Posts Tagged ‘#CXIParty’

The OMG ridiculous single point of awesome for attending VMworld 2014 San Francisco!!!

July 10th, 2014

VMworld 2014 - Break Through, No Limits, other random marketing taglines!

Hey there, I’m sure you found this because you’re looking for an awesome guide to make your first or millionth VMworld an awesome experience.  Well you’ve come to the right place, and if that doesn’t work out for you look at the bottom and find the tips/tricks and more from past years to help you prepare!  Only the most essential information will be repeated, everything else I definitely encourage you to refer to past posts which cover the details!

45 DAYS UNTIL VMWORLD!!!

That’s right, we are only 45 days away, which for some of you is eons away, and others of you is essentially around the corner. So let’s start with some of the most basics when it comes to attending VMworld…

Attending for free?!?!

Every now and then some individuals or organizations get together and offer a Free Pass to VMworld! I’m not tracking too many of those at this time, but I am tracking one…

The awesome rockstars at Infinio makers of a NFS accelerator like no other are offering a Free Attendee Pass to VMworld, including passes to the VMUnderground Party! Awesome, right? Registration for this ends 21st JUL 2014 so be sure to get signed up stat!

Win a Free Pass to VMworld 2014 from Infinio!

Register now and you’ll be entered to win:

  • One full-conference pass to VMworld 2014 in San Francisco
    (the conference pass includes access to the VMworld party and Hall Crawl events)
  • Access to the VMunderground party
  • Cool Infinio swag
  • Other great stuff!

Cool stuff right?! As other free pass / free ride options appear I’ll be sure to update this post to reflect them!

Our good friends at Simplivity are having a giveaway too! VMworld pass and Travel Stipend, awesome right?!

Sign up to win a Free Pass to VMworld with Simplivity!

Contest details:

  • Limited to one entry per person.
  • One winner is randomly selected each week (7/18/14 and 7/25/14).
  • Each prize is valued at $3995.
  • Each prize consists of one (1) VMworld 2014 pass (to either US or Barcelona) and one (1) travel stipend of $2000
  • Limited to United States and Canada (excluding Québec)

See here for the full Contest Rules and be sure to register here!

FINALLY! vDestination.com’s Free Trip to VMworld by Greg Stuart / @vDestination ! ! !

Check out details here, and the contest runs until August 1st SO ACT NOW!!!!

 http://vdestination.com/2014/07/28/go-to-vmworld-2014-for-free/

 

Registration and Discounts

If you are paying full price to attend VMworld … Well, there are ways you may NOT have to pay the highest fee(s) available!

VMworld Pricing!

Be sure to take advantage of things like VMUG Advantage, VCP and Alumni discount, and if your Vendor has a special discount code (Like EMC, NetApp, Dell, etc) definitely find out and roll with it!   Whatever it takes to get you there, paid for, and enjoying the show!

Also you can use your PSO Credits to purchase your registration for the event so that’s positive for you PSO Organizations on there! If you’re attending the TAM Day (If you are a VMware TAM Services customer) check out the “Registering for TAM Day” link for more information on how to handle that during registration!

And if you happen to be stuck in the position of, “My employer won’t send me because they don’t value education” you may want to check this helpful guide to help CONVINCE your employer. :)

Packing for the big event!

Must Have Items to Pack and Consider:

  • Comfortable Shoes:   I cannot stress this enough (I feel like I’ve said it before, and I have, and I’ll say it again, Oh and again.) BRING COMFORTABLE SHOES!.  Whether you’re sticking ENTIRELY to the show floor or you walk outside anywhere (a lot of the events are OFF-Site at times) you’ll find yourself walking.   Not only walking streets, but hills and environments the likes of which Cable Cars were designed for! So bring your comfortable shoes; You can thank me later!
  • Bring Business Cards: I know who you are, I met you, you’re the guy who has a QR code! You’re all SCAN MY QR CODE TO GUARANTEE WE’LL NEVER TALK EVVVEEEEEEEERRRRRR!!!! It’s true, it’s serious. People don’t exchange QR codes and remember each other.  You don’t enter that random contest to win an iPad or a Nexus 7 by giving them your QR code in a bowl.   You exchange Business Cards. Deal with it. Oh and PACK SOME BUSINESS CARDS!
  • Laptop:   If you don’t need your laptop because you’re not going to be working while at the show, leave it at home.   If you bring your laptop because you need to work (like me) and you want to accomplish anything of relevance, LEAVE IT IN YOUR ROOM.  The last thing you need to do is worry about where your laptop is, especially because once you bring it, you will NEVER take it out of it’s case when you hit the show floor, less than 3% of people do. (Exceptions: Blogger, Analyst and other folks who specifically are demoing and using the laptop at set intervals) Save yourself grief though and leave it in the Hotel room, or leave it at home.
  • Clothing:    If you’re a suit guy, bring suits.  If you’re a T-shirt and Jeans guy, bring that.   This is a conference like any conference so you’ll likely end up with random T-Shirts, random this and that’s.  (Oh if you’re job hunting here… Dress above your station, Seriously, no SERIOUSLY DO IT. ;))    Pack appropriately don’t over-pack, per se, but be sure to pack adequately.   If you can survive with Carry-On only (My Preferred way to live) you will WIN!   If you find yourself needing to buy things once you hit the ground it’s not a major problem, but consider San Francisco’s Sales Tax is 9.5%….
  • Cell Phone:   I added this at the last minute.   If you find your ATT Phone doesn’t work to save your life for Data. I heartily welcome to you San Francisco.   … Mobile will be a challenge in every case, if it’s improved you are a lucky beast! If it doesn’t work, just operate on that expectation!

Getting there

Getting to VMworld will likely involve you taking an airplane unless you live in the Nor-Cal area, and even then you’ll want to stay locally; Believe me – The details covered under Transportation speak to it rather well the reasoning, justification and even a little ROI/TCO on why staying within 3 miles of Moscone is so important.    For those of you who still have yet to book your transportation and as the day quickly comes upon us I advise you to check out ITASoftware’s Matrix as a means to find the ‘cheapest’ air fare and go from there.  It’s a great tool which will help you search and see what the cheapest is; and it does update as tickets disappear and only more expensive fares are left.   I’ve also interestingly been using Orbitz to book flights in the recent past on my returns home from Afghanistan, it is interesting but helps split the difference of some airline costs!  Oh, and if you can carpool from the Airport, doooo it!

Staying there

If you read my blog post in March of this year encouraging you to BOOK YOUR HOTELS NOW, then you should be taken care of! But for those of you who didn’t book your hotel at that time (I didn’t… but I wanted you to get ahead of it! ;)) Here are some alternatives which can help take the sting out of the $400 a night hotels which are currently available (Alright, seriously, Yea, the cheap-ass hotels are coming in at >$400 due to the fact that San Francisco is a hotel wasteland.)   VMworld’s own website goes on to claim that Hotels are priced between $219 to $389 a day but that is both delusional and really only applies if you booked your hotel at the dawn of time. :)  There are ‘discounts to be had’ but also be wary of WHERE the hotels are in relation to the convention center because that burden of a commute can drain you pretty quickly.   If you’re new to the game, you should check out Airbnb which is basically a service where people rent out their apartments, houses, rooms in their homes, etc.   There are a lot of options, as an example I booked 7 days at a really nice studio all to myself for ~$1300; Which to say the least is not bad considering $400 a night hotels are ridiculous.   So if the opportunity presents itself, find a nice place to stay with a reasonable price – that’s a far better alternative to staying at the Marriott SFO at over an hours travel away!

