMware fabric.
Last, but not least, it is valuable for VMware. VMUG is an independent organization with over 100.000 members world-wide. The fact that most of these VMUG-meetings tend to spread VMware’s message in some way, you can imaging how important that is to VMware itself.
Øivind Ekeberg (@oekeberg, vExpert 14/15) doing the introduction at VMUG Oslo in January