I’ve both given to and received from the virtualization community over my career. I passed my first VCAP with help from the vBrownBags. I’ve delivered vBrownBag Tech Talks at VMworld. I’ve been part of the Chicago VMUG as a participant or VMware employee for as long as I can remember. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve presented content to VMUGs. Community matters to me. The impact of community is immense, and you can’t predict what kind of a positive impact community has in the moment – you can only look back and connect the dots.
This year was different from all others for me in terms of community. I was awarded vExpert status in 2020, primarily because of the body of work I have had the privilege to generate this year, highlighted in my VEBA series. I’ve learned and done things I never imagined I’d be able to do. I wrote code that is running in a VMware open source product. That’s a crazy thought for a presales person. It wouldn’t have been possible without community.
Without William Lam‘s encouragement in December 2019, I would have allowed my lack of development skills and impostor syndrome to stop me from even considering contributing to an open source project . Without his guidance, I would never have been able to make some of the code changes I made.
I would have been forever lost in an ocean of Git and Kubernetes without Michael Gasch‘s willingness to spend time teaching me.
I doubt she remembers, because it was just an honest comment, but Frankie Gold wrote in Slack “That [file format is] so confusing–which makes your blog post that much more valuable…” That really stuck with me – if this Golang wizard thinks I have a valuable contribution, then I must have something valuable to contribute.
Find your community. Contribute to your community. You help it grow as it helps you grow.