Eating there

The events of VMworld should be feeding you at most every opportunity, whether breakfast, lunch, or some partner sponsored dinner-type event.   This isn’t like the days gone past where food was high quality and flowing at every opportunity.   So keep your wits about you and take the opportunities for food as they come along.   There are a lot of food opportunities all about which you can also take advantage of, which won’t require you to break the bank.

Getting to the Convention Center and Events daily

This differs a little bit from the “Getting there” above, as this is focused on how you will actually be getting around.   If you’re within a mile of the convention center it is fair to say you will be WALKING. There is a theoretical (but unpublished) bus schedule which will commute from some hotels to the convention center, but by the time you wait for a bus to arrive and deliver you to Moscone in the very walkable city of San Francisco, you could have walked there.   If you find yourself considerably farther out taking some form of public transportation isn’t the worst, though from a ROI perspective taking a Taxi and just GETTING there is probably the best use of your time and money.  Then when it comes to attending the events which will occur either on-site or off-site use your better judgement. Walk in groups (will go into more details on that later) especially it’s a good way to meet and greet with others you may not know (yet). If you use twitter (Of course you use twitter!) start chatting and getting to know OTHER attendees you’ve never met in person so you can walk with them!   If you do find yourself staying a little farther outside the norm take this analysis into consideration.

  • Taking BART:   A lot of you say “Yea, I’m gonna take BART and I’ll be all good”   Don’t get me wrong. BART is a great idea.  If you have time to burn, I highly encourage it.    Whoa, Whoa, hold on a minute, are you openly bashing public transportation?   Yea, kind of, but not exactly.    Allow me to explain :)
    • If you are within 1 Mile of Moscone staying at the JW Marriott, Renaissance, Marriott Marquis, Serrano, Inter-Continental and so forth?  WALK. ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER.    Yea, You should be walking, it’s not a difficult task.   If you have a lot of stuff to carry, or there’s a bunch of you staying a mile away and you’re lazy (What?! Lazy people in IT? WHERE?!) Then hop in a cab, it’s semi-efficient.   But otherwise, WALK.    But wait, what about hotels farther away?!
    • If you like a lot of very sad folks are staying at the SFO Marriott (~15 miles away) Get a car and car-pool, it’ll be cheaper.    Consider the following calculation.    Taking BART from the SFO Marriott only costs $5 One-Way! However it entails a 60 minute one-way trip, including walking 1.5 Miles all-in.    If I’m in San Francisco on my own dime and I have time to burn this is a great idea.   However, I like you are here for a fixed amount of time, and the burden taking public transportation losing a minimum of 2hrs a day in transport with walking 3 miles a day guaranteed is no way to spend your extremely valuable time.
  • Renting a Car:  WTF? WHO RENTS A CAR IN SAN FRANCISCO!??! No one.  Unless you’re staying at the SFO Marriott, and I suggest ONE of you rents for every 4-5 people you have in a group or party. (Or find some friends! :))  FYI, the time/distance by car is ~30 minutes.   Which means you lose an hour of your day traveling, but at least it is on YOUR terms.   There is no “Last car of the day” and Parking in/around Moscone seems fairly reasonable
  • Taking a Taxi (~1-2M):   If you’re within ~1-2 miles of Moscone, sure, take a taxi if it’s fitting… Sometimes we all have deadlines we need to support, I respect and understand that!
  • Taking a Taxi (~15M):    If you’re staying at the SFO Marriott for example and you take a Taxi, That is a $45 one way trip.  If you have that kind of money to burn, I have a bridge to sell you (and potentially some licensing… HAH!) But seriously, That CAN work out if you load that car up with 4-5 of you and group together, but do not do it solo.

The Top 5 MUSTs for VMworld 2014

  1. Bring and WEAR Comfortable Shoes
    1. To quote a good friend who once was working a tech conference show floor when a marketing head came over to him and said, “I’m sorry, you need to change your shoes”, this to a highly technical mind who is going to be standing on the show floor talking to customers for >10hrs a day.  His cordial response was, “I’m here to help revolutionize our customers datacenters, I’m not here to fracking sell shoes”.  Alright, maybe I slightly censored things a bit… But you get the point; and if not, I’ll hit it home!   Hey, you’re a customer, a partner, someone who is spending their hard earned money to BE there and learn about awesome and excellent technologies and network and meet with other people.  This isn’t Milan or the Club (in the club, club, club…) Be comfortable, be yourself and well, be comfortable… You’re going to be doing a lot of walking and standing, and it’s going to hurt!
  2. Carry only what you need in your wallet and on your person
    1. Remember that time your wallet got stolen in San Francisco and it ruined your whole week? Yea, it didn’t happen and it won’t.  The same can be said for your Android, iPad, Laptop, Bag, or some other ridiculous thing.   Hey, I get it… You’re going to be taking notes while you’re there, so you need your laptop… Wait, sorry I can’t say that with a straight face…, I mean… ;)  Just be responsible and reasonable.  There are a lot of good people here at the conference (I’ve found the owners of a number of Blackberries, iPhones, missing Laptops, you name it) but on the same token I’ve also met a lot of sad people who turned their head for a second and were without their precious (my precious…)  Please don’t let that be you.
  3. Contact your vendor / Sales / SE and let them know you’ll BE at VMworld!
    1. Did you know that your SEs not only want to meet, greet and see you at VMworld… they also want and need justification to get sent there themselves?  Imagine how grateful they’d be to you for giving their management justification to send THEM!  I’m sure their expense wallets will open like a waterfall for just kind of awesomeness! Oh, and of course they’ll want to talk to you about their tech or whatever.   But seriously, Vendors throw parties and it’s nice for them to know when their customers will be there so they can invite you, or get you in front of their Execs and Leadership for your feedback and all that jazz.   It’s a great opportunity to forge those partnerships even stronger, so take advantage of it!
  4. Bring Business Cards
    1. I say this every year and I’ll continue to say it.  Smaller vendors will have contests which ask for business cards, oh and people like to exchange business cards! Every now and then someone will say BUT I HAS A QR CODE. Yea, no one wants your stupid QR code.   There, I said it. Your QR code is stupid. Get a damn business card and exchange your information, I mean what’s the alternative? #5?
  5. Get an account on Twitter (now) and start following the who, what, where of goings on leading up to and AT VMworld!
    1. Yea. Get yourself a twitter account, it’s not difficult, and there’s a client for every mobile device.   Interesting fact, the live-tweet coverage of the Keynotes quite frankly usually blows away the ACTUAL Keynote. :)   We also use Twitter as a means of keeping everyone abreast of what is going on at the Conference, Where the Parties are, who is attending various parties, and after parties as well!   If you’re not on Twitter, the only one missing out is you.   Some hashtags to follow before/during VMworld are
      1. #VMworld – Various event notes and VERY Spammy during the show, but good data
      2. #vExpert – The vExpert Community is a strong one and they tend to be in the know!
      3. #CXIDinner – I do nightly dinners, get togethers, networking, all that jazz at various locations AFTER all the parties are over
      4. #CXIParty – … I still haven’t decided if I’ll throw a party again, but if I do… you’ll be able to get details about it here!

Don’t be an idiot!

This gets its own section because this DOES come up at every conference. It’s sad that it does, but it sadly DOES. So to quote from last year.

