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Discover VMware Technology Network: 5 Ways to Gain Points

This is the second blog in a series. See the first blog here: VMTN Global Forums

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The foundation of VMware Technology Network is peer-to-peer support and engagement. Community is powered by human connection – the warm feeling of helping another person and the satisfaction of collaborating to solve a problem.

And then there’s the added bonus to participation, the cherry on top, gaining points. The happiness when your answer is marked correct and you can almost hear the points adding up. A little competition to spice things up never hurts, right?

If competition is something you thrive on, and you went to get onto the Weekly, or All-time communities leaderboard, I’m here to help. These are the 5 ways you can gain points on communities:

 

  1. Correct Answer – 10 Points. Having an answer marked as correct is the most efficient way to gain points quickly. Set yourself up for success:
    • Take advantage of the Browse feature to identify unanswered questions.
    • Opt-in to Follow communities you are interested in so you get email notifications when new discussions are posted.Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 3.14.22 PM
    • Bookmark your favorite communities so they are always accessible
      .
  2. Helpful Answer – 6 Points. If you know a partial answer to a question, or a resource that might shed some light, go ahead and post it. An answer doesn’t have to be perfect, a user can mark your response as helpful and you still receive points.

  3. Reply to an Answer – 1 Point. Sometimes you will answer a question and the user will forget to mark it correct. It happens! Sometimes, you have posted a questions and are politely responding with a comment like, “thanks for posting, this was helpful.” Engagement is always rewarded. As a contributor, you will receive 1 point for taking the time to reply to a question.
  1. Create a Document – 1 Point. Did you write a white paper, case study, or a study guide around a VMware product or solution? Post it on communities. Not only are you sharing your knowledge, helping others, and expanding your clout, you gain a point for doing so.
  1. Create a BlogPost – 1 Point. If you don’t host a personal blog, but have something to say, post a blog to your community profile. This is low maintenance blogging, where you’ll receive views, but have very little up-keep. If you do host a blog, post an abstract and a link to your blog on communities. The community’s audience wants to read the technical content being written. Plus, every blog you post gains you a point.

While utilizing these 5 methods, keep in mind that as a community member, one must give to receive. Be sure to always mark answers correct or helpful on your queries, like other user’s status updates, and respond to questions. Visit communities to start gaining points now!

For further information on status/badge levels, gaining points, and gamification visit the Community Rewards Points System FAQ or email the VMTN Community Manager, katieb@vmware.com.

Congratulations to Community Warrior, @daphnissov

Submit a nomination for the next VMTN Community Warrior. In 2018, this program will continue recognizing users who commit time and energy to engaging with peers in the VMTN community. Learn more.

VMware Technology Network’s newest Community Warrior, @daphnissov, captures the meaning of community in his actions every day and it’s a privilege to honor him for his contributions.

Any VMware user who has been on communities since 2015 has likely interacted with the newest Community Warrior, @daphnissov, and left the forums better for it. Rather than try to capture the value he adds, I will let the Community Warrior nomination submitted by another user do the talking:

For a vRA installation, he spent his own time troubleshooting my issue and trying to replicate a rather specific error within his own environment. Seeing that this was my first post as well as interaction with another forum member, I can only say that other places are hard pressed and should be lucky to find one as him/her/it (AI or something)”

Thank you for all that you do @daphnissov – we are lucky to have you contributing to VMTN!

Learn a little bit more about @daphnissov

Which VMware communities are you involved in?

I am involved with many of the VMTN Communities on an almost daily basis including vSphere, ESXi, vCenter, vRealize Automation, vRealize Orchestrator, vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Log Insight, vSAN, VMware Workstation, and VMware Fusion. Although I’ve been on the communities for a number of years, I came to the realization (sometime earlier) that it’s fairly unsportsmanlike conduct of me to always be the beneficiary of others’ generosity and knowledge without ever reciprocating, and so I ramped up my contributions over the past year.

I think I speak for all of VMTN when I say we’re glad you did! Tell me, how do you work with VMware day-to-day?

