As many of you already know, last year Erik Schils decided to step down as a VMUG leader after 15 years. When I saw the announcement, I immediately thought to myself that I don’t want to see this community disappear. I started talking to other folks in the community and quickly we had a bunch of enthusiastic people ready to step up and keep on building this community.
I won’t be flying solo, my good friends Jens Herremans (blog – twitter) and Kristof Asaert (blog – twitter) will be joining me as VMUG leaders. And we also have Stijn Depril (LinkedIn), Maarten Caus (blog – twitter) and Harold Preyers (blog – twitter) joining in a supporting role.
Why I want to become a VMUG leader
Ever since I discovered the vExpert program and VMUG, I’ve wanted to be a part of those communities and help build them out into something more. I’ve been doing this as a vExpert since 2016. That’s also the year I did my first VMUG session. I was instantly hooked!
So coming back to the title of this paragraph, why do I want to become a VMUG leader? I want to help build the VMUG in Belgium into something greater than it is today. There is an enormous potential for growth, there’s still a lot of people that are only now discovering the VMUG community.
VMUG is all about users and I want to bring it back to the users. Not only the veterans that have been coming to VMUG for 5, 10 15 years, also the people just starting out or coming to their first VMUG. I first started doing public speaking at the VMUGBE in 2016. It was a great experience for a first time speaker and I want more people to take that first step into public speaking. VMUG is the ideal platform for it.
Another part of wanting to become a leader is that it gets me way out of my comfort zone. I’m usually one of those people in the back that just sit there quietly and I’ve been wanting to do something about that for a while. By becoming a VMUG leader I can start working on that for myself while also building out the VMUG community, that’s a win win if you ask me! 😀
What is VMUG / vBeers?
Officially launched in August of 2010, the VMware User Group (VMUG) is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events.
In Belgium, this is an annual VMUG event that was hosted in Mechelen. Providing a space for partners, vendors and customers to meet, network and attend sessions hosted by industry and community experts.
On the other hand, we have the concept of “vBeers”, which is a community-based initiative that focuses on connecting like-minded people that have a passion for technology & virtualisation. This is a monthly event (every 3rd Thursday of the month) with 1 or 2 short sessions. These sessions can be technology-related but that’s not required. The goal of vBeers is to provide a low-entry platform for inexperienced public speakers to experience and test public speaking between similar vGeeks, but that doesn’t mean we never invite experienced speakers. 🙂
If you are interested in one of those, be sure to head over to the vCommunityBelux slack workspace for updates on events and meet the other vCommunity folks.
What are our goals for 2022?
Building on the existing foundations we have today, we want to fuse the VMUG and vBeers concepts into one. Creating an event like VMUG with the atmosphere and energy of a vBeers. We want to return to the basics of VMUG and that’s an event by Users for Users. Meaning, how you can get practical value out of the event. As leaders, we are just a small portion of how we see the VMUG concept grow in Belgium.
We also need YOUR input on how we can bring VMUG to the next level. You can help us with filling in a short survey. This will only take a few minutes and provide essential information on what we can do to make VMUG the perfect format for “you”.
We are currently working hard on getting things rolling and hope to host a Physical/Virtual VMUG later on this year in june!
We’re also planning to do an online pre-VMUG session. This will be a 2 hour event with lots of community speakers that will present some smaller sessions.
For the vBeers, I’ve already mentioned that we host this every 3rd Thursday of each month. We’re also thinking about organizing a bigger vBeers twice or three times per year. We would then invite a partner that would dive deeper in a specific area.
Stay tuned and looking forward seeing you soon on our next vBeers or VMUG!