  • Seriously. Don’t be a misogynist or an otherwise stupid idiot, in public or private
    • I know it’s a conference, and you are outside of your element, but that doesn’t grant you the right to be a douche bag, a drunken idiot, or a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen.   @drjmetz summed it up pretty nicely in his Technical Conferences and (In)Appropriate Behavior  So, please don’t be that guy (or girl)

Security and Safety

  • Only carry what you need
      • This is a general ‘pick-pocket’ city rule. If you have a wallet with ‘x’ number of credit cards, pick the ones you need MOST and leave the rest somewhere safe [At home, or in the hotel/safe] To re-enforce that, let me give you an example of things you NEED and things you DONT need
        • NEED: Credit Card, Cash, ID [Passport, State ID or License, not ALL three with you though] Insurance Card, BUSINESS CARDS
        • DON’T NEED: Library Card, Membership card to some arbitrarily local thing which doesn’t apply here, blah blah blah
      • Now I want you to seriously think about it. If you lost your wallet how many of these items would it HURT to lose and how many would be ANNOYING to lose. Losing ID sucks as does losing credit cards and cash, but losing the wallet normally makes that happen. The other misc don’t need items is just insult to injury in annoyance. Ride thin and keep only what you need on you.
  • Write your name in something you own
      • Once upon a time [a few years ago] I got a phone call from the Las Vegas airport asking if I had lost my Notebook there. Having not been to Vegas in some time, I did not. They had found a notebook which had MY business card in it! I knew there was an internal VMware meeting going on that week and I knew who I had given my card to, so I took down the information and tracked down who the notebook belonged to. If his name was WRITTEN in the notebook or similarly on whatever item it was, they could have contacted him directly. The point is… take ownership of what belongs to you and you have a vested interest in :)
  • Travel in a group or at least don’t travel alone
      • Taking a step further beyond pick-pocketing, there are other matters to be concerned about.   Sure you should be fine if you are out at 8PM after an event, or even 10PM but the later it gets, the crazier it gets (e.g. Homeless Man Gets Sleeping Bag Stolen During SF SoMa Plunger Attack)   I sincerely care for all of you attending, whether I know you or not and want you to be prepared.   I’ve followed the ‘crazy’ that occurs on the streets in/around Moscone and SF downtown for years; do your best not to travel alone or put yourself into otherwise potentially compromising situations, it’s not worth the headache and heartache.   Though what you do get is stories like….
      • Last time VMworld was in San Francisco, It was around 11PM as I was walking back from having dinner with @Beaker and there in the Yerba Buena Gardens fountain was a man sloshing around knee deep in the water picking up change.    For those of you who follow my Photo Journeys of the world on Instagram and shared on Tumblr note I never took this photo.   Because let’s just say… Some crazy is best left observed and not documented with photos; the end result is me being alive to tell you this very story!
      • Be careful, any time of day or night.   But don’t be afraid to enjoy the beautiful city! 

    Some final notes, comments

  • For a number of years now EMC has been hosting an annual Dodgeball Charity Tournament #v0dgeball, raising all proceeds for the Wounded Warrior project.  Some of you may realize I’ve spent the past two years running the Infrastructure for the War Effort in Afghanistan and I’ve personally seen the impact that the Pre and Post results of this foundation is.   So if you’re looking for some fun with some technical champions who are also taking a stand for something that matters to them be sure to attend this event!

  • Book Signing!

  • Ever wanted to have the technical book(s) you love signed by their authors? Well guess what, most if not all of them will likely be attending, and may even be at pre-scheduled book signings (That may depend upon the publisher/etc so stay tuned for details on that!)  Having partaken in these in the past there are even opportunities for the publisher to give copies of the book away for free! (Including to have the books signed there) so take advantage of these opportunities on the show floor, we authors love it as well! <3

  • This is the ultimate in networking events where a lot of us don’t get the opportunity to see each other, perhaps but once a year depending.   Take that opportunity to meet those people you’ve talked with but never met, or meet those people you’ve always wanted to meet. It will be a whirlwind experience of non-stop action for the entire week the show is active but this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences for some people so it’s best to make this experience one to remember.   If you find yourself waking up in the morning, attending a keynote, going to a session or two, eating in the chow hall by yourself and going to your hotel following the final session of the day; You’re doing it wrong.  Especially if that is the case re-read this post and read the past articles below to make sure this experience is one which will change your life for the better.

  • Oh and don’t forget to check out  the VMworld 2014 Gatherings, Tweetups, Parties and Activities page for various event details!

    Past articles with Tips and Tricks for attending VMworld!

     

    I hope you have a safe and joyous VMworld, Let me know if this helps, if you want to post any additional comments, tips, suggestions, Car-pooling, all that.

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    Posted in Education, Evangelist, Infinio, Twitter, vExpert, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld | Comments (2)

    The Definitive Guide to Prepare for VMworld 2012 in San Francisco (+#CXIDinner Details)

    August 20th, 2012

    Wow. VMworld is a Week away! 7 whole days! (Unless you count events on Sunday then 6, or when I get there on Saturday, then 5!)

    But what does this mean?! Are you ready? Are you prepared? Have you gone back in time and read my Previous Posts on the subject in how to prepare?!

    Disclaimer: Be SURE to go back and read at least the VMworld Tips/Tricks post as I’m referring and citing data from there, but not replicating it

    I know some of you felt all of the content wasn’t entirely relevant to San Francisco compared to that of Las Vegas, so here goes … the Definitive Guide to Prepare for VMworld 2012 in San Francisco! I’ll try to cover everything which is important… Transportation, The Food, The Parties, the Crazies.  Yea. All of it.

    Packing

    It’s a whole week away, who’s thinking about packing now? (I know @StorageMistress is already packed!) and likely so should you begin planning for this!

    Must Have Items to Pack and Consider:

    • Comfortable Shoes:   I cannot stress this enough (I feel like I’ve said it before, and I have, and I’ll say it again, Oh and again.) BRING COMFORTABLE SHOES!.  Whether you’re sticking ENTIRELY to the show floor or you walk outside anywhere (a lot of the events are OFF-Site at times) you’ll find yourself walking.   Not only walking streets, but hills and environments the likes of which Cable Cars were designed for! So bring your comfortable shoes; You can thank me later!
    • Bring Business Cards: I know who you are, I met you, you’re the guy who has a QR code! You’re all SCAN MY QR CODE TO GUARANTEE WE’LL NEVER TALK EVVVEEEEEEEERRRRRR!!!! It’s true, it’s serious. People don’t exchange QR codes and remember each other.  You don’t enter that random contest to win an iPad or a Nexus 7 by giving them your QR code in a bowl.   You exchange Business Cards. Deal with it. Oh and PACK SOME BUSINESS CARDS!
    • Laptop:   If you don’t need your laptop because you’re not going to be working while at the show, leave it at home.   If you bring your laptop because you need to work (like me) and you want to accomplish anything of relevance, LEAVE IT IN YOUR ROOM.  The last thing you need to do is worry about where your laptop is, especially because once you bring it, you will NEVER take it out of it’s case when you hit the show floor, less than 3% of people do. (Exceptions: Blogger, Analyst and other folks who specifically are demoing and using the laptop at set intervals) Save yourself grief though and leave it in the Hotel room, or leave it at home.
    • Clothing:    If you’re a suit guy, bring suits.  If you’re a T-shirt and Jeans guy, bring that.   This is a conference like any conference so you’ll likely end up with random T-Shirts, random this and that’s.  (Oh if you’re job hunting here… Dress above your station, Seriously, no SERIOUSLY DO IT. ;))    Pack appropriately don’t over-pack, per se, but be sure to pack adequately.   If you can survive with Carry-On only (My Preferred way to live) you will WIN!   If you find yourself needing to buy things once you hit the ground it’s not a major problem, but consider San Francisco’s Sales Tax is 9.5%….
    • Cell Phone:   I added this at the last minute.   If you find your ATT Phone doesn’t work to save your life for Data. I heartily welcome to you San Francisco.   … Mobile will be a challenge in every case, if it’s improved you are a lucky beast! If it doesn’t work, just operate on that expectation!