 Well, my day-to-day can be very VMware filled, but I am currently a Senior Solutions Architect for Sovereign Systems, a VMware partner, where I architect, design, and then implement the full SDDC stack of solutions, so everything from vSphere up to cloud management platforms and all things in between. I have the privilege of working with an awesome team who, in turn, get to help and guide customers of all sizes through their virtualization and cloud journeys.

After that, I can often be found in my home lab where I tinker with (and sometimes break) more VMware products and find interesting ways to solve real-world problems with them. And, of course, assisting others on the VMTN Communities is a daily hobby as well.

Wow – that’s fantastic. Can you tell me the most rewarding thread you’ve helped to answer in the forums?

That’s tough since I get a lot of reward just knowing that I was able to make a difference in any thread, but also difficult in just finding posts since I have a hillock of discussions to which I’ve contributed (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence). This one was rewarding to see resolved, however.

What is the most difficult thread you’ve helped to answer?

That’s also tough as there have been some real head-scratchers. Generally, whenever there are any discussions which necessitate a full environment be deployed it’s got to be pretty interesting. This one was a good candidate.

You are clearly a VMware expert. What advice would you give to community members on learning more and becoming a better professional?

The first thing is to get involved in the communities. Let the problems experienced by others be your problems and, in turn, let the solutions build your knowledge. Do one thing each week which scares you by taking you out of your comfort zone. Never hesitate to state the obvious. Shun no knowledge, regardless of what it may be. And never be afraid to admit ignorance on a subject—the beginning of all wisdom starts with the phrase, “I do not know.” Your struggles as you attempt to find those answers will result in tremendous personal and professional growth.

Are you working on any projects you think the VMTN community would be interested in?

I’m always working on at least three things at once, it seems. Blogs are constantly in the works and some of the ones forthcoming include things like LACP use in vSphere; for the automation folks I’m continuing my exploration of the SovLabs extensibility modules for vRealize Automation; and for those more operations-centric I’ll be diving into vIDM usage with vROps and vRLI soon. I am also trying to finish up a fairly substantial article that covers any and every form of vSphere migration type which I hope to expand into a book at some point. I’m also working towards my VCDX.

I’ll look out for updates… How can people follow you or get in touch?

I’m fairly accessible over either Twitter (@chipzoller), LinkedIn (Chip Zoller), or send me a private message through the VMTN Communities.

Thanks @daphnissov!

Do you see someone frequently answering questions in your favorite forums? Did someone provide support to you recently at a VMUG or over Twitter? Any community involvement counts. Head to the Community Warrior page to nominate a user, or email katieb@vmware.com.

Contribute to VMTN Challenge Lab Communities to Win an Amazon Echo Dot

VMware Hands-on Labs and VMware Technology Network have partnered to create a new learning resource: the VMTN Challenge Lab Communities.

What are the VMTN Challenge Lab Communities? These are six new communities based on the six Hands-on Labs Challenge Labs. The Challenge Labs are designed by the HOL team based on input from VMware’s Global Support Services. The labs take users through scenarios in a virtual environment that often lead to support requests, in order to help better prepare them for facing issues in their own environments. The challenge labs are broken down by module, each module takes the user through a different task.

The VMTN Challenge Lab Communities contain documents with links to forum content relating to each module. Each discussion linked to in the community docs leads to a discussion of how a user faced a challenge similar to that module in their production environment, and solved it.

These communities mean you don’t stop learning once you’ve completed a Hands-on Lab Challenge Lab. You can educate yourself on the real-world scenarios our customers are running into so you are better prepared to manage your datacenter.

Through February 1st if you post a challenge and solution that you have faced with one of the challenge lab products, you will be entered to win 1 of 5 available Amazon Echo Dots. We are calling on you to help us enrich these communities with more valuable content.

Along with holiday cheer, this year spread knowledge, experience, and advice to other community members, while also giving yourself the chance to win a new Amazon Echo Dot!

  • Substantial explanation of a challenge and solution are required as this will be used as a learning resource for community members
    • Content must be original
    • An alternative solution to a module within a challenge lab is acceptable
    • Constructive feedback on challenge labs is acceptable

Any questions? Reach out to katieb@vmware.com, and as always, thank you to all those who contribute to our thriving community.

