My First VMworld

Forward: sorry if this sounds like a ramble – I’m writing it on the way back and I’m exhausted…


Finally!  I finally got the chance to attend to VMworld!

This year VMworld 2019 was in San Francisco – a city I only stopped by one day about twenty years ago while having a free day during a week of training (R.I.P. First Virtual Corporation?).  Anyways, I was so excited about going – register for the conference (check), got my hotel (check), got my flight (check), and signed up for my VCAP6.5-Design exam (check).  Of course when the session registration was open, I added everything that sounded like it might be useful or interesting – and man, there were a LOT of session that were both!

During the event, I was pretty overwhelmed.  There were the keynotes, sessions, activities, lounges, tech community events, and a puppy corner to… well, pet puppies.  The announcements for Project Pacific and adding hypervisor support to containers blew my mind and I think may be a strong driver to companies refactor their apps.

As I moved on to the sessions I signed up for I kept up for a little while but found after the first day that my brain had turned to mush.  Way. Too. Much. Content!  Worse, my completely filled up my schedule with sessions and NO breaks (not even for lunch).  Day 2 began and after the second session, I had to admit defeat – had to take a break.  During lunch, I sat down at a random table and started talking with folks and met @theOtherTimDavis.  He and I talked about several topics over the course of a couple hours:  community, VMware, ham radio, beards, etc.  We ended up going to The Meadow and hanging out with the various social media folks in the Blogging area.

I continued talking with various people in the area and got more and more pumped about doing what I can to try and contribute back via blogging (possibly via other content?).  The dedication the community has to other members is awe inspiring – they don’t care about being well known, only to help others.

Wednesday I took my exam and read the “Congratulations” after hitting the Finish button.  So many people to thank and I’m in the midst of writing a separate blog article on that experience.  Suffice it to say, I had the biggest freaking grin on my face when I walked out of the testing center. 😀

Finally, the week wrapped up.  I packed up my stuff (and the swag) and headed out to the airport for my flight back home.  It was such a great time, great experience, and I hope to do it again… though next time I will have learned from my mistakes – here are some:

Lessons Learned

  1. Set and alarm for session scheduling and register immediately.  They will fill up fast.
  2. Give yourself downtime between session.
  3. Get some comfy shoes and break them in at least a month before the conference.
  4. Do some non-session activities (Hands-on Labs, trivia, pet some puppies, etc.).
  5. Pack a dufflebag or collapsible suitcase for swag.  Coworkers may appreciate some?
  6. Meet people (at breakfast/lunch, at parties, at community gatherings).  I just went up to folks and said, “Hey Andy, how you been?” just to see the look on their faces.  Also: Hey Andy from Orlando – it was a pleasure to meet you!
  7. It’s trite, but: enjoy your time (I did).

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