I’ve been to VMworld five out of the past six years and every year I’m looking forward to different topics/events during the week. As I’ve progressed through my career the type and level of knowledge I’m looking to obtain increased and I’ve learned different avenues to obtain and share this knowledge with others.
Here is my list for 2013:
- Hands-On Labs (HOL). This year 30 different labs can help you gain knowledge in areas you may not have the time or equipment to setup and use first-hand. A wide variety of topics and products make this a must stop for everyone. I put aside time each day to go through at least 1 or 2 labs. More info here.
- Networking with others. I know the stereotype of all IT people is that we are introverted and like to work in our little cube without interference from anyone else. If you have attended VMworld or some of the other larger conferences you know this just isn’t true anymore. I learn so much from my peers. Meeting them in person and talking first-hand about different ways to use products is the best way to get real-world knowledge on how products actually work. There are many ways to network with your peers from talking after sessions you have in common to playing games in the Hang Space to attending vendor parties. The free beer and food at the parties are always nice as well.
- Solutions Exchange. Most companies have very knowlegeable people across the country. If you want to talk to the top people at a company stop by the Solutions Exchange. Too many products to mention here but it’s a quick way to keep up with what the trends are and who the companies are in each market. Check out the list of companies for this years event here.
- Sessions – My must-see sessions for the content, presenters, or both.
- Ask the Expert vBloggers
- Mythbusting Goes Virtual
- Anything VCAC and VCHS
- VMunderground Party. Last year was my first attendance of this event. I enjoyed it so much and highly recommend attending. Don’t be afraid to talk to anyone as I didn’t meet a single person last year who wouldn’t say hello and talk to me.
I’m sure my wife thinks I go to this event just to party but the knowledge gained at this event is almost priceless. Buying the online content is good but being there in person is so much better.
Hope to see/meet everyone in a few days!!!