It’s that time of year, folks! vExpert applications for 2023 opened on Monday, 12th December 2022 (closing on Friday, 13th January 2023), and with it, the excitement (horror/trepidation) of the intake process began.
The programme is dedicated to those who want to support and give back to our wonderful community of VMware advocates, home labbing enthusiasts, content creators and public speakers. For those out there (most of us) with a touch (slathering) of the old Imposter Syndrome, joining said group of VMware advocates, home labbing enthusiasts, content creators, and public speakers might feel like the scariest thing in the world, however, believe me, it shouldn’t be.
So, you wanna be a vExpert?
Firstly, there’s nothing to worry about. The vExpert programme is a group of technology-passionate people who, honestly, want to see you succeed. Thinking about it, it’s in our DNA. Personally, I owe a lot (a LOT) to the vExpert programme, and I wouldn’t have been afforded some of the opportunities I’ve had if not for all things vExpert. Blog writing, public speaking, and being able to rub shoulders with some of the WORLD’s most awesome VMware community members. Yeah…that Imposter Syndrome just follows us right along, huh?
Secondly, for those interested in applying for the programme, I always ask three questions – a) What do you believe the vExpert programme is? b) What do you want from the vExpert programme? And, most importantly, c) What can you give to the Community?
License Keys? vExpert Benefits? Awesome! What’s the Catch?
Some simply want to join the programme for free license keys. vExperts, after all, are gifted with a 365-day entitlement for pretty much the entire on-premises stack of VMware products, as well as a substantial number of partner offerings (trust me, substantial!) That’s amazing in itself, right? It has enabled me to lab VMware products for personal upskilling, content creation, and event demos, and it has been a brilliant asset!
Another privilege is the opportunity to attend advance-notice webinars and events hosted directly by VMware business units. These advance notices happen way ahead of public announcements and are literally from the horse’s mouth (apologies for the ‘horse’ term, VMware), enabling you, your organisation(s), your teams, your customers, and your closer community with product updates and release announcements to hit the ground running on day one of the public announcements going live.
Oh, and did I mention that you also get access to private vExpert Slack channels? Have a query or challenge and want to bounce it off a huge community of peers? Yeah, ask in Slack. Easy.
However, and there is a however. The above takes commitment, collaboration, interaction, and a community-driven approach to content creation and knowledge sharing within the wider vExpert and VMware communities.
The vExpert programme is NOT a certification. It is an evangelism and advocacy programme which awards its members who give back to the community via content, speaking events, and community collaboration by promoting your articles, giving you exposure at global events, co-op advertising, traffic analysis, and early access to beta programs and VMware’s roadmap. Oh, and licenses for labbing and creating awesome content which you can then feed back into the community… 😉
So, with this in mind, do you still wanna be a vExpert? Those who crave simple license keys don’t (in my experience) tend to last long. Those who love technology and have a passion for helping others, that’s the strength of the vExpert programme, and I guarantee you WILL make long-lasting friends and relationships as a result.
Still wanna be a vExpert? Yes! But where do I start?
The application process can be a daunting one. For example, ‘Do I apply as a Customer, a Partner, or an Evangelist?’ ‘What content or experience do I have that I can use as evidence?’ I was lucky enough to be given some pointers back when I applied and, since then, the vExpertPRO subprogramme (a programme which, as vExperts evangelise VMWare technologies, evangelises the vExpert programme in its own right) has been established, allowing experienced vExperts to assist and mentor vExpert candidates on their vExpert applications and journeys.
So, in a nutshell, if you are interested in applying to the vExpert programme and have any queries (big or small), please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via my Contact Page, Twitter or LinkedIn. Likewise, if you’d prefer to reach out to a vExpertPRO closer to you geographically, simply check out the VMware vExpert Directory.
On a closing note, I cannot praise the vExpert Programme highly enough. It is a group of individuals passionate about technology and VMware products, the community, and our ecosystem. Trust me, whether you feel you have enough content or have collaborated with the community enough. Apply! Apply before the closing date of Friday, 13th January. You have nothing to lose and a huge amount to gain.
Good luck to all potential and current/renewing vExpert applicants (for which I am one), and good luck to one and all!