I have casually found out today that I have been acknowledged (for the third year in a row!) with the VMware vExpert accolade, of which I am both proud and humbled. Maybe you are a returning vExpert, if so, congratulations! But if you are a new vExpert, read below (and of course congrats!).
Engaging with the community
If you are a new vExpert, you have probably either submitted yourself your application, or someone did for you, so you may have some insight of what being a vExpert is related to. Doubtlessly, being a VMware vExpert grants you an official accolade from VMware to be seen as someone passionate about technology, virtualization and VMware products. If you also do not know the wonderful community around VMware and twitter, I really urge you to get a twitter handle and start following some of the vExperts out there. You can use the #vExpert tag search on twitter to get most relevant content being released by vExperts.
Leveraging your vExpert status
There is a high demand for VMware skilled people and since virtualization is a de-facto standard in the data center, every employer will expect you to be at least a VCP holder. Since having your VCP is the expected baseline, being a vExpert can be an advantage for you when competing with other candidates on a job. Be sure to mention it on your CV and to explain what it stands for. Your commitment and passion may be a decisive factor. Be sure to also inform your current employer of your new achievement. Some companies may use your achievement for PR purposes and this will benefit to both you and your company. And of course it can give you a boost in salary (or you can consider greener pastures). Fellow blogger @hansdeleenheer has a great blog post about how to leverage your vExpert status at work.
One of the most gratifying aspects of being a vExpert, and one of the reasons why many apply, are also the rather unique perks granted by the vExpert status. Among the perks are 365 days VMware licences for most major products, in 2014 and earlier Pluralsight granted free membership for a year (one of the most massive perks out there) and other technology vendors from the VMware ecosystem also give out various perks such as NFR licences (Veeam for example), goodies (Tintri vExpert polo is a classic). My dear friend Andrea Mauro maintains a detailed list on his blog – see here a list of 2014 vExpert perks to get an idea).
Now that you have received, it is your time to give! You can give your time and your knowledge to help others. By joining your local VMUG, by blogging, by writing guides, doing podcasts, videos, design guides, reviewing new products, every help is welcome! This is also a unique opportunity to expand your knowledge, meet new people, maybe engage yourself in a new career path! I must say that I’m ashamed I wasn’t able to contribute as much as I had expected, but every water drop counts!