I was very surprised to receive some amazing news last weekend…my application for vExpert 2018 was accepted! I started this blog last year a little bit before VMworld. I had consumed a ton of material from other vExperts to that point, mainly from researching errors I had run into in the field or best practices for upcoming projects. Seeing a lot of vExpert badges out there, I began to wonder if it was time to start contributing a little bit as well. I didn’t really think I had MUCH to say, but certainly a little nugget or two out there couldn’t hurt, right? I figured VMworld was also a good place to start, as I would have a wealth of material to draw upon.
A bunch of blog posts and Twitter interactions later, I saw an announcement that vExpert applications were open for 2018. I honestly filled out the application just to see what all was involved, not really expecting that I had done “enough” in the past year to be selected. I hadn’t presented at a VMUG or VMworld, I hadn’t contributed to any podcasts or videos, and I didn’t have a referral from a VMware employee. Certainly I wasn’t quite at that vExpert level yet!
Thankfully, someone going through the applications didn’t feel that way and gave me the thumbs up! I’m extremely honored and definitely learned a couple of important things. Going through the application I realized there is so much more I can do, and even though I did enough this year, there is a ton of room for growth and getting even more involved in other aspects of the community. Also, even though this blog isn’t one of the most active or informative out there, people are still consuming it!! That has really been the biggest surprise out of all this. The first few months were a bit disheartening, when one post may get a handful of views and the site would go days without any visitors in between posts. I won’t say I have any ad companies knocking at my door at this point, but it has grown enough between July 2017 and now that every day there are at least 25 or so visitors just from search engine referrals alone! I know that isn’t much to many other vExpert blogs out there, but it tells me that what we have up here to this point is proving to be valuable to SOMEONE. And that is really all that matters! I’m glad to be able to contribute, even if just in some little way, to a community that has helped me get to where I am from solely being a consumer.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to where the next year will go and getting out there even more. I’d love to check a couple more items off that list for next year, and am excited about contributing throughout 2018 as a new vExpert!