The Community Pulse – Top VMTN Content in October 2017

The Community Pulse is a blog delivering the most trafficked threads from the past month, to help you stay up to date with relevant technical content from VMware community members around the world. The VMTN forums are a learning tool unlike any other. Read through these threads to explore how other IT professionals are administrating, optimizing, and supporting their unique environments.

10 top viewed threads, created in October:

  1. VMware workstation player 14 does not start in Workstation Player. In progress resolution by @bluefirestorm
  2. Windows 10: Fall Creators Build 1709 Experiences in VMware Horizon. Resolution by @angelage1
  3. Workstation Pro 14 upgrade from ver 12 production blank screen when running existing VMs in Workstation Pro. Resolution by @xindayu
  4. Not enough physical memory is available in Workstation Pro. Resolution by @continuum
  5. vSphere 6.0 web client causing flash to crash in browsers in VMware vCenter. Resolution by @daphnissov
  6. VMware Fusion 10.0.1 doesn’t see USB devices anymore in VMware Fusion (for Mac). Resolution by multiple contributors delivering multiple solutions.
  7. Shockwave flash has crashed issue in Chrome in vCenter Server. Resolution by multiple contributors delivering multiple solutions.
  8. VMware player 14 does not start on Ubuntu 17.10 in Workstation Player. Resolution by @daphnissov
  9. 500 Internal Server Error after 2.12 to 2.13 upgrade in VMware App Volumes. Resolution by Raymond_W
  10. Upgraded from 7.0.1 to 7.3.1, getting “You cannot access your applications or desktops”… error in VMware View. Resolution by @steveromine

Top 10 communities, based on thread and reply creation in October:

  1. ESXi
  2. PowerCLI
  3. Workstation Pro
  4. VMware Fusion (for Mac)
  5. VMware vCenter
  6. VMware Horizon
  7. vRealize Automation Tools
  8. VMware NSX
  9. vRealize Orchestrator
  10. VMware vSphere

To get real time updates on content being created within the forums, you can:

  1. Subscribe to a communities RSS Feed. Feeds are available for each community on the right-hand side, in the Actions box.
  2. Opt in to “Follow” a community. This option is available on the right-hand side, parallel with the community name. Any community you choose to follow will appear in your “My Communities” list, accessible through the tap navigation. To receive email notifications around communities that you follow, confirm in your preferences that you have opted in to email.
  3. Bookmark a community thread to receive notifications on the progress. This is only available at thread level. It is on the right-hand side, under the Actions box.

Questions on the Community Pulse? Please reach out to the VMware Community Manager, at katieb@vmware.com

Congratulations to VMTN Community Warrior, @rcporto

Submit a nomination for the next VMTN Community Warrior. In 2017, this program will be recognizing users who commit time and energy to engaging in the VMTN community. Learn more.

This week’s Community Warrior burst into the VMware Technology Network community program from left field at the end of last year, and has made his mark. Congratulations to the newest Community Warrior, @rcporto!

@rcporto originally joined communities in 2011, became a vExpert in 2014, and came to my attention late last year, when he won a prize in the CloudCred VMTN Challenge. This was a raffle around the VMTN Badge on VMware’s gamification platform, CloudCred.

Not a month later, he reached out with interest in becoming a VMTN Community Moderator. Today @rcporto is not only a User Moderator, he’s a global moderator, who owns and manages the Brazilian Portuguese community.

Thank you for all that you do @rcporto. VMTN would not be the same without your commitment.

Learn a little bit more about @rcporto

What was the first VMware product you ever used, where and when?

The first VMware product that I used was the vSphere ESXi 3.5, back in 2009, to virtualize some workloads for a client of my company.

What inspired you to become a VMTN Community Moderator recently?

The VMTN community had a lot of great moderators doing a wonderful job to keep the threads clean and in the correct location, but I noticed that a lot of messages, mainly from other languages, like Brazilian Portuguese, do not get the same attention from moderators. I decided to become a moderator to keep my eyes mainly on Brazilian Portuguese messages, since this is my native language, but I spread my attention to English threads as well.