    Transportation

    Whether this is your first VMworld, or your 50th VMworld; your First time in San Francisco, or you’re an old school native… Transportation is an IMPORTANT one to address.   – All of these rules apply especially going TO or FROM the Airport, so find some buddies and group up!

    Options:

    • Taking BART:   A lot of you say “Yea, I’m gonna take BART and I’ll be all good”   Don’t get me wrong. BART is a great idea.  If you have time to burn, I highly encourage it.    Whoa, Whoa, hold on a minute, are you openly bashing public transportation?   Yea, kind of, but not exactly.    Allow me to explain :)
      • If you are within 1 Mile of Moscone staying at the JW Marriott, Renaissance, Marriott Marquis, Serrano, Inter-Continental and so forth?  WALK. ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER.    Yea, You should be walking, it’s not a difficult task.   If you have a lot of stuff to carry, or there’s a bunch of you staying a mile away and you’re lazy (What?! Lazy people in IT? WHERE?!) Then hop in a cab, it’s semi-efficient.   But otherwise, WALK.    But wait, what about hotels farther away?!
      • If you like a lot of very sad folks are staying at the SFO Marriott (~15 miles away) Get a car and car-pool, it’ll be cheaper.    Consider the following calculation.    Taking BART from the SFO Marriott only costs $5 One-Way! However it entails a 60 minute one-way trip, including walking 1.5 Miles all-in.    If I’m in San Francisco on my own dime and I have time to burn this is a great idea.   However, I like you are here for a fixed amount of time, and the burden taking public transportation losing a minimum of 2hrs a day in transport with walking 3 miles a day guaranteed is no way to spend your extremely valuable time.
    • Renting a Car:  WTF? WHO RENTS A CAR IN SAN FRANCISCO!??! No one.  Unless you’re staying at the SFO Marriott, and I suggest ONE of you rents for every 4-5 people you have in a group or party. (Or find some friends! :))  FYI, the time/distance by car is ~30 minutes.   Which means you lose an hour of your day traveling, but at least it is on YOUR terms.   There is no “Last car of the day” and Parking in/around Moscone seems fairly reasonable
    • Taking a Taxi (~1-2M):   If you’re within ~1-2 miles of Moscone, sure, take a taxi if it’s fitting… Sometimes we all have deadlines we need to support, I respect and understand that!
    • Taking a Taxi (~15M):    If you’re staying at the SFO Marriott for example and you take a Taxi, That is a $45 one way trip.  If you have that kind of money to burn, I have a bridge to sell you (and potentially some licensing… HAH!) But seriously, That CAN work out if you load that car up with 4-5 of you and group together, but do not do it solo.

    Taking a Shuttle:

    Many of you may not have known about this, it seems to have been a hidden fact for some so I wanted to ensure the details are documented here for you!

    The secret fact:

    • Here are the hotels which will HAVE shuttle Service (According to VMworld Registration Support Team)
    • Hilton San Fran Union Sq; Hotel Adagio; Milano; Monaco; Nikko; Palomar; Triton; Hyatt at Fishermans Wharf; Hyatt Regency; Intercontinental Mark Hopkins; Intercon San Fran; JW Marriott; Marriott Union Sq; Omni; Palace; Parc 55; Prescott; Ritz Carlton; San Fran Downtown Courtyard by Marriott; Mariott Marquis; Serrano; Sir Francis Drake; St Regis; Stanford Court; Westin San Fran Market St; Westin St Francis; Villa Florence; W San Fran;
    • Interesting facts I’d like to note:
      • This list is in Alphabetical Order for your convenience
      • This list DOES NOT INCLUDE SFO/AIRPORT HOTELS
      • This list does include the W. (Have you ever seen the W? It’s ACROSS THE STREET FROM MOSCONE) 
      • Take this list with a grain of salt.   I’ve heard conflicting opinions that there aren’t shuttles and yet I got this list… so find a good transport plan, commit and roll with it.

      Transportation
      VMworld shuttles between the airport and hotels are not provided. Conference shuttle service will be provided at select VMworld 2012 official hotels to Moscone West.  Service offered every 20 minutes during the following AM and PM Peak hours of the conference:

    Sunday, August 26 12:30PM – 9:00PM
    Monday, August 27 6:30AM – 10:30AM, 4:00PM – 8:30PM
    Tuesday, August 28 6:30AM – 10:30AM, 4:00PM – 8:00PM
    Wednesday, August 29 6:30AM – 10:30AM, 4:00PM – 6:00PM
    Extended Party Hours 7:00PM – 10:00PM
    Thursday September 30 6:30AM – 10:30AM, 12:00PM – 4:00PM

    Shuttle Drop Off: Moscone West Convention Center
    Shuttle Pick Up: Information on shuttle routes and pick up locations can be found at select VMworld 2012 hotels and at the designated drop off location at Moscone West.

    Networking and Sessions and Labs

    No, this section is not about Nicira or SDN. :)   

    For those of you who are veterans to VMworld or if you’ve never seen the inside of a conference session before.   This section applies to you, regardless.

    • Networking is KEY.     Chances are if you want to do something, someone there has already done it before and can share their experience.   Some people are sad and lonely and are looking for others to talk to about how they backup their Virtualization environment.   Let’s be honest.  You’re all geeks in one way or another and you have your particular area of focus, of interest, of… whatever.    And there’s bound to be at least a dozen more of you there who share the same interests, so it’s important to FIND each other, Exchange business cards and “buy” each other a drink at some Vendors Party    – Not sure who’s doing what you want, or on and so forth? Find ME. I know all of you and can help ‘matchmake’ you SDN guys with you other neurotic vCloud guys. :)
    • OMG I WANT TO ATTEND THESE 3 SESSIONS ALL RUNNING AT THE SAME TIME.
      • You guys know that the sessions are available after the fact in video+PDF format, right? Seriously? You know that right?!?!  Don’t kill yourself to attend a session which is full or 2 1/2 miles from where you are that you forgo eating just to get there on time….
      • I said this last year, and guess what. It still applies.  So don’t kill yourself for the sessions.   If you have to choose between two sessions which are applicable to your business, choose the one more likely to involve ‘interaction’ instead of rote lecture.    Or pick the one with the full-er room :)
      • I list a bunch of other very good reasons on this in VMworld Tips, Tricks and Prize winning #vmworld so go back and read it :)
    • LABS LABS LABS!!!    Some of you don’t have access to labs, or nearly the comprehensive set of labs they have here.    Since I’ve found it a challenge to get access to these labs Post-VMworld “Hey, we’re fixing that … yea I’ll believe it when I see it” – I encourage you to spend time going through the labs, learning the material… Camping out in the Lab room and just getting into the material deep! The Lab Proctors are GOOD guys who’ve been in the game a long time and can help you out with more than just your lab (shhh… don’t tell them I told you to do that ;))    So get your LAB ON!

    Friendships Forged in Fire and Wine

    VMworld is not just about Virtualization, Learning, Sessions, Labs and Networking.   It is about Friendships Forged deep, often over some kind of spirit and intensive conversation.    Battles will be fought, People will transition from Company to Company, Customer to Partner, Partner to Vendor, Vendor to Competitor; but with all said and done.   We are still friends.    And we stick together and get the opportunity to share in each others experiences again.    You are not excluded from this category.    If you walk away from VMworld without having met at least 5 new people, or forged some ridiculous potential life long relationship; You have Failed.  Yea I said it. FAILURE.    If you’re on a distribution list that I created and Managed for this event for internal communication and you don’t take advantage of the mindshare of folks attending in person to get to know each other and do business… You are failing your future, upwards!     So take those moments.   See your friends, Meet and Make New Friends, Think outside of your box and reach outside of your comfort area.    And if you need a push in the right direction, Find me – I’ll nudge you, introduce you and more.

