The VMware vExpert program was born back in 2009 thanks to the efforts of John Troyer to help recognize members of the VMware community that continually give back by sharing their knowledge and experience with others. The original group was about 300 members which included myself and was mostly compromised of bloggers and VMUG leaders. The group has expanded over the years as both the number of bloggers has grown and the criteria and requirements have changed. I believe in the last year they are up to around 700 vExperts.
I think it’s important for people to understand the definition of a vExpert, I did a post on it for Tech Target back in 2009 on what it means to be a vExpert. First off the vExpert title is not an official certification and it is only good for one year, so if you don’t stay active you could lose it as you have to nominate your self each year. The name vExpert is a bit mis-leading as it doesn’t really certify that you are an expert on VMware technologies like a VCP or VCDX certification does. Think of the vExpert title as a recognition award from VMware that validates your contributions to the VMware community. What you get from it is recognition and some other great perks like VMware licenses, beta program access, exclusive early access webinars, special events and more. Some vendors will also reward vExperts with special giveaways like this great shirt from Tintri which includes a star for the number of years that you were recognized as a vExpert..
So what does it take to become a vExpert? First off, understand it’s not a popularity contest. You can read the blog post here on the paths to vExpert and some of the characteristics that they look for. If I had to summarize it in a few words it might look like this: passion, leaders, bloggers, enthusiasts, sharing, champion, speaker, evangelist, commitment. So want to become a vExpert? All it takes is getting involved with the community and staying committed to it, there are a lot of different ways to do this. You can start a blog, become a VMUG leader, do a podcast, speak at events, be active in the VMTN community, be social and more. I did a presentation at VMworld back in 2011 on how to succeed at blogging and becoming a vExpert that you might find helpful. Remember it takes time and dedication so stick with it and once your contributions build up don’t be afraid to apply. If you’ve already made contributions in 2014 be sure and apply and detail them for consideration to become a vExpert in 2015.