You sure do… Check it out.

How do you work with VMware day-to-day?

I work for a VMware partner, and my main role in my job is to implement, administer and troubleshoot VMware vSphere environments, the vRealize suite products and vCenter Site Recovery Manager, as well as others.

Although I am very experienced with VMware, becoming active in VMTN by replying to user’s threads contributed a lot to my knowledge on real world issues and best practices. I’ve found the VMware KBs and documentation are awesome, and if you search correctly, there is a good chance you’ll find the answer to your problem. Many times when I reply, I don’t know the solution, but since I am familiar with these resources, I can search a solution and reply to the user.

Are you working on any projects you think the VMTN community would be interested in?

Right now, I am busy with my full-time job tasks, but my personal project regarding the VMTN community is to achieve the Guru status in the next six months, so I would like to invite VMTN users to post your questions. It would be my pleasure to try to answer them.

How can people follow/get in touch (Twitter,etc)?

Twitter: @richardsonporto | VMTN: @rcporto

Thanks @rcporto!

This is wise advice from a hard working community warrior: answer questions and ask questions to become a better professional. Get involved and get to know your resources.

Do you see someone frequently answering questions in your favorite forums? Did someone provide support to you recently at a VMUG or over Twitter? Any community involvement counts. Head to the Community Warrior page to nominate a user, or email katieb@vmware.com.

 

Congratulations to #VMTN Community Warrior, @sreec

Submit a nomination for the next VMTN Community Warrior. In 2017, this program will be recognizing and rewarding users who commit time and energy to engaging in the VMTN community. Learn more.

The VMTN Community Warrior program is back and better than ever after a brief break during what may go down in history as the best, and busiest, VMworld season of all time. Thank you to our last Warrior, @firestartah, for keeping the throne warm.

 

Congratulations to @sreec – our newest community warrior!

What makes @sreec a community warrior?

  • He is on the top participants list for three communities on VMTN: vCloud Director, NSX, vCloud Networking and Security.
  • He has achieved vExpert and vExpert-NSX based on community contributions, like the NSX book he wrote and published in 2016.

The list goes on from there… Thanks for all that you do, @sreec.

Needless to say, with NSX adoption growing every day it was exciting to be able to ask this Community Warrior to weigh in on what drew him to network virtualization, VMTN, and his upcoming projects.

Check out what @sreec had to say….

How did you get involved with VMTN?

When I was working with VMware from 2011-2016 I focused on a wide range of VMware products like vRealize Configuration Manager, vSphere, vCloud Director, vCloud Networking and Security, vCloud Connector, NSX, and more.

VCD is one of the products which I worked extensively with, and that’s where I started liking network virtualization. Considering the complexity of troubleshooting in VCD, I used VCD labs and I started looking at vCloud Director communities to better understand customer queries and then contributing to them as much as I could.

Over a period of time, I realized VMTN is by far one of the best technical hubs for VMware technologies and every day I spend 1-2 hours and follow the NSX & VCD communities.

Why are you passionate about NSX?

VMware NSX is at the forefront of the software-defined networking revolution. I come from a storage background and I switched my job to the virtualization field. I knew this was the right track to focus on and the last 8 years have been truly remarkable for me. I worked with the vCloud Network Security solution during its early days and I liked the concept of network virtualization.

My immediate focus was to clear VCAP-CIA and I achieved it very shortly followed by VCAP-DCA & DCD. I’m a strong believer of learning a technology in a way that makes people understand it very easily. If one cannot explain a feature/design, that shows a lack of knowledge in that area.

After spending a lot of hours in labs and reading blogs/books, I started training candidates on VCD, VCNS & NSX. For me this is where my passion for software-defined networking started. A few months back, I cleared VCAP6-NV and achieved VCIX track.

Having seen the technology transform all the way from VCNS to NSX for all types of workload all I want to say is NSX is a cherry on top of VMware product portfolio. It’s because of the large ecosystem, coupled with the fact that customers can leverage NSX in Private/Public and build a true network hybrid platform. We don’t need to chase a use case for implementing NSX. This product fits in extremely well for all types of workloads & environments and that is why I’m passionate about this technology.

