What did you learn at VMworld 2019

I’ve been reflecting about how much there was to learn at VMworld 2019. Can you believe its already been 2 weeks since the show started? Since I work at VMware now, I knew about the announcements that were coming. And as usual, the product announcements weren’t what brought the big “aha” moments to me.

We still need the community

I was given the opportunity to moderate an Opening Acts panel. Our topic was Should I Stay or Should I Go. We talked about topics like: are you limiting yourself if you stay in a job more than 3 years? What things do you think about if you need to stay because of family responsibilities? How do you plan to leave while you’re still in a job?

The answers kept coming back to community. Ask someone in the community who does what you want to do. Ask someone in the community how they decided to leave. Ask someone in the community.

What is community anyway

I have to admit, I had a hard time returning to San Francisco this year. In part that is because I have some really bad memories that came from interactions several years ago with individuals in the community. So places and sounds gave me really bad deja vu, and honestly it was a bit unsettling.

I think the way I powered through these feelings before was throwing myself into work, and alcohol. Both bad choices, at least for me. This year, I wasn’t drinking. After VMworld, I went straight to Florida to a busk. I wouldn’t have been able participate there if I drank (there are a number of things you can’t do 4 days before a busk). So I had to handle these feelings straight on, no numbing them!


I have to thank all of the panel members, because they reminded me how important the community still is to me. I think this was my 8th VMworld (maybe 9th), so its easy to overlook the incredible connections we’ve made over those years.

Not all of those connections were made to last; that’s just not how humans are built (I should probably write more on that soon). But VMworld is one of the times where you can catch up with the weak links in your network, or make brand new connections. Those are both hard to do if you’re hiding from your past, if you get subsumed by work, or if you are part of an inclusive clique.

Thank you for reminding me about the power of our community, early in the week, so I could check my attitude and have a really connected VMworld.


We are in the midst of Digital Transformation

Since I’m in product marketing, I have had to ladder up product messaging to the “digital transformation” marketing message for more years than I care to count. But I really do think we’re in the middle of that transformation now. The Project Pacific announcement solidified that realization for me (for more info on Project Pacific check out the vSphere blog here, here, here, and here).

I believe this will open so much opportunity to those of us who are traditional admins, but we need to get up to speed on how devs build apps now. In that spirit, I gave a vBrownbag mini presentation on Kubernetes myths. You’ll probably start seeing more from me on this topic. I guess you can take the trainer out of the classroom, but do we ever really stop training?.

I want a puppy!

I also learned I want a puppy (or two…).


What about you?

What did you learn at VMworld 2019? Let me know in the comments!

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