Becoming a VMUG leader

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 (blogtwitter) and Kristof Asaert (blogtwitter) will be joining me as VMUG leaders. And we also have Stijn Depril (LinkedIn), Maarten Caus (blogtwitter) and Harold Preyers (blogtwitter) 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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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 membersโ€™ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

vCommunitBelux slack workspace

What are our goals for 2022?

1.VMUG

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 “youโ€.

Survey

We are currently working hard on getting things rolling and hope to host a Physical/Virtual VMUG later on this year in june! 

2.Pre-VMUG

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. 

3.vBeers

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!  


VMUGBE

Next week, the 14th of June, it’s time for one of my favorite times of the year, the yearly VMUGBE is upon us! It’s an amazing day filled with great sessions, good conversations, all set in a lovely venue.

The Belgian VMUG was the first VMUG I ever attended, 4 years ago already. It’s where I met a lot of people I know in the community and, on a personal level, where I learned to just go up to random people and start talking to them. Something I’m still not very good at but there’s plenty of VMUGs to come!

Why you should attend

VMUGBE+ is a free event that gets top-notch speakers every year with topics ranging from more traditional topics to newer topics like CNA, VMware cloud on AWS and so on.

Coming to the VMUG is also a great opportunity to meet new people that are a part of the same #vCommunity we are all part of. Undoubtedly, everyone has found a solution to their problem on the blog of someone from the community. This is your chance to talk to them and perhaps even thank them!

Since 2013 VMUGBE has become VMUGBE+, which means that the organization will donate an amount of the earnings to a charity in Belgium. This ties in nicely to the whole idea of giving back to the community. You can read more about it here.

Sessions I’m looking forward to

As I said before, VMUGBE has a lot of great sessions but there are a few that I’m really looking forward to attending!

Opening keynote – Joe Baguley – 4 years ago the keynote was also given by Joe Baguley, I still remember it very well. He is the CTO for EMEA and will be talking about how architectures are changing and some new areas of R&D within VMware

VDI by day, compute by night – Johan Van Amersfoort – I have missed this session at the NLVMUG and Empower in Lisbon, there’s no way I’m missing it now!

Kubernetes for the vSphere admin – Eric De Witte – This is a topic that I don’t know a lot about. Looking forward to getting a better understanding of Kubernetes in this session. I also heard it involves rockets!

vExpert Community Session – Stijn Depril – One of the sessions I’m looking forward to the most! Stijn is one of Belgium’s vExpert Pro and a big advocate for the community. The goal of this session is to educate people on what a vExpert is and to get people excited about becoming a vExpert!

Presenting

This VMUG will be special for me, as I will be presenting for the first time! VVOLs is something that’s been talked about since 2011 but to many people it’s still shrouded in mystery. The goal of my session is to dispel some of this mystery and get people excited about what VVOLs can do for your environment.

As you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to. So what are you waiting for? It’s not too late to register! https://www.vmug.be/#register

Image result for arnold do it now

I look forward to seeing you all there!