Are you working on any projects you think the VMTN community would be interested in? 

Having learned a few things about NSX, I decided I should give something back to the community. My first contribution was the NSX book – VMware NSX Network Essentials. The focus is on core components of NSX, how to deploy, and manage it effectively.

Thank you for the time, wise words, and great community contributions.

To connect with @sreec for regular updates, follow him here:

Twitter: @sreeec ; VMTN: @sreec ; LinkedIn

Do you see someone frequently answering questions in your favorite forums? Did someone provide server saving support to you recently at a VMUG or over Twitter? Any community involvement counts. Head to the Community Warrior page to nominate a user, or email katieb@vmware.com.

Build your Brand with New VMTN Community Programs

At VMworld 2017 the VMTN Community team was excited to announce three major VMTN Community Program Updates, released to help you build your brand:

  1. VMTN BlogBeat
  2. VMTN Network Member Program
  3. The addition of Elsa Mayer to our team, the new Blog Program Manager

VMTN Blog Beat is the new and improved Planetv12n, featuring community bloggers in a single feed. The main objective of the Blog Beat program is to enable bloggers to continue producing exceptional content by driving traffic to their posts from blogs.vmware.com, and other VMware channels. Our new blog program manger, Elsa Mayer, is working on establishing a series of benefits for community bloggers that register as VMTN Network Members:

  • Blogger roundtable calls featuring different blogging specialists each month
  • Traffic stack-ranking reports from VMware channels to your blog
  • Trending blog topic insights using social listening tool Radian6
  • Guest blogging opportunities on VMware corporate blogs like Network Virtualization and vSphere
  • The top 6 bloggers on Blog Beat each month will receive awesome blogger giveaways and the top 1 will get a free pass to VMworld 2018!

In joining VMTN Blog Beat, bloggers are registering to become VMTN Network Members. This is a program built for branded property owners with the purpose of leveraging the broader audience of the community ecosystem to drive traffic to VMTN Network Members’ pages. The foundation is a community object server built on an Open Source platform called Revive. It serves bi-directional community objects provided by Network Members into 1,000s of community webpages, including VMware internal blog pages, the VMTN homepage, and VMTN Netework Members’ platforms. Further benefits of signing-up for VMTN BlogBeat & Network Membership include:

  • An invitation to the VMTN Network beta – your content will be among the first to populate the server and your feedback will help shape the program
  • Automatic inclusion to the VMTN Blog Beat RSS Stream

If you’re a blogger (or a podcaster) in the VMware community ecosystem, this is a fantastic opportunity to get involved with the VMTN Community, and increase your audience. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the Network!

Please go here to register.

If you want to learn more about these programs, here are some additional resources and opportunities:

Questions on these programs? Please reach out to the VMware Community Group at <communitygroup@vmware.com>

A #VMTN Guide: How to Attend VMworld 2017, Without Physically Attending VMworld 2017

With VMworld quickly approaching, thousands of people around the world are checking in to flights, registering for sessions, podcasters are slating guests, Twitter & Facebook feeds are buzzing with excitement. There truly is no replacement for being surrounded by 20,000+ like-minded professionals and learning about industry disrupting technology from the VMware professionals who created it.

BUT, there is hope for those not registered. For the first year, VMTN is going to capture the VMworld magic and share it with community members at home. VMTN is going to allow you to Stay Connected throughout VMworld U.S. and Europe.

 

Step 1: Bookmark the VMware Technology Network homepage – visit often for:

  • Livestreams:
  • News & announcements with links to relevant forums. Leverage this opportunity to discuss, network, and learn more.
  • VMworld-At-Home 2017 CloudCredibility.com Badge: tasks for those not in attendance. Earning this CloudCred badge will enter users into a raffle to win an Amazon Echo.
  • Beam Sign-up (U.S. Only): available now and throughout the conference. Visit VMvillage through video conferencing technology.
  • Social Visualizations: see posts around VMTN, vExpert, CloudCred, VMware {code} and more.
  • Blogs: any content being published on the VMTN Blog Beat Feed will be streaming here.