    #CXIDinner, Cat Ears, and my Schedule

    This has been a question of CONTROVERSY for quite some time OMG IS CXI THROWING HIS FABLED #cxiparty this year.   The official answer is; no.    Why? Because San Francisco is RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE OMG.    And I would never wish that burden upon ANYONE, And I seriously mean ANYONE. NEVER, NOT THAT BURDEN.    You think San Francisco is Expensive, Imagine at SCALE (#CXIParty had >1200 people last year, where the hell do you store that many people in this city?!)    So, no, I will not be throwing an official #CXIParty at that level of scale like seen in Las Vegas last year (You can count on it in Vegas again though ;))

    That said though.    Here is what you can count on.    VMworld 2010 in San Francisco gave birth the creation of #CXIDinner – It’s very informal, very comfortable, very much a different kind of event, usually after all is said, done, and settled (starting anywhere from 10PM to 2 or 3AM… really depends on what we’re doing is over)    So you’re more than welcome to find out WHERE the #CXIDinner will be hosted on any given night.    None of them are (officially) Partner sponsored at this time, so you’d be catching your own tab, but we keep it honest, practical, affordable and friendly.    So if you’re a late night guy who is hungry like we all are, I encourage you to monitor twitter for updates on where #CXIDinner will be happening, or my regular @CXI Feed…

    FYI: #CXIDinner will be a daily activity occurring at some random variable time – No registration, just show up / notify / txt (630.362.1320), whatever. :)   Hopefully #CXIDinner veterans such as @HPStorageGuy will be there too! :)

    Speaking of Cat Ears; Yes I will have *many* of my fabled cat ears, my new Brain Wave controlled cat ears, and even a CUSTOM set of ears I’ll be unveiling early (These will also be my ears to celebrate my birthday coming in September.   – Let’s celebrate my birthday at VMworld… and again in Chicago on September 8th! :))

    Some of you may wonder “You keep saying come find you, but WTF how am I supposed to do that!@!@!@”  – Well, here is a copy of my schedule to make that a TAD easier… :)

    @CXI Schedule for VMworld

    As you can see I took advantage of the “Personal Time” which most likely involves me being on the Show Floor or diagramming something using random sticks or something somewhere, but either way… you *might* be able to find me in those locations at those times… In theory of course!    As far the “After Hours” goes… I’m playing that by ear.  It’s been awhile since I’ve NOT been organizing or throwing some kind of event so I like the freedom to do whatever the hell I’d like in those circumstances. (Yes I’ll be at the #VMUnderground on Sunday, you don’t have to worry about that! ;))

    Oh and I’m bound to head over to Chinatown for Foot and Hand Reflexology at the place which is hands down the best I’ve experienced, even across China and Asia!  So come on down – I’ll also be doing some vegan meals at random points too if you want to experience pure OMG.

    But wait, that’s not all!   Last but not least (Yes, as you’ll see this is an area OFTEN left as an after-thought…)

    Security and Safety

  • Only carry what you need
      • This is a general ‘pick-pocket’ city rule. If you have a wallet with ‘x’ number of credit cards, pick the ones you need MOST and leave the rest somewhere safe [At home, or in the hotel/safe] To re-enforce that, let me give you an example of things you NEED and things you DONT need
        • NEED: Credit Card, Cash, ID [Passport, State ID or License, not ALL three with you though] Insurance Card, BUSINESS CARDS
        • DON’T NEED: Library Card, Membership card to some arbitrarily local thing which doesn’t apply here, blah blah blah
      • Now I want you to seriously think about it. If you lost your wallet how many of these items would it HURT to lose and how many would be ANNOYING to lose. Losing ID sucks as does losing credit cards and cash, but losing the wallet normally makes that happen. The other misc don’t need items is just insult to injury in annoyance. Ride thin and keep only what you need on you.
  • Write your name in something you own
      • Once upon a time [okay a year ago] I got a phone call from the Las Vegas airport asking if I had lost my Notebook there. Having not been to Vegas in some time, I did not. They had found a notebook which had MY business card in it! I knew there was an internal VMware meeting going on that week and I knew who I had given my card to, so I took down the information and tracked down who the notebook belonged to. If his name was WRITTEN in the notebook or similarly on whatever item it was, they could have contacted him directly. The point is… take ownership of what belongs to you and you have a vested interest in :)
  • Travel in a group or at least don’t travel alone 
      • Taking a step further beyond pick-pocketing, there are other matters to be concerned about.   Sure you should be fine if you are out at 8PM after an event, or even 10PM but the later it gets, the crazier it gets (e.g. Homeless Man Gets Sleeping Bag Stolen During SF SoMa Plunger Attack – Which happened at 3:30AM a week ago)   I sincerely care for all of you attending, whether I know you or not and want you to be prepared.   I’ve followed the ‘crazy’ that occurs on the streets in/around Moscone and SF downtown for years; do your best not to travel alone or put yourself into otherwise potentially compromising situations, it’s not worth the headache and heartache.   Though what you do get is stories like….
      • Last time VMworld was in San Francisco, It was around 11PM as I was walking back from having dinner with @Beaker and there in the Yerba Buena Gardens fountain was a man sloshing around knee deep in the water picking up change.    For those of you who follow my Photo Journeys of the world on Instagram and shared on Tumblr note I never took this photo.   Because let’s just say… Some crazy is best left observed and not documented with photos; the end result is me being alive to tell you this very story!
      • Be careful, any time of day or night.   But don’t be afraid to enjoy the beautiful city!  

    I hope you have a safe and joyous VMworld, Let me know if this helps, if you want to post any additional comments, tips, suggestions, Car-pooling, all that.

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    Posted in Baltimization, Evangelist, Informational, Vegan, Virtualization, VMworld | Comments (2)

    With 2 Days remaining to vote on VMworld submissions; VOTE FOR THESE NOW! (ENDS Jun 8 2012)

    June 6th, 2012

    I know what you’re saying, “Hey, Christopher isn’t asking us to take time from our schedule to go vote for some sessions, right” Yes.  Yes I am.  I don’t think you could have possibly understood any clearer exactly what my intentions were so wholly in one single breath!    Seriously though, Voting is ENDING I know that a lot of you still haven’t voted, waiting for the last minute potentially.  Guess what.  We’re at the last minute! Let’s take the opportunity to vote for some sessions, several of which are near and dear to my heart.    This won’t be an overwhelming list.   Just a few sessions which will be epic, presented by people I care about who are also rock stars in their own right, so who wouldn’t want to listen to them ‘blah blah blah’ about virtualization, right?

    Click here to vote for VMworld Sessions!

    CLICK HERE TO VOTE!!! <- Just incase you’re unable to see the image above, now votevotevote!

    VOTE FOR MY SESSION! – Shameless Plug!

    The following session is my own. Please vote for it.  Thanks! :)

    Session: 2318 – Title: “Platform as a Service with VMware vCloud Director: As Seen from the Trenches and Ivory Towers”

    Description: Come hear Industry Experts and VMware vExperts, Damian Karlson (@sixfootdad) and Christopher Kusek (@CXI) discuss IT Transformation and Platform as a Service enabled by VMware Cloud Director. This session will address the hard and fast facts encountered.   Real world scenarios and challenges experienced by REAL VMware Cloud Director deployments. Drive Platform as a Service from Proof of Concept to Production with insightful tips and tricks., Hard and fast considerations to remove roadblocks to success.   What role does Platform As A Service play in an overall IT As A Service transformational effort?  Architecting PaaS with VMware vCloud Director and EMC VSPEX reference architectures.   Technology is easy, but what about the people and processes?  

