Let me just say, straight off the bat, that attending VMworld is probably the best idea I’ve had in years. In reality, that’s not saying much, but the value of attending is immense.
The way VMworld is organized, with lots of simultaneous sessions, labs and other activities is both a challenge and a blessing. It’s a challenge in the sense that you need to plan your schedule pretty well and really take control over your own experience. The blessing is that you’re not locked into a predetermined path, and you can re-arrange your schedule at any time if you wish to do so. And trust me, you’ll plan one thing and probably end up doing something completely different in the end. A lot of my time was spent in the Social Media and Blogger lounge that VMware and John Troyers social media team kindly had set up. It was amazing to finally meet some of the people I’ve been interacting with for years, without ever meeting them in person.
To paraphrase Bas Raayman “_The average IQ drops 20 points every time I enter the lounge_”. I don’t think Bas is right, not in his case anyway, but actually being able to discuss cloud and lab availability with John Arrasjid and stretched cluster scenarios with Scott Lowe and Lars Trøen is just amazing.
Now, this wasn’t supposed to be a name-dropping post, but in essence the value of VMworld is what you make it out to be. You can be in sessions all day long, or you can split your time between the sessions and labs. In fact, you can even skip all the sessions since they all will be available online in a week or so after the conference.
For me, the biggest value was the social networking part of it all. My current mantra of “_The network is everything_”, I might just have to change that into “_your social network is everything_” now. In fact, the slogan «Virtual Roads. Actual Clouds.» could probably be changed «Virtual Systems. Actual People.»
Now, I just need some time to digest it all and it will be very interesting to see what opportunities might arise from it all. Remember, it’s all in the (social) network.