So i’m pretty stoked about being able to go to VMworld 2014 in San Francisco this year. In my opinion not only should you be going, but you should be excited as well. I don’t care if your a PS Delivery geek like me, a Sales guy, or an Admin who deals with the day to day fires, you should be going and excited because there is something for everybody there.
I look at it this way, there are three main reasons one should go this conference. Education, Socialization and Exposure.
The biggest and most important is Education. Without breaking any NDAs and getting myself into trouble, i will say there will be some pretty cool stuff announced and show this year from VMware. I’m quite excited to hear what they have to say about it and what they feel the future of some of it is. That being said there are also some awesome breakout sessions that i have been to in the past at previous VMworld conferences. Some of my favorites are the really technical deep dives where you can actually see peoples eyes glaze over, but learning whats really going on under the covers is the best, or at least i think so. Lets see, the “lessons learned” ones are usually pretty informative as well, esp if its in an area that you can see yourself or your company moving towards, like VDI or IaaS.
More in terms of education is the opportunities to really ask experts the tough questions, and i’m not talking about just playing “stump the chump”, but real “how does this work” or “why can’t i do this?” type questions. I have seen and heard some amazing things from these almost random conversations that occur. In fact some of the things that i’ve wow’d customers with have come from those exact sessions.
Also i can’t stress this enough, take advantage of the discounted testing for certifications. I know it would be a lot better if they gave away one free one instead HINT HINT to VMware, but it makes it a really easy sell to your management to take a shot at a certification. In fact last VMworld i decided since it was cheaper why not just take my VCAP-DCA, i hadn’t studied, but as it turns out i was able to pass it. I was happy because i got a new cert, my management was happy because it was 1/2 off.
Onto Socialization! This has honestly become my favorite part about going to conferences, any of them actually. I’m not talking about the crazy parties where you can’t remember how you got back to your hotel, that never happens anyway… I’m referring to just meeting up and hanging out with, not only some of your co-workers, but people you don’t get to see until these type of events. If there is one thing any seasoned IT guy knows is this is a people industry, it’s not what you know, but who you know. You run into the same people over and over at different jobs. I have had a blast hanging at the events like the Hall Crawls, or the big party on Wednesday night. I also like to just meetup at a local eatery and talk and hang out. Now typically us being nerds does mean the conversations usually end up technical, but the best part is they end up in lots of different disciplines all over the place. You learn things that you had NO idea about. I remember hanging out with a good buddy of mine who taught me about OpenDaylight and what it can do, we just happened to meetup at a local place and chatted for hours about all kinds of cool technical stuff and where we saw the market going.
Finally a cool thing is going to the Solutions exchange and seeing what cool technology is out there. Yes it can be a bit of a pain and hectic with 1000’s of people running around and everybody trying to get their badge scanned and what not. But i have learned about some cool tech in previous years and have met contacts that allowed me to be able to get some equipment into our lab to do some testing and to try some of this stuff out. It also doesn’t hurt that sometimes there is some pretty cool swag out there.
Anyway i highly encourage you guys to go to the conference. If you’d like to register, you may do so here. If you’d like to see some more official information about it before you make your decision, here is the link.