Wouter’s five vCommunity tips for visiting VMworld

While this year will only be my third visit to VMworld I still think I have some tips to share with the vCommunity. Yes offcourse you need to keep hydrated all the time, have good footwear and don’t party to hard if you have sessions early in the morning but there’s more to VMworld then just that: the vCommunity itself!

Tip 1 : engage strangers

This his already been said at other blogs but don’t be afraid to engage strangers in conversation. If you hear a good conversation going on, don’t be afraid to listen to it, ask questions or even voice your own opinion. If you do this politely no-one will think badly of you. This also counts when heading our for breakfast or lunch, only take a seat at an empty table if you have to. I have made some good contacts after just joining them at their breakfast table. This also counts for the evening parties, I prefer the ones where you can actually have a decent conversation above those where you need to shout to understand each other.

Tip 2 : Join the Hackathon

You don’t need to be an experienced coder or scripter to join the hackathon. Last year I had an almost complete noob (Sorry Hans!) at my team and at the end of the evening he was able to create a small script of his own. This makes him stand very high on my ranking above people who are very experienced and only do their usual trick but just a bit different. Also don’t be afraid that you might make a mistake, we all do all the time and it’s the best way to learn how those script you might have partially copied from the internet actually work.

Tip 3 : Visit the community booth & area

For me both previous years the community booth and the area around it where the highlights of the show. Not only is there awesome content to be found at the communities/vBrownbag theatre, it also seems to be the place where lots of smart people gather to drink a coffee, have fun and share knowledge. This year there it will have an even greater presence with the addition of another theatre for VMware {code}!!

Tip 4 : look for the smaller stands at the solution exchange

You probably already know most of the big brands showcasing their latest and greatest at the solution exchange. To the sides at the smaller and simpler booths you might find some startups that might have a new and awesome product that you didn’t know yet. There’s a good chance you might find a vcdx or vExpert at these booths that really know what they are talking about.

Tip 5 : join the UX Design studio sessions

You might have met them already at your local VMUG but did you know that they also had feedback sessions during both VMworlds in 2017? In these small and sometimes one on one sessions you really have the chance to have an impact on future products of VMware. I did several last year and these where really good. It’s their job to listen to you while you think out loud about how something looks. This can be in the form clicking inside an actual product, powerpoints with visuals or even drawings that they came up with recently.

Bonus tip: be selective on the swag

If you go all out on swag this will fill up your suitcase pretty damn quick and you will come home with at least 60% junk that ends up in the bin because it’s unusable or already broken. So be picky on the shirts and socks you accept, why accept it if you wouldn’t want to wear it anyway? Also make sure to bring some rubberbands to roll the shirts in. I was picky my first two times but still managed to fill up a suitcase each time, just look at the pictures below.

VMworld US 2016:

Top right is a stack of 17!! t-shirts almost all rolled up

VMworld EU 2017

This time I didn’t really roll those shirts.

 

Hopefully I will see you at VMworld!

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