Having been selected as a vExpert by VMware for 2009, I wanted to comment on what I think being named a vExpert truly means.
First I want to comment on what this award is about. I believe the name vExpert is a bit misleading as it’s not really about being an expert — although the people that have received the award indeed have a high level of expertise using VMware products. Instead, the award is more about giving back to the VMware community. There are many of us that freely share our knowledge and experience working with VMware products with other users and members of the VMware community. In doing this we ask nothing in return. We love VMware products, many of us live and breathe it and we don’t mind giving back and helping others in need so they may benefit from what we know.
There were only 300 vExpert’s chosen by John Troyer, I don’t envy him as this had to be no easy task of only choosing 300 worldwide. Many of the vExpert class of 2009 are bloggers, VMware User Group leaders, VMware evangelists and VMTN community members. I I don’t know all of them, I know many of them. I’d like to comment on a few of them because they are some of the brightest and most giving people I know.
First I’d like to recognize all the members of the VMware Communities forum, known as VMTN. This is a very active, thriving community that offers some of the best support to users in need that I have ever seen. There are a few members of the VMTN community that I would like to specifically acknowledge, these people are my peers and more importantly my friends.
This group of people includes (in no particular order) Ken Cline, whose knowledge and experience continues to astound me; Dave Mishchenko, whose dedication to helping others is amazing; Edward Haletky, who knows more about security then anyone I know (and is always happy to prove that); Oliver Reeh, who inspired me to start my website, VMware-land; Steve Beaver, whose passion for virtualization is highly infectious; Jason Boche who is the biggest VMware geek I know; Tom Howarth who is determined to keep spelling virtualization with an s because he’s British, but who sure knows a lot about it; Robert Dell’Immagine, who runs the VMTN communities; and John Troyer who is VMware’s head blogger, cheerleader and evangelist.
I’d also like to acknowledge a few fellow bloggers from the thriving VMware user community who inspire me on a daily basis to help others and be the best VMware admin that I can be. This includes Eric Sloof, Scott Lowe, Duncan Epping, Rich Brambley, Mike Laverick and my fellow bloggers at TechTarget.
There are many other bloggers and members of the VMTN community whom I haven’t mentioned, but you know who you are and you are all an inspiration to me and also to the rest of the community.
Together, your selfless teaching and dedication to helping others is a credit on to themselves and a big reason for the continued success and popularity of VMware.
So even though the vExpert award leads one to believe that these people are simply technical experts in their field, I believe the true meaning of being a vExpert — and maybe the part that’s more important — is about giving back to the community, because all of you who are VMware technical experts and take the time to freely share your knowledge — you are also vHeroes.