VMUG Leadership as the new guy or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Twitters.

Hi Brian,

Thank you for taking the time to chat with our team today, it was so nice to meet you. Welcome to your official position as a volunteer leader of the Seattle VMUG Community and to the VMUG Leader Community at large – we are excited you are on board and look forward to working with you!

That email actually came in back in October of 2018 and man, what a ride it’s been since! The on-boarding process will differ between communities but leaning on previous leaders is vital. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in person and webex with the former leaders and current steering committee. Here’s what it looked like for me to get spun up into the community and moving on events.

First month tasks:

  1. What can I do?
  2. What tools do I have?
  3. What does the community want?
  4. Who do I know? (this is probably the most important thing you can ask yourself)
  5. How do I begin?

For the first bullet, I have no idea what I can do! Let’s skip it.

2. Next up was to figure out what resources are available. OK, let’s get a hold of the social media accounts, i.e. Twitter, VMUG community, vBeers, Seattle@VMUG.com emails etc. Luckily for me, there was a Slack channel that the previous leaders and current steering committee members lurk in. A few password resets to old accounts and off we go! Time to make noise on the internet. Social media is vital for career growth and expanding your peer group. Get on it if you’re not!

3. What does the community want from VMUG Seattle? Can’t really answer that yet either, but I know people like beer. Let’s get them beer!

4. Who do I know? As a VAR, I’m well positioned already with a subset of vendors and contacts. I’m working on expanding that list all the time, so if you are or know a rep and are interested in sponsoring a VMUG event, hit me or the @SeattleVMUG twitter account up. As a VMUG leader, I’m completely agnostic to technology or labels.

5. We’ve already established beer is a great start, so I planned 2 vBeers events. The Seattle metro is stretched cluster with 3 solid communities. Seattle, Bellevue and Tacoma/Olympia are all decent user bases and since I live in the South Sound area I wanted to have multiple events for the seperate communities. I picked out a couple locations based on feedback from previous leaders and called to reserve a space at each location. @Cohesity came through with the sponsorship and we had a really good turn out at both events.

Where do we go from here? Well, the sky is the limit honestly. I got very lucky to have someone approach me at the first Seattle event who was interested in being a leader so at the beginning of the month we welcomed a new leader who’s on the Eastside. We could still use some help in the Seattle downtown metro if anyone is interested! We’re deep into planning our UserCon on February 19th, and I hope to have more information on that to publish in the future.

Thanks, and see you out there.

How do I become a VMUG Leader? My journey to giving back to the community. (Part 1)

I received an email the other day from VMUG Leadership and I’m pretty excited!

Hi Brian,

Thank you for your interest in becoming a leader for the Seattle VMUG community! The next step for your on-boarding is to complete VMUG Leader Training, which will focus on all the tools, resources and best practices to be an active volunteer. 

My application was accepted and I’ll (hopefully soon) be able to help our local community as a VMUG Leader volunteer. This has been something I’ve thought about for quite awhile.  I’ve been fortunate enough to personally know several of the former local Seattle leaders and many of the other leaders from across the country.  Hanging out with the leaders from other states at VMworld has shown me how valuable the community can be.

If you haven’t yet joined your local community, and you work in the VMware product sphere, you’re definitely missing out. I’ve found great value in having a peer group who speaks the same language as me and has been through similar challenges. The amount of specific product knowledge available through these user groups is invaluable. Along with the community, VMUG offers their VMUG Advantage subscription. The education, product licenses and discounts from membership are well worth the $200 annually.

Leadership though means a different path then just consuming the outstanding benefits as a user. I can’t speak to what it’s like from the inside quite yet, but I hope you follow along with this series and are encouraged to contribute back to your community. Part 2 of this will be about the on-boarding process and what that looks like.