Step 2: Visit the VMworld Blog daily for:

  • Blogs from the VMworld team on Partner Exchange, Solutions Exchange, Sessions, and VMworld 2017 overall.
  • Social Media: find social streams of all content being published using the hashtags #VMworld and #VMware, and a map illustrating where these posts are coming from.
  • Blogger Resources: learn who is on the official VMworld Blogger 2017 list and where to find their content.

Step 3: Like the VMware Facebook Page for:

  • Video of the VMworld 2017 General Sessions
  • Live Video Interviews with VMware executives like Pat Gelsinger, CEO, and Sanjay Poonen, COO.
  • News, announcements, and resources throughout VMworld 2017.

 Step 4: Subscribe to the new VMTN Blog Beat RSS Feed for:

  • Streaming blog updates from the official VMworld bloggers, members of the featured community blogger program, and all VMware internal blogs.
  • Are you a blogger? Sign-up for the new VMTN Network Program to become a featured community blogger

Step 5: Last, but not least, visit VMware.com for Livestreams of the General Sessions.

If you are not able to attend VMworld 2017, I hope you enjoy it all the same. Stay connected.

Questions, comments, or concerns? Reach out to katieb@vmware.com. 

VMworld: 8 VMTN Community Opportunities You Don’t Want to Miss

To recognize VMTN Community contributors, there are going to be 8 fantastic programs running at VMworld – including some for those who cannot attend the event. Get excited and get signed up for the following:

For the Folks at Home:

  1. Beams (VMworld US only):
  • 3 Beams at the VMTN Community Area.
  • Beams are video conferencing tools which provide the freedom to explore VMvillage from the comfort of your own home.
  • Sign up now!
  1. VMTN Homepage Takeover
  • Featuring: livestream videos, VMworld social, live podcasts, blogs, {code}fest updates, and links to the forums with information on the latest VMware announcements.
  • Bookmark this page to Stay Connected.

For the Show-Goers:

  1. vBrownBag TechTalks – A VMTN Member

  1. Closed Booths Available for Podcast, Vlog, or even Webinar creation
  1. Blogger Program
  • Blogger tables will be set-up to provide a space for bloggers to write, charge, and network.
  • VMware Blogger Program Manager, Elsa Mayer, will be manning this area in the US and Europe to introduce her plans for the program and hand-out SWAG do nothing else… Don’t miss the opportunity to stop by.
  1. {code}fest
  • Come visit VMware {code} program manager, Tim Bonnemann, at his VMware {code} in the VMTN Community Area to learn about the program, sign-up, and get more SWAG do nothing else.
  • {code}fest sessions available for registration in the VMworld US and Europe.
  • Sign up for the {code} fest Hackathon on Monday night at VMworld U.S. and VMworld Europe.
  • Amazon Echos will be given away at the VMware {code} booth, at Hackathon Training Sessions, and at the Hackathon.
  1. CloudCred
  • CloudCred will support the VMware Hands-On Labs by running the CloudCred, Hands-On Labs Challenge.
  • Each lab and workshop will have its own unique, corresponding task on the CloudCred website.
  • Every day, CloudCred & the Labs will award Amazon Echoes, along with other prizes to those people landing in the top spots on the CloudCred, Labs Leaderboard
  • Visit CloudCred community manager, Noell Grier, in the Hands-on Labs area at VMworld US or Europe, to learn more.
  1. vExpert Party
  • Each year, vExpert Advocacy Manager, Corey Romero, hosts all of the vExperts for an after-hours event at a fantastic location near VMworld. Inside-scoop: this years US party will be held at the Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame.
  • If you are a vExpert, watch your email for invitations to both the US and Europe parties.

And that’s a wrap! I will see you folks either virtually, or in person at the VMTN Community Area in VMvillage in just over a month.

For further information or questions around these programs, email the VMTN Community Manager, katieb@vmware.com.

