Posts Tagged ‘Tips and Tricks’

OMG! #vExpert 2015 applications are open until 12DEC2014!!!

November 5th, 2014

VMware #vExpert 2015!!!

So, Corey Romero @vCommunityGuy recently put out this gem of a blog post vExpert 2015 applications are open which if you’re a previous vExpert or you think you’re the next up and coming vExpert, OR if you’d like to nominate someone you think absolutely rocks? Well, This is the post!

To sum up some of the key points from Corey’s post;

  • Applications will be accepted until December 12th at midnight PST
  • Applications received after the December 12th deadline will roll into the next nomination & voting process
  • vExpert 2015 announcement will be on February 5th 2015.

And of course the ever so important links in the event that you don’t click on Corey’s post! :)

If you’re not sure whether you should be vExpert material, or what it really takes to apply… Feel free to check out my post from 2012!

The Non-definitive guide to the VMware vExpert Program, Tips, Tricks, How to become a vExpert!

So existing vExperts, go fill out your Fastrack application, new vExpert hopefuls, go get your application rocking out, and get those nominations in for the lesser known vExpert who don’t realize that they truly are a vExpert…’’

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

Tips for new or prospective authors in the IT community

June 30th, 2014

Well hello hello, if you’re reading this you may be a new author, or a prospective potential author, good times, right?!

As I sit here my 5th book published over the years I’ve noticed there are a few things which either isn’t done either through lack of awareness or otherwise from new authors and I thought, hey lets keep our community strong and grow ya’ll the best you can be.  Hopefully you find these tips useful because I sure as hell do each of these whenever I publish a new book. :)

Create an Amazon Author Central Profile

Whaaaaaat?! What is that?  Well new author you ever notice how the names of an Author on Amazon are clickable?!  And then you click on their name and it brings you to a page like this? It has an Author Bio, Copies of and details of your book(s), it can even pull your latest Tweets and Blog posts off of your blog!

Christopher Kusek's Amazon Author Bio!

This is definitely a good way to help build your readership, establish your authorship credibility and in general it’s a pretty cool way to keep track of things!

Setting it up is actually really easy! All you need to do is go to Author Central and setup your account – It’ll ask you to “Add” books which you can do by searching for them or by specifying your ISBN.  They’ll validate that indeed YOU ARE THE AUTHOR on said books and if so, BAM! It will be associated with your account and your name. It’s actually pretty cool and something which is often overlooked!

Create an Authorgraph Profile

Whoa whoa whoa, what is this AuthorGraph you speak of?! Yea I never heard of it either, but one day I said, “Wow, it’d be really cool if there were a way I could SIGN the digital copies of my books that people buy!” I noticed Amazon didn’t have a solution #FAIL, so I discovered the lovely joys of AuthorGraph. What it basically does is it allows you to register your books and people can request a digitally signed copy of their digital copies of your books! Awesome, right?!  Note: If you have non-digital versions of your books (e.g., ones without an ASIN) you will NOT be able to register them.


It is literally as easy as going to Author Graph, registering your name / identity, and then adding the ASIN of your books! BAM! Real easy, right?!

Include the book and ISBN in your resume and on LinkedIn

Wait. What does this have to do with my book? Well, This has more to do with your career and the respective advance of it.  If I’m reviewing your resume and it says, “This person is technical in nature and well-written” … And then follows that up with a published piece of work that I could peruse on Amazon or O’Reilly Safari? Well, hells yea I’ll give him more consideration as a technical expert in a particular field.   It’s just a viable way to continue to progress your career for your next big opportunity, I mean you’re an author you should be proud of that! :)

Oh yea this was added after the fact… LinkedIn has an option to list books, associate it with your ISBN and if you have Co-Authors, you can ‘tag’ them respectively there as well.  Do it. This is a business tool, use it to expand your business profile. Who knows, you may get some new readers just from them checking out your LinkedIn Profile. :)

Have your book rated and reviewed on Safari Books Online

Self-promotion starts with you (Okay, that seems sort of implied, but it is true. :)) If you have a subscription to Safari Books Online you should check the status, rating and any respective reviews you have of your book.   It is not the largest library in the world but it is one often frequented by the Tech community and people take reviews and ratings seriously if they’re perusing looking for the next tome of knowledge to check out.

