Well, that rolled around quickly. I remember booking the flights, accommodation and registration for VMware’s flagship VMworld event months ago and I’m now writing this from the plane about half way through the 27 hour journey from my home in Tasmania, Australia, to Las Vegas.
This isn’t going to be a post on my recommendations, tips and tricks, or “how to attend if you aren’t attending”. There are lots of resources out there for this content and I urge you to go and read some of the blogs by others as there are some really great pointers! This post, in all honesty, is just a bit of a rambling from me as I sit on the plane and reflect on the lack of blog posting recently, though this is good reason for that (below).
This year will be my second VMworld event and I’m lucky enough to have both a supporting wife to keep the fort down at home, and an employer that covers the expense and time away from work to make it happen, so thank you to both of you! This VMworld I’m sure will be quite unlike any other I may attend in the future.
Everyone has a jam-packed agenda for the whole week. I think last year I averaged around 4.5-5 hours of sleep a night and that was coming off the back of having a 3 day chest infection. I thought this year was going to be busy as well, but boy I had no idea what I was in for. When I booked the registration for VMworld, I decided to take the opportunity to have a crack at another VCAP exam at a reduced rate. Back when I booked this I thought I had plenty of time to study and prepare, but the last few months really have been hectic both in work and personal life.
I’m Co-Presenting a Session at VMworld.
Yeah, I still can’t believe it and to be truthful this has not sunk in, but in less than 1 week I will have presented a session at VMworld for what currently looks like close to 700 people. This would not be happening without Tim Carman, who gracefully accepted my invitation to co-present when he said he was submitting an abstract. The topic we are presenting on is also Tim’s project and a lot of blood, sweat and tears has gone in to this over the past several months, but I truly believe this project, which will be available for the community to consume and contribute to, will save a lot of people a tremendous amount of time. You can read a spoiler of the session over at Tim’s blog, which also includes some links to the session and the details of when we will be on the big stage. If you are attending VMworld 2018 US, I’d love to see you there! Thank you Tim for having me on board for this, I’m truly grateful.
I’m A New Tech Field Day Delegate.
I’ve been in IT for around 10 years now. 4.5 of those was spent at a SMB MSP that focused on supporting businesses in the area I live in, 3.5 was spent at a higher tertiary education and the last 2 have been spent working for my current employer, Parallo, a consultancy and managed services provider covering Australia and New Zealand. I didn’t deal a huge amount with the VMware stack until I came across to Parallo, and my focus on the data centre and cloud technologies didn’t really start to pick up until I came across to Parallo either. The same can be said for my involvement with the community. It wasn’t until around 3 years ago that I really started listening to podcasts, started this blog, fired up twitter and trying to get involved in events such as VMUG. If there was one thing someone told me 10 years ago when I started my first job in IT, it would be to have started on the community path a LOT earlier than I have.
Not long after joining Parallo (around 2 years ago) I came across Tech Field Day (TFD). I spent quite a lot of time when I first came across it looking over the older recordings, and reading many blog posts by the delegates that attended over the years and also spoke to a few delegates. It didn’t take me long to realise this was a stand out event (events, really) and something I aspired to be a part of some day. I filled out a submission around 4 months ago and recently I was contacted by Stephen Foskett who asked if I wanted to be a part of the TFD extra at VMworld 2018. I gladly accepted and I am now officially a delegate for several sessions on Tuesday afternoon. Again, this is something I am thankful to have been included in and I’m really excited to see where this might lead in the 2019 calendar year.
On top of these two very awesome things, there is still the rest of the week to try and make the most of. As mentioned, I’m having a crack at a VCAP exam, attending several vExpert events / sessions, trying to catch up with a lot of Australia and New Zealand folk, as well as meet some new people from across the globe. I suspect I’ll be hanging out a fair bit around the vBrownbag / VMTN / Code areas and I highly suggest this for anyone else attending. The presenters and content at these sessions are top quality and not to be missed, as are the support staff that make all of this happen. I’m very thankful the sessions will be recorded.
My eldest daughter is currently hooked on LOL Surprise dolls, and “season 4” has been released in the United States (OMG!) so I need to track down a few of these to take back home, as they haven’t hit the shelves in Aussie yet. I’ll also spend a fair chunk of Saturday going to do a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon with a mate from Melbourne, Mark Ukotic. I didn’t do anything like this last year and kind of regretted it, so I’m looking forward to this. Hopefully somewhere amongst all of the action I’ll find some time to rest and sleep, it’s easy to go overboard at these events and sometimes you just need to take some time for yourself to recoup and have a breather.
I’d love for people to find me and say hi! I’m a tall guy, but I won’t bite! I look pretty much like my profile photos in most places so if you see me hanging about somewhere, please come up for a chat. It was something I didn’t do enough of last year and I’m aiming to myself improve on that this year.
I’ll be aiming to write up a more detailed post-event synopsis, so stay tuned for that in the first week of September. I also suspect I will have several posts up covering the Tech Field Day presentations as well, so if you are interested in those please stay tuned!