VMware Community #vAllStars

On this Thanksgiving Eve in the US, it is easy to recount the things for which I am grateful: my family, my friends, my health, etc. Monday will be 6 years since I exited from my service in the Marine Corps. At that time I was not sure I would even stay in tech as a career (law school still seems like a good backup plan). I am incredibly grateful and humbled by my career and the trajectory it has taken in recent years. A substantial part of this has been involvement in the tech community, especially the VMware community. I’m far from the only person that has built a career on the back of the VMware community. I am thankful for the guidance and inspiration I have received over the past six years.

I’m lucky to have found a home at Rubrik, a company that seems to really understand the power of community. Attendees at VMworld US 2017 may have noticed the #vAllStars hashtag or pictures of trading cards on Twitter. Early this year, I sat in a meeting in which we discussed ideas for VMworld, to include swag and some crazy idea about a party with Ice Cube. Around this time I was encouraged to develop an idea that would be a form of gamification for vExperts and other influencers. Over time the idea morphed into the idea of a trading card game in a similar fashion to baseball cards or Pokémon cards.

Rubrik 043
Photo courtesy of Sean Thulin

A main component of community is to giving back. My team thought custom trading cards would be a fun way to highlight different influencers. The trading cards commemorated some of the individuals career accomplishments. We also asked each person to recall the best career advice they had received, in hopes that it may help others. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through everyone’s responses. Some answers were thoughtful, while other answers were humorous.

My personal favorite answer was from Paul Cradduck:

Often overhead saying… “If you’re referring to the incident with the dragon, I was barely involved.”

The main criteria for selection was simple this year…whether or not we have your email address. The list was whittled down and then expanded again and whittled back down ad nauseam to ensure that we covered influencers for Horizon, vRealize, vSphere, and NSX that included bloggers, podcasters, VCDXs, vExperts, and more. We also wanted to include up-and-comers along with more established influencers.

Never fear, if you did not make the cut, #vAllStars will be back next year! We hope to repeat next year at VMworld, as well as expand to other conferences, such as Microsoft Ignite and AWS re:Invent. Once again, we will be looking to include up-and-comers in the community as well as highlight established community members and members of the Rubrik team.

Thank you to everyone who participated this year. I loved seeing the tweets throughout the week about trading cards. But it was especially fun to start seeing the images crop up in presentations and as Twitter profile pictures. Keep your eyeballs peeled for v2.0 next year! There have been a few suggestions for how this project can improve.

Here’s a few of my favorite #vAllStars pictures from this year.


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