VMware kicks off another incredible VMworld in less than a week. Last year’s conference was full of colossal announcements around vSphere 6, EVO:RAIL, and vCloud Air. In April, VMware released Project Photon, its lightweight Linux based system for cloud-native applications. This year we can expect to hear a lot around the maturity of these products such as EVO:RACK and perhaps vSphere 6.1.
This year’s VMworld has a strong focus on DevOps featuring a mini conference within a conference. The VMworld Hackathon is a welcome addition too. Contestants can build anything imaginable on vCloud Air, or do a series of challenging tasks centered around VMware’s public cloud platform. I’m very excited to see what comes out of this competition and remain optimistic that we could see the first customer developed flings!
Now that you’re as fired up as I am, let’s talk about protecting yourself from whiplash and avoid rubbernecking you way through a week of mind-blowing tech. You’ve booked your flights, your hotel room, and crammed every second of every day full of break-out sessions and labs using the schedule builder. So, what now?
- Register early. Don’t miss out on the fun by waiting in line for your VMworld pass. Registration is open this year Saturday 1-5 and Sunday 7-7 at the Moscone Center. Otherwise, plan to be at Moscone by 7AM on Monday to avoid the rush.
- Don’t forget the VMworld continental breakfast! This is such an easy opportunity to network with your fellow VMware enthusiasts. The line for food moves quick and the tables are very large so you’re sure to meet someone new every morning. Breakfast is served from 7AM to 8:45 everyday!
- Enjoy lunch in the park! The Yerba Buena gardens is an amazing place for a picnic lunch. Catch some live music while you chow down.
- Accept that you won’t be able to fill every hour with sessions. If you do, you’re likely to get burned out before the end of the conference.
- Don’t feel guilty about missing a session. The “sold out” sessions usually have a long queue of folks waiting for no-shows so they can get in. Just because you missed a session doesn’t mean there’s an empty seat because of you.
- Be early for your “can’t miss” sessions. Review your calendar and mark the sessions that are most important to you and plan to get there at least five minutes early. The VMworld attendants will start letting in folks from the standby queue up to five minutes before a session starts.
- Make time for the Partner Exchange. The Partner Exchange is full of amazing products that are built to make your life easier so check it out. Feel free to grab some swag, but remember to take the time to get to know the products too. With so many great vendors here, plan to spend at least two hours a day in the Partner Exchange.
- Sign up for the gatherings! Don’t just hide out in your hotel room! There are SO MANY gatherings going on throughout the week. Check out the complete list here and sign up! I’ll be at Saturday’s vBeers, and the VMunderground party on Sunday. Come say hi and come cheer on the VMUG v0dgeball charity as we wipe the walls with our competition! Seriously, this is an amazing charity that has raised over $15,000 for the Wounded Warrior project this year already!
- Network, network, network! The technology is great, but it will be there after long the week is through. However, the opportunities to meet fellow VMware enthusiasts from around the globe in person will likely diminish once the week is through.
- Bring some spending money. Even if you plan to expense all your meals, bring some spending dough too. You never know who you’ll meet and you don’t want to stick your new friend with the bar tab! Besides, what you don’t spend at the bar can be spent at the VMworld store!
VMworld 2015 is sure to be a great time! I know I’ve been looking forward to this since VMworld 2014 wrapped up. It’s an experience like no other and I hope to see you in San Francisco next week!