Over my last 6 years or so on twitter I have the had pleasure of chatting with a lot of great people on a number of different topics. Social is a great tool to be able to talk to a lot of people from all over the world at one time, but it still lacks in the personal connect area. I haven’t been able to attend many of the smaller events in the past, but since joining EMC I have been fortunate enough to do a little traveling. During my first week I was able to go to Boston to visit the main office and then also attend the Boston VMUG. More recently I just got back from the Indianapolis VMUG. In both cases the events were great, but the best part was I got to meet a lot of people that I talk to on twitter in person and develop a more personal connection.
To me, these events are the best part of our IT community. Whereas larger industry events are catered to high level decision makers, these events are mostly attended by engineers and IT administrators that are in the trenches every day at their company. They are looking to reach out and discuss technology (and other things) with their peers and see what’s new in the IT world. While VMUG’s are great for networking with the community and forming new relationships, they also provide access to some of the brightest people in the business. There are always packed sessions, labs, and an expo floor where you can talk to all of the sponsors and get up close and personal with their tech.
I keep bringing up community and these two events are a statement as to why that is so valueable. At the end of the Boston VMUG Jeramiah Dooley gave a great presentation on “Meteors and Dinosaurs: Career Transformation-As-A-Service”. I encourage all of you to take a look at this presentation and think “Am I doing the right thing for my career?” or you can watch the video below. FYI, he received a standing ovation for his presentation 🙂
During the Indy VMUG, Jeramiah took it one step further and had vBrownBag presentations throughout the day. These were short 15 minute presentation from community members on a wide range of topics. The vBrownBag group is about a community of people that are willing to and want to help others in the IT industry and this is just one of the great ways that they accomplish that. All of those presentation were recorded and this blog will be updated as soon as they are published.
In closing, if you have the chance to attend any of the smaller events such as the VMUG’s I would highly encourage you do so. Because even though social is a great tool, nothing compares to in person conversation!