There are a thousand perspectives on the 2017 VMworld show in Las Vegas, on everything from session quality, to product announcements, to community, to how good the food was (better). The most important thing about the show, though, has always been the people. Connecting with members of the community, meeting new people, and creating something far greater than the sum of its parts has always been the most valuable outcome of attending the show. The knowledge transfer is very valuable, but not nearly as valuable as connecting with the people delivering the technology and transferring that knowledge. Following up with them after the show and having them as a resource year-round provides an invaluable resource that will help you solve any problem and even move your career forward.
It’s all about community
As you can tell, I’m going to focus on the people aspect as well as the parts of show that bring them together. Every year there is a beehive of VMware user community activity around the show and this year was no exception! Here are the places where a lot of the magic happened and how the 2017 experience was different than 2016.
VMvillage – 2017 vs. 2016
The VMvillage is the best place in the entire conference to get away from the sessions, rest, and connect with others. Also, this was (as always) the best place to watch the general session and skip the crowds.
Outside the Main Conference – 2016 vs 2017: Lots of things happened outside of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center during the VMworld 2017 conference. Here are the highlights.
The vTrail Map: This guide was a big hit at the show based on the feedback we got. The 2017 VMware User vTrail Map was created as a result of the Level Up project in order to help people get connected to the amazing technical community resources that are out there. Members of the technology community from all over the world have contributed to this guide, providing the information and assets you need to “level up” your skills and advance your career in the tech field. The guide features both physical and virtual resources that can help you progress on your VMware virtualization career journey — and ultimately discover more. We handed out hundreds of physical copies at the conference, but the requests for digital copies starting coming in immediately after the show ended. To get a digital copy just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For me this manual is very helpful, especially because I’m new to VMware and there are a few programs that I’m not yet familiar with. It summarizes everything and gives me the right links to research about each project, community or program for deep-diving if I want. – Julia Klaus, VMware
The big takeaway
This conference delivers some amazing technical content in the sessions, but that’s only part of the show. Many of these sessions can be viewed later, so take advantage of all the people who are there in one place at one time and start connecting. These connections will provide lasting value to you throughout the year.
I hope to see you there in 2018.