    Vote for these sessions ! ! ! ! !

    Session: 1968 – Title: “Beyond Cloud Readiness: Is Your Organization Ready for vCloud Director?”

    Description: Come hear Cloud Rangers JP Morgenthal (@jpmorgenthal) and Damian Karlson (@sixfootdad) discusses assessing your organization’s readiness for vCloud Director. The vCloud Director product is designed to help organizations deliver ITaaS and implies a certain organizational state. Understand the foundation of delivering IT-as-a-Service, A framework and tools to return back to the office and perform a self-assessment for vCloud Director Readiness, An understanding of the impact of IT transformational activities on successfully implementation. A Healthcare example will be included. IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) requires coherence across systems, policies, processes, organizational structure and business alignment. vCloud Director enables customers to build secure, multitenant hybrid clouds. However, the tool is only as good as the operator.

    Session: 2116 – Title: “Virtualizing Microsoft SQL Server Has Gone Mainstream – Best Practices For Success”

    Description: 2012 is quickly becoming the year that virtualization of Microsoft SQL Server has gone mainstream. Many organizations are pushing to not only virtualize their existing SQL Server platform but also migrate to the new release of SQL Server 2012. How an organization can benefit by virtualizing their SQL Server environment, The proper upfront work and best practices for successful virtualization, What the new SQL Server release does to improve availability over physical deployments. Why is 2012 the year of mainstream Microsoft SQL Server virtualization? What are the benefits of virtualizing SQL. How does Microsoft SQL Server 2012 help drive mainstream SQL virtualization? What are some best practices when virtualizing SQL Server? – Presenter: Matt Liebowitz

    Session: 1222 – Title: “Design, Deploy, and Optimize SharePoint 2010 on vSphere”

    Description: SharePoint Server is a perfect candidate for virtualization. Physical implementations suffer from many limitations, including time wasted waiting for servers to arrive, waiting for software to load and testing complex HA and DR designs. Application Virtualization, Business Continuity, VMware Site Recovery Manager, Backup, Microsoft SharePoint Virtualization, Healthcare customer example. Introduction and Benefits, Performance, Capacity Planning, Workload Modeling and Architectural Design, SQL Server Capacity and Performance, Deploying to ESX/ESXi, Availability and Recovery – Presenter: Itzik Reich

    Session: 2483– Title: “Enterprise Adoption of Private Clouds – What’s the Holdup?

    Enterprise private clouds are here. VBlock is real. Clouds provide a vastly improved means for business users to receive the computing power they need, when it’s needed. So why hasn’t traditional IT provisioning been replaced by internal clouds already? What’s the holdup?
    This panel will take a look at the compute management and IT provisioning problems faced by large enterprise customers today, how private clouds will solve those problems, and barriers to adoption. – Presenter: Ted Newman, Michael Ryan

    That’s right, I am asking you *point blank* to vote for sessions: 2318, 1968, 2116, 1222 and 2483.   These are many guys you know and love such as.  @cxi @sixfootdad, @vCTO, @mattliebowitz and @Itzikr  – So, suck it up, take a few minutes go vote vote vote and let’s rock it out like rockstars.    Does voting guarantee you a place at my #CXIParty at VMworld? Sure. Why not.  Let’s say that. :)    Let’s just say, that’s still in the planning stages (SF is a horrible place to throw a large party!)

    Look forward to your votes! Get out there, vote early and vote often! :)

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Posted in Cloud, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld | Comments (1)

    Recruiting Virtual Talent: Tips and Tricks to hire and get hired at #VMworld

    August 24th, 2011

    This is specifically written for those attending VMworld, it doesn’t HAVE to be exclusive to there, but it’s next week and I want to lay out some things between now and then, maybe start a hiring revolution! :)

    Let’s be realistic and practical. Not everyone in the world is GREAT at finding out who is hiring, and on the same sense of it, it can be a great challenge to identify the right resources to transform your organization, or even to find people with the right skills you’re looking for because lets face it, I’ve only met a handful of recruiters who know WTF they’re doing.  A HANDFUL. If you disagree; yea lets be serious, you DON’T disagree :)

    That said, lets skip the BS and go right to the hiring managers and the candidates, get down to brass tacks; or AKA: Lets CHEAT!

    The hiring managers way to cheat in recruiting – Tips for #CXIParty

    I had this idea WHOA, WOULDN’T IT BE COOL IF

    • People put an “H” on their name badge if they’re a hiring manager
    • Put an “H+” if they’re a hiring manager and have REQs open
    • Put an “H-“ if they’re hiring but do not have REQs open yet?

    Whoa, I didn’t just oversimplify and CHEAT THE SYSTEM.  Yea that’s right bitches! It doesn’t have to be complicated.   But you might ask “Why go through this form of parlance? Why not simply let people engage in conversation” Oh, I encourage that, but please allow the following scenario to play out.

    You are attending VMworld with your CompanyX you may be traveling with co-workers, your management, whatever.   You’re officially or unofficially looking to change careers, companies, whatever.   Do you walk up to people and go OMG I LOVE YOUR COMPANY I WANT TO WORK HERE. Yea, you’re talking to a guy who will never have a REQ in the history of REQs. Seriously. You pass your resume to him, and he hands it off to some clueless recruiter who ignores all of the good candidates and sends them to a heaping pile of crap.   Oh do please stop me if I’m wrong.   But the difference between a GOOD recruiter and a BAD recruiter is the ability to pick up the phone and send an email. Bad Recruiter… I think they’re busy trying to find their next job. #grin

    Okay, taking a step back from the little Recruiter tirade (it’s true, and it’s honestly frustrating :))   Imagine how much easier that would be! What I’d typically ask people who DO have REQs are where they are in the chain, how serious they are, and what kind of skills they’re looking to fill (also what travel is involved) not because *I* am looking but because I know a lot of you (okay, most of you) and I talk with you regularly about your careers; it’d be nice to help out the two of you [hence this blog post as well ;)]

    So I encourage you hiring managers attending VMworld and attending #CXIParty to put a H and/or H+ on your badge… you might just find yourself filling reqs like mad y0! :)

    The hiring managers way to cheat in vetting a candidate!

    Now that you’re being hit up by various people noticing the H on your badge, what next?  You find a nice guy or girl who seems to have some passion, some drive, some interest; they expressed an interest in talking to you about your company that’s encouraging right? Sure it’s a good start. But let the vetting begin!   One thing you’ll find is the case at someplace like #CXIParty is.. a lot of us KNOW each other. And if we don’t know each other it’s a good way to hit it off.    So lets say you find a candidate you’re interested in; you can get LIVE REFERENCES [omg, right!?] but what if they’re not someone who is known by everyone, don’t fret!   One thing you’ll also find is… OMG WE’RE GEEKS. Okay, not all of us are, but a lot of us are, and if put into a situation to show off our mad street cred around something like virtualization it’s a good way to determine how one would respond and react to the situation.   Sure you can ask them HOW MUCH RAM AND HOW MANY vCPUS CAN YOU SUPPORT. Wow, I couldn’t figure that out from a Google search, but force them into a deep heated conversation around architectural considerations of an obscure environment and how they’d go about deploying and designing a self service provisioning architecture driven by a portal… or something…. And you’ll see JUST what kind of candidate you’re getting.  It’s not WHAT they know, but how they react and think on their feet.   If you’re looking for your rockstars, your architects, your OM-vG That’s a good way to work it out.

