Well, I’m back. Just when you thought it was safe…
Has it really been that long? Wow! Leave a few draft blog posts hanging around to be published ‘as soon as I tidy this up’ and sometimes you just never get back to finishing them off. It’s easily done.
A lot has happened since the previous post, which advertised the 2017 UK VMUG UserCon. A lot of it has been VMUG related too, one way or another. This wasn’t originally going to be one of those “new decade, time to reflect” posts, but it’s probably gonna end up being one anyway, because that sets the scene for a whole new bunch of posts that I am planning, which will cover a number of the things I mention here in more depth.
Where it all started
London VMUG was where all this started. OK, it actually started a little before that, although I didn’t really know it at the time! Happily, two of the people I met really early on are friends who I still see regularly today. I’ve been doing VMware things for a long time, but when I managed to get on a proper training course through work, I got taught vSphere 3.0 by Ricky El-Qasem back in 2007. Then, just after I’d passed the 3.5 VCP at VMworld 2008, I met Jane Rimmer at a VMworld party on some hotel roof or other. If you wanted to get started in the VMware Community back then (and to this day!) then you couldn’t pick two better people if you tried.
My VMUG Journey
After I discovered that London VMUG was somewhere that I could learn a lot, my time with VMUG went from nervous newcomer to ‘regular attendee swerving doing a presentation’ to vFactor presenter (they finally got me), London VMUG Leader, VMUG Leader Advisory Council founder member, Leader Summit attendee, through to my current position, just starting my second year serving on the VMUG Board of Directors - with an additional focus on looking for additional talent to join us on the BoD. It’s been quite a ride! Jane Rimmer’s been there all the way through this, but Mariano Maluf and Ben Clayton have to share some of the responsibility. Correction - It’s Ben’s fault, it’s ALL Ben’s fault!
Throughout most of the time that I’ve been associated with VMUG, certainly when I applied to be a VMUG Leader, all I really wanted to do was to give something back to the community that helped me to grow. Unfortunately(?) each time I try to do something, I find that I get more out of it, so now it’s just guilt driving me on, will it ever end??
This community has become a massive part of my life. Not only through VMUG itself, but it certainly helped, I’ve met so many fantastic people over the years, vExperts, VCDX’s, VMUG Leaders, VMworld Europe vBreakfast attendees, the Grumpy Waiter, Community organisers, VMware employees, Presenters - and people who don’t yet realise that they’re presenters. I’ve learnt so much from so many people, I can’t list them all. We’ve done some fun stuff along the way as well. The LonVMUG CloudCred team that grew from me and a couple of other long-standing LonVMUG attendees through to a 20-player team which became the number 1 team on the platform. The OpenHomeLab Project site that grew out of a #LonVMUG Presentation and the infamous Open TechCast podcast crew. The vBeards and the vLadies. Now there’s the Level Up Project, producers of the vTrailMap, backed by a whole bunch of people who are keen to pass on the benefit of their experience to the newcomers, to grow the community even more.
There’s now a post to explain this in more detail, but just over a year ago, I signed up for Toastmasters, initially through VMUG (see getting more out of it, above) and am gaining confidence in public speaking. It’s getting close to actually being enjoyable - I never thought I’d say that!
The last ten years has been really enjoyable, the next ten have a lot to live up to, but I’m confident that they’ll be even better! There’s plenty still to do before I can sail off into the sunset…