Have your booked rated and reviews on Amazon!

That’s a given right? I mean people will obviously read your book and be so blown away that they will immediately go out and write an awesome review of the book.  Well, except for when they don’t, or they’re busy, or they forget, or they just don’t want to.   Consider it like surveys, less than 2% of people typically fill out a survey, how many are going to go out of their way to review your book?   There are ways around that covered in the next section…

Have your publishers marketing team get reviewers to review the book!

That is part of the game. You’re a tech superstar who is in the business of writing an awesome book because you rock.  Your publisher wants to get that book out, one way they do this is by contacting ‘influential bloggers’, podcasters, various this and that kind of people who they send a copy of the book to to read and write a review, blog post, Amazon review / etc.   This will happen, it’s all part of their job as a sales organization.   If they’re not taking the initiative to get that done, suggest it to them and supply some folks to distribute to! Worst thing they can do is say no!

Have your publisher give copies as giveaways for Conferences, User Groups, Podcasts

Let’s say you’re going to be presenting at a conference or user group, or you’re going to be on a Podcast, you know… Whatever it may be.   Contact your publisher and say, “Hey, I’m going to be doing ‘x’ at ‘y’, can I get ‘z’ number of copies or a case to help promote the book, etc?   Typically they’ll say “Where do I ship?” etc.  Again it’ll depend upon the publishing house you’re working with but promotion is promotion and if you don’t do it, they more often than not will not go out of the way to do it for you.   So ask and you may receive and help promote things out further!


Alright, let me make it clear here. Writing books (especially tech books) is not a get rich quick scheme. In fact it is not even a get moderately middle-classed slowly scheme.  It is a way to produce content to share and spread among the community to grow them as a whole.  All the while giving you a nice checkmark on your Life’s resume and career resume “Author… Check.” It is also not for the light hearted and may not be for everyone.   But that said, there are a number of steps which occur to get the ‘book deal’ as it were. 

One way to start is to talk to other authors, or known authors.  They may have a hook-up especially if you have a good book idea.  I know the Acquisition editors to three major publishers that when opportunities arise or new prospective authors are looking to get published, I will often make an introduction.

You’ll have to essentially submit a proposal helping to justify why the book should be published at all which the publisher will consider before they even accept the bid to have something written.   There are a series of steps involved I won’t go into too much detail here but the real key you should walk away with is, “What do I want to publish, Who is the audience for this book, Are there other books which exist like this already”.   The rest of it will really flow from that in a very formal and detailed document.

Hopefully this has helped you existing authors out a bit, and gives some hope to you prospective authors out there. If you have other suggestions please do not hesitate to include them in the comments! <3

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Posted in Author, Careers, vmware | Comments (0)

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! :)


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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Posted in Careers, Jobs, Technology, Virtualization, vmware, VMware Fusion | Comments (2)

VMworld Tips, Tricks and Prize winning #vmworld

July 31st, 2011

Whether this is your first VMworld or you are a hardcore veteran with scars on your ankles to prove it.   The following series of tips should prove useful so you can have not only the most enjoyable and educational time, you also won’t need to get shin splints halfway through the journey!