Congratulations to #VMTN Community Warrior, @firestartah

Submit a nomination for the next VMTN Community Warrior. In 2017, this program will be recognizing and rewarding 25 users who commit time and energy to engaging in community discussions and capturing the values of VMware Technology Network. Learn more.

Congratulations to Gregg, also known on VMTN as, @firestartah and welcome to the VMTN Community Warrior Hall of Fame. Gregg is an exceptional person, someone who has truly embedded giving back to the VMware community into his day-to-day life.

Not only is Gregg a VMTN Community Moderator, he:

  • Co-hosts the EMEA #vBrownBag podcast/webinar series every Tuesday at 7PM GMT
  • Has been a vExpert for 7 years in a row
  • Holds a VCDX-DVC (#205) – and mentors others to help them achieve theirs
  • Regularly speaks at London VMUG

The list goes on! Gregg – thanks for all that you do.

Check out what Gregg had to say…

K: What is it that attracted you to the VMware community? When did you get involved?

G: When I started learning virtualization and VMware in particular almost ten years ago I did what a lot of people did, and still do today, and that is read some of the top blogs. From reading these, I started following these bloggers and anyone else who was talking about VMware on Twitter. The Twitter community was quite small then and I remember being able to read every tweet all the people I followed each day without much issue which allowed me to really connect with fellow vNerds and learn so much from all of them.

K: I remember those days… How did your involvement evolve from there?

G: The number of people who were willing to help really inspired me so I decided to start trying to give back in any way I could so I wrote blog postings about little things I fixed and whose blogs helped me with it, or I would go on the VMware communities and try to help answer people’s problems. Doing the blogging and communities work led me to become a vExpert which I have been graciously awarded every year since. I have also become a communities’ moderator. I loved doing all of it from blogging, to tweeting, to attending the London VMUG, to becoming part of the vBrownbag crew.

What has kept me involved so long is honestly the people in the community. The benefits I have found not just from a work perspective, but also a friendship perspective has been amazing.

           

 

 

K: That’s great. I know you do a lot of mentoring for certifications and are heavily involved in those communities on VMTN. For community members who are looking to gain more certifications, and maybe even looking to achieve their VCDX, how would you recommend preparing?

G: Certification pages were and still partly are what I’m known for in the community as it was the way I could collate the study resources I was using for my VCP’s and VCAP’s and now VCDX. Certainly, learn NSX and do the VCP-NV if you can as I think you’ll never regret learning about SDN. If you are looking at doing the VCAP’s then there are loads of great resources out there which I’ve listed on my blog and some really good VMware courses as well. The VCAP’s are challenging but are really good to do especially the administration ones if you are working with VMware every day.

I would highly recommend getting your VCDX especially for the journey and the number of things you learn along that journey. Doing the VCDX is a very big commitment and I always recommend people speak to their significant other and let them know you will be dedicating time to getting the certification. I always recommend starting as soon as possible on the VCDX journey and there are loads of great resources out there from blogs, to books to podcasts to VCDX Workshops to help you. Also 99% of the current VCDX’s are very approachable people who are happy to help you along on your journey as long as you are willing to pull your own weight.

K: That’s fantastic advice – I know you’ve taken it to the next level… How did you get involved in mentoring others?

G: I’m not sure really, I think it’s linked to writing my VCP/VCAP/VCDX study resources pages and trying to give back to the community that helped me so much. I have had and still have loads of people giving me advice and helping me grow and pushing me and so I wanted to give that back as well. When I passed my VCDX and actually even whilst I was still going for it, I wanted to try to help as many people along as possible and connect people aiming for it so we could all learn from each other. The VCDX study/mock group I have run for the last few years has amazed me with the amount people have grown and that everyone who benefitted is now helping others. We have seen a pass from every round of VCDX defenses since we started which is amazing!

Wow! Thank you, Gregg – and congratulations again!

To get in touch with Gregg, you can find him here:

Do you see someone frequently answering questions in your favorite forums? Did someone provide server saving support to you recently at a VMUG or over Twitter? Any community involvement counts. Head to the Community Warrior page to nominate a user, or email katieb@vmware.com.