Welcome to episode 33 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two VMware Solution Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode we discuss user groups and advocacy groups in the second part of our conversation with Tony Reeves.
Original Recording Date: 04-15-2019
Topics – Tony Reeves of Gigacast on User Groups and Advocacy Groups
02:03 User Group Involvement
- Tony got involved in VMUG after a friend told him about VMware technologies in 2008. It was interesting at the time but above his head.
- After he got the job as a VMware administrator, he started attending VMUGs close to home.
- The community talks were so valuable he started wanting to visit VMUGs in other areas.
- Just going to meetings gets you involved in the community.
- Tony got to know the leadership of his local group and wanted to start giving back in other ways.
- When one of the Wisconsin VMUG leaders got a job at VMware, Tony joined the steering committee and was eventually promoted to leader in October 2018.
- As part of the steering committee, Tony was on weekly staff calls and helped find venues for meetings. The time commitment was not as much as he thought.
- Being a leader added additional planning responsibilities and required leadership training.
- Tony speaks to the customer / vendor / VMware employee ratio on the steering committee and leadership group of a VMUG.
12:07 Advocacy Groups
- Tony first applied for the vExpert program at the end of 2016.
- He was encouraged to apply by a mentor.
- The applications are reviewed, and getting into the program is based on community contribution and participation.
- Perks of the program involve free software licenses, sneak peaks at new products, and other special events.
- Getting into the program is one thing. Staying in is another. You must maintain contributions (blogging podcasts, etc.).
- Tony is also a blogger.
- He was recently recognized as the Favorite New Blog for 2018 on vsphere-land.com.
- Tony weighs in on the effects of being on the Gigacast.
- Once they shifted the format of the show to a guest format, it seemed to really take off.
- Tony may not have been exposed to some of the topics if he did not have this chance to get outside the VMware bubble.
- If you like the show, be sure to tell the guys who make it…and don’t forget to ask for a sticker!
- You can contact Tony for help any time.
- Tony gives John an on-air "thank you" for a previous mentoring session.
- "Now it’s your turn."