      1. It goes without saying, but seriously I’m going to say it AGAIN and AGAIN. [I have 1000 cards on order just so I have some…]  Bring business cards! You’re going to meet and network with a lot of people.  Oh yea, and there are some contests which for some reason will want your business card instead of using a scanner… so bring business cards, you’ll seem semi-professional and you can ‘exchange’ cards that way! oh yea and BRING BUSINESS CARDS!!!
  • Leave your laptop in your room
      1. Exceptions: If you are going to be live blogging an event, bring your laptop.   If you are going to be live video streaming an event, bring your laptop.   If you unfortunately have to WORK during the show and need to VPN or Webex into something, bring your laptop.  If you are going to a session where you know for a FACT you’re going to / need to take notes which require you to use your laptop, then bring your laptop.   Otherwise.  Leave your damn laptop in your room!  It’s cumbersome, it’ll be heavy, and it’s one more thing to have to watch out for / get lost (which none of us want that!)
  • Wear Comfortable Shoes
      • I know you want to look sexy in your sexxxxxxxy shoes! We all do!    But if you know you’re going to be walking on Concrete that day or do a LOT of walking and standing… maybe there is a better time and place to sexxify yourself! [Yes… on some days *I* will be wearing these… which are my sexy+business shoes, but other days, I’ll be wearing my marathon running shoes because it IS a marathon out there.

OMG MY SHOES, oh what was awkward? @lusciouspear came over later in the week EXACT SAME SHOES including the same size!

  • Always Carry Water with you! [As suggested by @Texiwill]
      • Albeit we WILL be in Vegas but this applies anywhere, even when you’re NOT in the middle of the desert!   So do bring water, your body will appreciate it when trying to hydrate and stay fluid in your ability to remember, retain information and… keep going!   I would often carry a number of un-opened bottles with me incase someone else was thirsty, cmon spread the love around!
  • Don’t worry about what you wear
      • You might say ‘Oh no, should I wear that one wacky t-shirt or the other wacky t-shirt.   Unless you’re interviewing at the show or looking to be on the market [Some T-shirts will promote that ;)]  Just wear something comfortable.  I personally half the show will be wearing a suit. …. with cat ears.    So seriously. Just get out there and enjoy ;) [Except for the shoes, wear good shoes!]
  • Try to take swag you want, your kids want, your coworkers want
      • Swag is a rare commodity, did you know that? It can build or destroy relationships [bringing home 2 balls when you have 3 kids… yea destroy ;)]   There is also a FINITE amount of SWAG between T-shirts, random balls and squishy things, [there are infinite pens so don’t worry about that] or iPads.   Just because they’re offering up something think about who will want it at the end of the day.  I personally will end up NOT taking home a lot of swag because I can’t fit this crap in my luggage! So I choose wisely.
      • The T-Shirt rule doesn’t apply to you guys who intentionally pack NO shirts so you can wear swag shirts every day. Good for you!
  • Car Pool in Cabs to and from the airport or to Hotels or Parties
      • Seriously, don’t be the guy who takes a cab solo.    For one thing you’ll pay the full bill, for another thing there are a finite number of cabs even if it seems infinite.    Make some new friends, car pool if you’re all going to the same place [TIP: IF PEOPLE ARE WEARING A BADGE… THEY’RE ALSO THERE FOR VMWORLD ;)]  So Car pool away! It’s good for the environment and the economy!
      • Car pool in cabs from the airport, I need to call out specifically.  The cab line at the airport to get to the hotels is FRICKING LONG OMG.   So do yourself a favor and lump yourself together with a bunch of other geek looking guys, it’ll save you a lot of heartache and you’re bound to make a friend along the way!


