Two fun events kicked off VMworld 2018 yesterday, Sunday, August 26: #VMunderground and #Vodgeball. These two events couldn’t be more different, but they both have one thing in common– the building of the community around virtualization and VMware.
#VMunderground is one of the first parties of VMworld, and it was a great place to get face time with so many influential people within the VM community. Over drinks and food, hundreds of people discussed everything from the matters of the day to what they were expecting from the upcoming show.
As this was my first time at VMworld as a vendor, it was nice to see that friendships don’t have to end just because you now work at a competitor. I was able to have many of the same conversations that I would typically have back in the day, before I decided to take a job with a vendor. There are a lot of smart people in this industry, and even if someone is your direct competitor, they are probably just taking a slightly different approach than you. They don’t have to be the enemy.
In short, the community is strong and I’m looking forward to the rest of the show.
#Vodgeball, believe it or not, is a 10-year-old dodgeball tournament that is hosted each year at VMworld. It’s not just for fun, as it is actually a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project. Several teams from sponsoring companies competed for bragging rights of being dodgeball champions.
The event kicked off with a speech from an actual wounded warrior who lost his leg in combat. He told the story of the event that put him into a coma, after which he found himself waking up in a hospital surrounded by his family. He wanted to know how they got to Iraq, but they told him that he was back in the US. He had been in a coma the entire time. He explained that the Wounded Warrior Project was the first group to provide him personal items during his stay in the hospital, as everything he owned was somewhere else. They provided him with a change of close and personal care items so that he could begin to feel like a normal person again. With a thank you from this wonderful young man, the dodgeball tournament began.
I was able to witness this tournament first hand because I was a last minute stand-in for a missing referee. They provided me a shirt, a whistle, and a crazy pair of glasses to go with the job.
It was definitely a lot of fun, although at times some of the participants seemed to forget that this was all just a game for bragging rights. If instant replay had been available, the tournament would’ve taken about two days. Luckily, no such technology was on hand and we were able to dispense with it in about an hour and a half. The winners of this year’s tournament was the Dell EMC team. Good job, guys. One other item of note is how excited I am to see The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) taking pictures with people at our booth. It’s always fun to meet a celebrity, so people are lining up to take his picture. Game of Thrones is huge and this guy might even be bigger. If you’re reading this and you’re still at the show, make sure to stop by our booth.