    Yes that was a long paragraph (hah, more like novel! :)) but the added point is, after you get the ‘candidate’ to engage in that conversation with various vetted or unvetted members of the community… you’ll all have made some great friends and it’s a chalk full of win! :)

    OMG I TOTALLY WANT TO WORK AT COMPANY ‘X’

    Screw the damn man, am I right?! Err, wait what?! :) Yea.. this is for you the non-hiring manager, the guy who works for the public sector looking to go private, or the admin who wants to get into more of an architectural role.  The partner looking to go Vendor; the vendor looking to change vendors.  Factually it does not matter so much why you’re looking for a new opportunity, just that you’re prepared when that time comes!  Here are some tips!

    • Be a rockstar.   Yea, that totally means throwing a TV out a window, err.. no. It means be yourself. Be confident in WHO you are, even if WHO you are is not confident the least you can do is be you. :)   I mean you’re looking to change roles right? You should have an idea of who you are and what you want to do/be [It’s okay if you don’t…. a lot of people don’t, let me know and we can work on that! ;)}
    • Get to know other people.   You don’t have to be a social butterfly.   But you also need not be a social outcast or do something to make a fool of yourself (unless that works for you, I’m cool with that.  Side tip; wearing cat ears is not a fools game ;)
    • BRING BUSINESS CARDS.   This will delve into some sub-topics because I’ve discussed this extensively with some folks.
      • “Should I have business cards made up with my own name and not my companies”
        • Lets say you work for a major company, like ACME.   ACME carries with it a well known brand and image of making great weaponry, traps and explosives which are almost certain to work [with some roadrunner based exceptions]   You’re doing yourself a disservice with disassociating yourself with the company.   Having a business card says “Hey, look I’m employed! but please contact me at my personal email address” It also says “Hah! I got some fool to hire me, so you can’t do MUCH worse right!?!” ;)
      • “What about making up my own cards not-associated with my company”
        • Absolutely, it has its place.   Some examples;
          • Free-lancers who have/currently working the Consulting gig land and that’s how you get your business; Respect.
          • People with a brand who may or may not work for a major label company
          • People who are unemployed and thus do not have company business cards.   Nothing wrong there, but it’s important they know the difference.  I can usually tell these ones because the business cards are made on paper stock; thin as flash paper!
    • Oh and did I mention to Bring Business cards? (Yea, you should totally do that ;)) Also good to enter contests like at #CXIParty
    • Show your Passion.    Why are you passionate about your job? Are you? Are you passionate about another job but not so much what you’re currently doing?  Please don’t let the jaded bits leak into things.   You’re in the craziest city on earth for the show… surrounded by the top minds in virtualization and the best businesses transforming the future of IT.    Show your passion. BE that Guy/Girl!
    • Be honest.    Be honest about who you are, about who you want to be if you’re not there yet.   You’re not a VCP because the class is too expensive? Totally understand that.  But don’t be this guy; “I’m not going to learn anything new unless my company invests in me to do that” Yea. I don’t want you, and neither will a lot of hiring managers because you become the guy who gets a LITTLE bit of training and jumps ship.    There is value in being opportunistic but invest in yourself and it will pay in loads.
    • Don’t lie / Tell the truth.    These are tips I’d usually provide to people going through the interview process when I do my career counseling.  They do sound SO similar, but they’re so different.     Here are some examples:
      • Don’t Lie:
        • Oh yea I totally invented the internet. GO AHEAD AND SEARCH FOR MY PATENT.
          • I interviewed that guy.  (No it was something else, and NO we couldn’t find his damn patent!)
        • I designed and architected environment x and was the project lead.
          • I remember that interview well.   And then one of our interviewers asked him details about WHY he named the environment they way he did and specifics about it.  He couldn’t answer those questions. Why… Why can’t you remember some simple details about an environment you designed and architected? It couldn’t possibly be because the INTERVIEWER had actually been the one who designed and architected the environment before leaving the company and joining us.  Yea, so seriously? Seriously, don’t be THAT guy who’ll lie about the work you did :)
        • Click my link to learn how to get a zillion twitter followers!
          • Okay, that’s not very specific but it’s intended to focus on a broad assessment of accounts. Basically saying most of these people who share these links tend to have 0 or fewer followers.   So don’t just make any blatant lies, the truth is a lot easier to remember (unless it’s wikipedia… then we can just turn it into the truth! :))
      • Tell the Truth:
        • “Have you worked with vCloud Director before?”
          • Hey, tell the truth. “No, WTF is vCD?” or “I was a lab manager guy but our ELA blah blah blah, we never got to play with vCD” “I wanted to play with it in the lab but couldn’t get the code” “I hate vCD and all it stands for, TIDAL AND NEW SCALE FOR THE WIN!” err, whoa, we’re getting ahead of ourselves but seriously :)  This can apply to almost any/all technologies and scopes.   Tell the truth and be honest with yourself.     Here is the WRONG answer to most questions: “No”.
          • To provide some color on that. Answering with a simple Yes/No gives no recourse, it doesn’t let either of you know if you’re capable of willing to learn a new technology or coming back to the previous points of investing in yourself.
    • “Always… I mean never, forget to check your references” – Special prize for anyone who can give me the source of the quote ;)
      • You know what I hate on peoples resumes? “References available upon request”  Use that space you’re wasting to put something else useless… Preferably funny.  maybe “References are for wimps” or something like “I know Chmod” but please don’t waste our time on your resume!
      • A verbal reference will win hands down every time.
        • If you have someone who can vouch for you, and they’re within an ear-shot, you’re on your way to winning.   If you don’t.   Get to know those people, make friends, grow, learn, enhance, blah blah etc :)
    • Please know what you want, or why you want it.
      • Get to know who you are, what you want and what you’ll get out or changing companies or roles. If I could ask you to come up with answers to the following questions you’ll be FAR better off.   Hopefully you can come up with answers on any/all of these.
        • Do you want to travel / Are you okay with travel / How much travel (20%, 50%, 80%, 100%)
          • FYI: Figure out what EACH of those mean.  80% travel usually means you’re traveling Mon-Thurs with Friday to catch up.
        • What motivates you
          • Is it money? Is it a challenging environment? Is it doing the same shit every day at a different place? Is it the people you work with?  Figure out some of that.   What happens if you lose your motivation? How do you get your mojo back?
        • How much money do you feel you’re worth?
          • While some companies have a ‘range’ they’re willing to pay.  What are you worth?   What do you REQUIRE to survive and what will allow you to be comfortable. Etc figure those things out, base pay, bonus, what matters to you
        • “What do you do”
          • This is a question I would ask of people. It’s not what you do day in and day out, it is more akin to who you are.   Example: Regardless of what my JOB is, I’m solving problems, sharing knowledge and innovation and helping others to advance while trying to automate things so we don’t have jobs; freeing us up to do other jobs.   Figure out what you do, what you’re most passionate about, and what drives you and you’ll be WELL on your way to winning!
        • Have you ever fought a bear?
          • I mean, a small bear is still a bear, so you should be able to talk to this point.  What size of a bear are you willing to go toe to toe with give the circumstance.  Would you require it to be a fair fight? You prefer the two of you wear gloves in an open ring? Trained bear v wild? You have a particular species of bear, I mean Polar bears are nice but they tend to carry bottles of coke around with them and if you’ve ever had a bottle of coke broken on you it’s PAINFUL, OMG. I have scars still.
        • Err, WTF was that bear question?
          • … I didn’t say anything about a bear.
        • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
          • Celebrating the 5 year anniversary of you asking me this question! (Is how I HAVE answered that question, thanks to the late Mitch Hedberg) but seriously.  Do you have any kind of a plan? Where do you want to be, what do you want to do? (I’m 3 years into my current 5 year plan, and after my next blog post you’ll see just WHY I’m WELL on target! :))
        • What is your “Objective”
          • “Seeking a position in blah blah blah in a challenging environment” While all of that may be true.  Getting an idea of what your actual objective is.  Allow some further colour on this.  I’ve talked with people who simply say “I want to be challenged” WTF does THAT mean.  Without something tangible around that I can challenge you by making you deal with a crazy political environment which will leave you in tears daily trying to figure out how to navigate change management requests.   But is that what you REALLY want to do? :)    Sure if you make it too specific you can lock yourself out of opportunity (likely to be opportunity you REALLY didn’t want in the first place ;) but I digress)  
          • Be specific.    If this is an objective you’re interested in “Advancing a career in virtualization by transforming an IT organization through efficiencies, cost effective strategies and learning new skills; ultimately to advance me from an individual contributor to providing leadership to evolve and transcend the business”  … I just came up with that off the cuff, I’m sure some of you will say YES EXACTLY THAT. Sweet.   But try to come up with something tangible. Be your future, don’t just HOPE for it.
    • Buy a lottery ticket.
      • There is this old tale of a man who would pray every day asking to win the lotto. “Oh please let me win the lotto, oh please let me win the lotto” And there he lay on his deathbed, moments before his death, his creator appeared before him to take him away; with his frail and weakened breath he says “Oh being my creator, why were my prayers not answered” and in his infinite wisdom, his creator said “Buy a damn ticket already!”
      • Maybe that story resonates with you, it may insult some of you? (hey it’s from a joke! ;)) but the point is.   You’ve heard of the secret right? “Put it out to the universe and it will return to you?” Yea, I have a little secret for you. INVEST IN YOURSELF. You’re likely to get a greater outcome.   Don’t assume someone is going to send you to training and don’t assume you’re going to know things you didn’t invest in yourself to learn.    You know one of the best ways to FIND a job too? Is to say “Hey, are you hiring?” Step up, get serious and put things into your own  hands.   If you want to ‘put it out there for the universe’ I’ll be honest.. that server isn’t going to P2V itself, so hop to it and start P2Ving yourself to the next level. :)