  • Bring a Portable Charger with you [Also acceptable, bring a plug-in charger for your mobile device]
      • That device I speak of is called a ‘friend maker’.  If you have an iPhone charger and someone has a dead or dying iPhone [Let’s be serious, everyone’s iPhone is immediately starting to lose charge the instant you take it off the outlet ;)]   This will let YOU survive to find what’s going on where, as well as help someone ELSE survive as well!  The same could apply for various Android and their ‘standardized’ connections across vendors.    My portable kit would support every type of connection!
  • Enter contests to WIN!
      • Obviously you’re entering the contest to win, right?  No.  You’re not.   Contests at Tradeshows are a very unique science and if you’re looking to win you need to enter to WIN it!    A few tips for the wonderful sponsors, vendors and exhibitors on the show floor.    These guys out there have three ways to draw your attention.    Having good technology which really draws you in to want to talk about it.   Something shiny or pretty which lures you over long enough to enter into a conversation about it.  Or a prize which brings you over which you’d otherwise ignore their booth entirely!
      • I *only* accept shirts I will actually wear or happen to look really cool [see prior statement] but I’ll enter to win an iPad from ANY booth, I mean I deserve it right? [and so should you :)]    With that said, do not hesitate to enter into ALL of the drawings to try to win!   I mean after all we’re all winners right?  But what I’ve also learned over the years, if you want to increase your chance of winning take heed of the following few tricks.
        • When they have ‘must be present to win’ and it’s done by a random raffle number or drawing which has no distinction of WHO entered other than an arbitrary number, your chances of winning are in the clear!
        • If a smaller exhibitor has one of these must be present to win contests. BE PRESENT AND WIN.  I was in one of those last year with –4- people who showed up. Yea I didn’t typo that, and no WTF I didn’t win?! 1-4 and I didn’t win?!?! but seriously consider that, your odds can be AMAZING as opposed to just being another name in an excel spreadsheet :)
        • Bose headphones are crap!  Okay, seriously. I’ve won –17- of these Bose headphones over the years, WTF is that! And I just give them to someone to sell because I really like my $5 headphones which rock it out [though I may be replacing them soon, and/or having a contest at #CXIParty for these badboys!
        • There is no shame in simply telling them that you have no interest in their product and just want to win their prize, but do give them the benefit of the doubt they may have some new technology they’re going to introduce you to!   They’re real people too! Oh and sidebar. I love Intel and all, but their games of ‘talk to 5 people and you could win a pen’ sorry guys, that is annoying to no end, do not play their games ;)
      • I look forward to each of you winning an iPad or whatever happens to be the ‘toy’ of the show this year.  Maybe some kind of Android tablet [yea, as if! ;)]
  • Visit the EMC Booths to WIN
      • Disclaimer: This not a shill to get you to visit EMC booths
        • *I* Cannot win prizes from EMC it’s sad but I cannot, *shakes fist in the air* but YOU can.   There’s one thing I’ve noticed from attending conferences like VMworld or EMCworld where EMC has a large presence, and that is OMG EMC GIVES AWAY A LOT OF SWAG.   If they have 10 booths giving away iPads, that’s –10- different chances to win an iPad, OMG SERIOUSLY!?!  Yea you can imagine my dismay that I am unable to win one of those.  But you… you still can.   Which is why I encourage you to visit the hell out of these booths “Run a lab, enter to win an iPad” “Listen to us talk jibber jabber, enter to win an iPad” “blah blah blah, win an iPad” I mean seriously!   GET IN THERE!  I clearly won’t be doing that because *I* cannot win one being that I work here, but you have that opportunity like no other!   I would call out OTHERs who do this, but no other vendor has this vested interest in Apple Products as much as we do, so take advantage of it :)
  • Don’t be afraid to ask if you can attend the Party
      • You ever go to ~10 Parties in one night? It can be exhausting.   My Party going started a looooong time ago while attending Microsoft TechEd conferences.  You know how I found out about the parties originally? I asked.   Just ask, and don’t hesitate to ask OTHERS if they know of any good parties going on.   I personally will see someone standing at a trade show looking like a lost lamb ready to be consume by wolves and will say to them, “You look like you don’t know there are any parties going on!” Typically they won’t, and I’ll hook them up with various parties.  Why?  Because you deserve to go to a damn party!
