I attended my third UK VMUG Conference on the 19th of November (again at the National Motorcycle Museum) an event which is put on by the London VMUG Committee. As planned, I spent the majority of the day in the Community Track, lending my support to all the folks from this amazing community who’d come from near and far to present sessions. What with the vCurry and the vQuiz the night before, which gives folks a chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, the UK’s National VMUG conference is always a great event.
The days sessions were bookended by the ever-supportive Joe Baguley and the well travelled John Troyer, both of whom are particularly well known in the community and are always worth listening to. Neither disappointed. I also attended sessions by community stalwarts Eric Wright, Josh Atwell and Frank Buechsel, as well as learning more about Project Photon and CNA and mingling with all the vendors who turn out in force each year. So far, so good, all as expected.
The surprise came right at the end of the day in what Alaric Davies quite rightly referred to as an event of Red Wedding-esque proportions. Not only did Alaric announce that he was stepping down as London VMUG chairman by the next LonVMUG event on January 21st, but Stu Thompson and Jane Rimmer were also stepping aside at the same time! This left Simon Gallagher as last Leader standing, so ending on a positive note at least, he’d become the new Chair of the Committee.
The London VMUG has been going since 2005 and the three folks stepping down have been involved for a cumulative total of over 25 years! All of the committee members put a huge amount of effort in to making the LonVMUG what it is, I’ve been to most of the meetings put on by the LonVMUG folks over the past 4 years or so and every single one appears from the outside to have run like clockwork, with a great range of community, sponsor and VMware sessions offered and plenty of time also for networking and discussions. I would like to take this opportunity to go on the record and thank Alaric, Jane and Stu for the amazing and inspirational work they have done for the VMware Community, alongside Simon, over so many years. Personally, they have helped me to present in front of a knowledgeable crowd and were very generous with their time before and after I took the stage. Thank you all for what you have done for the VMware Community over the years. This fantastic effort has also been recognised by the global VMUG organisation, both on a personal and team level, with Jane receiving the Presidents Award in 2013 and LonVMUG the Extra Mile award in 2014, all richly deserved!
This decision for the majority of the Committee to step aside and get some new blood on board left a considerable void to be filled and not much time to fill it, what with the January event on the horizon. The Committee moved fast to deal with the applications which were invited at the UK VMUG, mine amongst them. I’m pleased to say that I was selected to serve as a VMUG Leader on the London and UK VMUG Committee, alongside Si and my fellow new appointees, Chris Dearden and Linda Smith, both of whom have been familiar faces since I joined the community and started going to VMUGs.
Something Jane said recently stuck in my mind, regarding how pleased she was to have seen the growth in many peoples careers and personas through their time attending VMUGs. That in a nutshell is why I wanted to become a VMUG leader. The global VMUG organisation has come out with a mission statement in recent history to say that they want to put the User back in to VMUG, but this is what LonVMUG has been doing from the get-go, so I get to give a little something back to a community that has helped me over recent years in a fashion that fits so well with what I believe a user community is all about.
There are some big shoes to fill, but along with my fellow appointees, I’m up for the challenge!