Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

LonVMUG Prizes for community content aka vFACTOR London

As a fellow VMware community member I know how much I have benefited from sharing my experiences with my peers ; since I started doing so – I’ve given numerous presentations around the world on my work projects and my home lab projects I’ve met a lot of interesting people, I wrote a book about a product that VMware discontinued almost as soon as it was published  (ok, maybe gloss-over that last one!)

TL;DR version of this post

Come and present a 10min talk at London VMUG on 22nd Jan 2015 and win Apple shiny good or Amazon vouchers – submit abstract & rules here now

As a member of the London & UK VMUG steering committee I also know how hard it is for VMUGs to find people willing to talk about their experiences with their peers by giving a short talk or hosting a discussion group – so, in order to help encourage (well, ok bribe!) people to get them on their way to community stardom we are announcing EXCELLENT PRIZES for 5 first-time VMUG presenters who are end-users and are willing to deliver just a short 10-minute talk on a VMware related topic of their choosing at the next London VMUG meeting (Jan 22nd in central London)

And when I say FANTASTIC PRIZES – I mean…

1st Prize: MacBook Air
2nd Prize: iPad Air
3rd Prize: iPad Mini
4th Prize: Amazon voucher
5th Prize: Amazon voucher

You can submit your abstract using this online form here

We will pick 5 submissions from the entries to present at the event and the closing date is 19th December 2014 – everyone who presents will win something, and the audience will vote for their favourite to determine what loot you go home with from the above list?

Not convinced…? Read on.

Below are the most common reasons I hear not to do a talk… and are all my own personal opinion..

I’m nervous, I’m no Duncan Laverick, or Mike Dennemann  I can’t do public speaking

We all have been here, we’re a friendly crowd and it’s an excellent way to learn some important life & professional skills. To help with this the community at-wide offers the feed forward initiative, you can read more about this here – it can help you find a mentor to help you prepare for the day – one of our own members – Alex Galbraith did just this – read about his experiences on his blog here

I cant think of anything to talk about

We all have great experience from environments small and massive – I’ve personally found the best way to capitalise on this knowledge is to share it with others, having to distil it down to a presentation or blog post is a great way to help you focus on the important facts of what you did and how you did it – I have a tendency to whitter on (if you’ve read this blog for a while you already know this!) and doing this is an excellent tool, especially if you have to explain it to someone outside of your organisation

I work for a 3 man band company, nobody is interested in what I do

Wrong, I started my VMUGging talking about my 1 node home lab, you don’t have to have a data centre the size of the starship enterprise to have something interesting to say. Infact – I’d say from personal experience people from SMB type organisations have much more limited budgets and have to find far more creative ways to get things done

I work in a nuclear bunker, and I have access to your home address and browser history – I can’t talk about what I do

Now I know some of you maybe do work in nuclear bunkers, 3-letter govt. agencies or centres of commercial finance and are unable to talk about what you do for fear of exposing commercial secrets – I understand this, so do I.. My suggestion is that if you want to submit a talk – anonymise what you do – if you work for Goliath National Bank, just say you work for “a major bank”, or “an airline” – this is a VMUG, not Panorama. VMUG attendees are interested in the tech, what you did, how you did it & what could have gone better; not what impact it had on your Q4 financial results.

If you take this approach and remember to say you are not there as a company spokesperson, this is my own opinion etc. this is usually acceptable.

So, that’s it – submit here and I look forward to giving you your prize on 22nd January 2015.

..And to be honest – what’s the worst that could happen… 10mins of your time for a prize? …and we go to the pub afterwards anyway 🙂

If, even after all my objection handling you really can’t bring yourself to do it; that’s fine 🙂 you’re still welcome to come along and soak up the excellent content – you can register online at

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