      • You know how the parties work [In spite of how this is operated by the Marketing People of these orgs which is a total fail]   Typically they will invite CUSTOMERS to their parties as an appreciation for them being a customer.  But you, you’re not a customer yet are you.  No, you’re not.  You may not know enough about the product, hell you may know everything and are signing off on it next week, but they don’t know that… No… they’re planning to invite customers because they don’t know the prospects.   Well, every single one of you can ALWAYS be a customer, and damn straight you should attend a rocking party as a result!
        • Caveats: Community Parties like VMUG parties or #CXIParty don’t care if you’re a customer, partner, competitor or ninja.   So ask, or if you’re afraid to ask, find me and I’ll ask for you.   Many of them will have ‘full venues’ but that has never stopped me before, grin.
      • 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….
  • What sessions to attend EVERY time!
      • I know my friends who are presenting the sessions are going to hate me for this… but hey, that’s why this is a ‘trick’ and not a tip ;)
        • If you KNOW or are fairly certain to believe there will be ‘interaction’ during the session. SHOW UP.  You cannot get interaction from a recorded version
        • If the session has something EXTREMELY applicable to something you’re doing right now, and also YOU have specific questions you want to ask about it, Definitely show up.  Hitting up a speaker after a session can make the difference between success and OMG WTF WHERE IS THE NUMBER FOR SUPPORT!!!
        • If the session has something you can win?! [yea that happens sometimes] … I encourage you to show up ;)
        • If the session has total a ROCK STAR presenting like Scott Lowe, Duncan Epping, Chad Sakac, or Dave McCrory – Run do not WALK to get to those sessions and make sure you’re signed up early for them!
  • Sit with people you don’t know during lunch, and talk
      • WTF is this blasphemy!  Okay fine, sit with maybe ONE friend and a whole new table at lunch.   How often do you get to meet ‘likeminded people’ who clearly share a mutual interest.  No this isn’t some cruel and sick speed dating thing, this is VMworld where people are clearly there for a lot of the same reasons.  Take advantage of that and talk to them about what THEY’RE doing. It may be the same, they may be doing something OMG so cool you’ll wonder why you’re not doing that!   You know… fun stuff like that!    So talk, talk, talk!   These might be the only opportunities you get to meet these folks, in this informal setting because talking during sessions is impolite!
  • Make 5 new friends
      • A charter I have for #CXIParty is you must make 5 new friends.   You’re at a conference with LOTS of people who share your same interest, the least you can do is MAKE A FRIEND.   It’s not that hard, it’s a true bonding experience and a great opportunity to build lasting relationships!   And if you cannot forge a solid friendship out of it, the least you can do is meet some new folks, maybe have a new ‘acquaintance’ that’s cool right? Don’t want to infringe upon your strict ‘no friends’ policy! I know how GRC works! ;)
  • …What do you mean people there are HIRING?!?!
      • If you’ve read anything I’ve written in the past, surprisingly for as popular and fun as Virtualization may be… there are still LOTS of opportunity for people with those skill-sets.  Oh, and did you know that many of them will be HERE at the show looking to HIRE or network with those folks to hire later? yea, crazy, right?   Also if you’re in that market looking to BE hired, let me know and I can hook you up.  I personally know MANY of the folks looking to hire people so I can make sure those doors are swung open, maybe you can even interview there at the show! [Please refer back to dress-code as it applies to interviewing then ;)]
  • 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, Players club card from the Casino! – Just give them your ID and they’ll make one for you…  If you’re going to be playing at ALL get one ;)
        • 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 few months 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 :)
  • Enjoy yourself!
      • This conference is about you.  Not the Partners/Vendors/Sponsors [As much as they may want to think it is] nor even the speakers because if they had no one to speak to, they’d just be people on a podium!   Get out there, ASK the questions you want to ask because people do want to hear from you.   LEARN what you want to learn, WIN what you can win :)   And Enjoy yourself!

See you at #CXIParty and throughout the entire show! Be sure to come say hi of course! :)

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

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Posted in Apple, Big Data, Cloud, emc, Event, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld | Comments (8)

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