    Hopefully you found some of these various tips useful, not too offensive and valuable/useful.  If you’re looking for a new role comment in the post; if you’re hiring, let it be known! Virtualization is still very strong and shows like #VMworld show that to be so true.    Hopefully some of you adopt the H and H+ model.   Good luck and see you at #VMworld and #CXIParty :)

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    With #VMworld mere days away, what to expect from #CXIParty

    August 24th, 2011

    By now I’m sure you’ve read

    VMworld Tips, Tricks and Prize winning #vmworld

    #CXIParty at VMworld hosted by @CXI and @NexusMN – After Welcome Reception

    Here is a mockup I made ORIGINALLY. It is important you READ THE WORDS I’m about to say and not just focus on the text in the picture. Because words are important! :)

    #CXIParty Floor Plan Layout - Hacked

    Yea worst photoshop ever!  So.. I laid this out a loooooong time ago, when I only had a total of 4 suites and there were only around 200-300 attendees.  However in my infinite wisdom, I decided to make sure Fire Code wouldn’t be an issue and support the ability to basically accommodate the majority if not ALL of you at the party; so what does/did that mean?  We’re not looking at 4800SQ Feet, sorry! No, we’re looking at over 11,000 Square Feet.  Instead of 2 of those suites you see on the right. No… there are 6 of them, for a total of 8 suites.  Yea I’ll figure out how I ‘break things up’ because it’s my party and I can cry if I want to. Logistics dictates I’ll likely have the ‘dedicated’ bartender in the master suite (as seen above :))

    I’m still waiting to hear back from my guy at the hotel on the EXACT location of the suites (which I’ll basically be traversing between them, and I support you doing the same to see a different ‘scene’ and what have you) ultimately it’s going to rock in ways like no other.   There are special things going on I cannot publicly share yet but for those who have an idea *Hint: It involves your ability to manipulate paper* you’re going to have an AMAZING time :)

    OMG CONTESTS?!  I ENCOURAGE you to bring a business card to enter in to drawings.   I know some of my sponsors will have some types of prizes for you to win!  But on the same token, *I* Also will have some prizes for you to win! I know I know.. You rock, and yea I have to dip into my own personal budget for these things, but that’s because I love and care for each and every one of you! you know… and stuff. :)

    OMG PRIZES! OMG PRIZES! OMG PRIZES! (Tip: If you’ve read my VMworld Tips, Tricks and Prize winning #vmworld) Your chances to win are WELL Increased!

    Some ground rules: For the prizes I control, I also control the rules on how one goes about winning; whether it is by drawing a card or some type of skills based challenge (see above re: paper ;))  That said, this contest is FREE GAME to ALL Contenders to win.   There is no purchase required blah blah blah or any of that other legalese. Just come, enjoy and most importantly, MAKE SURE YOU’RE PART OF THE GAME TO WIN! So… with no further adieu what can you win?!

    Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth Headset - Shakeproof Wireless Earbuds 

    I believe it was @lynxbat who introduced me to these bad boys.   Anyone who uses bluetooth headphones will find themselves drooling over this going OMG WANT. So you have that going for you! :)

    Han Solo in Carbonite Ice Cube TrayI'm droooooooowwwwwwwwwwwning!!!!

    After massively popular demand, because apparently we’re a bunch of geeks? I’ll ALSO have this for use..  Why yes.. I will OPEN one of them to field-test at the party, and one of you will win the used version (and the non-used version also ;)) Caveat: I just put the order in for this, so it better damn show up before I leave or you’ll all be disappointed! :)

    iPad 2!?!? I won't get spammed for this! ;)

    Whoa! WTF? WHAT IS GOING ON @CXI THATS NOT AN IPAD! Yes. Yes it is an iPad2. 16g Wifi because I’m not insane, nor rich!

    Like I said, you’ll find out how you can win, but the only way to win is to play the game. SO PLAY THE DAMN GAME! Err.. or something :)

    Ears, Ears everywhere and no one is LISTENING DAMNIT WTF Me wearing two sets of ears! OMG IM THE BUNNY CAT!

    I know some of you asked about Ears, and especially with all the talk about high-heeled cheetah crocs we’ve had as of late, I provide some of the following options for you to wear! (This is how they might look being worn! :))  I’ll probably be in my professional cat ears (a simple black/white) but those might by my street cat ears for other parts of the show! :)   These will be on a first come – first justified basis since what you see is my entire collection :)

    So look forward to your mail for the final update on logistics (and even if you don’t see/hear it until the day OF – Just know you’ll be looking for a rockstar (possibly wearing ears ;)) in the lobby of the Cosmo and you’ll get well on your way up to the party suites, for some of the most rockingest sights, sounds, conversations and more that you’ll encounter in Vegas and at VMworld!   Also at this point, I am STILL accepting small sponsorships if you’re looking to help out pay for even more alcohol (I should have enough drink for ~1000 people or ~500 heavy drinkers.. ;))   I did mention before there will be minor snack-type foods, so I encourage you to eat as much as you can/want at the vendor events prior to showing up because well… they have a much larger budget for food! (their budgets are typically 20-50x larger than mine, but they lack this thing called… you ;))

    Please do your bit to thank the sponsors and if they offer something you’re interested in, get in touch with them (or I can introduce you) These people help make this a lot more consumable and possible!   Look forward to my next blog post as well on a very important subject for VMworld… :) oh and my OTHER blog post well delayed on my new role (Yea, lots of excitement going on around here! :))

    OMG ITS NEXT WEEK! See you in Vegas :) [For those of you who have offered to help out – I’m fully game for you to help out, feel free to tweet, email or txt me ;)]

    See you there! – Christopher

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    Posted in Virtualization, vmware, VMworld | Comments (0)

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